Switching from Blinksale to Zoho Invoice

I am making another switch in my life. This time I am switching from Blinksale to Zoho Invoice.

The reason for this switch is because I currently have a free account with Blinksale that gives me 3 free invoices a month and this month I needed more invoices. Normally in the few times that I have hit the limit I would switch to the paid version for a month and then step down to free account the next month. This time though they no longer have the free account so if I trade up I cannot go back down to the free account.

This caused me to evaluate what my options were…

After looking at several different solutions I am opted for Zoho Invoice for the time being. With Zoho I get 5 free invoices a month. Another cool thing with the free account is that I can send invoices as a PDF attachment. You have to pay $24/month with Blinksale to get that feature. If I need more then 5 invoices for the month I can step up to the $8/month plan and get 25 invoices. At Blinksale I only get 6 invoices for $6 (and still no PDF attachments).

I still get to accept payments online with Zoho via PayPal and can even use Google Checkout or Authorize.net if I want with my free account. I have to admit that the Zoho interface is not as simple or intuitive as the one at Blinksale but for the price, it is worth it. I hope Zoho Invoice works out so I don’t have to switch again.

Oh, a note about switching from Blinksale

Unfortunately they do not have an easy way to export your clients from you Blinksale account. They allow you to export you invoices but it only has the client’s name, not their contact info that you input in Blinksale. Even if the prices were competitive the fact that my data is not exportable is a deal breaker with Blinksale. With Zoho this is not an issue.

Another issue I just discovered is that their invoice export only gives the invoice total – not the line items and descriptions. This is also something that Zoho does for you. Unfortunately I now have 4 years of data locked into a system that I can now not get out. 🙁

Update 5/4/10

Another confirmation that I made the right decision to switch from Blinksale to Zoho Invoice. I sent an email request to Blinksale yesterday asking for help on how to get my data out. I also sent them a Tweet but as of today there is no reply.

But, although I did not contact them Zoho Invoice saw my Tweet and my post and reached out to me offering to help get my data out of Blinksale. Now that is customer service!

Update 5/5/10

Today I got an email from Zoho Invoice Tech Support with instructions on how to import from Blinksale (still nothing from Blinksale 🙁 ). The instructions were pretty simple to follow and it only took about a minute to do the import. I as interested to see whether I would just get invoices only or if I would actually get my clients as well. I got both!

As good as getting my invoices and clients imported into Zoho Invoice the import wasn’t completely smooth. For some reason I had information from one invoice from one client that showed up on several of my other client’s invoices. This caused these invoices to marked as “Overdue”. Along with that the line item descriptions on the invoices did not seem to import either.

I do consider these issues but honestly I am not to concerned. I have seen the responsiveness of the Zoho support staff and I am sure they will respond quickly with a fix. I have to say I am really impressed so far though Zoho and completely under-impressed with Blinksale.

Update 5/14/10

In one word this issue is resolved. Zoho fixed the issue on their end on 5/12 and I tried the import out today. It worked great. In all fairness Blinksale did send me a direct message via Twitter on 5/5 (after my above update) and asked me to contact them. I opted not to since I new Zoho was already working on the issue.

I have to say that I am extremely pleased with the way that Zoho handled this issue for me especially since I am currently a free customer. I do plan to upgrade to a pay subscription here in the future as they have won a very loyal customer. Thanks Zoho!