LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I have been a loyal customer of Iolo Technologies for many years. I have repeatedly purchased their System Mechanic Pro (internet suite type) product over the years. The only reason I ever purchased their product was the free phone support. This service was good several years back, but it has gotten steadily worse in recent years. For instance, it used to be based in the U. S., but is based in India now. The reps there have the usual language barrier issues and also lie when you ask them where they are based--they say Los Angeles. I can not stand being lied to. Of course they all say their name is Fred or Bill or James or something. But these are minor issues compared to the abysmal service they provide. Their only answer for any problem which they don't immediately understand is "uninstall and re-install". This is the modern version of "du-uhh--just reboot sir". Of course it doesn't work if the software is conflicting with something else or is buggy. Twice this year I have been promised I would receive a callback by what they call "Advanced Tech Support". Not once has that occurred!! When you ask them for a supervisor they lie and say that they don't have one--not that he/she is "unavailable and will call you back or pick-up the phone when they become available"--no, they say "THEY DON'T HAVE ONE"!?! Who, in their right mind, do they expect would believe that they don't have supervisors??? Of course they do--the probable truth is that THEIR supervisors are the managers of the call center itself--not technical wizards who could actually fix your problems. So, in a sense what they say is true, they don't have USEFUL managers--who actually can help you. Their customer service is located in the U.S. BUT is of no use either. You can't get any technical support from them and can't get hold of their managers either. I waited on hold for over an hour for one of their customer services managers, and he never picked up. He sent me an email telling me he couldn't take my call and then never responded to any of my subsequent emails. I gave them a three day deadline to call me by, or lose my business, and the business of my family (who buy on my advice). Amazingly, I still hadn't heard from them a week later. Over a week ago, I sent another email, addressed to the President of Iolo Technologies, telling him that they had lost my business permanently unless they had a very good reason for not contacting me (or words to that effect--by which I meant fire, flood, plague of locusts etc). To this date I haven't heard anything--not even an apology for their unbelievably bad customer service.
Their product is mediocre at best and conflicts with my anti-spyware program (I'm pretty sure anyway--no way of knowing tho since they won't call). Their anti-virus updates are less frequent than most of their competitors (from what I've read)--only once every day or so and none on weekends. The updates for everything else come only every few months, which is unbelievable!! They also drop features out of the product at will (that you PAID FOR ALREADY!!)--whenever they feel like it!! Sometimes they put them back a few months later--sometimes they don't--you have no control and can not depend on keeping the features that you've already paid for.
Their feature set is muddled and is designed to look like you are getting more than you paid for. By this I mean that there are many "cleanup features" that SHOULD be combined together (and ARE on other products of this type that I've had) but aren't. In particular, there are two Internet cleaner tools that appear to have no discernible reason to be separate from each other, except that they pad the feature set. The "PC Totalcare" and "System Analysis" tools also appear to be the same thing with two different names-again to pad the feature set. At any rate they are, at least almost the same, and are probably EXACTLY the same. They don't explain how they are different from each other (if they even are) any more than the "internet cleaner" tools do. Additionally these two, seemingly "comprehensive" all-in-one tools, do not seem to do the same level of "in depth" clean-up processes that the tools in the "Individual Tools" section do if ran one at a time. Or such is my impression, given that you can run them and then run the "Individual Tools" and you will see that the Individual Tools still have "tasks to do". Which means that Systemworks "comprehensive tools" are not really totally comprehensive. And furthermore, you cannot "pick and choose" which of those tools to use, since you don't need to use all of them every single time-there are no check boxes on the (so-called) comprehensive tools to enable or disable their various parts, or to set various preferences. Also those "all in one" tools" say they take 5-7 minutes to run, but, on my modern dual core 2.4 ghz 4gig RAM machine (with nothing else of any consequence running) they always take a half hour or more.
