adventures in customer service hell – my parallels story

a little over a couple of months ago i bought a macbook pro and with it a copy of parallels thinking there may be times i need to pop back into windows for this or that (ok ok, the zenzui sdk is still windows only – but not for long).

at any rate; i put off installing it for a bit because i was thoroughly enjoying having a mac again after a 10 year pc hiatus. on a cloudy quiet saturday i decided to open the box and take parallels for a spin.

after a successful install i’m prompted to enter the activation key located on the white cd sleeve. one wee snag: there is no activation key on the cd sleeve, the cd itself, the box, in the manuals or on the little registration postcard.

my journey to activate parallels goes thusly:

1. find customer service number on makers of parallels.

2. an automated message tells me that swsoft customer support does not support parallels, instead i need to go to and call their customer support number.

3. discover via the parallel’s support page that i will be charged $29.99 for my support call.

4. decide to circumvent said charge and call the sales office. after all for me it’s a local call as it’s a redmond, wa number.

5. i get “frank’s” answering machine asking me to leave a message. (i can’t actually remember if it was frank, chuck, or some derivative of the two, but it wasn’t parallels as far as i could tell)

6. call back just to make sure i’m not hearing things.

7. i’m not.

8. flip through the parallels manual and find a number to call on the “don’t forget to register your copy page”

9. call that number and after reaching a human, am told that i need to call the main swsoft support number (refer to #1)

10. my explanation that i’ve tried and failed at #1 gets me nowhere.

11. attempt #1 again, but this time i wait until i get a human.

12. explain to human operator that i am calling in reference to parallels and once again instructed to go to; and as i’m getting ready to hang up i share that all i really need is my stupid activation code.

13. rejoicing was had when i’m told that the ONLY parallels support that swsoft offers is with regards to activation codes. yay! all i need to do is prove my purchase.

14. thankfully i chose to have the apple store email me my receipt at time of purchase so i’m able to email it to my swsoft helper bee.

15. he responds within minutes with an activation code! now we’re getting somewhere.

16. i enter the activation code and hit activate!

adventures in ridiculous

17. *boggles*

18. continues to *boggle*

19. gets a snack.

20. sits on couch slack-jawed and finishes *boggling*

21. e-mails swsoft helper bee

22. four minutes later get another code. no explanation or apologies or sympathy *boggles*. just a code.

23. i hold my breath and enter the new code in.

24. success! parallels is now installed and if i’m ready i can follow up by installing a valid version of windows (be sure to have your activation code nearby)



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