Sintel Systems vs. “Free Point of Sale POS”

itsyourturnad copyWhat is the difference between Sintel Systems and a free point of sale POS system?
Recently we received a call from a potential client located in New Jersey with the following to say:
“I have decided that it’s time to get a POS (point of sale) system. I checked out your website and found it very user friendly, but I have also seen advertisements for “free point-of-sale systems.” I was referred to you by a current client and who said that pound-for-pound Sintel Systems exceeds any competitor. So give me a comparison between Sintel Systems and the free POS, and let’s see!”
While many others would tend to look at such potential clients negatively, we here at Sintel Systems have the following saying, “Customers have the right to ask and we have an obligation to provide honest answers.”
In such spirit, one of our POS experts explained it through a side by side comparison between Sintel Systems and the supposed Free Point-of-Sale systems. We assumed that many others out there have the same question and so we decided to blog about this side-by-side comparison here.
Before we start, let’s look at some definitions as provided by The word “free” has many definitions, but assuming that most business owners looking for a point of sale system associate “free point-of-sale” to the cost of the POS system, defines “free” as an adjective under definition number nine (9) as “costing nothing; provided without charge.” Please reference: So a free point of sale system would then be one that wouldn’t cost a thing and would be provided without charge. And that is probably what you were thinking.
This client who called us was looking for a two-terminal POS system for his Frozen Yogurt shop. So, we further increased the challenge by also comparing the E4-RS model POS system with the “Free POS” standard model. We had to do it over a 5-year period since the “Free POS” required a 5-year contract. Sintel Systems has no contract. We also included our technical support which is free for the first 90 days and is not mandatory and here are the results: Sintel Systems ($9,422)  Free POS ($10,932) [$126/month(POS) $36/month(Scale) + $59/quarter]. This does not include the required insurance.
So, the free basic POS systems end up costing almost $11,000 and could cost much much more. How much more? Well, nobody knows. How you ask? A comparison would be not complete without comparing the fine print as well. Here is just some of it:
1. The advertised fee is on approved credit for the highest tier creditor, so the actual monthly fee can be higher.
2. The “Free POS” provider can increase the monthly fee at any time just by giving notice. Now that’s SCARY.
3. There is an initial minimum 5-year term and if the customer does not notify the provider 60 days before the expiration of any term, then you are obligated to another 48 months. So you can be in for 9 years and that would cost you over $17,000 if they did not decide to increase the fees.
4. The penalty for early termination is immediate payment for the remaining months. So the customer decides that they don’t want the system after two years, they have to pay them $5,500 immediately. That is if the fees have not been increased.
5. The customer never owns the equipment.
6. The customer must maintain insurance of the POS equipment.
7. No service is provided if the customer is in default of payment.
8. The POS provider is actually a bank.
9. The customer must maintain their merchant account with the designated bank only. You don’t have a choice.

Here is a summary of the side-by-side comparison of the fine print:

Sintel Systems Free POS*
Customer Owns POS Yes No
Fee Increase No Yes
Minimum Contract No Yes 5 Years
Minimum Renewal No Yes 4 Years
Insurance Requirement No Yes
Early Termination Penalty No Yes
Mandatory Merchant Account No Yes
Service During Default Yes No
Mandatory Support No Yes
Quarterly Maintenance Fee No Yes

So how is this free??? We don’t know.
After the comparison, our customer asked a legitimate question. Can Sintel Systems provide financing and how is financing different thru Sintel Systems?
1. The customer owns the system at the end of the typical 48-month.
2.  Sintel Systems does not claim free POS systems.
3. Sintel Systems is honest about the financing option and discloses all fine print.
4. We are a POS company and not a bank or credit company. We are not here to make money from charging our clients high rates of interest. The financing we offer is through time-tested third parties who allow you to put down payments and to payoff your balance early. There are NO FEE increases.
5. SERVICE DURING DEFAULT. We understand that a business can go though rough times due to a variety of uncontrollable factors. So if our customer decides to finance their systems and in the unfortunate event that they fall behind on their payments, SINTEL SYSTEMS WILL CONTINUE TO support our customers. We don’t want to add to your worries. We want to be your partner there to help you out.
6. Service and support is not mandatory with Sintel Systems. The customer chooses which option is best for them.
RECOMMENDATION: Always read the fine print and ask questions. If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. Contact one of our technical experts at 855-POS-SALES or email us at
*About the comparison: The above comparison was completed in August of 2011.The Free POS provider is owned by United Bank Card Inc. and widely advertises its system as free by using slogans such as “FREE POS System for Retail or Restaurant” and “FREE POS SYSTEM – NO GIMMICK – (NATIONWIDE)” and “Is FREE in your budget?”