Thursday, February 28, 2008

Auto Insurance Fraud

For the past two months, I have been getting calls on my cell phone about my warrenty getting ready to expire. It's an automated message. I don't know how they got my number, but it's very annoying at this stage. (502) 894-0098 is the number I last traced. People here have all been complaining about it. Interestingly, this number has the following listing on a website:

Weight Loss Plus 291 N Hubbards Ln #A33 Louisville, KY 40207-2295 502-894-0098

The problem is these scammers have yet to be caught. Obviously their business practices aren't very ethical if they constantly call a couple times a week. That's not the characteristic of someone wanting to do business, that's the characteristic of someone wanting to get your money unlawfully. This article on MSNBC claims their operations extend beyond cell phone calls. An interesting exchange one person had was as follows:

Rep: What is the make and model of your vehicle?
Me: Jeep, what is the name of your company?
Rep: I will tell you, what is your model?
Me: What is the name of your company?
Rep: F-you. (hangs up)

As if that wasn't bad enough, here's an even more interesting story from someone else:

I immediately went to the second option to talk to someone. Guy with the southern accent answered and asked for my info. I said I just want to be taken off the database, etc. He asked for my info again and just gave it to him because i wouldn't have gotten anywhere. Then I played this game with some a-hole who kept insisting to give me details about my car. I kept asking to just be taken off the list, at least 10 times, literally. Finally I said ok, a little suggestion. Give "customers" whether they're customers or not what they want. What I want is to be taken off and that I'd just hang up. "Well sir I'm just trying to see what I can do for you it's very easy to take your name out but let's see if I can get you a warranty. And God gave you the free will to hang up any time you want" I told him off and he said wow sir, I just had an epiphany, you're right, I went all those years to school but I should have just come to you. I'll take your name off the list right away"....Literally a 7 minute struggle.

I'll be dialing *57 from now on to report it directly to the police. If you have been getting this call, you should do the same. Also, here's a list of other numbers with the same message that have dialed my cell phone:

(240) 210-7101
(978) 570-2338
(800) 111-1114
(562) 289-8136
(973) 668-1868

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

QuickBooks POS Program Bug

Ever used QuickBooks Point of Sale and found that some of your inventory is wrong for some strange reason? Ever have to pay $50 for tech support only to be told it's all your fault, even though you can't possibly see how it can be? This is a common problem with QBPOS users that Intuit seems to be ignoring. Through investigating the matter, I have concluded the problem lies within the QBPOS program code itself.

The QBPOS holds two copies of every bit of information in the database. When you make changes to the database and save, a copy of the old data is created within the database. It works like a backup, and perhaps that's the purpose of having two copies. However, flaws in the program's code can cause this old data to overwrite the new data. Nobody can know for sure exactly what makes the program do this except for Intuit's programmers. Unfortunately, Intuit doesn't seem to be too connected to their customers. Nobody wants to pay a big tip to get tech support who, by the way, would know nothing about the problem. They're job is to assume it's something you're doing. It's not.

This bug is a serious problem for companies that want to maintain an accurate point of sale system, but continue to see their data being manipulated incorrectly by the program itself. The part that makes this worse is Intuit knows about this problem. It's been reported by dozens of people on their public forums. The problem has existed in their software for several years, but it has yet to be resolved. Proof of this is a print-out of inventory I have after saving and backing up the data. Days later after the print-out, some prices went back to their old values mysteriously. Try it yourself if you're having issues. It's the only way you can prove there's a problem. Intuit's program doesn't have a "feature" to do this. If you call their tech support, be sure to let them know about this blog post because they're not listening. In the meantime, there are other alternatives to QuickBooks Point of Sale.