Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thank You for the Therapy

Thank you to the two readers of this blog who called me in response to yesterday's post, and referring me to their merchant services providers.  I appreciate the contact and the therapy.

Here's what's funny, one of those friends told me I should open a merchant account with Intuit.  That's funny because, as I mentioned briefly in yesterday's post, I have an Intuit merchant account.  It works great! For some mad reason I made the decision to move away from it!

Thank you also to the kinds folks who emailed me privately offering their sympathies.  Clearly folks are interested, and lots of family law lawyers are still mystified by the idea of receiving credit card payments, so here is my daily update.

I also want to thank Larry Port, the CEO of Rocket Matter.  He reached out, apologized profusely for all the problems, and promised they would be fixed. How many of you have ever received a personal reach out from the Big Boss at a software company?  Not too many, I am sure.  Now I am thinking Bill Gates is going to get in touch about my Windows issues.  Anyway, I appreciate Larry's reassurances, and I believe him.  In fact, if you make it to the end of this post, you will see that things may be improving.  In the meantime our travails do give me a divine comedy of content here!

The curtain lifts, the music rises from the orchestra pit. The players are in place. Act 2 begins:

When I arrived at the office today I found some emails from Forte. Yesterday I explained that I had never heard of Forte, but they apparently have something to do with TouchSuite? The emails requested that I log into my virtual terminal and complete its setup.  I did not know what a virtual terminal was?  I did not know I had a virtual terminal? I did not know that I have a Forte account? Why did I not know? Because no one from TouchSuite has ever educated me to any of these facts.

Anyway, I followed the links to setup my Forte something or other.  Of course, the links did not work. So I called Forte customer service.  After being on hold for 20 minutes I finally got a human being. In the spirit of full disclosure she was very, very nice, and very, very helpful. We solved the log in problem by clearing the cache on my browser, and got the accounts set up.

I then asked her what Forte was (probably should have asked that question first)? She explained to me that Forte was my merchant service provider.  That's interesting. I thought TouchSuite was my merchant service provider? No, she explained, TouchSuite is just a sales company; they sold our service to you.  Hmmnn. How do you like them apples....

Anyway, she also explained that we had just set up a virtual terminal so that I could process client payments via Forte's website.  Cool I thought, then I look at the details on the screen and saw that it was for echecks, but not credit cards.

I asked her
"How do I process credit cards?
She politely told me "You can't. Your account is not set up for credit cards."
"How can I add credit cards" I asked?
"You have to call TouchSuite."

Aargh. Not the answer I wanted.  Anyway, back to our conversation:

"While I have you on the line, I am curious how much in dollar amounts can I run each transaction for?"
"$7000" she answered.
"$7,000?  When I had my initial conversation with TouchSuite weeks ago I told them my ordinary minimum transaction would be $10,000 and that some transactions could run as high as $30,0000 to $50,000!"

Be reminded the women I am talking is an absolute saint. Very patient and very helpful (thank God).

"I am sorry Mr. Harding, if you want to run more than $7,000 we are going to have to send you an application to see if we can get your limit increased, or you might want to call TouchSuite.  Here is the name of your sales rep at TouchSuite that we have listed for your account . . . ."

"Thank you" I said, "I will give TouchSuite a call."

Next I called TouchSuite, ran through the phone tree and as usual got a voicemail box. I left her a message. In all the times that I have called TouchSuite no human being has ever answered the phone.

Next I called RocketMatter to talk the to service rep who has been assigned to me to try and solve this disaster. Got his voicemail and left a message.

So, where are we? (1) I can now apparently process echecks by logging into my Forte account. (2) I cannot process echecks through my Rocket Matter time and billing.  (2) I cannot accept credit card payments period. (3) Whether it would be an echeck or a credit card, it can only be for $7,000 when my ordinary minimum transaction is $10,000.  (4) As usual no one is answering the phone at TouchSuite. (5) Waiting for a call back from Rocket Matter. (6) Bills are supposed to go out tomorrow, but there is no way for the clients to pay them.

