Anyone Else Having An Awful Experience With Big Holler?

I signed up with them last spring and it’s just been a terrible experience. It took forever to get it set up because they couldn’t get something as simple as sending me my login and password for the admin site, then it took weeks to set up the menu. Mostly because there is zero manuals or support materials available for the customer. Online ordering was constantly down, when I would call in, it would take a day or more to get someone to call me back. Every time, they would say it was something wrong with Point of Success and blow me off or make a huge deal about how it wasn’t really their job to be fixing. It never was POS, it was always configuration issues with my equipment or equipment going bad.

Last month, I finally told them I wasn’t going to pay anymore monthly fees until my website was done completely (including specials and coupons) and working correctly. Pretty much no response. Then two weeks ago, my website went down on Thursday night, I called in Friday morning and didn’t get a return call until Monday. Last week, I got an email from them saying that they were shutting off my online ordering until I paid and that they had been instructed to not override it (meaning they didn’t have to shut it off). Unfortunately, it was sent while I was out of town and away from computers for the weekend. I responded when I got back to the email on Tuesday, still haven’t received any response.

It’s like if I had a customer call and complain about their last order and I responded by saying: “Well then, you can’t buy anything from me anymore unless you pay up front”. Just a terrible experience and I’m baffled how I’ve been treated, I’m wondering if this is the norm or they just suck at my account.

Re: Anyone Else Having An Aweful Experience With Big Holler?

I was to be part of the Beta test with Point of Success and Big Holler. I pulled out of the test when they told me to change my business model to fit their software. There were several things that red flagged them for me. Things like “Our software will not allow modifiers to remove an unwanted topping from a pizza. It will have to be done in the special instructions comments.” I have a graduated delivery fee depending on time of day and distance from the store. “We can only support one delivery fee” We offer a discount on multiple pizza orders their response “As far as the discount goes, our system does not support this. You would have to make the adjustment at the store level.” These are just a few of the problems that made me rethink committing to this service.

I am currently looking for an online ordering solution and may have to jump ship regarding Point of Success as well. I really like Point of Success but the limitations I am facing on a number of issues may force my hand.

Re: Anyone Else Having An Aweful Experience With Big Holler?

I’m wondering if this is the norm or they just s**k at my account.
Looks like you summed it up pretty good.

Re: Anyone Else Having An Aweful Experience With Big Holler?

I hate dealing with companys like this, they could care less about YOU, its an automated pay and screw customer service

Re: Anyone Else Having An Aweful Experience With Big Holler?

Ok I am going out on a limb here as I am not an IT guy but I have delt with then to write custom programs for inventory control and order processing for our family business years ago. It seems like there are a lot of companies out there that sell POS systems and C/C processors and online ordering programs. It also seems that nobody does it all or does it all in a great format that works universally. I know this would be an investment for all involved… but has anyone ever thought of hiring an IT firm too write a custom program that does it all? It would seem that once it is set-up the cost of upgrading as needed would be minimal especially when lets say you have 50 initial idies that all chip in to get it running and then pay for tech support as needed. Or even if everyone pays a yearly maintenance fee to keep the IT person available 24/7 as needed. Just a thought. Suggestions?

Re: Anyone Else Having An Aweful Experience With Big Holler?

We experimented with them a about a couple years ago. It was buggy and there was little support or documentation. The site kept going down as well. I actually just dropped the project after a while, as it was not an easy process. I still noticed the site being down while I wasn’t doing anything with it. Finally I called to cancel it. They didn’t even ask why. I volunteered that the site was down a lot anyway and they made no comment at all.

Re: Anyone Else Having An Aweful Experience With Big Holler?

im curious to hear Jeff Wards Thoughts on this.

Re: Anyone Else Having An Aweful Experience With Big Holler?

Me too. Especially since POS staff has always been upfront with me about any issues I’ve ever had, I love their company and they way they treat me as a customer, even though they got their money from me 2 years ago. Big Holler’s response is always “its a problem with Point of Success”. It’s a great co-op idea, I just think the wrong place is handling the online ordering side of things.

I’m sure Jeff will weigh in soon.

Re: Anyone Else Having An Aweful Experience With Big Holler?

I forgot: Randomly my online orders do not print box labels anymore and it ignores my minimum delivery order…I love sending a driver out for a $4 order of breadsticks. :roll: I’m sure that’s all Point of Success issues too.

qfcmike: I’m in…I just want a nice online ordering system that doesn’t cause me any stress.

Re: Anyone Else Having An Aweful Experience With Big Holler?

I’ve had very few problems with Big Holler & 60% of my biz is thru on-line…

Very if any down time except for their dumb decision when they moved their servers…

I was a beta tester (and the last to go live) but they’ve always answered my calls either when I called or the next day…

I do some unorthodox things with it as well, but they are more than glad to assist…

I’ve screwed a few things up as well & it only takes them a short time to re-do my mess…

The more you know about their system, the more you can customize it to your operation…

Discounts have to be set-up a bit different, but they come out the same in the end (like buy one, get one 1/2 off…etc.)

No system is perfect, as I have a few minor quirks with Point of Success, but over all I’d make the same choice again…only sooner…

I work in IT and support customer-facing web apps. Almost daily, I’m amazed at the requests we get for “improvements” to the system. Some make perfect sense, but some are just one-off oddball things.

