Category Archives: Microsoft

Only Child says Dell Canada came through with Windows 7 problem

Laptop 18-433930798Sometimes big companies do come through with providing good service and with a staffer who not  only knows what he or she is doing but is also polite and professional.

So, after the runaround with Dell Computers, Canada Branch a few weeks back to extend my laptop lease on a month to month basis for up to a year, and get the service warranty connected to it extended, it was a surprise and relief when I actually had to use the current warranty to get a malfunctioning part in Windows 7 fixed. Yes, that is covered by my warranty, so no extra charge. Like many people with Windows 7, the Check for Updates function  on my laptop got stuck in an endless loop. I only hit that button because the regular daily check had stopped working the week before the monthly Microsoft updates.  There were also some Dell software updates that needed installing and perhaps they might be interfering here.

So I used my warranty and the Dell Support Assistant on my laptop to get to the contact info for Technical Support and phoned them. The first person took down the basic particulars, then transferred me to someone else who got the info on the problem then transferred me to an actual technical support person. This might seem like a runaround, but it all took under five minutes with no wait time for each call.

The fellow who helped me was Raj. He explained what he was doing and got my permission to access my computer remotely, taking me through each step. I also had him download and install Internet Explorer 11 in case that was needed to download Windows 7 updates. First, I told him I wanted to see if the other stuff opened the way for the update function to work.

It didn’t. But the email Raj sent me (all technicians do this after a session) with the Service No. also had the line that if I still had problems related to that service no. to get back to him.

Next day I did and suggested a time for him to call me. He did at the requested time and he got to work with the Windows 7 problem again with my permission using their program to access my computer and keeping me informed about what was going on.  And he did use Internet Explorer 11 for this.  After awhile he said this would be taking longer so he would put me on chat and we could stop the phone call. This gave him a chance to work on my computer problem (and maybe a few others’ computer problems that weren’t so complex) and me to go on to other things on my desktop computer.

The whole thing took around three and a half hours (I also had time to cook dinner in the oven and eat it). When I saw the laptop shutting down and rebooting and then put in my password to connect to Windows 7 and then saw the familiar updates available logo instead of the loopy Check for Windows updates, I cheered and got back to Raj with a thank you. And let him know he could close the remote connection and close the chat.

Of course being the partial computer Luddite that I am, I didn’t think to restart the computer again to clear, so when I clicked on the download and install updates – it didn’t do it. So I shut down the laptop.

I left it for a few days and when I turned on the laptop yesterday, opened the Windows Update box and hit the download and install button, it worked. And yes, I emailed Raj’s manager (there is a link in the email for that) and gave a good report on Raj and how much he helped me with the laptop software problems.

I don’t know what exactly was the block to Windows updates, but as mentioned above it is now common on laptops since last year when Microsoft started pushing Windows 10 on everyone with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. As Windows guru Woody Leonhard says, Microsoft wants us to upgrade to Windows 10, not do updates to Windows 7, yet Microsoft is supporting Windows 7 until 2020. It is still 2016.

Bill Gates, now a philanthropist, is probably glad he is no longer with Microsoft. People used to take his name in vain when he was. But the powers that be that took over from him are missing something – like they don’t seem to know or grasp the true philosophy of customer service. Maybe they should take a lesson from the Dell Canada technical support system.

Would like comments on others dealings with Microsoft  in particular.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

 

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Filed under Dell Canada, Help and Support, Life demands, Microsoft, Only child, Technology problems

Only Child says beware telephone fraudsters

telephone_rotaryWhen I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s the worst telephone problems were wrong numbers, kids playing tricks with possibly the odd harrassing call. The funniest one my Mom, Dad and I received was from someone calling for a taxi. We weren’t a taxi company but we had almost the same phone number as the cab company, except for one number. The taxi calls were annoying but not dangerous.

Not so nowadays. Telephone fraud is running rampant. Sometimes I think it gets forgotten with all the online scams and frauds. But phone fraud is real and sometimes  connected to your computer.

We seniors have to be especially vigilant as we are prime targets for these fraudsters. I am a former journalist with a jaded suspicious outlook on life, so I am vigilant. And angry when these buggers call me. Often it is a recorded message – even when you mistakenly pick it up and don’t let it go to voice mail.

The past week it has been two calls in particular – coming repeatedly during each day.

One is the fake Canada Revenue Agency call that if you don’t call them back you could be arrested. If you call the number they will want you to pay thousands of dollars and they use the arrest threat. I haven’t called them back because I had heard of this scam before. In fact my friend across the street was getting them last week too (do they target by geographic region?) and after four calls he phoned the Toronto Police Services. So beware calls from this number with the message to call the same number back 855-888-5927. This is not the CRA. I haven’t called the police yet because my online research shows they and other regulatory organizations are well aware of this fraud and this number.

The second call (again recorded) claims to be from the CIBC (bank), a Mississauga, Ontario branch and the caller (a woman) even has the nerve to state “this is not a scam.” But the kicker, what alerted me was the start of the call  where it mentions the name of the person they are contacting. It wasn’t my name and the name was inserted into the recorded message. They gave a reference number (8581721) you are supposed to use when you call them back at 866-751-2167. I didn’t call them back but I did put a complaint (online) into the National Do Not Call list. I also finally put my name and number on their list for those not wishing to be called by Telemarketers – although there are some exceptions of who can still call. And it takes a month to be effective – telemarketers have to update their lists you know.

