At work, I use a certain version (7) of a certain software to create e-learning for all of the happy employees at my company (really).
On the box, in the manual, and on the website, this software claims to have “one-step publishing for the web.” Except that it doesn’t. Publish to the web. In one step or many. Following is my exchange with said company.
Me: I’m having a problem with the “publish to the web” feature. It just doesn’t work. Is there someone in technical support that could help me?
Him: Well, I’m looking at your file here, and see that you’re still using Version 7. Version 8 is available.
Me: I really don’t want Version 8. I want some help with what Version 7 claims to do.
Him: Well, in order for technical support to even consider your question, you’ll have to upgrade to Version 8 ($299) and buy a one year service maintenance agreement ($450).
Me: (incredulous) You’re saying that no one will even *listen* to my question until I pay you $749?
Me: Let me think about this.
Me: Okay, it says right here in my Version 7 manual that every software purchase comes with a period of free technical support for 60 days. So, theoretically, if I upgrade to Version 8, I should get 60 days of free technical support. Right?
Him: Well, no. You see, that’s an old policy. We recently merged with another company, and that policy is no longer valid. In order for someone to address your question, you’ll have to upgrade to Version 8 and buy the one year service maintenance agreement.
Me: But this isn’t service maintenance. This is your product won’t do what it says it will do.
Him: I have no idea what else you’ve installed on your computer. Maybe you’ve done something to make it not work.
Me: So the *only* way I can get someone to listen to my question is to upgrade to Version 8 *and* purchase the one-year service maintenance agreement?
Me: There aren’t any support groups, or 1-800 numbers, or anything.
Me: That’s just wrong. I can go out and buy a bag of potato chips and there’s a 1-800 number on the back that I can call if the product doesn’t provide what’s promised.
Me: Okay. I don’t like this, but I’ll buy the stupid upgrade and service agreement. BUT, if Version 8 doesn’t publish to the web (as it advertises it will), I want my money back.
Him: Of course. Our software comes with the standard 30 day net return policy.
Me: I want that in writing.
Me: Is there a problem?
Him: Well, I, uh, I don’t know if I can put that in writing. I mean, that would require the Vice President’s approval.
Me: Fine, get it.
Him: I can’t. He’s left the building.
So now I get to deal with this again *tomorrow* at work.