The "Find Duplicate Files" scanner is useless since it doesn't tell you what to delete and what not to. In fact their "Help Page" on this very subject tells you blandly that it can't help you (the tech twerps emailed me that page after telling me they were going to email me something to help me with the problem of having no idea which files I should delete)--thanks for absolutely nothing guys!! By the time I got the email, I was off the phone and out of their lives (which they knew would be the case I'm sure). Ended up just quitting the utterly useless "Duplicate File" finder program--we found 'em--so what--don't know what to do with 'em now?? I'm not deleting something that may cause a problem if I do! Iolo's brain dead geeks should KNOW this!! You'd have to be a programmer to know which duplicate files were OK to delete and which ones weren't--in which case, I can assure you, you would NOT need this product. They are such idiots!! I had a competitor product MANY YEARS AGO which TOLD ME which duplicate files I could delete and which I could not. AND you could delete them all at once (or one at a time). Iolo makes you delete them one at a time--I guess that's on the theory that if you just delete them SLOW ENOUGH, the knowledge that you don't have in the first place about which files are safe to delete, will have time to make its way from that place in your brain where it doesn't exist, to that place in your brain where decisions are made on the basis of no information at all, which will then work your fingers magically, in the absence of conscious thought, to do something manually--THAT THE DAMN PROGRAM SHOULD KNOW HOW TO DO AUTOMATICALLY!!!
The "Remove Installed Programs" program....doesn't work....at all. If Control Panel can remove it--MAYBE it can. But if Control Panel can't, NEITHER can System Mechanic (in my experience)--which negates any usefulness for that so-called "feature". I have programs on my desktop right now (and stuck elsewhere) that are half there and half gone and can't be removed, short of buying a new competitor program to (hopefully) remove them. I could begin to deal with all that (tho I see no reason why I should) IF ONLY they had good, U.S. based technical and customer service.
I'm going to PC Tools. I have one of their products (Spyware Doctor w/Threatfire) and EVERY TIME I have called I have promptly gotten a (VERY!) knowledgeable technical rep--and guess what, he's in the U.S. That's the way Iolo USED to be--but no more. Caveat Emptor--Let the buyer beware!!
Was this review helpful?YesNo
Read 0 RepliesAdd reply
Iolo Is A Waste!!
Posted by LAURIE on 2010-11-22
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I bought System Mechanic 9.5 from Wal-Mart in June 2009 because my mother's desktop pc was running very slow...I downloaded the software onto her computer and my laptop expecting to see a difference after I utilize all of its "tools", however I never saw any difference in her computer or mine...whenever I used the "tools" on my laptop, it was like using a play play software, where one minute it says my laptop's health was "good" and then I turn around and run it again and it said "very good", and later it would say something like "good" again but yet no noticeable differences. I guess I've been quite busy the past year, because today since I took off from work (dental appointment), I decided to test System Mechanic again. Now, for months the software said that my "subscription" has expired, in which I never knew I was subscribing to anything, because on the box it doesn't mention anything about a subscription...OK, anyway there are "tools" in the software that indicates no subscription is needed as there are "tools" that do...so I used the defragment tool that doesn't need a subscription or update of definitions, just to restart my computer and reuse (check) the "tool" again for it to say that I still needed to defragment my system. WOW, WHAT A JOKE!
So being fed up with this play play software, I decided to give these guys in "technical support" a call. I quickly got a hold of this Indian/Chinese speaking guy, who said, in a nutshell, that my computer was slow and had 5 errors (after he ran Malware). The Malware software he used took 2 hours to do a Quick Scan, whereas I had used Malware before and it only took minutes. I asked him again why did the software still indicate I needed to defragment, and he then said because I need a certified technician ($$), and that my subscription was expired ($$). He lied and said that I had called him to inquire my computer was being slow! I told him several times that I NEVER had an issue with my computer (with 5 errors??). I asked to speak with his supervisor, and he said that he was the supervisor and that there was no supervisor. So he agreed later to transfer me to customer support, but then another Indian guy came on the phone and said that he was the "manager." OK! I never got anywhere with this "manager" either because he also ignored my initial concern and said that I can use Windows' defragmentation. Exactly! So why did I need to purchase System Mechanic?? After all, it never did anything, but pretend like it was "cleaning up" or "repairing" or "speeding up" my computer. I know a scam when I see one, and I will NEVER use anything from these people. Then I called back to customer service just to speak to some lady who sounded like she was sleep before I called. She also said her supervisor was unavailable and then hung up on me after I got frustated with her crap! I told her I really deserve a refund, but of course she said I didn't since I decided to call a year later. Yes, a year later and System Mechanic is still a rip-off! LOOK ELSEWHERE FOLKS, DON'T GIVE THEM A DIME OF YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY, SAVE YOUR $45.
