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Thread: Tales from Techsupport

  1. #41
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Quote Originally Posted by Gidizlo View Post
    From Mileron's earlier comment about working for a company that sells tax software and the customer's complaint that "the laws haven't changed" I'm guessing we're talking about an income tax code, accounting standards, or possibly a legal library service subscription, and not your typical EULA and software license arrangement.
    Basically, yes.
    It's even in the EULA.
    Spoiler for license:
    LICENSE GRANT. (Company) grants to you, subject to
    termination as provided in this License Agreement, a nonexclusive, nontransferable annual license ("License") for
    each copy of the software ("Software"), and any accompanying printed information relating to the Software
    delivered to you with the Software ("Documentation"), as indicated on your Order Form. The Software and
    Documentation are subject to protection under the copyright, trade secret laws, where applicable, and other
    intellectual property laws of the United States and other jurisdictions. With this License, you acquire only the right to
    use the object code version of the Software and Documentation while the License is in effect and do not acquire
    any rights of ownership in the Software or the Documentation. You shall not be considered to be an "owner of a
    copy" and shall not have rights granted under 17 USC Sec. 117 to make adaptations of the Software.
    You may use
    the Software on as many microcomputers as you licensed the software for, as indicated on your Order Form. If you
    have purchased a multi-user License (as indicated on the Order Form), you may use the Software in
    machine-readable form on multiple central processing units at the site designated on the Order Form. If you have
    purchased a network License (as indicated on your Order Form), you may use the Software in machine-readable
    form on a local area network at the site designated on the Order Form. If using the software on a web server,
    an application server, a terminal server, or any other type of middleware or server product that access data on
    behalf of a remote computer, (i.e. Citrix or Terminal Server) additional license fees may apply.

    Spoiler for deliverables:
    Deliverables and Maintenance. In consideration of your payment of the License fee recited on the Order Form, you
    shall receive (i) one copy of the Software shown on the Order Form, and (ii) the right to use the Software and the
    Documentation according to the terms of this Agreement during the term of this Agreement.

    Spoiler for term:
    TERM AND TERMINATION. This License Agreement shall have an initial term of twelve (12) months commencing on the
    date of initial purchase
    of the software product (the "Effective Date"). On each subsequent anniversary of the
    Effective Date, the Agreement shall automatically renew for an additional twelve (12) month term (each a "Renewal Term")
    unless either party provides written notice of its intent not to so renew at least thirty (30) days prior to,
    as applicable, the end of the initial term or then current Renewal Term. You may terminate this License Agreement
    at any time by destroying the Software, all copies of the Software and all Documentation, and certifying to (Company)
    in writing that the Software and Documentation has been so destroyed, however, you will not be entitled to any refund
    of any License fees already paid. In the event that you fail to comply with any term or condition in this
    License Agreement, the License will terminate immediately without notice to you and (Company) may pursue all appropriate
    legal remedies.

    The woman had licenses for Product #1 through 2007, which she canceled (per Term.)
    She had licenses for Product #2 through October 2009, which she canceled (per Term.)
    At that point, I'm no longer obligated to provide support.

    It's similar to buying Turbotax. You get one year's worth of filings/forms, then need to rebuy a new version of the software next year.
    The difference is, Turbotax is a one-shot, generally single-return program. Ours are not.
    The purchase price for Product #1, let's say, is $1000 for the initial purchase.
    The annual renewal is more like 60-75% of the initial purchase price, depending on the specific product.

    From what I understand from the EULA, my company could go after HER ass for continuing to use the software after her licensed period.

  2. #42
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    I see, you get to shirk most of your responsibilities as a service company to do anything more than help customers over the phone to self-guide themselves while performing their OWN services and still pretend to have an actual product you're selling instead of a semi-automated service. Why pay you for half-assed software when just sending their paper to an accountant for the full-service treatment is probably cheaper and more reliable?

  3. #43
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Quote Originally Posted by Alikat Astrae View Post
    I see, you get to shirk most of your responsibilities as a service company to do anything more than help customers over the phone to self-guide themselves while performing their OWN services and still pretend to have an actual product you're selling instead of a semi-automated service. Why pay you for half-assed software when just sending their paper to an accountant for the full-service treatment is probably cheaper and more reliable?
    She was the accountant. She shirked her duties to continue to pay for her subscription (which includes support and reinstallation).

    It's like car insurance. If I were to stop paying for my insurance, I wouldn't expect to be covered if I got in an accident.

  4. #44
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    but your car still starts?

  5. #45
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    You may not like it, but that kind of EULA is pretty common in professional grade high end software. Just off the top of my head I know it exists for stock systems, real estate, legal references, medicine, and architecture. Pretty much any field that has a library of data coming out every year. The alternative is to hire a group of minions and lease a large enough space to have your own library on hand.
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  6. #46
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Quote Originally Posted by Alikat Astrae View Post
    but your car still starts?
    Right. Currently we have no capability to cause software to cease working when the subscription period has expired.
    So the software still works. Great - it needs to (IRS regs I think? I'm not sure.).
    There have been situations where users have moved over to a competitor (or have moved from a competitor to us) and have needed to access older returns for audits, and (I think by law, I'm not sure) we have needed to grant access to an expired license (especially in the case of moving the software to a functioning system.). Typically there is a nominal fee, but there's this long legalese contract that states something like "you are going to use this temporary re-initialization of your license for the single purpose of auditing X client file".

    I remember getting a call from one company who paid that fee, we helped them get set up to access the old data, they called back 3 months later having still used the software to generate further returns (separate from the original, contracted client data) and they were charged retroactively.

