Here's what I will be sending to my credit card company as soon as the charge shows up on my account:
I am protesting the charge of $35.10 from Avangate for Reimage on 4-20-2016. I believe I was infected with malware recently when I used Chrome in order to volunteer to make phone bank calls from my home for the Bernie Sanders campaign. The campaign advised me that Internet Explorer doesn’t work so I downloaded and used Chrome, but only for making the calls. I only made a few calls because it just didn’t work for me. I could hear the people but they didn’t always hear me and would just hang up. I have slow speed internet so my MagicJack didn’t work and my prepaid cell from Verizon also didn’t work very well.
Anyway my Internet Explorer web browser started running very slow after that and I was getting popups along with long running scripts. Then I’d get messages that my browser quit working and that Microsoft was searching for a possible solution. As I struggled with this I decided to try the Reimage offer that popped up on my screen that claimed to be a Microsoft partner. The software subscription was good for a year. I got a message that popped up on my screen thanking me for my purchase. I was able to print it out to get the license key and manual software activation instructions. However when I hit the back button or the close button, neither of them would work. I was stuck in their trap. There was this message:
“For Software Activation – Our experienced technicians can help you activate your program immediately. Just call our toll free number NOW 1-877-773-1615!
Our expert technicians will access your computer from a 100% secure and remotely activate your program for you. Call us now at our toll free number!
We will install your program and get it working – 100% Free. “ Notice the grammar “from a 100% secure” what? And the technician had a very thick accent, like Russian.
The technician eventually identified himself as Max H Lee when I asked for his name. He sounded Russian and when I asked where he was he said he was in Ontario, Canada. Per his request I allowed him to remotely access my computer. He said, “don’t move your mouse”. All he wanted to do was get me to approve $199.00 more for 24/7 support. He said “don’t go down the street to get your computer fixed, we can do it all here and we can fix anything and get your computer as brand new.” When he asked me if I did banking on line a RED FLAG immediately went up in my mind. I assured him I do no banking on line but only buy things using my credit card. I firmly told him my expectation was only for $35.10 for the software that would be good for a year that he was supposed to install. He said “yes, I have your product key”. But he just kept trying to get me to approve $199.00 more. I even more firmly told him two more times that I am only risking the $35.10 and to install that software. I started to shake and could not get control of my machine as I moved my mouse to close my session with him. I finally screamed at him that I am not approving any more money. I pressed and held down the on button on my computer to shut the computer off. I was ready to pull the plug if that didn’t work.
So I restarted my machine and saw the Reimage icon on my desktop. So I thought maybe this is a good company and just Max was evil. So I clicked on the Reimage icon and was able to manually activate the software using the license key. I ran the software and got a message popup “Fixing Your Windows – This may take up to an hour”. In hindsight I’m thinking it could be a Trojan horse. After I ran it the next time I clicked on Internet Explorer web browser I got many, many popups that kept installing software. I could not stop it. I uninstalled 3 or 4 of them but they would come back.
This software did not fix my machine. All I could do was a complete factory restore. I started around 8:33 AM. It took all day and all night. Factory restore gave me windows 8.1 and I had to upgrade that to Windows 10. I had to activate and do a complete scan with McAfee. I reinstalled Excel and Word. It is 5:34 AM as I am finishing this dispute while all the details are fresh in my mind. I also wrote down notes right after the incident so I would have contemporaneously prepared notes to work from then I finally typed this up.
My feeling is that this is not a legitimate company. I will not call them. I am protesting only and want no further contact with them at all. They set this trap and wait for a victim. Just like a spider and its web. Max certainly breeched when he didn’t install the program and kept trying to upsell me for $199.00 more. As I said, I was able to install the software later on my own and did it just to see if the software was any good. But it wasn’t. I couldn’t extricate myself from their “Thank you for your purchase!” page. That’s the trap. You call, then they get control of your computer, you can’t get control back and you’re trapped. It scared me. I was shaking. I’m computer literate and I fell for this ruse. Just a good thing I never do banking on line. They could’ve drained my accounts. I only risked my credit card. That’s part of buying anything on line. I get email notification of credit card charges. They have all that information and they charged the $35.10 for worthless software. Don’t let them get any money from their trap. Thanks.
I did a little more research and this company may be semi-legitimate. They have to have some way of getting your money from your credit card company. My fear is that the agents there may have the ulterior aim of your identity theft. They acquire information about you and pass it on to criminals. The clear aim was to get you to sign up for 24/7 consulting and not just to have you run their software on your own. Maybe some criminals were spoofing reimage. I'm posting this article just to let you know what my experience was.