I had intended to get a blog post up today, but instead spent all of yesterday evening trying to get a technical support phone number for Symantec (Ireland), one of the many US multinationals that benefit from Ireland’s undemanding (for them) tax system. They are just down the road in Ballycoolin, I think.
I updated a version of Norton 360 a while back, but had inadvertently clicked on a trial version for something else which I could not subsequently cancel from my account.
They already had my credit card details from ordering the full version, so I got a bit nervous when I started reading terms like “opt-out trialware” in relation to some of their products. This means you have to physically cancel the order or they will “opt” to charge you for it.
Anyway, I was probably being a bit paranoid, but thought I would give their support line a shout and be sure that they cancelled the trial version of the software I did not want, or assure me I wouldn’t get hit with a charge for it in the next week or two.
I spent the rest of the evening looking for a phone number. Nothing.
On one occasion, I jumped through a whole series of virtual loops – in the shape on online forms – to get a promised phone number with a enquiry tag which purported to alert the techies of queries in advance.
After what seemed like an eternity, and the onset of repetitive strain injury in my wrists and fingers, I got a phone number. Beside it, there was a picture of a plasticky looking guy with an insincere smile. His name, apparently, was Nathan.
All that was bad enough, but imagine how I felt when I realised that Nathan's number was some kind of special-rate US one? One that you could not call from this country, despite me having obtained it through the Irish support "facility"?
What a bloody joke. These organisations make “faceless” seem like intimate carnal knowledge. Nathan's smug, JPEGed, countenance is the nearest you get in that regard.
I’m still none the wiser after spending the whole evening farting around on my PC. But rest assured, I will be taking an extra interest in my bank statements over the next week or two.
Only problem there is, who do I call if I find my bank account is 80 Euro lighter? Nathan won't be any help.
Maybe just as well, you just know he’d only say “Sorry, we really value your custom, sir, but we can’t help you. Have a nice day.”
Blow it out your ass, Nathan.
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