From Pine View Farm

Customer Satisfaction (Updated) 0

I have mentioned from time to time getting software for my cell phone. Most of the commercial software is sold under a modified shareware model: There is a trial period; when the trial period expires, you have to license the software or it rolls over, sticks its little legs in the air, and plays dead.

I’ve gotten most of the software through Handango, a clearinghouse for cell phone programs.

I recently installed an ebook reader (you can read about it here). Unlike for most previous purchases, for which Handango can generate the license, the license for this item was to come from the developer directly.

Well, it didn’t come. And didn’t come. My attempt to send an email to developer’s email address as specified in the confirmation of sale email failed, with an “unknown or malformed domain” error (in other words, there was no there there).

A week ago Saturday, I went to the Handango customer service page and filled out the form asking for assistance. The customer service page promised a response within two business days; there was a response waiting for me Sunday morning.

Handango and I made several more attempts to contact the developer. No luck (it’s probably a one-person outfit; in such cases, my first worry is not fraud–not at $13.00 a pop–but that something has happened to the programmer).

At this point, Handango has refunded my money and I’ll be searching for a new ebook reader (which I find disappointing, for the little program I had tried to buy was really good–easy to configure and use and reliable!).

I have only praise for Handango’s customer service. When they told me to do something and wait two days and the two days expired, they followed up with me asking what happened before I could follow up with them. They stayed on top of my trouble ticket better than I did.

Sure, they have a computer program to remind them to do things. But the thing is, a program is just ones and zeroes. It takes people to make it work.

Later on today, I’ll be looking for a new ebook reader.

And I’ll be looking on Handango.

Addendum, Later That Same Day:

I ended up with this. More complicated to configure than Easy Reader, but it works.

Linda was saying she preferred a physical book to an electronic one. I do also.

But, when stuck in a long, unexpected wait, it’s nice to be able to whip out the cell phone and have something constructive to do, in place of surfing the web. Currently, I’m working on Samuel Pepys’s Diary.


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