Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Calling all class action lawyers. Here’s a possible golden opportunity for a double-header.


Recently, Mac computer users were pestered by Apple to upgrade their operating systems to something called “El Capitan.” I’m one of them.

I should have known better. Every time I upgrade at Apple’s behest, I get screwed. Last time, neither my old Microsoft Word program nor my old Quark graphics program would work with the new operating system. Apple failed to tell me this before I upgraded. 

Result: I had to buy a new Microsoft Word Program. I passed on Quark, since Quark now only rents access to its software. It’s so expensive that only a graphic designer with a steady cash flow from his operations could afford it. I’m not a graphic designer. It was just nice, sometimes, to lay out postcards with it. Goodbye Quark.

But neither of these is the big Class Action Opportunity I'm talking aboutHere it is:

Now Apple has done it again. This time they pestered me, and kept pestering me via little interruptive onscreen message to “improve” my “experience” with them by upgrading to El Capitan. So I did.

And now my Magic Jack telephone, which runs through my computer, won’t work. 

So I contacted Magic Jack’s online customer service. I’m not sure whether whether I chatted with an automaton or an idiot, but Magic Jack had bad news for me.

The automaton told me that they haven’t yet figured out how to fix the problem. And that they have no idea when they’ll be able to fix the problem — at least no idea that they’ll admit to. And that although I’m renting the phone service and separately a "vanity" telephone number from Magic Jack, they won’t give me a credit for the unknown number of months I won’t be able to use it.

That’s right. They took my money for a service they can’t provide. And if I don’t like it, their solution is not to give me a credit but to make me  buy more Magic Jack services from them. (You can’t make this stuff up. Wait until you read down and see the transcript.)

What’s more, since I conduct a business using my Magic Jack phone, I’ll have to go reprint my business cards, and maybe pay somebody to fix my business website. Both list my Magic Jack phone number. Obviously I can’t advertise a business with a non-working number.

There must be thousands of people like me. So  first Apple has screwed us  again by not warning us that their “improved experience” would screw up our Magic Jack telephone experience. And then Magic Jack is screwing us by outrageously demanding that they have a right to take our money without giving us the service we paid for.

Class action lawyers, do your stuff!

Below, a transcript of my “chat” with something or somebody at Magic Jack customer service named “Sally.”

    rn:widget path="chat/ChatOffTheRecordButton"/   Disconnect
Status: Connected

  Sally (Listening)
  Sally: Hi, my name is Sally. How may I help you? 
  New York Crank: Hi Sally. Last night, I upgraded the Mac to which my Magic Jack is attached to their new El Capitan operating system. Since then, magic jack hasn't worked. Since last night I've been getting a screen that begins "magickJack was unable to contact our registration server. Please check your Internet connection. Obviously, my Internet connection is working fine. How can I fix this? 
  Sally: Okay, 
  Sally: Thank you for addressing your concern. Let me assist you on that. 
  Sally: Please wait while I check that for you 
  New York Crank: Happy to wait. 
  Sally: Please be informed that the magicJack software is not yet compatible with the newly released OS X El Capitan MAC Operating System, Crank 
  Sally: Our engineers are still currently working out on the fixes in order for the compatibility issue between the magiCJack and this new OS to be fixed as soon as possible. For the mean time, you can use the magicJack device on lower version of the OS X El Capitan. 
  New York Crank: I don't have a lower version. I'm out a telephone. 
  Sally: I see, 
  Sally: For the mean time, please use the magicJack device on a computer that is not running on a OS X EL Capitan Operating system Crank.. 
  Sally: Our engineers will fix this compatibility issue as soon as possible 
  New York Crank: This is highly impractical for me most of the time. I'd like a credit until such time as service is available. 
  Sally: Unfortunately we cannot do that, Crank 
  Sally: Please extend you patience regarding on this matter, this will be fixed as soon as possible as more customers are now using the new OS X El Capitan MAC Operating System. 
  New York Crank: Well, don't you think that's a kind of a ripoff? Magic Jack sells me a system that's supposed to be compatible with my computer. It doesn't keep up with the changes so my Magic Jack become unusable. But then Magic Jack tells me, tough luck, pal. We're charging you anyway,. 
  New York Crank: This is a consumer fraud issue. 
  Sally: I understand your frustration on this Crank, we will fix this compatibility issue as soon as possible. 
  Sally: The old magiCJack device was created long ago and it cannot keep up right away with the latest technology. 
  New York Crank: And how long is "As soon as possible" in estimated hours? Or is it days? Or is it months? 
  Sally: You can choose to buy our advanced magicjack devices which can be used without a computer Crank 
  New York Crank: I can choose to pay you more, in other words. When do you estimate the system will be fixed. 
  Sally: I cannot provide your with an exact time frame regarding on this matter since this is being worked out on a different department from us.. 
  Sally: All our valued customers will know it once the feature to use the magicjack device on the new OS X EL Capitan is already available. 
  New York Crank: Thank you for a completely unsatisfactory answer. I'll limp along as best I can, borrowing a laptop from a friend to check my messages now and then. If this goes on too long, I plan to cancel my service and let people know why. Essentially Magic Jack's answer is, "We can't keep up with technology and we want our customers to pay for our inability." 

  New York Crank: I have nothing more to say about this matter. Let me know when Magic Jack is restored — or I'll let you know, eventually, if I want my service cancelled. Goodbye. 


Paul Brainerd said...

I always back my old operating system up with a copy before I update to the new version of Mac OS. My MJ didn't work either with El Capitan, so I just reverted back to the old Mac OS copy I made from the built in Time Machine software on my Mac, and Voila! I was back in business using Magic Jack again with my older original Mac OS system You would be wise to use Time Machine as well. Imagine if your hard drive failed and you had no backup……you would lose all the data on your computer. With Tme Machine you avoid all of the hassle you are going through right now. To use Time Machine, simply turn it on in system preferences with one click, and select an external back up drive as the destination with a second click. It's that easy. Problem solved!

Paul Brainerd said...

I checked back today to reaffirm my suspicion and see if Magic Jack had yet updated their software to work with Mac OS El Capitan. Of course MJ didn't let me down with their poor update service, as they have fail to do so as of yet. I want to clarify a couple of things in your article. First, Apple is in no way at fault here. Apple sends out copies of their new operating system as much as 90 days prior to releasing it to the public to all third party vendors. Those vendors (in the thousands) would be companies like Microsoft, Adobe, Google, Yahoo, MAGIC JACK …….on and on……. are given this time to update their software to run compatible to the new Mac OS operating system before it is released, so the customer (end user) is seamlessly using the other companies software without interruption. So it is because Magic Jack fail to update in this Beta period is the problem caused from and by Magic Jack and Magic Jack alone and they have fail to update. Second, on Magic Jacks behalf, and believe me, I hate to give them a excuse of any kind…….We are using a first generation Magic Jack adapter that, in my case was issued and sold to me in 2007. It connects to the computer itself. The NEW Magic Jack Adapters attach directly to the Router and bypass the computer…..the new adapters have a mini computer chipboard inside so they run independent of the computer and by themselves. So I have to ask you….did you expect this old adapter that is 8 years old to run forever. Do you by a new car after after many years of use? Or a toaster oven or an air conditioner or heater? Isn't it reasonable to ask you, the consumer, at some point to crack open your wallet and by a new hardware…..in this case a magic Jack adapter? For some strange reason, people hold computer parts to a different standard than the do the other "wear and tear" items in their everyday life. I have yet to figure out why?