Some especially sneaky spyware, which takes all of a user’s messages and browsing data and quietly ships it to servers in China, was recently discovered on some inexpensive Android devices sold in this country. Two customers who own the offending phones have filed a class action against the company that sold them here in the United States, on behalf of the buyers of at least 120,000 devices. [More]
Consumers like to think that we can use the items we’ve legally purchased however we see fit. If we want to cover our new backpack with rhinestones or use third-party ink cartridges in the printer that we bought, who is the manufacturer to stop us? Yet while backpacks might stay Bedazzled, you can’t always use whatever ink you want in your printer. [More]
Richard was unhappy with his Blu-Ray player. Some discs wouldn’t play at all. Samsung claimed to be on it and working on a firmware update as a solution to the problem, but have said that for a year now. What was a customer who just wants to watch some movies to do? His family couldn’t even watch “The Dark Knight Rises.” What horror! Richard flexed his complaining muscles and fired off a letter to Samsung’s Office of the President e-mail address.
In order to start up your PC, you need a BIOS: firmware that tells your computer what devices are attached to it and where it can find the operating system(s). Most people don’t ever need to fuss with the BIOS, but Tim did for his ASUS computer. What he didn’t know was that the update he downloaded from the company’s site would turn his computer into a large, flat plastic brick if he installed it from a USB drive in the default file format. ASUS says that Tim has to pay for the repair, which he thinks is unfair.
Earlier this week, I posted about Kate’s bad experience getting her Sony Reader upgraded. She hadn’t asked for an update, but was told by Sony to send it in, she says. What she got back was a busted Reader that wouldn’t work, and a demand from Sony to pay for any repairs.
Happily, over the past two days Sony reps have been in contact with Kate and made things whole again.
I’m not usually amused at the customer service horror stories that arrive in our in box, but this one is just so over the top that I can’t help but laugh incredulously. The lesson here, which Kate sadly learned for all of us, is if Sony ever asks you out of nowhere to send in your Reader for an update, run away.
Maybe manufacturers need to rethink how warranties work when it comes to firmware updates. Justin’s Samsung Blu-ray player recently alerted him that there was an update available, so he told it to proceed. What he ended up with was a dead player. Now Samsung says because it’s out of warranty for repairs he has to pay them $90 to get it working again.
The 30-gig Zunes may have temporarily revolted last week, but Brooke’s limited edition 80-gig Zune has been MIA for over three months now, apparently lost in that magical ever-transitioning Zune world from the commercials. (It just keeps falling through floors and walls and swimming pools.) Maybe someone at Microsoft can take a look at what Brooke’s had to go through so far, and get back to her with a real answer?
Reader Erin writes in to warn readers that Best Buy is offering a thirty-dollar firmware update to certain Blu-Ray players, and warning that without the update, some newer titles might not work. Erin checked the manufacturer’s website and found no announced firmware updates, and the newer titles play just fine.
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.
“The DVR started out by simply not responding to any command to change channels, etc. Suddenly, it switched to channel 3, then 4, then 5, 6, 7, and so on. I managed to pause it for a second, but then it just jumped to channel 233 and stayed there, pulsing on that channel while the DVR box flashed the numbers. This story really isn’t terribly interesting on its own, but the channel it stopped on was a religious channel with a priest featured prominently on the screen.”