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MIS Systems Thread, Gladstone \ AMI Cashless Catering in Technical; Does anyone know what has happened to Gladstone - their website now says AMI - new website coming soon. We ...
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    eddyc's Avatar
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    Gladstone \ AMI Cashless Catering

    Does anyone know what has happened to Gladstone - their website now says AMI - new website coming soon.

    We logged a call for one of our balance checkers a month a go. I have received an email asking me if I want to buy a replacement.

    Their engineer removed the old unit from site after 2 weeks of the call being open. I have not heard site or sound since and cannot get a response to email or telephone.

    We pay a premium for support and it is not looking great.

    Thanks

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    penfold_99's Avatar
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    Looks like a company rebranding/restructuring exercise.

    Jonas Comupting (UK) limited the folks behind Gladstone Education name bought AMI Education from RM in 2012.

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    They are still going but their support is shocking so your slow response doesn't surprise me.

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    eddyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdannyb79 View Post
    They are still going but their support is shocking so your slow response doesn't surprise me.
    They seem to have issues to say the least. Their engineer removed the balance checker for repair and I've been told by someone from AMI that they don't have it!

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    eddyc's Avatar
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    Just as a little update to everyone (and any potential customers out there who are looking for a review on AMI (or Gladstone) Education).

    Our balance checker stopped working on Wednesday 28th May so on Thursday 29th May we logged a call with their service desk for support. On Friday 6th June, 6 working days later (and not the 48 hour response time that we have always been told to expect) an engineer turned up on site, completely unannounced with absolutely no warning that he was coming. This engineer told us that the unit was faulty and would need to be sent away for a repair.

    Between 6th June and me chasing them Monday 9th July, I had heard absolutely nothing (except got a little confused when I had a quotation emailed to me for a new balance checker)... Hang on a minute, we pay them for hardware and software support, so (a) where is our balance checker and (b) if they expect us to buy a new machine, why do we even pay for hardware support?

    Since then there has been lots of chasing for our balance checker which was removed from site. One member of staff on their helpdesk informed me that they "were unsure what has happened to the original unit, so we have sent you a quote to get it replaced". - So hang on, you've removed the unit from my school and you've lost it and now you want me to replace it?

    On 16th July I thought with the help of Google and the Companies House website, I would email one of the directors - Scott. I sent him an email to explain the above situation and how it had now been 7 weeks since the call was logged and that nobody knew where our balance checker was gone.
    A few hours later I got a reply from him - Great! This is finally going to reach a conclusion... How wrong could I be.

    A few days later, the following week, another engineer attends site completely unannounced (again). He says he is here to look at our balance checker and is then extremely confused, when we tell him that it was actually removed several weeks ago for repair by someone from Gladstone\AMI. He says that is not an issue and that he has an old loan unit in his car he can leave with us. Great!... (or not as it so turns out).

    The engineer mounts the Balance Checker on the wall and tells me to put the device onto the correct IP address for the transact server to see it and then to log a call on their helpdesk to get the software reinstalled... Well, with a corrupt installation of XP Embedded, no access to the control panel (explorer restarts everytime you open it) and EWF/HORN running on the box, we struggled for weeks to set an IP address on the machine. Eventually we then get someone to remote into the machine to be told "We cannot install the balance checker software on here, this is one of our corrupt XP Embedded build - I cannot get into the control panel."

    A few weeks pass and we hear nothing and we are now 2 weeks before the start of the academic year. I decide to email Scott again although this time I receive no reply. The next day, a parcel arrives for me - I open it, and it's a balance checker (which turns out to be a second loan unit). The good thing about this loan unit is that the front panels are missing from the unit and so is the card reader.

    We boot up the 2nd loan unit, configure the static IP and ring their helpdesk - We get told that this machine also has the corrupt XP Embedded image on it and that they cannot install the software - This was yesterday.

    One of their support engineers was connected via teamviewer for 8 hours, yesterday, often he would not do anything for an hour at a time - This kept my machine unusable for the day - After one period of waiting 20 minutes for him to do something, I started to chat via teamviewer "Is everything OK I ask?" "Yes I am working from home today and am cooking food at the moment" several hours later, "The XP build is damaged and I cannot complete the repair I'm afraid" I then asked where do we go from here and receive absolutely no reply for two hours before I decided to disconect the session. I assume that their team viewer premium logs how long their technicans are working for by connecting to my PC but not actually doing anything, this technician can claim for 8 hours when he was barely working for 30 minutes.

    So where would you all suggest we go from here? Away from AMI \ Gladstone is our plan at the moment - We are looking forward to BETT in January to find an alternative supplier as soon as possible.

    Tomorrow will be 14 weeks that the balance checker has been removed for repair and the annual cost for hardware and software support isn't a small figure either - Any suggestions on how to bring this to a conclusion?

    Regards, Ed

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    eddyc's Avatar
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    Well further to my last post and another email to Scott, I heard from Gladstone first thing on Friday morning. They did a remote session for an hour and the issue has now been resolved.

    Although it has taken much longer than I would have liked, we got there in the end and the guy that did phone was extremely apologetic.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Interesting story indeed. Any explanation for what's going on at the moment in terms of their rebranding/restructuring?

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    TheScarfedOne's Avatar
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    Oh dear. A terrible tale of poor support there. A warning to any potential customers. Anyone else experienced similar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddyc View Post
    Well further to my last post and another email to Scott, I heard from Gladstone first thing on Friday morning. They did a remote session for an hour and the issue has now been resolved.

    Although it has taken much longer than I would have liked, we got there in the end and the guy that did phone was extremely apologetic.
    I hope they are giving you a year of free service otherwise this is the reason they invented lawyers and SLAs.

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    Similar tale for our balance checker, broke start of of July... I think they outsource the hardware support to a 3rd party.

    Guy brought multiple wrong units with him (version 2 I guess with a webcam in) but requires power brick and mounts onto a VESA , still on going now.

    We also had issues with the integration service talking to parent pay. This support ticket quickly got raised to developer level, after 1month an term fast approaching it took a call to their MD to get the guy who originally installed it to investigate the issues. Sadly as the issue fell into the new term it started to cause issues with payments and is still causing us a little grief which parent pay are now dragging their heals on!

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    Very much the same story with one of our cash loaders.
    It went down before the holidays then we upgraded to TransACT from OnRecord because we had upgraded the SIMS server.
    After they had spent the whole of the holidays replacing various parts and upgrading the software we are now back with the original fault because they never replaced the faulty finger print reader in the first place.
    Fortunately it has been my compatriot who has been dealing with them as I think I would have killed someone.

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    similar story of shocking service here. we would have terminated service log ago were it not our managed service who actually have the contract with them. We now use infiniry + the next iteration of easy trace but there's the same old problems and support is a significant one. Wouldn't go near another one of their products ever again they are that bad - and I'm referring to the whole Jonas group as they seem only interested in fulfilling base obligations to gain money rather than offering a half decent product.

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