One of the common objections to subscription based software-as-a-service is the ongoing, albeit low, cost. Whereas traditional desktop based software is supposedly a one-off cost.

We have a page next to our pricing to attempt to explode this myth, but it’s still something that comes up again and again.

As if to prove my point, this month Sage have written to their customers in an attempt to force them to upgrade and/or buy support if they want their software to continue to work.

When the Chancellor announced the change in the VAT rate from 17.5% to 15% KashFlow and all the other web-based accounting software vendors got any required changes made to the software within 24 hours. No disruption or cost to the customer.

Sage however have seen it as an opportunity to squeeze more money out of the already cash-strapped small businesses that are affected. They have released a “VAT Change Utility Tool” that you have to use in order to “reconcile your VAT when the 15% and 17.5% rates both apply within the same VAT return.”

Their letter continues:

What do I need to do?
We’re offering Sage Instant Accounts VAT Change Utility Tool as part of the SageCover and SageCover Extra contracts. Due to your Sage Instant Accounts software being below v14 you will need to upgrade your software.

Sage seem to know they’re squeezing their remaining SME customers dry so they’re offering credit to help you pay for it all.

Way to go, Sage.

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