I have been a loyal customer of Iolo Technologies for many years. I have repeatedly purchased their System Mechanic Pro (internet suite type) product over the years. The only reason I ever purchased their product was the free phone support. This service was good several years back, but it has gotten steadily worse in recent years. For instance, it used to be based in the U.S., but is based in India now. The reps there have the usual language barrier issues and also lie when you ask them where they are based--they say Los Angeles. I can not stand being lied to. Of course they all say their name is Fred or Bill or James or something. But these are minor issues compared to the abysmal service they provide. Their only answer for any problem which they don't immediately understand is "uninstall and re-install". This is the modern version of "du-uhh--just reboot sir". Of course it doesn't work if the software is conflicting with something else or is buggy. Twice this year I have been promised I would receive a callback by what they call "Advanced Tech Support". Not once has that occurred!! When you ask them for a supervisor they lie and say that they don't have one--not that he/she is "unavailable and will call you back or pick-up the phone when they become available"--no, they say "THEY DON'T HAVE ONE"!?! Who, in their right mind, do they expect would believe that they don't have supervisors??? Of course they do--the probable truth is that THEIR supervisors are the managers of the call center itself--not technical wizards who could actually fix your problems. So, in a sense what they say is true, they don't have USEFUL managers--who actually can help you. Their customer service is located in the U.S. BUT is of no use either. You can't get any technical support from them and can't get hold of their managers either. I waited on hold for over an hour for one of their customer services managers, and he never picked up. He sent me an email telling me he couldn't take my call and then never responded to any of my subsequent emails. I gave them a three day deadline to call me by, or lose my business, and the business of my family (who buy on my advice). Amazingly, I still hadn't heard from them a week later. Over a week ago, I sent another email, addressed to the President of Iolo Technologies, telling him that they had lost my business permanently unless they had a very good reason for not contacting me (or words to that effect--by which I meant fire, flood, plague of locusts etc). To this date I haven't heard anything--not even an apology for their unbelievably bad customer service.
Their product is mediocre at best and conflicts with my anti-spyware program (I'm pretty sure anyway--no way of knowing tho since they won't call). Their anti-virus updates are less frequent than most of their competitors (from what I've read)--only once every day or so and none on weekends. The updates for everything else come only every few months, which is unbelievable!! They also drop features out of the product at will (that you PAID FOR ALREADY!!)--whenever they feel like it!! Sometimes they put them back a few months later--sometimes they don't--you have no control and can not depend on keeping the features that you've already paid for.
Their feature set is muddled and is designed to look like you are getting more than you paid for. By this I mean that there are many "cleanup features" that SHOULD be combined together (and ARE on other products of this type that I've had) but aren't. In particular, there are two Internet cleaner tools that appear to have no discernible reason to be separate from each other, except that they pad the feature set. The "PC Totalcare" and "System Analysis" tools also appear to be the same thing with two different names-again to pad the feature set. At any rate they are, at least almost the same, and are probably EXACTLY the same. They don't explain how they are different from each other (if they even are) any more than the "internet cleaner" tools do. Additionally these two, seemingly "comprehensive" all-in-one tools, do not seem to do the same level of "in depth" clean-up processes that the tools in the "Individual Tools" section do if ran one at a time. Or such is my impression, given that you can run them and then run the "Individual Tools" and you will see that the Individual Tools still have "tasks to do". Which means that Systemworks "comprehensive tools" are not really totally comprehensive. And furthermore, you cannot "pick and choose" which of those tools to use, since you don't need to use all of them every single time-there are no check boxes on the (so-called) comprehensive tools to enable or disable their various parts, or to set various preferences. Also those "all in one" tools" say they take 5-7 minutes to run, but, on my modern dual core 2.4 ghz 4gig RAM machine (with nothing else of any consequence running) they always take a half hour or more.
The "Find Duplicate Files" scanner is useless since it doesn't tell you what to delete and what not to. In fact their "Help Page" on this very subject tells you blandly that it can't help you (the tech twerps emailed me that page after telling me they were going to email me something to help me with the problem of having no idea which files I should delete)--thanks for absolutely nothing guys!! By the time I got the email, I was off the phone and out of their lives (which they knew would be the case I'm sure). Ended up just quitting the utterly useless "Duplicate File" finder program--we found 'em--so what--don't know what to do with 'em now?? I'm not deleting something that may cause a problem if I do! Iolo's brain dead geeks should KNOW this!! You'd have to be a programmer to know which duplicate files were ok to delete and which ones weren't--in which case, I can assure you, you would NOT need this product. They are such idiots!! I had a competitor product MANY YEARS AGO which TOLD ME which duplicate files I could delete and which I could not. AND you could delete them all at once (or one at a time). Iolo makes you delete them one at a time--I guess that's on the theory that if you just delete them SLOW ENOUGH, the knowledge that you don't have in the first place about which files are safe to delete, will have time to make it's way from that place in your brain where it doesn't exist, to that place in your brain where decisions are made on the basis of no information at all, which will then work your fingers magically, in the absence of conscious thought, to do something manually--THAT THE d**n PROGRAM SHOULD KNOW HOW TO DO AUTOMATICALLY!!!
The "Remove Installed Programs" program....doesn't work....at all. If Control Panel can remove it--MAYBE it can. But if Control Panel can't, NEITHER can System Mechanic (in my experience)--which negates any usefulness for that so-called "feature". I have programs on my desktop right now (and stuck elsewhere) that are half there and half gone and can't be removed, short of buying a new competitor program to (hopefully) remove them. I could begin to deal with all that (tho I see no reason why I should) IF ONLY they had good, U.S. based technical and customer service.
I'm going to PC Tools. I have one of their products (Spyware Doctor w/Threatfire) and EVERY TIME I have called I have promptly gotten a (VERY!) knowledgeable technical rep--and guess what, he's in the U.S. That's the way Iolo USED to be--but no more. Caveat Emptor--Let the buyer beware!!