Monday, June 6, 2011


I don't know about anyone else, but lately the internet and corporate customer service has become even more frustrating for me than usual.

I've had nothing but Apple computers since I got my first one in the '80s, and Applecare (you have to pay for it) has been relatively good in terms of customer service, but lately, since Apple has been inundated with a virus, or attempted virus implant, their service has been evasive and incompetent in my experience.

They recommended for the first time that I download and install outside anti-virus software, suggesting Norton was reliable.  I ordered and thought I downloaded a product from them, but it isn't on my computer, despite the fact that my credit card company has already billed me for it.

My attempts to get someone at Norton to help either via their website or on the phone has gotten me nowhere. Their virtual customer service program can't seem to understand the simple fact that I piad for a program I haven't got.

The phone numbers I got from google for Norton have only led me to various recordings, and when after sometimes close to an hour's wait I have finally reached a live person, they have Indian or Pakistani accents and either say outright they don't actually do technical help for the product I'm calling about and give me another number, which when called leads me to another similar accented person after another twenty minute to hour wait, who also can't supply the technical help I need (how technical is it to find out why a program I downloaded never arrived?) and send me elsewhere.

Finally, after days and weeks of this now, I got a number that was actually their headquarters in California, but every choice their recording offered there only took me to more recordings and I haven't been able to reach a live person yet.

I tried again today and it sent me back to India and someone who simply didn't understand what I was saying, that I ordered and already paid for an anti-virus program that never reached my computer!

And all this originated with problems when I googled topics and got a pop up window saying I had a virus and had to download a program to save my computer etc., which is how the virus is hitting Apple users. That window pretty much pops up anytime I google anything now.

And by the way, has anyone noticed that Google now personalizes what it thinks you're looking for when you use it, so that if you google say Obama and someone else googles Obama, you each will get different listings, supposedly customized to your googling history (so rightwingers and leftwingers will get critical articles from websites that represent their separate perspectives) but so far in my experience have nothing to do with mine.

This also means if you google yourself what you get is not what others will get, so now none of us have any idea what others are finding when they google people and topics we care about.

And don't even get me started on Facebook. Just the fact that you cannot remove a photo someone else puts up of you on Facebook without going through procedures that seem meant to frustrate any attempt to do so, is proof enough that Facebook has no desire to be user friendly but instead to be user abusive and exploitative.

I'll save my cable and computer networks for some other diatribe.

[PS: But I will add that editing these posts on my google site for blogspot has also become problematic. The spell check device refusing to work often, and with my post-brain-surgery need to retype extensively in order to correct, and my missing more words than I used to in copyediting, that too has become enormously frustrating. If it's only me, then I accept it's post-brain-op problems, but I know the Mac viral thing is impacting others, because the Apple person I spoke to last admitted it had become a problem for them.]


Jamie Rose said...

Oh honey. I so get it.


Tim said...

Michael - I just tweeted your story. You should do the same. But first, you may want to consider changing your headline to: "Norton has terrible customer service." I guarantee you that Norton is monitoring Twitter for complaints like yours. If enough of your readers re-tweet your complaint, they will be in touch with you...

Best, Tim

JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
harryn said...

How is it that someone could have a comment deleted regarding a subject that is so common to all of us?
Unless Steve Jobs took offense ...

JIm said...

I mentioned Weiner, tweeting, Maddow and Breitbart. Apparantly Lally found that excessive.

harryn said...

For some reason I thought it might be you Jim.
Merely mentioned ...?

Robert Berner said...

Lal--You have all my sympathies for your troubles with the gods (Google, Norton, etc.) of the hi-tech universe. And yesterday Steve Jobs delivered the coup d'grace for old types like us when he declared that the personal computer is no longer the center of the universe. It's now "just" a machine.
As to Facebook, LinkedIn and other such "social media," I'm more and more convinced than ever as I've watched their several maneuverings toward their capitalist debutante's debut, the IPO, that they are now finally revealed as nothing more than a way for snot-nosed 20-something geeks to get rich.
Bob B.

Lally said...

Thanx for the understanding and suggestions. And here's a strange coda to this post. A long and rambling "anonymous" comment appeared in the thread above with condemnations of google and facebook et. al. and the recommendation that all of us use Linux. And then it disappeared. Dum da dum dum.

Lally said...

PS the "dum da dum dum" only oldtimers might get, and I hadn't read my e mails this morning when I added the comment above, but when I did there were many good suggestions for dealing with my main problem, including an attachment from across the pond (thanx Tom) that I can download and follow to rid myself of the attempted virus that began it all. Thanks for everyone for being so helpful and kind as always.

Anonymous said...

I was the "Ole Phart"
who left the comment

I guess "they" just didn't like
hearing the truth about their impotent

... mechinique-ettes


as Apple, microscroft, Google, facebook, The NYT, WPost,State Dept, Labor Dept, War Dept., et cetra

can and dodo is EDIT out anything that they deem

a criticism of what their Party-Line is the latest lies to sell their inflated Crap...

I guess that NOE Google just doesn't allow and "anon" comments

Anonymous said...

this book just might add to your ...angst: