On Your Side: Lynda.com Steps Up to the Plate, Missing Vendor, TV Mount Recall

I recently purchased Paint Shop Pro X2 Ultimate from Corel and tried to use the Lynda.com video tutorials that are included with the software, but was unable to find the images used in the tutorials. A Corel representative said it would only provide them only if I paid another $15, which I consider ridiculous. Corel should either put the images on the software CD or tell customers where to find them.

Joyce Turner, Shoemakersville, Pennsylvania

OYS responds: A Corel contact told us that the customer support representative who spoke to Turner misinformed her. Corel does not provide the images used in the Lynda.com videos, even though the videos state that they can be found in a folder on your computer. Lynda.com's Web site does not sell the images independently of a subscription for its tutorials. The $15 fee the reader mentions is what Corel charges for an online training session with one of its own representatives and has nothing to do with the Lynda.com videos.

Regrettably, we've all run into customer service representatives who don't know what they're talking about. If you feel that you're not getting accurate information, ask to speak to a supervisor. Save documentation of your interactions (e-mail or chat logs) so you can show the manager exactly what the representative said and why you don't think you're getting a fair deal. With luck, the company will go out of its way to assist you.

While Corel couldn't help our reader, Lynda.com could: When we brought the situation to the site's attention, it agreed to send her a CD with the image files for the tutorial. Lynda.com officials also said they would be willing to do the same for other customers who receive access to their tutorials via third-party software but are missing exercise files. Simply call the company's toll-free number (888/335-9632) and explain the situation.

Missing in Action: HandHeldItems.com/IGG Factory

Harrison Roday of Richmond, Virginia, contacted us when he was unable to reach customer service at HandHeldItems.com about a botched iPod case purchase. After placing his order on the site, Roday received a notice via e-mail saying that his credit card could not be authorized--but when he checked the account online, he saw the site had in fact charged him for the case. E-mail to a customer service address on the site went unanswered; and when he called the company's customer service phone line, he heard a recorded message stating that the line's inbox was full, after which he was immediately disconnected. We had the same experience. Roday never received his case.

We looked up HandHeldItems.com on the Better Business Bureau's Web site and found that it is owned by a company called IGG Factory. When we pulled up IGG Factory's Web site, Google notified us that IGG Factory is a reported attack site, meaning it will try to install programs that steal private information. Surprisingly, the company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has a satisfactory (C+) rating and lists the same contact information as HandHeldItems.com. But in recent reviews of IGG Factory on Trustlink.org, customers report that they haven't received products they've ordered. OYS recommends researching the company online as we did to see if other customers had similar experiences. If there is a pattern of company nonresponsiveness, call your credit card company to contest the charge. Roday filed a complaint to the BBB and at press time was still awaiting a response.

Product Recall

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Milestone AV Technologies have announced a voluntary recall of Milestone LCD television wall mounts. The wall mount can crack when used with televisions 26 inches and larger, or with sets that include a DVD player. These TVs may then fall from the wall mount, posing a serious risk of injury to persons standing nearby. There have already been 28 incidents of televisions falling from Milestone mounts, though there have been no reported injuries. Sold from Best Buy from June 2007 through December 2008, the recalled mounts are INIT models NT-TVM103 and NT-TVM104. Consumers are encouraged to immediately stop using the wall mounts and contact Milestone at (877) 277-3707 to request a free repair kit.

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