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You comment was also defensive and personal ("The last question from your firm regarding a calculation was three years ago.") If you are doing so well, you might be served to hire some additional tech support. My experience (though others in a former office, not directly) is that tech support is generally slower than that in larger analysis software firms, often extending beyond a week turn-around.  I don't know how much in-the-trenches engineering work you do, but when I come across a "problem" with the output from a program, it's often less than 24 hours from when I need the answer.  I estimate my schedule and time based on the tools I have working properly, not on getting stuck and wasting several days for a solution. 

It is also true that there has been very little updated information on your website concerning the upcoming release.  I considered purchasing your product two years ago and, for the price, I decided to wait and see about the next release.  In my previous position I used mostly the retaining wall module, so I opted to pick up Hugh Brook's (your father, right?) retaining wall program instead.  It too has it's issues, but I'm somewhat comfortable with them.

Eli's comment sounds exactly like one I would make after finding bugs in a program which I expected to be fairly stable.  Thank goodness you don't own Honda, as the comments I've made to friends and family about the lack of engineering forethought on several of their "features" would make your ears burn brightly.

There is nothing more frustrating that not being able to get a tech rep on the phone _right_now_ to solve a problem.  To their credit, the last time I had a problem with RAM Advanse (a security key issue - short fuse stuff for me), an email to tech support got me a phone call - and a solution -  in under 30 minutes.  Remember also - just because you don't get an email or a call doesn't mean that a user has not encountered a problem. I never sent you an email complaining about how annoying it is to enter data in your program interface, but that doesn't mean I didn't have a problem with it. I haven't informed Hugh that his retaining wall program gives an OK result when the ratio of actual to allowable stress is over 2.0 (yes you read that right), so if you're waaaay underdesigned, the program will give the wrong "answer".  I always check my ratios manually, so its not a big issue for me, and I haven't reported it. Nonetheless, it means that the program requires a bit more handholding, and that reduces its value to me.

All people vent to others about their frustrations, engineers included, and you should feel lucky that some of us discuss these thing where you can read about them and address them in your product.  It sure beats having everybody bad-mouth you behind your back, where you have no opportunity to fix the issues.

Michael Brooks wrote:

Dear Mr. Grassley:

I take exception to your comment….

"It wouldn't surprise me if these guys were folding up shop and fleeing the
country or something.  Several of Enercalc's design modules are questionable
at best, despite being on v5.8.  And their service is non-existent."

We are flourishing with a very large user base. We are quite busy between intense product development and assisting so many new users.

The last question from your firm regarding a calculation was three years ago. If you seriously have questions on any of our calculation module please contact us directly rather than saying such things in a public forum.

I will acknowledge that we are behind responding to requests that require detailed investigations because of development of the next major release.

I would appreciate it if you can contact me directly with the issues that foster your prior comments.


Michael D. Brooks, S.E., P.E.

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