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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Read through the questions and answers on this page. If you don't see the answer to your question visit our Feedback page and ask away.


Table of Contents

  1. Other Configurations ...
  2. Credit Card Authorization ...
  3. Sales Blurb Information Field ...
  4. Accounting Links ...
  5. Importing Databases ...
  6. Add On Modules ...
  7. Network Licensing Costs ...
  8. Accessing System Files ...
  9. Maintenance Plans ...
  10. Purchasing This Software ...
  11. Delivery Time ...
  12. I Don't Want To Change The Way I Sell Tickets ...
  13. Can I Design My Own Seating Maps ...
  14. Why Don't the Seats On My Maps Change Color When Sold ...
  15. Do I Have To Use Your Ticket Blanks ...
  16. Will Ticket Prices Increase ...
  17. Demo By Mail ...
  18. Demo Life ...
  19. Will You Give References ...
  20. What's that flag about ...
  21. How much does your annual "support" plan cost?
  22. What do we do if something does go wrong?

Q: Can the system be configured for other countries date and financial conventions?

A: Yes, instantly. Any country currently supported by Microsoft Windows platforms.

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Q: Can the system handle on-line credit card authorization?

A: Absolutely. BOW works hand  in hand with X-charge, a third part software package, verifying credit cards and debit cards. Click on the "Credit Card Verification" tab for complete details.

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Q: Is there an information field for for Box Office staff - you know "Tell the patron the musician is a Nobel-prize winner"?

A: Yes. Click on the Main Menu Event Title.

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Q: Is there a link to any accounting systems? If so which?

A: Financials are in Microsoft Access databases. All data is ASCII exportable and can be used by almost any Windows accounting package. However, in-program financials are proprietary and encoded to protect against tampering. This ensures the reports are always accurate. Further manipulation by other packages will not effect the accuracy of the original data.

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Q: Can we import existing customer data (address details.) We are using Microsoft Access.

A: Sure. Weíll import your data on system purchase. After that, the system itself will provide that database to your other applications for future addresses and seating details. Please note that there might be a charge for this service.

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Q: Do you have a room-hire (or resource) rental module?

A: No. BOW! is dedicated to Box Office Management and Patron Information Management. Other programs do rental agreements really well. We don't pretend to know anything about hotel management.

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Q: What does it cost for your basic "stripped down" version?

A: BOW! is licensed as a complete system, there are no add-on modules to cost you extra money. Our clients receive the same package if they have one hundred seats or five thousand.

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Q: How much is a two computer license?

A: Same as a 1 computer license, or a ten computer license. No extra charge. We don't care. BOW! is network ready.

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Q: Can other computers, in other locations on the same internal network see the software? Can they use the program? Can they get status reports for their offices?

A: Only a computer on which BOW! is installed can sell tickets on the network (we recommend the establishment of a small Workgroup for box office operations so that others on the network are unable to access and possibly damage your event files.).  BOW! Reports and reconciliations can only be issued from the machine designated as the box office server..

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Q: What maintenance plans are required by you?

A: None. After your payment of the one-time license fee, tickets blanks are your only continuing cost, as you require them. We provide application support for a defined time period at no extra cost. Software updates are made available on this web site again at no cost.

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Q: How do we set about purchasing from you?

A: Simple. Send your venueís details. We'll do an initial quote and send along a link to an on-line questionnaire. You return a detailed floor plan along with answers to our questionnaire, Ö and a cheque. It's very simple - complete information on ordering BOW! and BOW-net! is available at the "Software Store".

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Q: What kind of delivery time are we talking here? How soon can we be selling tickets?

A: World-wide System delivery is via UPS. Our turn-around is normally a maximum of fourteen days from receipt of payment or confirmed order. This is a customization prepared exclusively for your venue. It could be ready in as little as 3 days depending on programmers' schedule at Canadian Theatre Software.

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Q: Iíve been selling tickets since Olivier was an usher. I know what Iím doing. I donít want to change the way I sell tickets.

A: You wonít have to. Thereís a key ingredient in the BOXPRO Family of Systems - itís called experience. BOXPRO "4" was ticketing venues more than 20 years ago. The features you expect have been seamlessly integrated into a complete and comprehensive package. We know thereís a logical process to selling a ticket. That process, the same one youíve been using for years, is exactly the process BOXPRO Systems use to make a sale.

Our systems are not re-jigged inventory programs, or database managers, or modified point of sale applications. There are no underlying commercial applications running a visual shell. BOXPRO Systems are built from the ground up by people who have managed box offices. We know what the patron can demand of your staff. And we know the tricks of the trade, so the systems are secure. The files are proprietary, meaning that no other program can modify your data, or snoop around your financial totals, or make use of your customer database without your permission.

Youíre still in charge. Itís your box office, not the computerís. Youíll find your experience is a great fit with the experience of hundreds of other managers who have contributed to the design, the feel and the implementation of all BOXPRO Systems.

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Q: The custom seating plans you deliver with the system are great. But why canít I design my own maps?

A: You can Ö if you really want to. Send us another drawing. Weíll make it into a computer graphic. Or send us a bitmap file, the way youíd like to see your venue pictured. However, as you might have guessed, your BOXPRO maps are more than just pretty pictures. Theyíre actually part of the program. They contain secure control codes and important information about your venue. So send us what you want to see and weíll convert it to a BOXPRO map for you.

