Welcome to CSR Nation
How do you all feel about the price of our software customer support? It keeps going up. Stenograph is now $600 per year for support and then $350 a year for the writer support. I don't even use support that much because I have paid for onsite training several times. But jeez, we hardly get rate increases but
our fees for service keep going up!
Hi, Kerry! With less and less new blood in this profession, how are these software companies going to generate enough income to keep their current client base happy? Yes, it's steep, but it's either that or go out of business, I think.
I know, I understand we need them to be around..............but there has to be some happy medium because right now the reporters are taking too big a hit, I think.
Well ... if I was in a business and I knew that my client base was shrinking, the last thing I would do would be lower my rates.
I hear ya, Kerry. I have never had to use service and I have never bought it because I think it's too expensive. A few years and I can just buy the software all over. I'll probably get it at some point to get the updates. Wonder how much they will make me pay? It's quite the racket.
I pay it and use it four or five times a year. Recently I had to call to figure out how to set my timers up. I couldn't get it from the manual quickly, so I called. I can afford to pay it so I do. There have been lots of nice updates in the last couple of years. . For many years I had Stenocat and never updated, and my output dramatically increased when I got new software, Case Catalyst, and I keep it updated. I just about know everything about it and I'm trying to use all the features to improve my output.
If I didn't work that much, I probably wouldn't pay for it, but for me, working full-time, I feel it's been worth it.
I do not have anything on my writer, a Mira, and I feel lucky I've gotten by for 7 years without anything. So I'm ahead of the game there. I don't plan on getting another machine anytime soon.
Back with my first system, BaronData, the support contract for my writer and software was $121.00 a MONTH. So IMO, the price has come down.
For me personally I believe in paying the support contract. It is about $50 per month and you can write it off so it is actually a little less than that.
The expenses are so high that a lot of reporters will be forced out. I've heard that reporters in Ireland use the firm's equipment, so maybe that will happen here? I'm semi-retired and make so little now that I will not be renewing my software contract when it's due in August. I just can't justify it financially. And I know this is a common problem. I think our profession has become like hairdressing where it's either high end or subsistence wages. And we have an age problem too. I wonder what the average age of a court reporter is now.
I didn't buy my software. Instead, I lease it for $79 a month, and it includes all updates and all the technical support I need. While I'd like the price to be lower, I think it is fair for what I am getting. After all, it's not like the software company is like Microsoft selling millions of copies of software. They probably only have a few thousand clients, so the cost has to be shared among fewer consumers.
Stenograph does offer group discounts to the reporters of large firms in the 40-50% range. I believe they will honor the discount pricing for a group of independent reporters. I plan on contacting them and asking for the number of reporters needed for the respective discounts. I have gotten a couple different answers.
They did tell me as part of receiving the discount all suppport agreements have to be entered into/renewed at the same time and paid with one check. Part of the reason for the discount is that they don't have to enter 30, 40 or 50 checks.
My software is $350 a year. Granted it doesn't do anything spiffy, but I write and it comes out. And that $350 a year includes support. If I want to buy it, it is $2,000. As for support, they email me and call me to ask how things are going. If I have a question I email them and I get a response back pretty fast. As for training, it's so simple, I really didn't need any.
Hardly anyone has heard of OpenWrite (made by Gigliatron-Stenocat). But as I said, I write and it comes out.
Eclipse is $595 plus $40 for key insurance. I get 24/7 support. I love it!!!
I think that's well worth it for that price. And I can call them up for anything and everything if I have to. Plus that includes any updates and stuff.