Shady business practices

So, I activated Twitter Tools last week. I don’t remember when I activated the  “Create a Weekly Post from all twitter updates“, but I logged in this morning to find over 20 published posts that had the same twitter digest material. Yeah, not cool. I have obviously since turned off the weekly digest option and waiting for an update to rectify the issue. I love the plugin and since it’s being actively maintained, I’m sure the owner (Alex King) will have an update soon. This brings me to crux of this post: software titles that have little to no customer support and why you should avoid them like the plague. I’m a little upset so forgive my language and hyperbole, if you will.

  1. Bitdefender Internet Security 2009
    :- I had heard good things about the high detection rate of this program and about their awful customer support. I decided (against my gut feeling) to go with the technically superior product which lacked adequate customer support. I temporarily went back to using F-Secure Client Security 7.12 which is free, courtesy of my employers. I’m still having the horrid “F-Secure Dial Up Control for NT has stopped working” problem which chaps my butt to no end, but within a day of using it, I promptly uninstalled it again. Right now, I can’t even reinstall Bitdefender Internet Security 2009 on my computer because it fails with this error: “An error occured during the installation of assembly component {63E949F6-03BC-5C40-A01F-C8B3B9A1E18E}. HRESULT:0x800736FD” Now, what in tarnation am I supposed to do with that? I’ve run their non-functioning uninstall tool and yet, I still can’t install the software I paid for.

    • Caveat: I should say that I installed Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (Developer) on my laptop and I have since learned that SQL Server 2008 is incompatible with certain programs on my PC (notably Adobe Live Designer which comes with Adobe Acrobat Professional 8).
    • It is entirely possible that Bitdefender is incompatible with SQL Server 2008 although I have not yet seen anything on the internet about that.
  2. Weatherbug software:- As of 12/23/2008,the case has been resolved. Read “The Fine Art of Negotiation or Not. 🙂” I’m leaving this post as-is for posterity i.e. just crossing out the harsh parts, but leaving them still visible. Against my better judgement (yet again. *sigh*), I paid for this piece of shit (POS) software which was available for free (with a generous helping of ads).  That was strike 1. The second step into idiocy on my part was using my VISA Debit card to pay for this item. If I had used my credit card, I could have simply documented how they are not making a good faith effort to resolve the situation and initiated a chargeback. Actually, I’m just reading that it IS possible to do a charge back even if I used my VISA Debit card. I hope to high heavens this is true so all hope isn’t lost. Now, I’m at the mercy of Weatherbug Plus (owned by AWS Convergent Technologies) and my options now are to: (i) either get my bank to reverse the transaction, (ii) get someone at AWS to refund my money (iii) start a campaign online & shame them into giving me my money or (iv) use the legal system i.e. small claims court. The worst part is I feel like I’m communicating with a brick wall in trying to get my money back.
    • To cut this sad & long tale short, do NOT do business with AWS Convergence Technologies.
    • weatherbug-issuesYou will NOT be able to get in touch with a live human being or even a computer. Apparently, if you purchase software from AWS Convergence Technologies (makers of Weatherbug, Weatherbug Plus, etc), you are on your own for issues like trying to activate software that you purchased from them or obtain a refund. I have been trying to get in touch with someone/anyone since the 16th of December 2008. To date, I have not received any correspondence from them acknowledging receipt or otherwise. I’ve called them several times and emailed them as you can see. Not. A. Damn. Response. Try calling their corporate or 1-800 number and see if you can talk to someone. Their contact information (Corporate) is reproduced below:
      AWS Convergence Technologies, Inc.
      12410 Milestone Center Drive, Suite 300
      Germantown, Maryland 20876
      Phone: 301-250-4000 or 1 800 544 4429 ext. 4769
    • For the record, I am well within the 30 days of grace during which I can return their software in exchange for a full refund. Here is the relevant URL: and the important section is “What is WeatherBug’s return policy on subscription services?” I’ll answer that: in their terms: WeatherBug subscriptions all have a 30 day risk free policy within the first 30 days of any subscription period.
  3. I’ll keep this post updated with my travails and keep reading. More importantly, learn from my mistakes.
  4. Update: Right now, I’m being told by my bank that it is possible to dispute the charge so I will go ahead and  with that option. Annnnd, they’re telling me because’s it’s not a physical item, they can’t dispute the quality of the product and I’m stuck with the non-existent customer support at AWS Convergence Technologies. *sigh*