Does Customer Support really support?

My computer is 3 years old and so is most of the software I use, which these days actually isn’t all that much. But I’m working with images more than usual now that I’m church webmaster and I decided to upgrade my Adobe Photoshop Elements to the current version. Even bought a helpful book and everything. They arrived yesterday.

I sat down to install the product and immediately ran into problems. Adobe made me be a registered user before I could install and register my software, so I did that. But when the installation got to the part where I was to put in the serial number – I couldn’t find one! There were lots of numbers and even one that looked like a serial number, but it wasn’t. What to do?

Being a savvy geekette, I went to the Adobe customer service forums to see if anyone else had the problem. Several different entries but no real resolution. So next step was to open a chat conversation with tech support. It was, to put it mildly, annoying. I sent a picture of the label on the back of the box with all the numbers. I typed the numbers. I explained the problem. He told me he couldn’t get a serial number out of it. Well, duh.

Then he told me to look at the inner sleeve of the “box” that the disc came in and said the 24-digit serial number was on the sleeve. I took it apart, people, and there was nothing on that sleeve. Nothing. So naturally he told me I needed to report this to Amazon, where I purchased the product. It was Amazon’s fault that the Adobe product they sold didn’t have a serial number on it?  I don’t think so.

But I contacted them anyway. Finding Amazon chat is a little hidden but it’s always been productive and today was no exception. The lovely Christina told me to just send it all back and I would have a replacement tomorrow. Even though I’d dismantled the inner sleeve of the box?  Yes, she said, that’s not a problem.


This is why I will buy from Amazon. Because they support their sales and treat me like someone with a problem, not someone who IS a problem.

Vista or XP?

I’ve been playing around with new laptop configurations because my current toy is behaving oddly and is beyond the extended service period. Naturally those two things come together.

What concerns me is the operating system for a new computer.

My current one runs XP as does the work computer. I know how it behaves and regularly do updates when available. It’s stable and compatible with my software.

New PCs running XP are hard to come by. Dell, which has been my brand of choice, will only sell 2 models of laptops with XP through June 18, 2008. So if I want that, I need to move faster than I had been thinking I needed to go.

If you have a computer running Vista, what do you think of it? Have you had horrible problems with crashes and instability, or does it just work and you can do what you need without lots of computer drama?

Please take a minute to let me know what you think and if I should go for Vista or XP or think it doesn’t matter. Thanks!