Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Internet / TV Pricing Scam

Do you ever wonder why service providers always discourage loyal customers? I'm on AT&T's UVerse for my TV and internet at home, and I know that I have to regularly (once every 6-12 months) call and ask for a promotion for my account JUST TO KEEP my current pricing!  I used to be on Comcast and absolutely hated everything about the TV service (the internet was fast though).

It's kind of like apartment complexes - they think they will get you with inertia.  It's too hard to move, so we'll just stay there and pay "ONLY" $50 more per month.  

What ever happened to customer loyalty being REWARDED?

Ah, well, at least AT&T's sales reps don't make you feel bad for working the system.  I was told, when I first signed up for UVerse, that I should just call back when the current promotion expires, and just pick up the new one (whatever it is).  The first time I had to do this, it was easy - the first person I got at customer service was able to handle the request.  Today, I had to go through 3 people to get my "new" promotion; while they were all nice, the first two had to pass me around the horn before I got to someone who could change the account the way I wanted.

So if you're looking at your service bill, and your promotions just dropped off, fear not!  Just use these 3 easy steps:

  1. Call customer service (chat / email won't cut it for this)
  2. Ask them nicely for a new promotion.  I just told them outright that a promotion had expired and I was looking for a new one.
  3. If (when) they say there is no applicable promotion, use these magic words: "I guess I'll go shop at <competitor> then, I see that their promotional pricing is considerably lower than my price.  I hate to go there though, because I really LOVE my <current provider> service!".  This should get you shipped off to the customer retention department, and better options for discounts.
Don't be afraid to change service providers if they won't budge.  I've found the monthly difference is usually $25 or more, which is a yearly savings of $300.  Wouldn't you say yes if they offered you $300 to move services, even with the hassle?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Exchange Mail Enabled Public Folder NDR Woes

So I spent a ridiculous amount of time today trying to figure out why external users were receiving NDRs when attempting to send mail to a newly created mail-enabled public folder.  I remembered to make sure the related distribution group and the folder itself had "Require that all senders are authenticated" UNchecked in the Message Delivery Restrictions.  What I didn't know was that the public folder permissions (as in from Outlook) had to have Anonymous allowed to create items.  Here's hoping someone finds this tidbit faster than I did by searching today!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sales Receivables Summary Observations

I've struggled for a long time trying to understand what is probably super easy for most of you in GP Land.  The receivables summary screen in GP obviously shows the total document amounts for the whole company (or based on your filter), along with the total unapplied document amounts for the same scope.  But why oh why do the totals never seem to match??  I mean, after all, if you add a payment and don't apply it to anything, well, that of course works - it just increases the "Cash Receipts" total for both.  And, then, say, you apply some of that payment to an invoice.  Well, that works too, it reduces the Cash Receipts open total and also reduces the Sales open total, so the balance is unchanged on the open side (and of course didn't change on the original amount side).  So why are they off?

Traditional wisdom for GP says to run check links early and often, and maybe reboot your SQL Server.  And if that doesn't help, then run Utilities - Sales - Reconcililation, because surely there's a document header that's off.  (As an aside, if you are still on GP 10 or lower and have any sizable data then you won't be able to run that last utility, as it will crash.  Once you engage MS support through your partner you will learn the fix is to upgrade GP, har har).

So, I did some testing in The World Online and did find out some interesting stuff.  First, the scenarios I described above are correct - all posted transactions should balance when displayed in the Receivables Summary.  There are two reasons I know of that the two totals might not balance.  One is the more obvious reconciliation issue that can be handled by running the routine (with GP 2010 ugrade if it crashes, or you could roll the stability dice and write your own custom reconciliation routine like we did).  The second may not be as obvious - I certainly never guessed it until I was testing a reconciliation routine and noticed the behavior.  If you have any unposted sales transaction batches that include apply information then these transactions will cause the open transaction amounts to be adjusted, without adjusting the original transaction totals.

I hope this helps someone, because I've been all over the place trying to get a handle on this for months!