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Q: I've installed the BOW! demo package on my computer and I can "sell" and print a pretend ticket. But the seats on the maps don't change color like they're supposed to. What's wrong?

A: Nothing terrible, you just need to "tweak" your video display settings. BOW! can be run with a video card running in 16 color, 256 colors, or 24-bit True Color mode. There is one other mode it doesn't like; 16-bit High Color. If the seats aren't changing color as you sell or reserve tickets it's likely you're set to use this mode. Either switch down to the 256 color mode, or up to the 24-bit True Color mode. The Windows Help File can tell you how. It's easy. Then use "Map Display Options|Show All Active Seats" to re-draw your seating plans.

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Q: Do I have to use your ticket blanks? Can I print my own ticket blanks?

A: No, you donít have to use ticket blanks. You can continue to use hard tickets, although we wonder why you would want to considering the cost and inconvenience. You could even use the system with plain paper and a trusty pair of scissors if you want to.

The physical design, layout and functionality of BOXPRO ticket blanks are the copyright property of Canadian Theatre Software. In order to control cost and quality there is only one licensed manufacturer. Apart from the illegality of it, you simply wouldnít be able manufacture a comparable blank for less unless youíre prepared to pay up front for several millions of them.

The plain financial facts are that the sale of ticket blanks underwrites the cost of program development and client support. Your continued patronage accounts for the extremely reasonable initial license cost of the system. We could have taken another route and charged much more for the software and left you to fend for yourself. We didnít. This way, each venue pays an absolute minimum for software and gets free support. Whether your venue is 3,000 seats or 300 seats, your cost of consumables per patron is exactly the same. And that cost is very low.

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Q: OK - So we're using your blanks. How do we know you won't raise the price and make the system really expensive to use?

A: We don't know anyone who can predict the future however our policy has been and will continue to be that we will provide ticket blanks to our clients at the lowest possible cost.  In fact we have had only three ticket price increases since we started selling over twenty years ago. In that same time the savings that we have realized through volume purchases have allowed us to cut prices to our clients several times. Our current ticket price is lower than the fee we were charging in 1998! How many products do you know of that have that distinction??

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Q: I don't like downloading demos from the Internet. How much will you charge me for a demo delivered by mail?

A: The Internet is a great way for us to hold the line on prices. If you're not quite up to speed on downloading files, give us a phone call at 1.800.310.6972 during office hours (9:00am to 5:00pm EST) and we'll be pleased to send a CD to you. How much you ask? For the CD, nothing. Our pleasure. For delivery by regular mail? Nothing. For couriers and such, let's talk.

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Q: How long will your demo work? Two weeks? A month?

A: The demo is a full working installation. It'll work forever. If you want to pass it along to another venue we'd appreciate it. The test venue in the demo is purposely short a few prime seats, but otherwise, if you want to build a venue that matches the seating plan and call it the "BOW! Test Venue" and put on two Events called "A Demonstration Event" and "A Second Demonstration" you've got us beat. The demo will work just fine.

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Q: What about references? Is there someone I can talk to who uses your software?

A: We're proud to furnish references. Our clients are all nice folks. We can likely find someone in your area. Give us a call at 1.800.310.6972 and we'll see if we can't get you together with a few for coffee.

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Q: What's that flag in the lower left corner of the main screen? Why is it there?

A: The flag is there to indicate the country your Windows system is configured for. If you are in the USA you will see the American Flag, in Great Britain the British Flag and so-on. It's a handy confirmation for you to ensure that your data is being saved in the format specific to your area. BOW! treats some information differently depending upon where you are - for instance a theatre in Scotland sells tickets priced in pounds while an Canada that same ticket would be paid for in dollars. Other areas of difference include telephone numbers and postal/ZIP codes. It's all automatic as long as your computer is configured correctly.

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Q: No really, how much does your annual "support" plan cost?

A: Nothing. Zero. Zip. And it isnít annual. Itís on-going. Weíre ready to help whenever and wherever we can. But, Ö (thereís always a "but" somewhere) Ö we canít fix your computer, your Windows installation or your network. We can tell you exactly where and how our systems interact with your computers. The "System Protection Alert" safety traps built into our systems will catch anything before it happens. After so many years of use "in-the-field" if youíre getting strange crashes and weird error messages, thereís something wrong with your machinery. Honest.

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Q: Okay, so itís "reliable" software. What do we do if something does go wrong?

A: If our software senses a problem, all of our "Operator Warning" message boxes have very specific titles and extensive descriptions of the difficulty our software is encountering, plus explicit instructions as to how to proceed. The BOW system makes a notation of the incident in its own log file which you can review at anytime through the [F1] Help Menu.

There is a distinctive difference between our safety traps and a "Windows Error" message box, which is very terse, and rather industrial looking. If itís one of our "System Protection Alert" messages and youíve looked in the current on-line help file or manual and you just canít figure out what to do next, by all means, give us a call or send us an email.

Make certain you have downloaded and installed the edition of the software available on this web site before you contact us so we can work through the problem together. We always simulate with the current release version. If youíre even one edition behind us, the programmers will not be able to accurately reproduce your problem.

Just be aware that if itís a "Windows Error" (those terse and very unhelpful little boxes) sometimes we can help, and sometimes we canít. Everyoneís operating system is unique. The possible variations within Windows are just too complex to handle over the phone. Your best bet is the person who installed the OS and hardware.

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