Rocket Matter to the rescue!  There is a guy at Rocket Matter support by the name of Michael. Love the guy. Drinks the same happy/helpful juice that is poured into the cups of all the support folks at RM. He knows his stuff, and when he doesn't know something he goes to working figuring it out.  I whined and moaned. Michael listened. Then he came up with solutions.

We think Forte is only responsible for processing echecks. Michael and I did a test. I billed myself a dollar, and then paid for it with an echeck. We have to wait a couple days for the check to post. If it does, we are as good as gold on the echeck side.

We think TouchSuite actually does run the credit card side of things, and is not in fact just a sales force for Forte. I met with a client today who is a sales director for one of the world's biggest credit card procssing companies.  She agrees with Michael on this point, and that TouchSuite is actually, and Forte is not actually, processing the credit cards. Michael is going to reach out to TouchSuite to confirm. Assuming this is all accurate, we will then be good as gold on the credit card side!

So, things are looking up!  I can tell you this, once we do get the system working as designed it will be BRILLIANT!  It will be a huge, huge, huge step up from Abacus Accounting. I really am quite excited!

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#RocketMatter #TouchSuite #merchantaccount #creditcards #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Rocket Matter Winning Streak Has Run Out

I had previously written about how thrilled I was with the time and billing features of Rocket Matter. That excitement was based on the one invoice that I had sent to one client, and that appeared to have been processed effortlessly. Ooops. It seems that I was a bit premature with my enthusiasm.

When I received the sales pitch from Rocket Matter ("RM"), great emphasis was placed on the Rocket Pay component of the system. Rocket Pay is what we might otherwise call a merchant account. You use it so that the clients/customers can pay you with credit cards. As described to me by the RM sales folks, my clients would get an email invoice. In that invoice there would be a link the clients could click on so that they could pay their invoices with a credit card or an echeck (echecks is a newish for me and my clients, and very exciting feature). Awesome. It would all be done under one roof, and I could then close my current merchant account with Intuit/QuickBooks.

In concept the process is great. In actual implementation and operation, Not So Greattttt.....

Turns out that RM has a partner company that handles the merchant services side of Rocket Pay. Partnering is quite common. I partner in my practice all the time. I use contract attorneys. I use a subpoena service to obtain records. RM is a technology partner. Unfortunately for Rocket Pay that technology partner, a company called TouchSuite, is where the problem starts and continues. I had not actually surveyed that first client that I wrote about before I posted my earlier review. Turns out she first tried to pay her bill with a credit card. The card was repeatedly rejected by Rocket Pay. So, she (we thought) then paid by echeck. I saw the payment posted in RM, and started doing my happy dance.

After a couple of weeks my client got back to me. The money she had "Paid" for her bill had not been withdrawn from her checking account. She was finding the delay distracting. Did I mention she is a lawyer? And she was questioning the efficiency of the new software system that I had been touting to all my clients. Something along the lines of my clients would never put up with such a horrible system... Can you say Unhappy Client?

I got on the phone with RM technical support. As always the tech support folks at RM were fantastic. They started working with me immediately to find out what was going wrong. With similar immediacy, we learned the problem sourced back to TouchSuite. Turns out the ability to actually pay by echeck Does Not Exist!  All the buttons are in place, the link works, but the actual system to make it happen has not been implemented by TouchSuite! The payment was credited to the client in RM, but the money will never appear in my bank account! How do you like that for partner communications. RM is selling a product that its merchant services partner does not even provide! And I am working for clients for free!

Not questioning why, but simply committing to fixing it (as any great customer service company would, and as I have promised my disgruntled client) the folks at RM started working on a fix. Still don't have an answer on how we undo the client payment that will never be received, but the folks at RM will figure that out. Unfortunately any complete fix will require the involvement of TouchSuite, and here is where I am at with them.

