Arrow POS

I posted this question in the POS Topic Board, but I don’t think there is a lot of traffic there. So I’m hoping it’s ok to ask here…

Does anyone use Arrow POS? Do you ever have problems with that system?

I should probably be more specific…what has been the lifespan of your POS systems? I bought mine in Feb 2008. It went down a few weeks ago and I had to spend over $600 to send it back and have it repaired. Now it’s down again and back in the shop. They are telling me the NCR computers are aging and people are just buying new ones. I’ve had computers last longer than 4 years and was wondering how long other POS’s have lasted in your shops?

I got a sales call last week from Arrow POS. They told me the credit card processor Harbortouch is giving out free POS systems. The cost is $60 per month per terminal for maintenance, but you have to let them do your credit card processing. You have to agree for 5 years. And they guarantee the equipment. Has anyone else gotten these calls? Is Arrow any good?

Lets compare the 5 year costs of this “FREE” system to my Microworks by Prism System. I have 6 stations, printers, routers, ect that cost me just over $17,000. First year of tech support was free, so I have 4 years at $900 bringing the cost paid to Microworks in the nearly 5 years to about $21,000. Now I was responsible for the hardware after the manufacturers warranty was up and I have had to replace 3 of my ELO touchscreens at a little less than $1000 total, so we’ll say the total cost has been $22,000. To duplicate the same 6 station system at $60 per month per station will cost $360 per month. 5 years of these payments will be $21,600, so the amount paid for hardware and software is nearly identical. The difference in cost is going to be credit card processing. I am free to process with whomever I want, and I shop this around looking for the cheapest vendor. I process around $60,000 a month in credit cards and and an increase from the 2.5% that my processing currently costs me to 3.5% would cost me an extra $36,000 over the 5 year commitment. So now you must consider how aggressive is Harbortouch going to price their credit card processing to their customers that are locked into using them for processing for 5 years? My bet is that it would be cheaper for you to borrow money from your local loan shark and purchase a system outright than to use this “FREE” system.

Interesting about the Harbortouch. Arrow has me locked in with Mercury processing and as far as I’m to understand they are the only ones I can use with their system. The pos terminalI have is an all-in-one with the credit cards and I pay $99/mo for Arrow support. Nothing with Mercury other than the basic cc rates (which are still outrageous).

Not sure what you mean by this, but it’s important to realize that credit card rates vary greatly amongst processors and even amongst customers using the same processor. If you are locked in to processing with Mercury, you likely are not getting their best rates. They have zero incentive to offer you their best rates, they will reserve these for getting someone to switch to them or keeping someone from switching away from them. I just moved from a cost plus 10 cents from Worldpay(a decent rate compared to most tiered pricing) to a cost plus 6 cents with Heartland. The 4 cents a transaction saves me over $120 per month from the Worldpay rates and over $500 per month from what I was paying before switching to Worldpay.

The salesman explained that Harbortouch is using a modified version of Arrow software. Harbortouch asked Arrow to modify the program, to couple it with the free POS systems. Harbortouch is also supposed to guarantee to meet or beat the written quotes from other processing companies. In this scenerio, you would be locked in with Harbortouch for processing. I don’t know why Arrow would lock you in to Mercury. Perhaps Mercury kicked back some funds to Arrow when you bought the system?

Personally, I am leaning towards Revention. I agree that a “free” POS isn’t always “free”.

Mercury gives POS-system providers kickbacks for exclusive system-wide processing rights… or so the CC salespeople that pester me like to imply.

Square is offering small-business owners a flat $275/month processing fee for signing up with them. If you process in one central spot and can find a printer for a smart-device, that might be a decent option:


Other options are…
PayPal Here
NCR Silver
Revel Systems

OK so back to the original question lol. How long has your POS terminals been lasting on average in your restaurants? Should I be agast that I have to replace them after 4 yrs of use?

From the Square site:

Manually-entered cards cost just
3.5% + 15¢ per transaction.


OK so back to the original question lol. How long has your POS terminals been lasting on average in your restaurants? Should I be agast that I have to replace them after 4 yrs of use?

You should not have to replace anything in 4 years. I won’t bother mentioning what I use for a POS, because most who comment on this board prefer to promote the one they use. However, I will mention, that aside from the cost of equipment (not very much), I only paid a one time $99 license fee for lifetime usage. No monthly maintenance or any other costs. As for equipment, I could easily sub a ‘used’ 10 year old computer if I needed it.

My system is running, non-stop, in its 6th year. I’m not bound to any particular processor, but will echo what Paul said, it varies from store to store, even with the same processor.

$21,000 for a POS - wow.

Hardware Life Expectancy:

As to the original topic of this thread, here is a candid discussion about POS hardware. It is a bit long winded, but hopefully will clear up some questions. As a POS software development company who provides hardware to drive the software, we often hear the question of “How long should the hardware last?” Although I wish it were, the answer is not that simple.

If we were to take a POS computer, place it in a climate controlled medical office, use very expensive electrical filtering, and be used by respectful and sedate employees, these things would last a very long time. Since I haven’t had the luxury to test this elusive perfect computer environment, I can only guess how long the computers would last. What I can say for absolute certain is the restaurant environment looks nothing like what I just described.

