Software Subscription, Warranty and Optional Support
(as of July 15, 2015)
When you purchase the Filpac software, it is for unlimited use, which means it is yours forever. There is no recurring fee for the use of the software. However, there is a fee structure for ongoing support, warranty and software upgrades.
Currently there is no additional charge for use on an office network. If you wish to make a copy of the software and install it on a separate computer or network, you may do so. However, our support and warranty agreement applies to the use of the software on ONE computer system. If you wish to extend support and warranty coverage to a second computer, you may do so at half the current price of coverage on the main computer system.
New customers pay the then-current price of the software, plus the prorated subscription and warranty fee (#3 below) for the remainder of the current calendar year.
Filpac offers five levels of software subscriptions, warranties and support.
1. Subscription. $300 annually. All software updates that are issued during the year. These are posted on the website at the rate of about one or two each week. In 2015 we issued 70 such postings.
2. Subscription plus warranty for non-political committees. $400 annually. In addition to a software subscription we will provide:
- Protection from software malfunctions. Simply put, it means that we wont leave you hanging. If the software doesn't work, well fix it within 24 hours and post the update on our website.
- Assistance in resolving software errors and in downloading the appropriate patches from the website.
3. Subscription plus warranty on state or federal reporting. $600 annually. Same service as above, with a guarantee that our software will comply with always-changing state or FEC rules and electronic-filing regulations.
4. Premium support. (also known as "First-In-Line") $1,200 annually . For those customers who require the most reliable and responsive technical support. Includes our subscription and warranty (as stated above), PLUS unlimited telephone support on matters related to the Filpac software. In addition you'll enjoy First-in-Line privileges for call-backs and software upgrades. This means that if it's a busy day and we have several calls to return, we'll call you back first regardless of when you called. If you have a suggestion for a software upgrade, we'll put your suggestion at the top of the list. (Note: this specifically does not include support for your computer hardware, local office network, or software purchased from other vendors. It doesn't mean we won't help; it just means that we don't promise to help.)
5. Unsupported. If your support agreement lapses, the software still is yours to use forever. However there is no warranty and no access to software upgrades. While your support questions will be answered as time permits, and while the five minutes free courtesy remains, there is no assistance with importing, no upgrading of secondary (i.e. "prospect" databases) and no help with specialized tasks such as early-voter processing and NCOA.
If you have purchased First-in-Line support (Option 4), you can choose to
If you have purchased a
software warranty (Options 2 or 3), telephone support that is related to the
investigation or fulfillment of a warranty claim is free.
If you have purchased a
subscription to our software (Option 1), there is no warranty and therefore
no commitment on our part to resolve a warranty claim through free telephone
unrelated to our software warranty may be billed at the rate of $60 per
hour. This would include assistance in resolving a
computer or network problem unrelated to our software.
This would also include instruction in copying, transmitting or backing up
files, or in the use of unsupported third-party software.
- Does this mean that the meter starts running every time you call? No. In fact, we've never billed for calls less than five minutes. (In fact we can't remember the last time we billed for any call.) So don't be afraid to call.
Telephone and warranty support is free and unlimited for the first 30 days after you purchase our software.
At Filpac, were in the business of writing software to meet the very specialized needs of our customers. Although we have a toll-free telephone line for the benefit of our customers, we do not have a support staff. When you call, you'll often find yourself talking to our voice mail. We do not guarantee that there will be a pleasant human voice on the other end of the line when you call (particularly if Joe Curran answers the phone.) HOWEVER, we do return all calls as promptly as possible; and were constantly updating our website and on-line software manual to provide our customers the means to solve minor problems themselves.
Our "Five Minutes Free" courtesy
Even though we don't offer telephone help as part of any support package, we'll always help you out when you call.
Sounds strange but then Filpac is a different sort of software company. We post frequent software updates rather than issue periodic releases. Our prices are low. But most importantly, we keep an open line to our customers. We actually like hearing from them!
Keep your calls brief (in other words: let us get on with the business of improving the software) and we'll return the courtesy. If your warranty agreement is in force and you have a problem or question, you should never feel constrained from calling us.
Youll always find us prepared to stand behind our product.
We move quickly on software glitches because we know how frustrating they can be. If you experience a problem and we determine it to be a malfunction in the Filpac software, and we cannot provide a work-around solution, we will post a patch on our website by the same time on the next business day, provided you're under our warranty. Usually it won't take that long. Sometimes we can do it within a few minutes.
Your responsibility is too accurately document the malfunction by giving us the complete text of any error message (most importantly the called from lines) and the specific part of the program where the error occurred.
If the problem relates to your computer hardware or network setup, usually we can be helpful in pinpointing the problem and recommending a solution.
What is NOT Covered
We provide the software and guarantee it will work free of internal errors, and that your state and federal filings will be accepted. We provide frequent software enhancements and stand ready assist you with with installation of those enhancements. And we offer free phone support for calls lasting less than five minutes. We reserve the right to charge for everything else at our non-warranty hourly rate. This would include custom software or database enhancements, additional data file conversion, website work or software upgrades to accommodate changes in Voter Vault or state voter files.
Enhancements of the features you see in the product are the result of customer experiences or customer suggestions. So if there's a software enhancement you'd like us to add, pick up the phone and call us. Enhancements are free to those who've purchased an annual subscription. If there's a feature you'd like us to add but would rather not wait, then we can do the programming work for a nominal fee.
Software enhancements are performed in the
1. Warranty repairs and upgrades for disclosure filings.
2. Warranty repairs and upgrades for documented malfunctions.
3. Paid upgrades.
4. Free upgrades for customers with First-In-Line warranty agreements.
5. All others.
State and Federal Disclosure Report Warranty
State and federal disclosure reports are included in our warranty. But our warranty is limited to the electronic and printed forms already included in the software. Our disclosure report warranty should not be construed as a guarantee that well come up with any form that you may require during the year, or that well automatically change the software to comply with new laws and regulations.
This doesn't mean that we won't fulfill your form request or change the software to conform to the new rules; it just means that we wont guarantee it.
Ohio, for example, issues about 35 separate forms; Filpac covers ten of them and meets the filing requirements of every Ohio state candidate and PAC who uses the program. On the federal side, Filpac handles about a third of the forms, which is sufficient for ninety percent of the candidates and committees we've encountered.
If you're not sure about our product's ability to produce your state or federal forms, pull out your last disclosure report and then call us to make sure. If were missing a form, the chances are almost certain that we can add it to the program. Its just that wed rather do it on our own schedule well in advance of the filing deadline. If you call us two days before the deadline and say that Schedule X must be added to the program, you wont like our response.
Changes to State or Federal Forms
Keep in mind that there are 50 states out there and were not on everyone's mailing list. If you receive a communication from your election authority about a change in the rules that would affect the validity of your Filpac disclosure reports, then it is your obligation to inform us.
If you feel that we must change a form already in the system because it doesn't follow the rules (i.e. the date is formatted wrong or something isn't itemized properly), we will be happy to do so. That's IF we are presented with a written communication (letter or email) from the appropriate state or federal authority. In other words: were very careful when making a change that would affect our other users in the state.
Multiple-State or State/Federal Reporting
If your political organization reports to more than one election authority, and you require warranty coverage of your forms, there is an extra charge for the annual subscription and warranty, usually one-half the annual fee.