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Bad software, bad support

Written by kevin

[updates below]

I’ve not written much about techy, computery stuff recently, but this morning I’m angry.

I’d been looking for a way to keep the numbers on my mobile phone synchronised with my Sony Clie PDA. SonyEricsson’s software would only synchronise with Microsoft Outlook, and I didn’t want to install that huge lump of bad software just to store phone numbers. Instead I found a shareware program called Mobile Master. I tried it out and then paid £18 to register it.

At first it seemed to work fine, synchronising my phone with Palm Desktop and so with my PDA. Then I noticed that it had subtly corrupted my PDA’s address database. All the fields were in the wrong places and people’s surnames had been replaced by some kind of ID code. I reported the problem to Mobile Master’s authors and waited for a reply.

Update: I’ve now received a reply to my problem report and an apology for how long it took. Unfortunately it’s too late as I’ve uninstalled the software and am using Outlook and SonyEricsson’s software.

The worst part of the problem was that the database corruption was only visible on the PDA, everything looking fine in Palm Desktop. To recover I had to restore an old address database from backups and delete the desktop database before synchronising, usually losing a few changes in the process. It’s possible that this was due to a problem with my setup but there’s no way I can fix that without the help of Mobile Master’s authors.

After a while without a reply I downloaded the latest version and tried again. It still corrupted the database. I reported the problem again.

On Monday I bought a new phone, a SonyEricsson K700i, to replace the one that was stolen in Osogbo. It came with their synchronisation software, so I gave in and installed Outlook, everything is now synchronising properly.

I’ve got used to using freeware and free software, where support is usually minimal, but I resent getting no support when I’ve paid for software. Even an acknowledgement that they had received my report would have been a start.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2005 at 09:03 and is filed under tech.

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