If you’re a gadgetophile like me, you love firmware updates because it’s like giving your smartphone, camera, or other mp3 player a mini-makeover. If you’re normal, however, don’t rush into it—the best thing to do is wait a bit and see what problems are reported from the front line. Take for instance this issue between 3G iPhones and Exchange servers, which no longer play well with each other after yesterday’s 3.1 iPhone OS upgrade.
Bob didn’t realize that his Amtrak train from Syracuse would be delayed for more than an hour until an Amtrak agent called him up and offered to upgrade him free of charge to an earlier and pricier train. Bob initially declined, but later called back to change his mind. When he got to the station, the same agent realized that he qualified for a cheaper ticket and refunded the difference on the spot.
After an iBook-death forced her to migrate to another computer, Lisa found that she couldn’t activate her legally-purchased copy of Macromedia StudioMX 2004. Adobe insisted that the software was too old to be reactivated. Too old? It’s software! It took several calls and emails before Lisa found an employee who was able to help, not by activating her old software, but by sending her a free new copy of Dreamweaver CS4.
In preparation for the phone’s launch on Friday, AT&T wrote today: “We’ve been listening to our customers. And since many of our iPhone 3G customers are early adopters and literally weeks shy of being upgrade eligible due to iPhone 3G S launching 11 months after iPhone 3G, we’re extending the window of upgrade eligibility for a limited time.”
Another year, another iPhone. Next up to drive early adopters furious is the newly announced iPhone 3G S, which opens applications faster, goes easier on the battery, packs a sharper camera, records video, includes voice control and adds a compass that points to the inevitable reality that Apple will announce a fourth iPhone next year.
Reader Matt is annoyed with United Airlines. On a flight from Minneapolis to Denver the passengers were crammed into coach — but there were entire unsold rows in the “$39 extra” section.
After a long day of work, John called Comcast’s “24/7″ customer service line to downgrade his service. Press 1 to upgrade, 2 to downgrade, chirped the phone. He pressed two and was told that he was calling after hours and would have to call back later. He hung up and redialed and pressed 1, “upgrade,” this time, and within 30 seconds was connected with a customer service rep, “who was more than happy to help me DOWNGRADE my service. It was literally a 2 minute call, and I had cancelled the services I don’t use and am saving almost $40/mo,” blogs John. Clever, Comcast, so clever.
Verizon Breaks Your Router With An Unrequested Firmware Update, But Won't Replace It Because It's Out Of Warranty
They acknowledge the router got an upgraded firmware image automatically (forget the fact I had explicitly disabled that feature for this very reason), but I’m shit out of luck. Even though the fact my formerly perfectly working 6100 is now bricked because of something Verizon did without my approval or knowledge, they will not provide me with a new one for free because the router is out of warranty.
Is this Verizon promotional email being over-enthusiastic with its subject line, or is it actually misleading? A phrase like “you’ve earned a new ___” doesn’t usually get followed up with, “Just pay us anywhere between $100-$200 for it,” unless it comes from a scam vacation offer. Or Verizon. As Bryan notes in his email to us, “The subject line must mean something like when you tell Verizon, ‘You’ve earned my suspicion and contempt.’”
Verizon FiOs recently doubled its download speed for consumer and small businesses from 5 to 10mb, but reader Lindsay says she wasn’t automatically upgraded. Luckily, if you’re in the same boat, you can upgrade by calling 800-688-2880, entering the phone number on your account, pressing 3, then 5, then 2. Lindsay writes, “I got to a rep very quickly and she got everything switched. It cost me $3 more due to a rate change since I signed up, but that’s not too much to ask for double the download speed.”
Reader Micah is under contract with AT&T, and is interested in getting the new iPhone when it comes out. Unfortunately, Micah’s account is not currently eligible for an upgrade, so AT&T keeps telling him that he’ll need to cancel his phone, and pay an ETF in order to get the new iPhone. As far as we can tell, this just isn’t true.
Jay wanted to update his copy of Adobe Creative Suite 2 to CS3 and simultaneously switch the license over to the Mac platform. The first sales rep he spoke with did everything right and Jay was very happy. Then that sales rep disappeared forever, only to be replaced by a comically inept parade of CSRs who can’t figure out Adobe’s own systems, who make up their job titles, give out fax numbers to call, and who—in one case—claim to be on a phone system that doesn’t connect to the outside world.
Remember N? He last saw his laptop in December after shipping it to HP for desperately needed repairs. After posting the story HP reached out to N, who tells us that he just received a spanking new machine. Read N’s reaction and his tips for handling similar situations, after the jump.
Matt’s Officejet 6110 scans perfectly under Ubuntu, but won’t play nice with Leopard. When Matt called HP for support, he was told that the company has no plans to issue new drivers so he should just buy a new printer. To soften the blow, the tech mentioned HP’s trade-in program, which would give Matt a whopping $16 for his printer.
Do you have an analog phone? No, not you. That guy over there with the Betamax. You do? Well, you should just accept that time and technology marches forward and upgrade your phone. The old analog system is going bye-bye next year, and Cingular is charging you $5 a month for no reason other than you still have an old crappy phone. Should they do this? Probably not. But they are.
After hearing from over 10,000 users wary of Windows Vista, Dell has decided to once again sell computers loaded with Windows XP. Most computer makers stopped offering XP after Vista’s launch, even though many users, especially small businesses, are wary of the newfangled operating system. Dell did not consider these concerns reasonable at first.
But on Dell’s IdeaStorm Web site, where visitors can post suggestions for the company and vote on the ones they think are important, a plea titled “Don’t eliminate XP just yet” racked up more than 10,700 votes.
The consumer outcry has restored XP as an option to four Inspiron laptop models and two Dimension desktop models. Dell will only make Windows XP available to U.S. customers. Sorry foreigners, you are stuck with Vista. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
If you’re one of those stone-age-type people who live in Chicago and don’t yet have a digital cable box, you’ll be getting one in July. Comcast has nearly completed a $400 million dollar upgrade and will discontinue analog broadcasts this summer. Customers who plug their cable directly into their TV will receive only local channels following the official switch. From the Chicago Tribune:
Completion of the upgrade means all Comcast customers that have basic service will need to exchange their analog set-top boxes for digital set-top boxes. The cable company will not charge an additional fee or raise rates for current analog customers, Schaefer said.