It all started a little over a month ago when I, for whatever reason, decided to download the free trial version of WinZip. I had heard about the company and figure that maybe they have some bells and whistles that I want to use so I downloaded the trial. The trial has now expired and although the program did it’s job just fine I noticed no real difference from when before I had started the trial. And for that reason I choose not to pay the $30 for the full version especially when I already have a file extractor program on the computer. WinRar came installed on my computer so I figured I’ll just go back to using that.
And then all hell broke loose. I try to uninstall WinZip using the Start/Control Panel/Programs and Features/Uninstall and I cannot because there is a missing file it seems. So I search the computer for ‘winzip_en’ and it is no where to be found. So then I figure OK I’ll just re-install the trial version and that should put back the missing file right? Not so much. It won’t let me reinstall the program because I have, you guessed it, that same missing file.
Well I guess it’s not that big of a deal because I can always just use WinRar right? No. Not so easy there. It seems that program is somehow not installed on the computer anymore. It seems that WinZip has completely taken over all my file extraction needs. But… I cannot use the program because the trial has expired. And I cannot install the program nor can I uninstall the program. Nor can I use the program I used to use because it does not seem to be on the computer. It seems that after spending way too much time trying to figure out how to solve this problem, there are a few ways I can fix this issue. I could probably find some sort of fix the problem program which will either cost me money or be loaded with a bunch of malware that I will eventually have to deal with as well, or I could go down to the Geek Squad and pay them or I can simply pay the $30 and get the full version of WinZip. But eff them for extorting me for $30.
The same thing happened last year with PowWeb, my web host provider. One day I got an email from them saying that I had viruses on some of my files.
“So can you guys help me clean it?”
“No. Well we can but it cost $150 for us to clean up your files. The other option is you can join up with our antivirus partner who, for a mere $90 a year, will monitor all of your websites and keep them all squeaky clean.”
“And what if I don’t?”
“Well then we will just take your websites that are infected off-line.”
“OK then, so what if I fix the files myself?”
“Well you can certainly do that.”
“Well then can you show me where the infected files are?”
“No we cannot do that there are too many of them.”
So in the end after spending many, many, too many hours trying to fix the problem myself I went ahead and paid the PowWeb extortion fee of $90. Suddenly all my stuff seems to magically be fine again. And even after I pay the extortion fee for the next couple weeks I was getting an email from them almost every day saying “You know, you really might want to consider upgrading to the next level of service blah blah blah.”
I think these companies prey on different types of people. There are the types of people who just do not know how to fix the issue and end up going to the Geek Squad or having their friends fix the issue and there is the other type of person who I believe the companies are actually hoping to snag. They are the types of people who will just simply pay the extortion fee. I have already spent three hours trying to fix this WinZip problem. Even at minimum wage rates that is close to $30 that I just could pay and get this all over with.
Unless of course one of you knows how to fix the problem and can be bribed with fudge or cookies that I will mail to you. But then that is probably breaking some sort of law by sending food items across state lines. Damned if I do damned if I don’t. All I want to do is unzip some bloody files and not get taken advantage of by The Man.
Do you know how to fix this little problem of mine?
Let me know in the comments.