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Why Are Software Publishers So Shy?

I need to establish if one particular UK agent for a particular software company, is still trading.

I tried to e-post to him a simple sales question, but it bounced, and I can't determine if that means the address no longer exists.

I need only to ask the software firm itself two basic questions: "Is ...... still one of your UK agents; if so is the e-post address I'd used, current?"

You'd think they be pleased to help what might mean another sale, but no... Customers do not matter to the IT trade beyond the purchases. After that you're on your own and if you have problems with the quality of the goods or services, or you need technical advice ... tough.

I have tried the publisher's own web-site but it carries no contact details whatsoever. Lots of product ads; but no phone number, no e-mail address, no postal address. Instead, as with so many other IT and telecomms firms, it fobs you off with a list of set technical questions and a supposed "users' forum" (these admit that it cannot be bothered to publish proper instructions or training-manuals in the first place). 

Posted - January 4, 2017


  • The IT world is so shaky and chaotic these days that these companies are operating more and more like fly-by-night businesses.   The turnaround is high so high typically that no-one really knows what is going on and many of these businesses have to shut down or change hands all the time.
    The demand  just isn't what it used to be and it's not the profit maker it was 15 years ago.  So the customer service has turned to crap.
      January 4, 2017 4:32 PM MST

  • 7919
    I think maybe some of what you're experiencing could be the result of how a lot of software companies are structured now. They are tiny little micro-operations, perhaps with a single developer and no actual team. When we were planning our rebuild here, a member asked me for AM's street address and I LOLed. I just had my home address at that point and wasn't going to give it out. Since then, I've opened a PO box (virtual) and set up a phone line (Google Voice), which can give the impression the Mug is more of a business, but it's not. I mean, it is, but we're not the big corporate enterprize people expect.

    My day job is a content writer. I do blogs/ web pages/ etc. for small businesses. Most of my clients are set up like the above, but they look like big entities. Nice, flashy sites, active on social media, etc. They run software companies and peer-to-peer marketplaces with big footprints, but their "team" is always 1-2 people.

    The net has made it really easy for almost anyone to start a business, but we're conditioned to have a "corporate experience" everywhere we go. If you're dining out and you choose to patronize the local hole-in-the-wall versus the national chain, you know you may be served by the business owner, their spouse, and/ or their children. It's part of the charm. When you go online, it's dang near impossible to tell whether you're working with a micro-business or an all-out corporation. Odds are, if you can't find what you're looking for, it's a really small operation. 
      January 4, 2017 4:59 PM MST

  • 3684
    Thank you. I'd not known that about the small-scale software writers.

    However my experiences include those with my ISP, which is BTInternet (hardly a small operation), and Microsoft itself (utterly untouchable - except in its sales department).

    The problem that inspired my question was given by a supposedly-large company called Avanquest, which publishes technical-drawing and photo-processing s/ware intended mainly for professional users like engineers and architects; though with private sales too, through agents.

    I wanted only to verify an agent's address as current, but Avanquest's web-site carries no contact details whatsoever behind its "Contact" button, and I had to register and use its forum to ask what should need only a quick phone-call or e-mail!   
      January 4, 2017 5:12 PM MST

  • 3684
    Bloody Internet! I replied, pressed 'Send' and it failed, closed AM and displayed "This page cannot be displayed"!. MY ISP seems to close at random moments.

    So start again...

    I discovered today that Avanquest is not a software-writer but a retailer.

    The agent is a specialist in TurboCAD, which is one of many applications Avanquest sells. I managed to find his phone number and rang him directly.
      January 5, 2017 4:04 PM MST