I think part of the issue is that the software is designed to work a certain way. Because I keep reading “beta” in the comments, I suspect that the software is very immature. The way the software lifecycle has to work is unfortunate.

These are my comments as I see software lifecycle and have ABSOLUTELY no reflection on the products I support or the views of the company I work for. This is simply “how I see it”.

  1. You have to create software with low cost to market (in other words, you have to get the product to generate revenues as quickly as possible for as inexpensively as possible). This means you start with a core system with basic functionality (though limited).
  2. Stability is of the utmost importance. If the software isn’t stable, you have nothing to sell.
  3. Expand functionality, which WILL introduce new bugs, which WILL impact stability. You try to limit that stability to the new functionality (leaving the core product alone as much as possible).
  4. You have to triage the requests for functional improvements. The number and revenue generated by the customers requesting a specific feature must be weighed against the time and cost requirements to implement a proposed improvement.

I believe that where the OP is at right now and where the software is at, is #4. I feel that the industry norm is to have a single delivery fee. While ordering a supreme without onions may be what the customer wants, right now, if you don’t want onions, you have to type it out. Unfortunately, this will lead to human error on the make line.

If you don’t like the product the way it is right now, there’s not much that can be done – RIGHT NOW. I would advise you to request feature enhancements, get ticket numbers assigned to each specific feature request, and keep track of where they are in the product lifecycle.

The WORST thing the provider can do is start making “enhancements” every time a customer calls. This would be new builds multiple times per week, lousy levels of QA testing prior to deployment, and the other customers will be subjected to any bugs brought about by these new features.

To properly track a feature request, you need the following information:

  1. Feature request ticket number
  2. Current version of the software
  3. Which version your feature request is roadmapped to.
  4. Avg time to release (how many versions per year?)
  5. Target date for the roadmapped version release date for your specific request.

Note that #5 is the hardest part. Target dates change as priorities change and your feature may be pushed to a different release (later OR sooner, but usually a later version).

Once you understand where your enhancement request is slated, you can determine whether you can wait that long or not.

Each release will have multiple bug fixes and multiple feature enhancements unless a version slips out with a major bug and then that bug will be patched and a quickfix deployed.

Version numbers are as follows:
x.x.x (1.4.2, for instance)
1 is the major version. Major versions happen infrequently and sometimes almost seem like a complete re-write. The user interface may get a complete overhaul in a major version.
4 is the minor version. These are normally enhancements and can actually be numerous enhancements.
2 is the build number. If it’s just 1.4, the build number is 0. Most stable versions aren’t .0. :slight_smile:

For fun, the Windows control panel app in XP is 5.1.2600.0. Microsoft uses 4 sets of numbers for theirs. 2600 changes in the control panel app. WOW. However, that doesn’t mean that there were 2600 different published versions. Most versions never see “production”. But every minor change, even a space requires a new build number.

Right now, you’re simply suffering from having a young company using a young software product. What you’re seeing is, unfortunately, inevitable.

I don’t know how I missed this when the topic was posted originally but I did. I have little first-hand knowledge of Indie’s problems but I am familiar with Daddio’s. I appreciate snowman’s insight on what goes on behind the curtain because what we do looks pretty easy from the outside!

Our BigHoller interface was released in September 2009 after beta testing was completed. This was the largest beta test we’ve ever done because of the complexity of integrating with an outside ordering system. I believe the software and service are now working well for all but one or two users. Most of our customers’ problems with online ordering aren’t with BigHoller but related to Internet service reliability, network configuration, and matching local items sold in the POS system to items in the online ordering menu.

I have no idea why Indie had so many service issues with BigHoller. Every company can have timeliness problems, but this seems extraordinary and I heard nothing about this when it was going on. This is absolutely not a normal situation. Indie - I don’t know where you stand now but if you contact me I will make sure every one of your service issues is addressed. You can call me at 800.752.3565 or email me at

Daddio’s issues fall into the more-common category of wanting to do things with the online ordering service provider that they cannot do. Pizza is the hardest restaurant segment for which to do POS software or online ordering. Everything else is child’s play compared to pizza! Regarding the discount issue, BigHoller has added a lot of discount features (they call them “specials”) since you saw the service during beta test. They may be able to support this request now. With regard to the graduated delivery fees by geographic area and time of day, they do not support this. I doubt that BigHoller ever will because of the level of difficulty and cost, and the comparatively low demand for the feature. If you would like to look into whether BigHoller can do what you want to do with specials I would be happy to work on this with you.

After waiting a week for a response from BH, I sent a terse email response about the lack of response from them. It’s difficult to be able to schedule time during day hours to sit down and work through things like this over the phone. I received a call withing 30 minutes from the owner of BH.

The conversation was short and sweet, apologizing for letting me fall through the cracks. Acknowledging some short comings in their communication process and agreeing that some needed resources were not available to their customers yet. We discussed the issues I was having, whether they could be resolved and, if so, how to resolve them. We agreed to give it another couple months and if they were not able to provide what I needed, we would part ways.

It was a nice, straight to the point conversation without any exaggerated excuses or flowery mea culpa.

Thanks Indie for calling me today. Turns out that two configuration settings - one in the computer’s network adapter and one in the online ordering software were causing the problems. Please let me know if there is anything we missed.