Software I hated....
This is a personal story and the names are changed to protect somebody, but honestly, there are no innocent parties here.
The beginning of the year I was looking for some DVD Authoring software, because my son was 6 months old and we had lots of pictures and small digital movies I wanted to do something with them. Saving them onto a DVD of my own devising seemed like a good plan, and I figured it would be good blackmail material when he gets older. So I looked around for some different types and settled on a couple after some research to features and price, it all reminded me of looking for testing tools. A couple had some Try Before You Buy options, I settled on the one that seemed most promising. Downloaded the software and got to play with it.
Initially I was happy with it, slow in converting some movies but it suited my needs and I decided to buy it, I ordered it from the company web site and downloaded an update which basically gave me the full version. I used it for quite a few months, though I did get the occasional crash when trying to convert a movie, and larger ones took a long time to do, I put it down at the time to my machine and Windows. There was a feature to make Audio CD's, and this is when my delight turned. Wanting to put some of my music on CD's I pulled together some songs off CD's I own and they all came out distorted in places, after going through the ripping process and finding nothing wrong I decided to look on the company site for this issue. Originally I did not find it but through a thorough search of the User BBS for the company did find that this was a known problem, as were the long conversion times and crashes. But there was an update!
So I downloaded the update, it said it was for my version and was linked into my Company Support and Info page so I downloaded it and started to run it, Install Shield started then came up with a message box "This version is not installed". But there it was on my computer, and I was using it for months! Back to the BBS, yes this was a known issue, you need to reinstall from the CD. I didn't want the CD since I could download the software and I can make my own; besides why have more CD's sit around. So I couldn't update because the way I had purchased and downloaded the software was an unsupported path to patches, though I was given the option by the manufacturer. Well Tech Support should handle this I though. Wrong. My initial email to support provided me at first an auto response with 5% off the next version. Why buy another when all I wanted was an update? In my email I noted all the steps I took, pretty much like I would document a bug report, and their answer was to send the initial email of my purchase with its links to the company headquarters in another country.
I didn't have the email, I have no idea where it went actually so that was my fault, but told them they could see I was a registered user, gave them my build number and offered to send them a copy of my credit card statement showing the purchase. After a week with still no response I emailed again asking a status, it still occurred to me that if they offered my particular update path then it should be tested, so I reinstalled and found my update files for the full version would only work with the Try Before You Buy installed; so I know what I had and told them this again in a follow up email. After 4 days of no response I opened another ticket with Support, referencing my first one, got another 5% off coupon which I deleted. After another 5 days of no response to either one I have decided to move on, I will never buy this company's products again and I will always be SURE to get a CD for the software if I ever buy anything, or just not get Downloaded software anymore.
Lots of QA and Support lessons here, its too bad in this day and age that companies cannot be more responsive, but after seeing and hearing many horror stories about testing and support its always infuriating to be a vicitim of one. Especially when you work hard to remove these kinds of situations from your own little corner of the world.