December 2003 Archives
December 31, 2003

Intuit's deceiving business practices - part 2


This is a continuation of the story on Intuit's deceiving business practices I posted back in November. As a quick reminder, Intuit charged the credit card they have on my file and sent me Turbotax 2003 for Mac. This was done without my consent, and obviously without myself actually ordering it through the Web or through any other means.

Today I received in mail a package from Intuit. It was sent from Intuit, PO Box 19004, Greenville SC 29390-9004, and it appears to contain a CD. I did not and do not plan to open it, as I want to return it to the sender without paying for additional postage.

I called my credit card company and complained about it. I also filled a complaint with Better Business Bureau. This is outrageous! Hopefully I will be able to get my money back.

Update (January 17, 2003): Intuit contacted me by phone twice regarding my complaint. I was told that when I ordered the software back in February last year, I clicked an auto-renew checkbox on the order page, which caused them to send the new version automatically. I don't remember seeing such an option and I would have certainly not clicked it! I usually pay attention to such things especially when money is involved. Lame excuse...

They refunded me the money and said they removed me from their automatic renewal subscription. I'll keep an eye on it.

Posted by ovidiu at 07:36 PM |
December 15, 2003

How long does a Powerbook G4 last?


About 1 year and 6 months.

That's how long my (then brand new) Powerbook G4 lasted. Today its screen went blank as I got home from work. I opened it up, hooked up the power supply, connected the Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse to it and waited for the Apple screen saver to show me the login panel. Nothing appeared for a while, then the Apple logo on the screen started to shake left and right in an abnormal way. Much like a TV when it's losing its synchronization. The display then went grayish, like water spreading on the ground. Then black and nothing else.

I removed the battery and the power plug. I put them back and booted the machine. I could hear the hard-disk spinning, but the screen was still black. I powered it off by holding the power button, and it did so perfectly. I repeated this sequence several times, but the LCD was still black.

Luckily the network was setup from office to use DHCP, instead of wireless. I hooked up an Ethernet cable from my router and booted up the computer. After some time, I tried ssh-ing into the laptop from a Linux desktop at home. This went perfectly! I decided to backup the drive, just in case. So I scp-ed my home directory to the Linux box. At least now I'm safe with the data.

But what a bummer! I have another really old laptop, a Pentium II running Linux that my wife is using just fine for more than 4 years. A cheap laptop too, not on the upscale as my Powerbook.

Tomorrow I'll take it to a local Apple Store to see if they can send it for repairs somewhere. Hopefully I don't need to shell out a lot of money for it, otherwise I will seriously consider switching back :( Oh well...

Posted by ovidiu at 08:56 PM |
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