09 June 2009

Jekyll and Hyde Online

So this is pretty much a bit of a rage on my part. Wrote my first angry letter earlier today to a data recovery software producer (was actually my second, but my real first one got sent to a German guy who couldn't read it, I discovered, so that doesn't count).
I finally became fed up with seemingly reliable companies saying something on their website and then not living up to it.

Not to sound too naive or anything, but does everyone on the internet lie? The nicest people resort to shit-talking the second they get online. And I’m not here to ponder the psychology behind it or the pros and cons of this digital freedom - most of it is pretty matter of fact - but I must wonder when seemingly reputable companies jump on this bandwagon.

Do ethics and standards not translate onto the internet? You find companies that, in person, engage with their customers in a very professional fashion, but put them online and suddenly they’re swindling and tricking with the best scammers. It’s as though some companies see the internet as that wide open, liminal space where you can say and promise anything without threat of moral or legal repercussion.

And they may be right.

When was the last time you saw a headline such as “Nigerian Scammer Syndicate Brought to Justice” or “Online Instant Acne Cure Company Tried for Fraud”. Companies seem to have free reign to say and do whatever they want online and, so long as people are making money and those being taken in by these fraudster are across the oceans, well out of earshot, no-one seems to mind.

Sometimes you simply wish that you could put your hand through your computer screen and hit the chump grinning on the other side.

Anyway, the affore-mentioned company I targeted with my letter wasn’t as bad as the scammers I just mentioned, but I was at the end of my tether.
Maybe I was too harsh and maybe I wasn’t, but I’ll tell you what; I certainly feel a bit better.

Here it is:


You Arseholes

When I lost a very important file last night, I had no choice but to look for a free recovery program online. Guess who I came across?
I read you section on your free download and, finding no mention of limitations on your site, I made the very logical assumption that it was a trial version with an expiration date. So I downloaded it - hey, I only needed to retrieve one file. And everything worked perfectly.
After a night of searching, it found my file. You can imagine my emotions then when, so close to deadline, your program dangles my file in front of me like a carrot, demanding a registration code that I don’t have. A registration code that was not mentioned anywhere on your free download section.

There's a name for this in the real world; it's called 'ransom'.

You wankers have wasted my cap and my time. During the several hours that I spent waiting for your program to recover a file that it would refuse to give to me, I could have been searching for an honest company with functioning software and I wouldn't have another useless utility sitting in my Applications directory looking like a black and white, bucked-tooth Pac-Man dropping tablets.

It's not hard to be honest - hell, children and pets do it all the time. All it takes is a small disclaimer on you download site mentioning that actually, no, this download will NOT retrieve you data. It is, rather, a 14.8mb decorative window with as much functionality as a screensaver.
This would sit nicely right next to step three of your 'Quick Installation Steps' where is says, "[…] run the software to begin your data recovery process", which is, of course, a lie.

I can guarantee you that whatever absurd marketing tactic you are attempting to employ isn't working. Fire your strategist. His curious idea - "build customer loyalty by pissing them off" - is a lemon.


When I do purchase data recovery software, I can promise that it won't be Stellar Phoenix Macintosh Data Recovery. And if I feel this way, you can bet that there are hundreds of people globally who feel the same way.
That’s what makes the internet so great; you get to piss-off everyone at once.

Hugs and Kisses,

No comments:

Post a Comment