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What do you do when purchased software is faulty?

faulty software rights

     
2:23 pm on Nov 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I purchased a search script which on the face of it looked right for my needs. In fact it is mostly good but there is one critical bug which renders it mostly useless.

Their site does say things to the effect of "We usually answer within 12 hours" but 3 days and 3 mails later and not a peep.

So do we have any rights to get a refund? It cost around US$300 so I am assuming it isn't worth the effort.

In that case though what action would you take? Are there any regulatory bodies you can contact? I'd like at the least to help stop this company selling a dodgy product so other people don't get ripped off.

9:22 pm on Nov 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Have you filed a chargeback?
3:21 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately I only found the error a while after I had purchased it. Is there a limit to how long you can apply for a chargeback?

It's not so much the money as the fact other people will likely be conned at this point.

What's the policy of this site about naming companies like this? If I fix the code then post the fix here is that allowed?

3:35 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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US$300 so I am assuming it isn't worth the effort.

Write-off the loss. Move on. Being right isn't worth it. We write off small losses to bad software or poorly delivered services every year.

Even charge-backs aren't worth the trouble, IMO. I'll eat the loss and tell the story whenever the opportunity arises. Beating us out of some money doesn't mean they've won.

4:42 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Define 3 days, was it around a weekend or 3 business days?

Ask the company for a bug fix first and if they decline, the money back next, in writing.

If you get no response within 5 days, call the credit card company and do a charge back.

If you don't punish them for doing bad business, they will never learn.

We write off small losses to bad software or poorly delivered services every year.

Why should you let someone else keep gains from their shoddy business?

Charge-back!

5:12 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If you don't punish them for doing bad business, they will never learn.

They've already learned quite well. I don't have time for it. Sometimes I can't help myself and stand on principle, even though it's a lousy investment of time and hassle - but I try to mostly eat the loss, pass it on, and move on. I don't have time to chase after every vendor or customer that cheats us.

It's not a huge problem. We research pretty well before buying (though have made some cash burning investments). We don't have enough customer thieves hitting us for enough losses that it isn't a whole lot easier life and business to pass on the costs. We've got bigger problems and projects to keep on track.

On the vendor side, bad PR will catch up to them; at least for that software or business. On the customer side, we flag and ban customers, addresses, emails, CC numbers....., and hopefully they will only hit us once.

I assign a high value to aggravation and hassle. I can pass on smaller losses or larger ones.

8:04 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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On the vendor side, bad PR will catch up to them; at least for that software or business.

I'd rather bankruptcy catch up with them.

Sorry, for me it's the principle of the thing.

If your product or service doesn't work, you don't deserve dinner tonight on my dime.

Period.

8:20 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Business days. I have emailed twice to ask if there is a fix and subsequently to ask if they even recieved my messages. When looking at the software sales queries were answered in hours.

... tell the story whenever the opportunity arises.

If they don't respond in another couple of days I will post the details of the company here then.

I can see where you are both coming from and I agree. On the one hand it isn't worth the hassle, on the other they are still selling something that doesn't work.

Time is running out on the project where I need this script so I'll most likely just try and fix it myself at this point then move on. After posting my experiences.

8:19 am on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Write-off the loss. Move on.

D_Blackwell, I might guess that you are in the business of faulty software with that response.

Filing a chargeback is not a hard thing to do and is definitely worth the time depending on his budget and the cost of the software.

8:51 pm on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'd try to get a return, especially if it was a short time between purchase and discovery. If it's a definite bug and fault of the software, the comments below do not apply.

However, in D.B.'s defense, quite often, something like this may (or may not!) arise because I didn't "read the fine print" and it may be warranted. I'd count it as a loss if this were the case.

If a working demo is available and I didn't fully explore it, or needed a specific feature and it doesn't appear available, I would feel like I should have asked first if I value my money. Too often I encounter a problem with some service, then once discovered I go look, and sure enough, the documentation specifically says that it is not supported.

The O.P. does, after all say

which on the face of it looked right for my needs.

We're just too well trained in the Wal-Mart philosophy: well, if it doesn't work, I'll just take it back, no matter who's at fault.

9:29 pm on Dec 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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We're just too well trained in the Wal-Mart philosophy: well, if it doesn't work, I'll just take it back, no matter who's at fault.

I'm in the software biz and any good software author will either fix it of refund it.

However, if you ask me to take it back because it doesn't do something pie-in-the-sky on your wishlist, which it never claimed to do in the first place, I might put my foot down and say "NO, SORRY, THAT WAS NEVER AN ADVERTISED FEATURE" and leave it at that.

3:11 am on Dec 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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For the record, still no reply from "support". On reflection, the site doesn't specify tech support, so I guess it's only sales support, which is very prompt.

I did actually ask them if there was a workaround for the problem, but even a reply saying there wasn't would have helped. It kept me hanging so to speak before trying to fix the bug on my own, which I have now done.

Yes, I should have done more research. There is a working demo, which I did test, but this bug didn't occur to me at the time.

The actual bug is that including an apostrophe in the search causes a mysql error, and I don't think that should have been a special feature. Actually there is no documentation bar a one page install explanation.

It was just not having any response at all that annoyed me.

9:11 pm on Dec 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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^ ^ ^ LOL . . . yes, you are absolutely correct, this is a commonly overlooked newbie FLAW. I take back any tangent thoughts I sent you on, how someone could sell a product with the quoting error is just . . . . wow.

However, the UP side is, it is very easily fixed, should you decide to forge onward.

7:55 am on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks :)

I have fixed the bug and for now at least it is working ok.