Review by Anonymous on 2004-10-17
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- Six months of MSN.com came with my Dell PC, and as many of you are finding out, Dell computers go bad about 2 years after the purchase date. Dell replaced the modem and the hard drive (and then gave awful tech support), and I attempted to restore my isp/email connection with MSN.com. It was a long hard fight that I lost. I called MSN tech support and was connected with what is obviously a person who is located outside the USA. They possessed excellent English vocabulary skills but they couldn't understand me and I couldn't understand them - and my occupation demands that I have excellent communication skills. I then tried dealing with it online, and had the same experience each time that mirrored the results with my phone attempts: 1) they consistently didn't read the notes in their system about previous attempts, so they tried to get me to do the same thing that didn't work; 2) They couldn't figure out how to fix the problem, and despite scores of exchanges back and forth, the problem was obviously not being passed up to the next level of expertise. I tried pleading and insulting and ranting but the problem stayed in the line worker level. I downloaded and reinstalled the program about 10 times and I jumped through hoops, as directed by MSN support, that involved everything but swinging a dead cat over my head and chanting an arcane spell. Dealing with Dell and MSN at the same time is not a task I would recommend to anyone.

They finally provided me with some back door way of getting into my emai that didn't allow full use of all of the features while MSN was charging me the full $21.95 a month. Full charge for less service.

After dealing with very similar problems dealing with Dell (I mistakenly thought that buying the extended warranty was a good idea), I decided to buy an eMac. That machine seems to be working out fine, but the MSN for Mac is a flawed and incomplete product. You can't make your email page or any other page your home page; you can only make My MSN your home page. When you log in, your inbox doesn't show your received messages. After logging in, until you give MSN.com a task, like clicking on your Junk Mail folder, you may not know you have anything in your inbox for a hour or more. Often MSN has timed out but doesn't tell you that that you aren't really connected - you must click on your Junk Mail folder to find out if you've received any message in your inbox. There's some sort of "accelerator" available for the PC version of MSN.com, but it is not available for MSN for Mac. There have not been any updates from MSN for MSN for Mac, but I note that there have been quite a few for the PC version. On an average of about twice a week, before I can log on, MSN makes me stop during logon to ask me to pick dial up access numbers - time after tiem after time. I've used the Feedback feature to complain about that, but we know nobody reads those things. My deduction is that MSN for Mac is a half-assed product that MSN has just tossed out there without any plans for improving it. The tech support for MSN for Mac does appear to be USA based so the tech support people do understand American English and I can understand them. The mediocre product is the problem.

And you are reading this and saying, "Why doesn't this guy just change providers?" I have looked at lots of reviews, and all ISPs are bad in one way or another: dropped connections, poor tech support, repeated billing problems, slow connections, no local dial up access numbers, or not mac compatible. So why change one bad product for another? If you are considering MSN.com, I would suggest you ask yourself the same problem. I'm working on it, and this ISPwest looks pretty good. Will Google ever offer gmail to the public and will it be any better?
Comments:3 Replies - Latest reply on 2005-04-01
Posted by tander on 2004-10-17:
I've had msn powered by qwest for years, I've never had a problem with the tech support.
Posted by compwiz on 2004-10-19:
I am not sure why would you use MSN with your MAC...it is not supported at all with Mac.
Posted by CAMedWmn on 2005-04-01:
While I had serious problems with the beta version of MSN 9 (I was one of the beta testers), I don't think the issue you presented are an MSN problem, per se.

The inability to change your home page is likely due to a trojan or spyware program, commonly known as a "home page hijacker" which automatically resets your home page to whatever the trojan is written for. SMN uses Internet Explorer, which is particularly vulnerable to this attack.

The following steps might fix the problem, depending upon which version of the trojan you have. The first, of course, is a good antovirus program that also scans for spyware, such as MacAfee (sp?). I use it all the time, and thus far it works great. Follow this up with a free scan by Trend Micro. This is an online scanner, and if you have the hijack trojan I suspect, you will need to type http://www.trendmicro.com in its entirety, and manually. You can download Firefox for free, which isn't vulnerable to the trojan, and allow the scan to run through that browser. Following these steps cleared my computer of the trojan, so it might work for you as well.

I am curious about something. You said the computer is a Dell, but that you are running MSN for Mac? Is there a reason why?

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