Two sides to piracy coin
I read with interest your articles (PC Week 8 October) regarding the increasingly blase attitude that business has towards software piracy.
I agree that it is not right that this should be allowed to continue, but instead of continually fighting businesses, why not look at why their attitude has changed.
I do not agree with piracy in any form, but this disrespect for the software companies is in direct proportion to the disrespect that software companies have for their customers. Once a product has been purchased the customer is left alone to deal with the bugs that apparently do not exist, or must be the fault of some other program running that they didn't write.
And why must really useful support only be available to people with a stomach for high phone bills and slow Internet connections? More often than not I have found that company forums are there so that customers can help each other look after themselves, rather than receive useful and constructive advice from the software company. And I have yet to see a benefit of registering software other than to receive junk mail advertising their latest software.
It doesn't matter what I buy, if there is a problem with a product I expect the company responsible to provide me with the means to correct it, either by repairing my purchase or replacing it. I would expect no less from a car manufacturer than I would from a software company.
I know it may seem like I have strayed from the point, but I feel strongly that the matters are directly related. Businesses are more likely to put up with copying buggy software than to lay out what can be a lot of money for the same mistakes. While I repeat I do not agree with piracy, there are two sides in this industry and the initiative must be taken by the software companies. How long before we see a Federation Against Bugs in Software!
Doug [email protected]
User friendly CompuServe
Are we talking about the same CompuServe (PC Week 24 September)? The CompuServe I use has friendly and effective support (which I rarely need as the software is reliable and easy to use), reliable first time connections with my 14,400bps modem and respectable download speeds.
The download speeds do vary according to system loading, but it seems only sensible to download at off peak times. Speeds rarely slow down enough to have much impact on mail or forums. On average downloads utilise most of the bandwidth of my 14,400 connection. This experience seems rare on the World Wide Wait ... oops, Web, even when compared to specialised ISPs.
I think that the breadth of content within CompuServe, for both business and leisure, is often overlooked. This content is generally very good indeed.
The content of the Web is indeed more substantial - but let us not overlook the range of Web content. It ranges from top quality to utter rubbish in roughly equal proportions. Some of that rubbish is highly distasteful rubbish as well!
In contrast to my high regard for CompuServe, I think the WWW is good but fatally flawed. Anarchy cannot deliver reliability, content and responsiveness, yet without the anarchic element the WWW loses its greatest strength.
In my experience CompuServe sets standards other service providers should aspire to.
Anyone seen the missing link?
I have seen Bill Gates demonstrate it. I have read a great deal about it. I have even surfed the Web and got the full specification for it.
But does anyone know where, in the UK, you can buy the Timex Data-Link watch that allows you to download and store data from Microsoft's Schedule+ onto it?
Think of a number ...
I enclose the text of a message sent to me from our internal department that deals with printer consumables :
With reference to your Email regarding defective Compaq printer cartridges, I thought you might like to know that we have three of these cartridges in our general office.
I tried to contact the number you quoted to report these defective cartridges but was told that the number was a pre-sales enquiry number only and I should be speaking to their support centre on 0171 512 5202.
I called this number and was told that if the printers were not under guarantee any query was going to cost a standard charge of #20, and for problems with printer cartridges I would be best to speak to their other office on 01734 277699.
The receptionist here told me that I should speak to the consumable department on 0990 474747 (this being the first number that I had called). I called back here and was again given the London number. I explained I had already spoken to various people and left my name and number for someone to call me back.
I had a telephone call back from the customer relations department, 0171 512 5202, which was very apologetic and helpful.
For your information this is the department and number to call for reporting faulty cartridges. I just thought I'd mention this as the number printed in your 1 October issue is incorrect.
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