Background: The majority of POS computer hardware comes out of a handful of overseas manufacturers, meaning we all pretty much have access to procure and use the same general equipment. The choice for the equipment any POS company provides comes down to relationships, track record, experience, investment and performance. Modern POS systems are very graphical and require a more powerful machine, while older and less involved text based systems can use virtually anything. The older systems are very good at the basic POS functions like taking and order, sending it to the kitchen, and checking the drawer. The newer systems using recent development platforms go much further in the features and nuances of those features.

Hardware Killers: Heat, Power, Abuse
Heat is not good for anything electronic and comes in three forms. The first is the temperature of the surrounding environment may force the computer hardware to run hotter. In the restaurant environment, computers in the office will last longer than ones in the kitchen. I have seen guys place their order entry station next to their oven because it was convenient for them, and they experienced faster failures.

The second cause of heat failures is not letting the computers breathe. For instance, when people use a separate computer and touch screen, the computer may be relegated to under the counter where it quickly gets pushed against the wall and covered with papers, towels, and other things that prevent it from cooling. The case slots are there for cooling. Let it breathe.

The third cause of heat failures is the restaurant environment of grease, flour, and other things in the air penetrating the computer through the case slots and covering the internal components. This gunk is an exceptionally good insulator and once again, the computer cannot keep itself cool.

Electrical Power – the hidden killer. Things like blackouts, brown outs, local construction, and storms are obviously highly detrimental to computer life expectancy. Other less obvious issues are substandard wiring, overloading a circuit, and power spikes. If you look around your location, there are a number of things that will send spikes through the entire electrical system every time they turn on, like refrigeration, slicers, etc. Anything with a motor or compressor will spike. If in the same outlet as a computer, it will cause havoc.

Storms and blackouts that immediately kill the computers are easy to detect, but the bigger issue is these and the other events can weaken the components causing latent future failures. A failure on a bright sunny day may actually have been started a few weeks earlier when a storm rolled though.

Abuse: There is nobody who cares about their investment like the owner, and many places have 16-18 year old disrespectful kids using the system. It’s not too far of a stretch to envision abuse. Other instances may be people dropping water and cokes on the equipment, or using sharp objects like pens to poke the touch screens.

What this Means: The restaurant environment can be a harsh industrial atmosphere, and computer life is affected by a number of things outside of the “quality” of the hardware. I will go out on a limb here and say there are no POS companies who plan on being around for awhile intentionally use junk equipment. The fact is, on a Friday night at 7PM an owner doesn’t want to make that excited call any more than we want to get it.

From my experience after a number of years in this business, POS hardware in the restaurant environment will last 5-6 years on average before they start seeing the bigger issues. The time is longer if in a safer environment, and less if in a more demanding harsh environment. If you have a POS guy who claims much longer, take it with a grain of salt.

Protection Ideas:

  1. If power is an issue or a concern, if you are in a hurricane or tornado zone, if you see blackouts or brown outs (lights flickering), you should protect yourself. Drop by Office Max or Best Buy and pick up a UPS for the server and router as a minimum. The model I particularly like is the APC 1000VA Power Saving Green Back-UPS XS - with LCD Display. They go for $139, but you can catch them on sale.
  2. Clean the equipment. Some customers blow out their computers with compressed air or a compressor. Heads up… if you are blowing off a fan, stick in a pen to keep it from spinning. If they over spin, you will ruin the bearings. If you take the machine outside, carefully mark where the wires plugged into.
  3. Keep water, cokes, and all liquids away from all hardware
  4. Do not put printers on a moving conveyor belt when cleaning make table. I saw that once.
  5. Do not drop printers in fryers. Seen it and not pretty.
  6. Do not put printers on floor and power wash floor, especially if still turned on. Same guy who put printer on belt.
  7. Do not saran wrap a computer to keep the dust out. Nice idea on the surface.

General Troubleshooting - check all wiring first

  1.       Power Supply Blown - electrical spike
  2.       Power Supply + Motherboard Blown - big electrical spike
  3.       Hard Drive Failure - it happens to even the best, like Western Digital
  4.       Router Blown or confused - electrical spike.  look to replace
  5.       Touch Screen not responding - clean gunk on screen and around edges

Thanks for listening.

Barry Brownhill
President, Arrow POS

I have owned my pizza restuarant for 14 yrs. Have opened 3 stores. I have had other pos systems and so far this has been my most complicated and least favorite. They did install my system very quickly. However the customer service left almost as fast as the checked was cashed. One thing they also forgot to tell me, is that you have to use 1of 2 of THEIR OWN credit card processors or the system will not operate correctly. I’ve had this system for 2 months. Employees do not like it at all. We have had tickets with wrong pricing , The reports are not accurate, and I found myself stuck trying to put a square peg in a round hole on most of them. I would recommend to look at others before I’d consider is all.

I had same problem. Except they waited till after I bought it to let me know. Been having problems almost daily with issues on it. I have had other pos systems and this one is not the favorite. Customer service leaves as fast as the check was cashed

Strongly suggest Speedline if you’re looking at switching over

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

yeah i think speedline(that’s what i use) and Point of sucsess are the two big guys for the operators on this forum