Third one I’ve been phoned on is the Microsoft computer fraud. First off it is not Microsoft doing this – Microsoft may be guilty of other things, but not this one. I believe the way this fraud/scam works is that after the caller says he is from Microsoft, he tells you there is a problem with your computer and you have to give him your password. I didn’t let the fellow get any farther than stating he was calling from Microsoft. The first one I called him on his scam and he hung up. The second one stayed on the line a bit longer saying “It’s Microsoft.” Not likely. Microsoft doesn’t call you. I finally told him if he didn’t stop calling I’d call the police and I hung up.

What can you do when you get a suspicious phone call?

Never give out any personal information, including passwords.

If you are suspicious, you can hang up – but if you can get their phone number that is even better. Then you can go to http://findwhocallsyou.com/ and type in the phone number. Or chances are there are many more who have complained about the same number. Scroll down their numbers and click on the comments. The fake CRA one is listed.

Call your police department.

If in Canada, there is the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre run jointly by the RCMP, OPP and Federal Competition Bureau.

Get on a national do not call list.

Don’t answer the phone, but take note of the number and time of call. Chances are the most insistent fraudsters will leave a message in your voice mail.

More information on what to do and what not to do is at the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre 

And yes, details about the tax scam is on their site. So are details about other current scams – phone and online and who to report to about them. There is information on how to contact them as well, to report a fraud instance, online or call 1-888-495-8501. The website is updated daily.

Unfortunately we can’t go back to simpler phone times. And if I sound like an old you-know-what longing for past days, you got that right. Our world today is not really nice in many ways. So be vigilant while trying to enjoy what is good – like books, gardens, food, friends and family (not necessarily in that order).

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

Only child prepares to battle telephone fraudsters.

Only child prepares to battle telephone fraudsters.

 

 

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Filed under 1950s, 1960s, Consumerism, Microsoft, Telephone Fraud and Scams

Only Child condemns Microsoft’s Windows 10 marketing

Computer_Assault_2I want to go on record as being 100 per cent opposed to the aggressive marketing Microsoft is doing with its new Windows 10. “Aggressive Marketing” is probably putting it mildly. Many of you with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 have experienced this attack on our computers. Some of you may have wanted to upgrade to Windows 10, but maybe not now. Some of you have had no choice.

The horror stories abide – just Google and get into some of the forums. The one that I think wins the award for most invasive and disrupting someone’s business and its functions is the fellow who was at a conference who turned on his laptop for notetaking and other conference business-related functions. Imagine his shock and surprise when he found Windows 10 downloading and later installing when he didn’t even okay it.

Since the October 2015 monthly Windows updates, the nasty Windows 10 icon has showed up in the updates box. If there are other updates listed you can get into the list of what is available (there is another way which I found by a fluke but can’t remember offhand) and hide it. Earlier this year, in previous monthly update, Windows snuck in an update numbered KB3035583 – details for it were just the usual security update blurbs. No indication that it prepared your computer for Windows 10 download and installation. Before that Microsoft had snuck in a “Get Windows 10 free” connection on your computer toolbar. Apparently, that was supposed to be their okay to do the nasty.

It has been a lot of reading online and trying different things to get the damn Windows 10 upgrade from even showing up in the update box when you click on Windows Update. Woe to you if you have your updates set to automatic and have been just letting Windows do the updates as you shut down your computer. You have to change your Windows Update Settings to “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them.” And hide that KB 3035583 or maybe uninstall (like I had to do) first. Good luck. No guarantee that Microsoft won’t automatically download and install Windows 10 in 2016.

I always went into the Windows Update and checked it out, when the Update (the orange exclamation point) showed up in the Shut Down box). But until I figured out a way to stop it – for now – I was afraid to shut down my computer. In fact, I cancelled going to the doctor’s because of it. You might say this Windows 10 snafu is bad for my health.

This is more than a bad business marketing decision on Microsoft’s part. Microsoft is offering Windows 10 upgrade free to those with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 for a year. It is supposed to be optional? You think? Whoever came up with this marketing idea and those who put it into practice, should be named all over social media. And they should be fired. Because this is not ethical; this is not moral. It is an invasion of our privacy and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was illegal.

I was resigned to having to get Windows 10 when my current leased Dell laptop will run out next October and I leased another laptop. I figured that by then a lot of the bugs new systems get would be fixed (I know, there are always patches). Having lived with Windows 7 a few years back when it first came out and all the weird things that happened – I even had to have Windows 7 re-installed by a professional and that cost a fortune in my books. Now with Microsoft’s bigger than big booboo, I’m changing my plans. No offense to Dell, but I’m switching to a Mac. Ditto when the desktop PC’s lease runs out – but I have over two years for that. Meantime, I hope my son (who is in the computer business and encouraging me to get a Mac) will let me try out his Mac and give me some pointers on the differences in using a Mac and PC.

I bet a lot of others will switch to Macs. Microsoft you really screwed up this time.

Meantime, here are a few links to where I did my research. One of them is the well-known Windows and Office guru Woody Leonhard. I like his wit and knowledge. You can go to his webpage to read his regular postings on Windows and Office here 

The article is appropriately titled

How to clean the Windows 10 crapware off your Windows 7 or 8.1 PC

Here are a few more links, randomly selected, on the subject:

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/214070-how-to-delete-microsofts-unwanted-windows-10-download-files

http://blog.ultimateoutsider.com/

There is lots more – just Google for them.

 

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Computer problems, Consumer action, Life demands, Microsoft, Only child, Problems