I got a pop up advertisement after visiting a web site (can't recall which one). It advertised for 24 hour on line tech support. Recently, my local tech support fellow became unavailable and they advertised themselves as Microsoft certified so I called them to find out about the service. , I called and spoke to a South Asian man. He suggested that he have one of his tech people have a look at my computer by using the run function in the OS and by typing in prefetch. To make a long story short, the tech claims to have found a bunch of problems and to fix them I could purchase a lifetime service contract for $199.00. I declined. When he hung up I found t hat my entire desk top had disappeared. OK, I figured this was a system of the service and I rebooted only to find the same problem. So, I clicked on the little icon that had been installed on my computer (this was the only thing on my desktop that was visible). I spoke to another South Asian man and explained the situation. He claimed that his records showed I had never been in contact with them but he'd be willing to take a remote look at my computer. Using the same process (run function and prefetch), he said he found a bunch of serious problems and that if I bought a life time service contract for $250 they could resolve my problems. I was in the middle of working on a report so I paid them. I was transferred to a tech support man (South Asian) and about 10 minutes later my desk top was back. Tech support claimed to have removed various viruses and spyware. I then asked him to take a look at Outlook as I was having a problem. I explained the problem. 15 minutes or so later, he came back to the phone and said he fixed the problem. Cool. But why did my desk top disappear after the first time I spoke with them? When I checked I discovered that my Outlook problem was in fact not repaired. This was a very strange experience. Today I got a nice post card in the mail thanking me for purchasing their support services and that I should check my e-mail for a welcome folder, which contains important information (if they sent me something I haven't seen it).
I should be more cynical but I prefer giving people the benefit of doubt but frankly, I'm not sure if my first call didn't set up the problem that required my second call and the ultimate purchase of their tech support plan. The fact that a MS certified tech support person was unable to fix an MS Outlook problem seems odd to me and raises questions as to this firm's honesty. After this experience I certainly wasn't going to request further tech support from them. The last thing I need is a company that creates problems only they can fix. My solution is to complain when I get my credit card bill because I don't believe I actually bought anything but a headache.