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Beware of "Customer Support"
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA -- I bought the Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 and VideoStudio X3 'bundle' directly from the Corel web site in mid November. With this bundle I received some freebies that added value to the deal. The freebies turned out to be old versions of software they no longer sell on their site. A couple of the freebies were from a company, ULead, that Corel had evidently bought. DVD Copy 6 was one of those titles and the registration information Corel sent me for the product would not activate it.

I proceeded to the Corel site and tried to email support-- the email support page kept bouncing me back to an earlier page making it impossible to write them asking for assistance. Though I don't like the method, I then tried their 'live chat' support. That was out of commission several times, both day and night. These were business days, not weekends. Why have either of these methods of contact available if neither function?

This left me with calling their support center. After digging through the telephone voice menus I finally arrived -- on hold -- and spend another 30 minutes waiting. I did get a pleasant, helpful person that said the two companies registration systems were different so he needed to create different registration information. He did, it worked, and I was on my way. I was not all that happy with Corel but at least satisfied my problem was resolved.

Today I get my cell phone bill and see the call was to a Canadian number, which made it an international call, and cost me $21.00 for 40 minutes rather than being included on my plan minutes as I expected (I thought 613 area code was New Hampshire -- wrong -- that was 603 -- my fault. What I learned? Corel's incentives to buy a current product consist of old product they no longer actively sell -- hardly worth the money -- just jacks up the suggested retail price.

Corel's email support is non-functional so if you think you're going to resolve anything through that method, think again. Corel's 'Live Chat' is dead, not working, be it day or night. You'll get nowhere there. If you're still insistent on getting what you paid for beware, the contact number for support is not an 800 number (those are reserved for orders) and if you are a cellular phone customer without an international plan you're going to pay for the call -- and you're going to pay for several minutes of wait time to get an agent. And if your problem is anything other than a simple registration number etc., plan on spending more time and money on the phone.

The software (PaintShop Photo Pro X3 and VideoStudio X3) I purchased is fine -- slow, but fine -- despite the claim that it is optimized for Win 7 multi-core processors like my Intel i7. I would hate to see how slow it ran with a dual-core or less of a processor. Alternatives? The Adobe offering was buggy on my 64-bit Win 7 OS and the others I tried lacked many of the features I needed for video editing. Corel's customer service needs some serious work. At the present time it is all blow and no show on-line, difficult (and expensive) to get via telephone. Please take this into consideration when purchasing Corel software titles.

Just to be sure of my claims I checked both the email support and the live chat today on the Corel web site and both are still non-functional -- almost three weeks later -- and I had noted this with the live agent that did eventually resolve my registration problem. Support is evidently not a big concern at Corel. And no wonder their phone lines are overwhelmed if no other method of contact is functional. They have no glitches in taking in the customers' money, just helping them through totally preventable problems like sending out incorrect registration information after the sale. I will not be purchasing further Corel product under these circumstances.

UPDATE: March 8th, 2011. Corel website email contact form is still non-functional. Too late in the day for chat so I honestly can't say if you can get through that way. They have done patches on their VideoStudio X3 and the software is loading and working faster than when I first purchased it.

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Corel Corporation Rating:
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Corel Corporation
1600 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1Z 8R7
1-877-582-6735 (ph)
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