(Michael Saechang)

FTC Shuts Down Two Tech Support Schemes That Bilked $120M From Consumers

Sometimes when you can’t fix your computer yourself you turn to the experts. Unfortunately, some of those tech wizards are only out to help themselves. That appears to be the case for two Florida-based companies that allegedly conned tens of thousands of consumers – many of whom were senior citizens – out of $120 million by deceptively marketing computer software and tech support. [More]

That Guy On The Phone Offering A Tech Support Refund Is Probably A Scammer

That Guy On The Phone Offering A Tech Support Refund Is Probably A Scammer

We’ve written before about scam artists taking advantage of consumers’ unease with technology to trick them into handing over sensitive personal info, and now there are scammers hoping to prey upon consumers’ general dissatisfaction with customer service and tech support (and their general love of refunds). [More]

(kfas)

Net10 Cuts Off My Access, Won’t Pick Up The Phone

Andrew is worried about his mobile carrier, Net10. He was very happy with the company’s “bring your own device” service on AT&T’s network until he learned that he wasn’t able to send picture messages. Well, no problem: tech support should be able to resolve that easily. Right? [More]

(Maulleigh)

Time For Your 7 A.M. Reminder Of Your Nonexistent Time Warner Cable Appointment

It’s 8 A.M on the East Coast as this post goes up, and James’ wife has been up for an hour. That’s because she’s getting a 7 A.M. wakeup call on her mobile phone every day from Time Warner Cable. No, this isn’t an exciting new Digital Phone service they’re offering: for some people, a wakeup call would actually be useful. No, their cable has already been installed and everything is fine. Everything is fine except for the 7 A.M. phone call that comes to remind Mrs. James of an appointment with the cable guy that doesn’t exist. [More]

Smudgy.

Epson Sells Me Paper That Jams My Smudgy Printer, Hangs Up On Me

John bought his new Epson printer just a few months ago. He’s now attempted to use it to print photos twice, and neither attempt was successful. He found tech support discouraging: they hung up on him twice, then referred him to another office. Then, mysteriously, he was unable to log in to his Epson.com account: the site told him that it didn’t exist. At this point, he’d rather be rid of the printer entirely. [More]

Dell Tech Support Really More Of An Upsell Trap

Dell Tech Support Really More Of An Upsell Trap

Congratulations, Dell customer! You might have won! Won what, you ask? The opportunity to hand more money over to Dell for an extended warranty that you don’t necessarily need! During three calls to Dell technical support, Laptop Magazine found that technical support representatives offered a hardware warranty for a software problem, a software warranty for a hardware issue, and told a caller that he had won a mysterious daily drawing for the opportunity to buy a four-year extended warranty from Dell for the low, low price of $317. That sounds like the most boring sweepstakes ever. [More]

It Took Dish Network Months To Figure Out Their HDMI Cables Are Crap

It Took Dish Network Months To Figure Out Their HDMI Cables Are Crap

Don is a relatively new Dish Network customer, and he’s annoyed. Not because he’s lost his favorite channels in a carriage fee dispute, or his rates are higher than indicated. No, his problem is a little stranger than that. Pausing or fast-forwarding any programming would make his TV’s audio go out. He describes “dozens” of calls to Dish and quite a few service calls, replacing the DVR, the Dish-supplied cables…everything. The issue went all the way up to Executive Escalations. After all of this effort and nonsense explanations that solved nothing, one tech happened to hook up component cables instead of HDMI. Hey, look at that–the audio didn’t drop out anymore! The tradeoff for this, however, is no more high-definition programming. [More]

NetZero Locks Me Out Of My Account, Charges By The Minute To Get It Back

NetZero Locks Me Out Of My Account, Charges By The Minute To Get It Back

Matt has an issue with NetZero’s e-mail technical support. “Wait,” you might be saying. “People still use NetZero?” Well, Matt does. His e-mail address on the service is very old, but he just hasn’t got around to changing the places where it’s his e-mail of record. So he keeps paying for it, year after year, importing the messages into Gmail. At least, he did until he was locked out of his account, and couldn’t reset the password. NetZero charges by the minute for tech support, but Matt was assured that he wouldn’t be charged for a simple password reset. This was incorrect. [More]

