Well, I finally got my first dissatisfied customer.
A lady needed help re-installing ADSL internet, after a PC rebuild. She didn’t have her adsl password, so I just got the isp to reset the password.
End of story (so I thought).
I get called back a few days later (she used incredimail before the pc rebuild & really liked it) saying she doesn’t like outlook express & needs to have the outlook details entered into incredimail (which she installed herself).
No problem, I copy the details across, & while I’m there, she is happy for me to install my anti-spyware software and disable outlook express, so she can only view existing messages, but not send or receive new emails. She doesn’t have the full payment, so I let it slide, & she says that the remainder will be waiting for me next time I’m passing by.
I pass by 2 days later & she asks if I can take a quick look at a printing problem. Printing from incredimail only seems to print a “screenshot”… ie the to & from fields, a scroll bar, and only part of a message.
I notice the printer has been re-installed a few times & she complains about how intrusive winpatrol is… and how outlook express is still active.
What? I had put false pop & smtp server names into OE, so there is no way it can still be active. I take a look & I can see OE has about 4 emails sitting in the outbox (but not sent). Obviously someone mistakenly wrote those emails in OE instead of incredimail. I try to subtly hint at this. Hint is probably too subtle, as there is no acknowledgement by the customer.
I leave OE, disable winpatrol, & focus on shittymail incredimail. But it has no print preview & doesn’t have much in the configuration/customisation area.
I reboot, to see if maybe winpatrol was somehow preventing incredimail from doing things it shouldn’t be allowed to do…
Wait 2 minutes at the shutdown screen before using the power button to force a switch off.
Wait 3 – 4 minutes at the xp startup screen, before realising that there is no disk activity, but also no login screen (just the XP bar moving across the screen).
Great… just what I don’t need (car is acting up, its 4:30 & I was trying to get to the mechanic by 5:00… that won’t happen now). I restart in safe mode & disable all startup programs (from the startup folder & from the registry). But the system will not boot into normal windows mode…
Anyway, she wonders aloud about just how experienced I really am & she is not at all happy about what I have done (and what she has paid). I offer to fix the computer overnight & bring it back to her the next morning, but she refuses. So all I can do is give her a full refund, and apologise … although I didn’t do anything that could have caused the computer to behave like it did. She “knows” I’m the only one to have worked on the computer, and so it must be me, since it was working perfectly when I connected the ADSL internet.
I didn’t mention that she installed the printer drivers & incredimail… it would just inflame the situation.
The next morning she sends an email saying that the computer started normally that morning & that there are no hard feelings. (and maybe I should carry a database of all known computers with me, so that I can fix these sort of problems).
From now on, I won’t work on systems that have incredimail (except to remove it like any other spyware infestation).