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Why would Sage threaten my client?

A new client wants to move to Xero to take advantage of apps that don't integrate with Sage.

When they called Sage to give notice they were told that their subscription had auto-renewed for 12 months and that if they cancelled Sage would appoint a debt collector to chase them. They never asked for a 12 month contract and thought they could cancel by giving 30 days notice. Apparently Sage said that they'd sent an email telling them they were going to auto-renew but shouldn't they have had to agree or is continuing to pay monthly and use the software enough? It didn't help that the Sage rep was quite rude to my client.

This doesn't seem like an ethical way to treat a customer. Has anyone had experience of this and how to handle it? The business needs to move forward with new software that just won't integrate with Sage

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26th Feb 2019 19:47

First of all, make sure they have given notice now (and sage have acknowledged it) so there is no auto renewal next year. They may have to swallow the charge (read the small print on the contract) but at least they can run in parallel while they get Xero and add-ins up and running, and access past data in case it is needed for audit/accounts prep etc

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26th Feb 2019 20:55

Sums up Sage in a nutshell. Did Sage say when the contract auto-renewed? I wouldn't be at all astonished if they said that it was last month. Just a coincidence, I expect.

Your client needs to get a copy of the original email, and check their own email records to see if it was actually received. They might need to take legal advice to see if that change of terms can be imposed without their agreement, even if it has been notified.

It seems that the need to threaten debt collectors is programmed into their customer "service" advisers, along with being uncivil. Horrible company to deal with.

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By pbolton
26th Feb 2019 23:14

As others have said, best to check the original agreement with Sage and that smallprint. In terms of whether Sage needed your client to expressly say that they wanted to renew, it will really depend on what's in the original contract I would say. A little bit like most people's car insurance, these often have something in there to say that they will auto-renew unless you specifically ask them to not. I'm sure that Sage would be only too happy to provide your client with a copy of the agreement if they're struggling to find it.

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27th Feb 2019 13:28

Hi,

Our auto-renewal policy for Sage Cover ensures support is continual for our customers. This gives companies time to process invoices with no break in cover for their staff. To provide an example, it works in the same way as a car insurance renewal.

We attempt to contact customers to discuss their renewal options but it's not always possible to contact them all in advance.

We send a renewal notice and invoice in advance of renewal, thus giving customers time to contact us to cancel their contract if they choose to do so.

Regards,

Paul
Sage UKI

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By DJKL
to Paul Morgan
27th Feb 2019 15:15

But with car insurance you get to cancel the policy midway through the year, the premium gets apportioned and usually only a modest admin fee is applied in addition to the pro rata premium.

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to Paul Morgan
27th Feb 2019 16:35

An alternative take on things may be that you are just a bunch of shysters.

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By Jdopus
to Paul Morgan
27th Feb 2019 17:20

Glad to hear it's all for our benefit Paul, very kind of you folks at Sage.

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27th Feb 2019 15:03

Paul from Sage is busy on Accounting Web this week. Woops!

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27th Feb 2019 15:54

Will Paul be prepared to give copies of the e-mail & invoice to the OP so he can check his records and agree to cancel the contract if it can be proved the OP didn't receive them?

A Yes/No answer will suffice

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to bernard michael
27th Feb 2019 17:11

That would right thing to do... let's see! I shall be following with interest.

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27th Feb 2019 17:55

Glad to hear today that Sage has backed down and agreed to allow the cancellation so just used Movemybooks to create the client's new account in Xero with the last two years' transactions migrated.
Thanks for all your comments.

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By PAMDILL
01st Mar 2019 14:41

I had a client who got the same call, however they are on a lifetime license which was bought under advise by Sage and they had called Sage Support about 2 months after the purchase to ask a question and got told they did not have Sage Cover.

I called Sage and got told that software was sold with one year's Sage cover included, they backed down when I pointed out that the paperwork I got when I bought them the software only said there was 30 days's cover and the client got refused help.

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