PDA

View Full Version : WiTECH Software Updates and Company Maturity - Software Contracts & Entitlement


jdcaples
03-26-2011, 03:36 PM
This posting is pertinent to owners of Chrysler StarMOBILE and Chrysler WiTECH tools.

StarMOBILE and WiTECH are supported by WiTECH Systems, the the current business partner/subcontractor Chrysler uses to provide hardware sales and software support for their current-generation of factory scan tools.

StarMOBILE and WiTECH tools are sold to dealerships and to independent service providers (and me, and Twistyroad).

Further, while these scan tools work on other Chrysler vehicles, I'm only talking about Sprinters.

WiTECH and StarMOBILE are not associated with Daimler's Mercedes-Benz Brand.

These tools - StarMOBILE and WiTECH - are not DAD. StarMOBILE and WiTECH are not DRB-IIIs.

StarMOBILE and WiTECH do not work on T1Ns at all.

StarMOBILE and WiTECH tools do not work on 2010+ USA & Canadian Sprinters.

A few years ago I purchased StarMOBILE from millerspecialtools.spx.com, a source for Chrysler vehicle service tools, the "special tools" cited in the service manuals.

MillerspecialTools.Spx.Com no longer sells StarMOBILE. Millerspecialtools.spx.com still sells StarSCAN (yet another Chrysler tool) which will soon be completely obsolete & eventually unsupported by techauthority.com (aftermarket service info) and dealerconnect (dealership service info).

The StarMOBILE Desktop Client (SDC) is the original software that drove the StarMOBILE hand held scan tool.

SDC is no longer being maintained by software developers.

WiTECH software does drive the StarMOBILE hand held scan tool (which connects to the vehicle's OBD port) as well as the newer WiTECH VCI Pod (which also plugs into the OBD port).

When WiTECH Systems first took over the business, it did not have a mature business process around software development, support contracts and hardware sales. This is changing.

Recently, I was unable to update my version of WiTECH from 11.2 to 11.3. Usually I just call WiTECH and get a download link and that's the end.

This time - yesterday - I called WiTECH support and was told that I'm "not a business, never purchased anything from WiTECH and [they] can't help me."

This is true.

I never purchased a support contract for software updates from WiTECH.

I sent a follow up email on Friday evening. I received no response.

I called Saturday morning.

The customer service rep gave me a link to download the latest version of WiTECH. Older versions can not download flash files from TechAuthority for ECU updates.

I also received a customer number and a login ID to www.witechsystem.com.

After loging into www.witechsystem.com, I discovered that WiTECH still sells StarMOBILE (for about $2100.00, which is roughly $1100 less than MillerSpecialTools.Spx.Com sold it me), as well as WiTECH (about $5,8000).

They also sell support contracts scan tool software (about $300 per year).

It's only a matter of time before WiTECH develops business processes that check for valid support contacts and refuse to let anyone download software w/o a support contact.

This is an industry standard practice. This is expected. No one is entitled to free scan tool software development and support.

I - and others have been living in the gray area - getting free software updates.

The days of being able to call WiTECH and get free support are numbered.

I'll probably buy a support contract and start paying for the service I've been enjoying for free because they didn't have the ability (computer system, customer database etc) to sell a contract to me until recently.

... just a warning.

-Jon

PS: If it's not clear, these are tools that work with Sprinters in the US and Canada built between 2007 and 2009. These tools do not work with T1Ns. They don't work with 2010+ Sprinters either. These tools are not MB products and they don't work on MB products. WiTECH Systems does not make DAD. The MB scan tool is Mercedes-Benz Star Diagnosis (MB SDS) and WiTECH does not make or sell MB SDS.