When I starting installing RM I went through the merchant services application process with TouchSuite. Mind you I have been through this twice before with other merchant accounts. The last time was with Intuit, and it took ten minutes. The application process with TouchSuite was overwhelming. It spread out over days. I thought I was applying for access to Fort Knox, the White House, and the Vatican all in one. Eventually, or so I thought, the application process was completed and approved. I was wrong!

From what I understand now TouchSuite failed to timely process the application at its end. Apparently there is some other company called Forte that receives the application and processes it further? So, I got to repeat the application process. TouchSuite did fill in most of the information on the application for me so that all I had to do was sign it.  Guess what? They filled in the application wrong, and it was again rejected by Forte!

It looks like we are now on Round 3 of submitting stuff TouchSuite and then to Forte. I got to spend the better part of yesterday trying to re-apply only to have processing links fail, emails sending me to non-existent destinations, one person at TouchSuite having me do one thing while another person at TouchSuite was having me do something else... What the heck, it doesn't matter. The alternative would be me working on client matters that I will never get paid for....

Where are we right now?  Who knows? We have been testing RM for two, three months now. We closed out all of our Abacus Accounting matters yesterday, and were intending to go 100% live with RM this week. The plan was to send out our first full set of RM bills to all of our clients on July 1. Does not look like that is going to happen. I wonder if my mortgage company will give me extra time to pay my bill when I tell them my TouchSuite dilemna?

By the way, I still have plenty of love for the tech support folks at RM. Absolutely extraordinary! If I did not know that they were working over the top to make things right I would have jettisoned the whole system yesterday. I will say this, I have never been more impressed by a technology company's tech support than I am with RM.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#RocketMatter #RocketPay #TouchSuite #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rocket Matter Switch Over

Happy Invoicing Days Are Here Thanks To Rocket Matter!!!
If you have been following along you know that we are transitioning to Rocket Matter as our law practice management software (LPMS). This is our first time going to the cloud with our LPMS. Our previous installations of Amicus Attorney and AbacusLaw were on our own server. For the past few weeks a legal assistant has been furiously migrating our 20 years of data over from Abacuslaw. All of the contacts have been merged, and now it is time to work on matter data. The migration will require two months of full-time work so it is a huge consumption of time and resources. If Rocket Matter (RM) turns out to be planning to sell itself like so many other legal technology companies I am going to be very, very, very frustrated!!!

A couple of new cases have come in since we went live with RM, and I have been managing those in both Abacus and RM, as sort of a soft opening. So far I am impressed. The RM interface if visually pleasing, and I am loving the access anywhere I can get on the Internet. There are some some shortcomings. AbacusLaw is a much more sophisticated and evolved product. AbacusLaw has pre-installed templates for specific practices (such as family law, personal injury, criminal defense). It has rules based calendaring. It handles email integration better, with seamless attachment of emails to cases. It has very efficient document merging and mail merge. In Rocket Matter several extra steps are required to associates emails with cases. There are no practice templates. Document merging seems to be in its infancy. However, RM is always growing, and the development teams is receptive to new ideas so I would expect that it is only going to get better and better.

Rocket Matter is not without its superior qualities, and I am discovering new ones every day.  One
area where RM is clearly Superior is in billing. RM allows brilliant customization of invoices. Along with its partner Touch Suite it provides great merchant service accounting so that your clients can pay their invoices with a credit card or echeck as soon as they receive the invoice via their email. RM then posts the payments and manages evergreen retainer replenishment. The technology is stunning, and way better than anything else that I have ever encountered -- Way, Way, Way Better!

I also like the iPad app that comes with RM (something AbacusLaw did not have). And I was able to easily set up an iCal link on my iPhone so that I now have RM's calendar linked to my phone. Unfortunately, as it appears, iCal does not support two-way integration. If that is true, then RM will need to up its game re smartphone linking.

Next I need to figure out how to link contacts between RM and my iPhone.  I suspect a call to the very patient folks at tech support will be forthcoming.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#RocketMatter #practicemanagementsoftware #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

USB Connections

It is amazing how much stuff I have plugged in to my computer. There is my internet phone. My webcam. Speakers. Multiple monitors. Wi-fi. A ...