PC Pro magazine

Buyers beware!

Buyers beware!

Written by Richard Adams on Wednesday, 01 April 2015. Posted in Press coverage, PC Pro magazine, Information Technology

This letter was written by Alan Ingram (Technical Director) and published in PC Pro magazine in April 2015 (issue 246, page 30).

For many years, my advice to online buyers has been to purchase with a credit card. This way, if something goes wrong, you have someone on your side who has a legal imperative to refund your money, even if the original vendor disappears.

Now PayPal and Apple are marketing themselves as ubiquitous payment systems for purchases. You can buy anything from anyone, even from physical vendors, using such services – but they aren’t covered by the Consumer Credit Act. Although PayPal highlights its “Buyer Protection”, my experience is that, unless the details of the transaction and procedure you followed fall within its defined small print, you won’t be covered. With credit card transactions, the Consumer Credit Act provides consumer protection first and foremost, with no burden on the consumer to meet any arbitrary requirements.

Will Apple’s new payment-processing system be any more effective in protecting consumers? Until the legislators catch up, people need to be made aware of just what they’re giving away by clicking that seemingly inconsequential option of paying by PayPal!

Read the full letter here.

Scratching the surface

Scratching the surface

Written by Richard Adams on Friday, 01 March 2013. Posted in Press coverage, PC Pro magazine, Information Technology

This letter was written by Alan Ingram (Technical Director) and published in PC Pro magazine in March 2013 (issue 221, page 10).

I read PC Pro and Jon Honeyball’s columns with interest, but his constant criticism of Microsoft (see issue 220, p70), and his love for Apple, seems inappropriate. Microsoft has made mistakes while pioneering an industry – who can forget the Internet Explorer monopoly debacle – but a decade later, Apple exhibits a much greater control over its own devices.

With the Surface RT, Microsoft has done something bold and unexpected. However, rather than praise or even acknowledge this achievement, Honeyball focuses on the absence of macros and its lack of suitability for power users. It’s designed for home and student users, and they won’t care.

For years Honeyball has been a strong advocate of Microsoft preventing unsigned code on Windows, which wipes out legacy apps in one swoop, but now it’s happened because of a change of processor or architecture – and suddenly Microsoft is being “unfair”.

It isn’t worth waiting for the intel-based Surface Pro, either; it will cost twice as much and lack the benefits of lifestyle tablets.

Let’s hope that macros and desktop apps are included in version two but, for the time being, let’s not be churlish; Microsoft has made a unique device that many people like. It’s certainly worth acknowledging that rather than praising Apple for including the new Lightening connector on its iPhones and iPads.

Read the full letter here.

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