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The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter
Ponder, Scribble, Ponder (Photo Erdotahi Aron)

Guest Nutter/Kindred Soul: Bill Bailey


Monday, 22 September 2008

Runaware? Runasleep!

6th August 2008. For some reason I was thinking about trying another online trial of Microsoft Office 2007 and found myself here at a site apparently belonging to "Runaware" - except that it looks like Microsoft. It looks good... maybe I should trust it. Ha! I wasn't born yesterday. We shall check the site identity...

Except that "This website does not provide any identity information" according to Firefox, and when I think about downloading I am offered "TestDriveWizard-v1.4.4.exe" from http://a4156g.akamai.net.

So... someone who can't establish who they are thinks that because they have "Microsoft" slapped all over their webpage I am going to allow some random download (from yet another site)? (Yes, I know who akamai are but so what?)

No thanks... but feeling decidedly suspicious, I think... phishy people are sloppy people... let's see what else there is to reassure or raise further doubts.

Checked the "Privacy" link... where I find such beauties as...

Control of Your Personal Information
Except as otherwise described in this statement, personal information you provide on the Site will not be shared outside of Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates without your permission

Insert description of any mechanism available for users to excercise [sic] choices regarding secondary uses of personal information. These include contact preference questions, the inclusion of unsubscribe language in promotional e-mail, etc.


Changes to This Privacy Statement
We may occasionally update this privacy statement. When we do, we will also revise the "last updated" date at the top of the privacy statement.

...of course there is no "last updated" date at the top...


"Microsoft" may also "collect information about" "the pages that you access while at the Site"

Notice not "pages on this site" that you access, but "pages you access while at the site" - which is carte blanche to go snooping around my browsing. No thank you. I Object - none of your damn business! Keep out of my browser except for the purposes of the "testdrive".

So, like a decent chap, I do send an email to the offered email address in a suitable tone (suitable for dealing with an idiot or a phisher - or both) saying basically...

Insert statement of deep suspicion about data collection and the need to run an executable from a site that does not provide any identity information (and hence cannot be verified) and hence decision to completely ignore the test drive. So, Runaware is an (unsubstantiatable) "Microsoft Vendor" - what does that mean? All very phishy…

Insert statement of intention to publicly humiliate by any means including but not limited to blog, email etc. whoever Runaware may be unless appropriate action taken immediately

And guess what - 6 weeks later absolutely nothing has changed (and there was no reply either)

See? They really are well organised, efficient, professional, caring Microsoft affiliates/providers/whatever after all!

If after 6 weeks you can't correct your mistakes once they have been pointed out for you, you don't deserve to be in business.

And if having incompetence, stupidity, negligence implied is not enough to send you shame-faced to your website, then just wait till either Microsoft notice and choose another partner or your own shareholders take notice and bring a class action suit for the all business you have thrown away.

Mind you, don't know why I bother... look at these shoes, only had them three weeks and already they're falling apart...

Pointless Stuff


Mr Stuff said...

You're welcome, Jayson... the email went to testdrive@runaware.com - by clicking on the link you provided.

I'm glad I received a reply eventually... even though I addressed my "complaint" to Microsoft through a "pure" Microsoft website.

OK - e.g. google doesn't identify itself either, but they're not offering downloads.

If MS gave you the privacy statement etc. then I suggest you should have a good shout at them... but someone should have read the provided material etc. before accepting it.

Mr Stuff said...

(This was Jayson's reply... edited to remove his email address... can't trust those spambots....)

Thank you for trying our TestDrive service. We apologize if you had emailed us with no response. We are a contracted service provider of Microsoft, the branding, privacy statement, etc were all provided by and approved by Microsoft. We have very little leeway in this manner.

I read your post and took some notes, I will see if we can do anything about our information not showing up in FireFox and if there is a way we can improve the privacy statement.

If you let me know which email you sent your information to, I'll have the mailbox checked so we don't miss this again.

Jayson Gehri