Break Tiny Part Of Logitech Gaming Wheel, Throw The Whole Thing Out

Break Tiny Part Of Logitech Gaming Wheel, Throw The Whole Thing Out

Here’s the problem with gadgets made of tiny pieces of plastic: tiny pieces of plastic break. They fall off and disappear. Their absence means that those gadgets no longer work Nikeros owns the Logitech G-27 racing wheel, a cool-looking gaming accessory that
currently retails for more than $200. A small part of the wheel broke, rendering the whole thing unusable. Figuring that the part would be easily replaced, he checked with Logitech for a parts list. There are no extra parts for sale to consumers: it’s buy a new wheel, or nothing. [More]

Linksys: Where A 1-Year Warranty Sort Of Isn't A 1-Year Warranty

Linksys: Where A 1-Year Warranty Sort Of Isn't A 1-Year Warranty

Yes, Linksys products ostensibly have a one-year warranty, but there’s a catch. When Cody tried to contact them to replace a router, he learned that in order to actually use that original warranty, you need to pay extra. Specifically, after the first 90 days, you need to pay for either phone or chat support to talk to a real person who can authorize the return of your defective router. [More]

How To Lose A Customer Forever With Just One Faulty Router

How To Lose A Customer Forever With Just One Faulty Router

Jessica is a network engineer, so she has some idea of when a piece of networking equipment isn’t working properly. Her Netgear router isn’t working properly, so she called up their tech support. She patiently sat through all of the normal troubleshooting procedures that are used for people who can barely tell a router from a toaster. Then she learned that they weren’t going to accept the router for repair or replacement after only eight months. So she did the only sensible thing: went out and bought a router made by a different company after being loyal to Netgear for more than a decade. [More]

HP Pretends Linux Voids Netbook Hardware Warranty

HP Pretends Linux Voids Netbook Hardware Warranty

Installing a different operating system on a computer does not change its hardware. This is a simple enough concept…unless you work in technical support for HP. Their phone tech support have joined their Geek Squad brethren in insisting that a Linux-infested laptop was no longer under warranty.

Kyle didn’t want to put Windows back on his netbook just so his problem would fit phone support’s standard script. He tried to make tech support see logic…and eventually they did. (Or gave him a new battery so he would go away, but the end result is the same.)

My "Blackberry" Isn't Working, Man Tells Fruit Vendor

My "Blackberry" Isn't Working, Man Tells Fruit Vendor

Good for a laugh, here’s a sketch from the BBC “The One Ronnie” show with a man seeking tech support from a fruit vendor for his “blackberry” which is “frozen.” A series of fruit and gadget puns ensue and it’s worth sticking around for when it gets a little saucy. One thing that you should know before watching the clip is that “Orange” is a cellular network in Great Britain. Yes, you can see where this is going… [More]

Laptop Borked By Dell Tech Gets Replaced After Consumerist Post

Laptop Borked By Dell Tech Gets Replaced After Consumerist Post

Angel is happy to report that after his story went up on Consumerist, Dell reached out to him and will be replacing his laptop. [More]

"On-Call" Dell Tech Takes Over 7 Hours To Screw Up Your Laptop, Makes You Miss Your Date

"On-Call" Dell Tech Takes Over 7 Hours To Screw Up Your Laptop, Makes You Miss Your Date

Angel’s patience was worn down to the quick after waiting for a on-call Dell tech to come and fix his high-end laptop, only to have the guy bungle the repair, screw up his hardware, and make him miss his date. [More]

Netgear Tech Support: Pay Geek Squad $139 To Troubleshoot Your $79 Router

Netgear Tech Support: Pay Geek Squad $139 To Troubleshoot Your $79 Router

What should you do when you have trouble with your Internet connection? N. tells Consumerist that his combination DSL modem and wireless router from Netgear simply won’t work. According to the ever-helpful technical support team at Netgear, there’s nothing left that they can do, and his only option left is to call the Geek Squad to perform a house call. If it didn’t require a $139 house call to troubleshoot a $79 device, N. might go along with this plan. [More]

Mozy Wants To Explain Wireless Internets To You

Mozy Wants To Explain Wireless Internets To You

You might think that a company like Mozy, which sells secure online backup services, would be able to troubleshoot common technical issues that are directly related to its business. After all, surely Heather isn’t the only customer to have problems with her initial backup hanging for several days in a row. But instead of offering useful assistance, Mozy’s tech support person told Heather that the problem was that “wireless internets don’t like lots of files flying through the air.” Wow, that must really cause problems with Mozy’s business model. [More]

Acer And Gateway Have Crappiest Tech Support

Acer And Gateway Have Crappiest Tech Support

If you need to call tech support, you don’t want to be holding an Acer or a Gateway, a new Laptop Mag study finds. [More]