  7. #47
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Quote Originally Posted by Schezar View Post
    You may not like it, but that kind of EULA is pretty common in professional grade high end software. Just off the top of my head I know it exists for stock systems, real estate, legal references, medicine, and architecture. Pretty much any field that has a library of data coming out every year. The alternative is to hire a group of minions and lease a large enough space to have your own library on hand.
    With tax software, isn't that "library" essentially the federal and state tax codes themselves? As with my current company's financial data services, we provide them using datasets such as FDHA databases supplied by the federal government on disc for a nominal fee. But then again, we don't rip people off by offering our service as do-it-yourself software, we provide our customers with accounts to access secure web front ends and we also supply large arrays of computers to run their queries on, invisibly to our customers at the back end. All they know is that they input their question's parameters and they get their answer right away, or else one of us WILL be awoken from our beds at any hour by cell phone to repair whatever needs repairing.

    But what you guys seem to provide is a tiny part of that service, and a load of expectations that your customers will pick up your slack. Lousy service, dude. Your company's business model sucks donkey balls.

  8. #48
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Well, my company doesn't sell software so I'll assume you mean Mileron there. I was just pointing out that for quite a few fields that kind of software with that kind of EULA is the norm. Hell, if you call Microsoft's tech support for any reason whatsoever you better have a paid contract or a credit card handy.
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  9. #49
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Back on topic:

    hi there,

    i have a favicon to add to domainiamtoostupidtomanage.com and the subdomains. how do i go about this?

    thanks
    brett
    Seriously?? You are too fucking stupid to google this?

    And fuck you Ali for bring lmgtfy.com to my attention. Now it is a constant temptation.

  10. #50
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Quote Originally Posted by Schezar View Post
    Well, my company doesn't sell software so I'll assume you mean Mileron there.
    Yeah, I did.

    And I am not talking about providing free tech support on the phone, I am talking about not locking you out of a reinstallation of some software you probably paid thousands for.

  11. #51
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Quote Originally Posted by Eremius View Post
    And fuck you Ali for bring lmgtfy.com to my attention. Now it is a constant temptation.
    Muhuhahahahaha! EVILE!

  12. #52
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Quote Originally Posted by Alikat Astrae View Post
    With tax software, isn't that "library" essentially the federal and state tax codes themselves?
    Yes, however, you have a choice - you can reference a dozen or more books to get the information you need, or you can use our software to do a lot of it for you.
    You still need to do the entries of stocks/bonds/securities/etc to get the shit onto the form, though.

    But what you guys seem to provide is a tiny part of that service, and a load of expectations that your customers will pick up your slack. Lousy service, dude. Your company's business model sucks donkey balls.
    I'm not going to argue about it with you. Your opinion is your own. Your assumptions about what my immediate company does or the products it provides are incorrect.
    And I'm not going to give more specific examples because I don't want to identify my parent company any more than I already have. It's just that big.

    Just take my posts to this thread as all the others - stupid customers not listening to the tech who knows what he's doing - and leave it that.

    Thanks.

  13. #53
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    I'm getting the feeling that Mileron works for the company that bought mine out and canned us all, sending me to grad school!

  14. #54
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Quote Originally Posted by Mileron View Post
    And I'm not going to give more specific examples because I don't want to identify my parent company any more than I already have. It's just that big.
    I worked for a company that did that *and* had the ability to lock the software entirely *AND* the only person that could re-activate the license was the single head developer *~AND~* it regularly broke it's own licensing scheme and stopped working when you had a valid, current, paid-up license *~*AND*~* when it quit working the single major most-important function for every company that had the software was completely unavailable until the developer got around to dialing in or getting someone over there with an internet connection.

    As you can imagine, this was a severe pain, especially as some of the clients who purchased the software had contracts with the U.S. Government and couldn't let any of their machines with this data on it have access to the WAN.

    It got to the point where every one of the on-site IT Techs and the software support people had individual lists of unique keys that they had to try one-by-one (255 character string - hand entering only) until one of them worked, then manually update a master list via e-mail or ftp.

    The reason the app broke it's own licenses so often (we're talking multiple times a week here)? The database storing the information for each copy of the application (local to each application server) had NO PRIMARY KEYS AND NO TABLE RELATIONSHIPS. The developer decided to let the binary handle it all and then left the sa username and password as cleartext in the registry.




    God, I got out of that place SO FREAKING FAST that I almost lit the floor on fire when the official notification came out that the licensing scheme was "complete" and "no further changes to the licensing system were slated at this time.".

    $3,000 a license and it had to run on quad core servers with at least 3 gigs of ram but would NOT run on a 64 bit OS and each location needed at least one copy for each device managed by it and the devices ran from $20,000 to $100,000 a pop.
    For copyright purposes, all of my posts are covered under the "Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License"
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  15. #55
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    The SMTP server “<domain.com>” rejected the password for user “(null)” Please re-enter your password, or cancel.

    my computer is requesting the above.... what is the password for this?


    Friday night! Time for stupid to rear its ugly head!

  16. #56
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Oh, the password for the "(NULL)" account is the square root of negative one.

  17. #57
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Quote Originally Posted by Alikat Astrae View Post
    Oh, the password for the "(NULL)" account is the square root of negative one.
    Passwords must be more than one character so i doesn't qualify.

  18. #58
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Express i in binary then. There are 10 kinds of people, those who express their numbers in binary, and those who don't.

  19. #59
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Quote Originally Posted by Alikat Astrae View Post
    Express i in binary then.
    No.

  20. #60
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    Re: Tales from Techsupport

    Quote Originally Posted by Alikat Astrae View Post
    Express i in binary then.
    1101001

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