Was this review helpful?YesNo
Read 5 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies: Close commentsAdd reply
Caution against products from iolo
Posted by Michael on 2010-12-13
I bought Iolo System Mechanic Professional 3 months ago I made my purchases from a Wal-mart store where I was told by the sales assistant in electronics that for the price $60.00 plus tax it was a very good product. I had done some research be for buying a program and thought that I was making a good informed decision. It shames me to think that I was wrong but I was. From the very start I had nothing but problems 1st when I went to install the product a relatively simple process if you believe the literature on the box (DONâT), from the second I hit install my computer nightmares went from annoying to down right nightmares. My computer started acting on it own programs would not respond my e-male would not down load and then quit responding all together. I tried to contact iolo by the only means possible at the time e-male but after several attempts over 3 days still no response AT ALLL from the company. Finally after I had hit my end I found phone # on a non iolo web site for iolo Tec support. Finally Hope (NOT) first after playing 20 go-aroundâs with an automated system I finally was transfer to what I hoped was going to be a live person. After waiting on hold for more than a hour which every 5 seconds being told by a very friendly female voice in English that my call is very important but do to unusually high call volumes that my wait would be 20 min that of course when on for over an hour. Much to my surprise and Iâm sure to there as well since I waited as long as I did. A real live person that spoke about 5 words of English. Not to worry this lack of communication was not a problem for long because we got disconnected within 5 min. This scenario played out 3 to 5 times a day for 3 days finally problem solved I thought. I got a hold of a very nice lady that spoke 15 to 20 words of English she was very helpful and after about 20 minutes of remote work she got the program installed and running. She told me that it could take several hrs for the program to finish down loading updates and while this is happing my computer may run slower instill it has finished. I know she meant well and she was somewhat correct however it did not take a few hrs but 72 hrs in wish time my computer was completely useless. However now at least my computer is running normal or at least as it was before. I did not see a grate jump in speed that the literature said would happen however it seamed to work OK. One very annoying thing about this program is the constant defragmenting and the 4-8 times a day it updates but it was working. In tell the last couple of days the program or parts of the program started to act different wish I thought wasnât to bad now only once a day for 5 to 10 second and no more 2 hr defragmenting. I was finally hoping that things were looking up NOT SO FAST. Last night my computer or at least the operating system quit responding and a message on my screen told me I had several viruses. Guess what Iolo System Mechanic Professional failed to respond. I called the Tec # which I was smart and wrote down the first time and for over 2 hrs played the same game as before but finally got someone to help (NOT) this person did the remote thing again and informed us I mean my wife she has more patents then I do that Indeed we have a very serious virus which if you believe him is so dangerous that not only will it kill are computer but civilization its self Armageddon x 10. However donât worry because even know that the $60.00 program meant to fix this problem did not work because it was not meant to stop every thing to many virus induced daily for programs that only update once a day to catch. However for a yearly payment of just $200.00 we will fix this when it happens and by the way you are in luck because we charge $200.00 a year and Geek squad charges $400.00 each time. My wife told this very helpful man (NOT) that she needed to talk to her husband be for spending $200.00 the nice man started pressuring her even harder to make the sale. My wife told him No and he told her he would give her 30mins to talked to me and he would call back and speak to the MAN of the house. Needless to say my wife was not happy we did not spend the money and she found a way to fix the problem her self. Needless to say I would caution against products from iolo. I would not give this product and stars if possible.