Rant: Some of us are in this "together" ...

Solarbotics Ltd
April 3, 2020

As the crisis continues, we received more and more email notices from suppliers & vendors offering us "assistance" in this "time of need".

  • From Ernie Johannson, Group head of North American Personal & Business Banking, BMO Financial Group (AKA: Bank of Montreal)?
    An email, titled "We're here to help during COVID-19", with a nondescript mention of a "Relief Program for those impacted", which requires going to a generic "contact-us" page with no real explanation of what they'd do for us.How about just waving some fees for a few months. Business is down - it'd be nice to not have to pay credit-card fees for a few months. Or how about a break on the line-of-credit? Or even some debt-FORGIVENESS.  Something real, that doesn't require my having to entertain you like a dancing monkey? Because I do remember all the times CBC reported "...another record-breaking profit report this quarter from the Bank of Montreal / Royal Bank / CIBC...". You've also restricted hours, making it even harder for me to take care of our banking (and you can't get change via your mobile app). Thanks, Ernie.

 

  • Quickbooks - why not just cut your customers a break?From our accounting software provider, Intuit Quickbooks? An email titled "Help your business adapt in uncertain times" where they've put up $500k directly to "GoFundMe", with an additional $500k for their employees to use toward "GoFundMe" campaigns, suggesting we can set up our own "GoFundMe" to solicit help.Really, over 25+ years using your subscription service (presently at $330/mo) , you're "helping" by working with a 3rd party (which will take their slice) and making me dance and compete for attention and some assistance? How about just stop the billing for 3 months? That would be SUCH a nice gesture, and would make a difference. Your email footer tastes worse than yesterday's coffee.
    <edit: Our Accountant has engaged them on support chat and managed to get 20% off for the next 12 months. It's a start, but it's the next 3 months are going to be the biggest challenge>

 

  • New: From Moneris, our credit-card purchaser? "Helping Your Business during COVID-19 Restrictions". Here's an offer to make it easier to "pivot your business from accepting in-store payments". An eCommerce 60-day setup, account & fee waver (worth at least $165+/mo and $199 setup).GREAT! We'd love to offer online-debit card access, and catch a break on some fees. But as we are an existing account (and again, as a long-time client), they're unwilling to offer it to an existing business wanting to expand their service offerings. Sounds like a great way to convince brick & mortar stores to get a new online account, after which Moneris has a new additional revenue stream.

 

I am so TIRED of hearing about this ineffectual "help" coming from companies that have reported huge profits over the last 5 years. It's time to step up and act like humans, and volunteer to help your customers & clients.  Don't make us jump through more hoops. We're already stressed and overloaded. I'm way too busy trying to keep our small business afloat and keeping what staff we have left employed to play these games. Corporations may be persons under the law, but some certainly have more heart than others.


In contrast, what are we getting from the small companies we deal with LOCALLY?

  • Our local printer-leasing company Zone-3 have volunteered to stop the monthly billing on our industrial printer.
  • Our local office cleaner (Olivia, a Jan-Pro contractor) has offered to work with us if to adjust our services we need to.

A sincere thank-you to our fellow small businesses that are reaching out to us with real offers of help.

Stay safe,
Dave Hrynkiw
President Solarbotics & Active Tech Calgary

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