Last month I received an email from Bricscad inviting me to become a Bricscad affiliate. For those of you who are not familiar with Bricscad, it is low-cost alternative to AutoCAD. I hadn’t looked at the program in a couple of years, so I got a copy and was impressed with it. Perhaps I will pose a full review of it later but for now I want to tell my opinion of GlobalForce DIRECT, the distributor of Bricscad products in US and India. They appear to be based in India, and that may be the source of the problems I ran into. [I was wrong about this. refer to the reply posted by Kanti Purohit ]
First let me say that after my review I was fully prepared to recommend this CAD program for existing users of AutoCAD that want to switch from Autodesk. If you can be happy with 90 percent of the functionality at 30 percent of the price and jump off of the spiraling upgrade costs of sticking with AutoCAD you may want to check it out. Bricscad uses the same .DWG file format that AutoCAD uses so there is no translation required when sharing drawings with your consultants. The menu system looks enough like AutoCAD 2008 that existing AutoCAD users can be productive with Bricscad in less than an hour, no re-training required. And if all of this is not enough, your existing AutoLisp programs will run without modification (90 percent of them anyway).
However, when I tried to sign-up I ran into problems. The email gave me two different ways to sign up. I could fill in the form on their web site, or simply respond to the email. I replied to the email and have still not received a response. I then went to their web site and clicked on the form. The form was a simple email response form where you fill out a couple of required fields and it forwards an email to them. One of the required fields was my phone number. It would not forward the email until this field was filled out correctly. I suppose I am not smart enough to enter my phone number in a format that it liked. I tried 5 or 6 different combinations. I live in Colorado and I almost never have a need to call out of the country so I am thinking that there must be some special way for someone in India to call here, but by then I just gave up.
Note to GlobalForce DIRECT:
If you are serious about getting affiliates in the USA you should not put so many obstacles in their way. If you send me an email requesting a response, and then never even acknowledge that response, it gives me serious concerns about the level of support an end user of your product could expect. If you intent to provide reasonable support to users in the USA, your web site pages should not present them with obstacles that get in their way. It is not good enough for a CAD company to have a good product. It must also have a good distribution and support network. Because of this I will not be actively promoting this product. [After posting this I received a call from Tony Flynn and then from Kanti Purohit who explaied the technical problem they had and again offered me the opportunity to become an affiliate. After I receive the conformation email I will let you know.]