Computer Hardware & Software
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"iolo sells a good, solid Windows maintenance program called System Mechanic. It cleans and repairs the registry, does a superb job of defragmenting your hard drives, is a software uninstaller that is much better than the one that comes with Windows. I recommend the package and I did recommend iolo as an excellent company--until now. The product is excellent but I warn you here about their business practices, which appear to have changed significantly in 2011. You never truly know a business until it slides into hard times. That honest, reliable plumber or auto garage can suddenly go dishonest when the owner has two kids in college, gets into a drug or gambling habit, leaves the wife for a wild young thing or the business passes to the spoiled, overindulged children. The wise consumer must ever be alert! I purchased & used System Mechanic updates for several years. I always paid each year for updates as my expiration date neared. Over two years ago, I was offered a serious discount if I bought two years of updates. I accepted the offer. Shortly afterward, I stopped using System Mechanic as I evolved to using Linux 99% of the time, using Windows when I have no other choice. I always hated the giant monopoly but the horrible Windows Vista was the final straw for me.Recently, I noticed an unauthorized iolo charge to my Visa card for System Mechanic. I don't even have the program on my Windows 7 computers! I called what is supposed to be a customer service number that iolo lists with card companies. I got a answering machine and was very quickly given another customer service number. In my experience, when stand up companies try to slide automatic renewals on people they make it easy, for the few who check their credit card bills, to call and have them revoke the "for your convenience" unauthorized charge.When you get a run around phone number on your bill near the charging parties name, that usually means a run around will follow. I called Visa and had to close my account as compromised card and have a new card and number issued.If you decide you want system mechanic, do not use your credit card or a personal check. Pay by money order. In today's corrupt climate, using a check or a credit card on Internet is akin to granting power of attorney over your account. By the way, authorizing anyone to auto charge your credit card, Debit Card, or personal checking account is very unwise. You grant them the power to make withdrawals from your account. Ethical government would require business to explain this to consumers. Businesses (a lot do it anymore) that make auto charges to your account without signature permission from you should face criminal charges just as you would if you used someone else's credit card. And voters should remove from office every politician who reversed security responsibility from the financials and reworded it "identity theft". Make them return to issuing credit card accounts ONLY in person and with two pieces of photo identification and return to making merchants ID every use of credit cards and checking signatures. Identity theft has always existed but until this century, securing against what is called identity theft today was the responsibility of businesses, not individual consumers. By the way, I find the free CCleaner ( you can download it from: download.cnet.com) does the job just as well as System Mechanic anyway. CCleaner is so good its reduced the price point and sales for programs like System Mechanic"
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