My Experience with Vista
It is my opinion that the Vista operating system is inherently flawed and I can not recommend it. It is:
- Unable to perform File and Printer sharing with an XP-based computer (no matter what they say!)
- Incompatible with some existing software that runs on older versions of Windows
- Slower than XP
I recently had to replace a laptop, so I chose a name-brand that I have had good experiences with over the years. The new computer was available with either XP or Vista. Not knowing any better, I selected the "new and improved" operating system. After several weeks of trying to get File and Printer Sharing to work, I gave up. I am a very experienced computer user. I have been writing software since the early 70s and I got my first personal computer almost 30 years ago. This operating system is just not right.
Not wanting to cripple my other computers by "upgrading" them to Vista so I could share files, there was only one way to make this situation right; I had to replace Vista.
When I contacted my name-brand Customer Assistance, the initial response was not encouraging. The automated e-mail system knew enough to recognize that I wanted to dump Vista and they did not recommend it due to expected problems with the pre-installed drivers and hardware. The automated response did suggest that I could contact a human for more assistance.
My e-mail question to a human was to ask about replacing the laptop under warranty with an identical model that had XP instead of Vista. They said they were sorry, but that would not be possible, any replacement would have to be identical to the current machine and operating system. They were even kind enough to offer a $25 coupon towards the purchase of a retail copy of XP. They did suggest that I could call a toll-free number and speak directly to Customer Assistance.
The first human voice was not helpful. She was following a standard script that had two major points; I could replace the computer with one that was identical, or I could return this one and get my money back. In that case, it would take up to 30 days for the purchase price to be returned to me. After I told her several times that neither of these were acceptable solutions, I asked to speak to a supervisor. Her initial response was that none were available. I was certain this was not true so I repeated this request and a supervisor was soon speaking to me.
The supervisor followed the same script, identical replacement or up to 30 days to get my money back. After I repeated "this is not acceptable" enough times, the supervisor finally caved in. They would refund $100 of my purchase price, send me a $100 coupon towards the purchase of a retail copy of the XP operating system, and set up an appointment with their Technical Assistance department to help me with the installation process.
Based only on my experience, I am very sure that there are a lot of dissatisfied customers out there. This company will try to make things right, but they will not offer it without some resistance on your part. Do not accept the first offer and insist on talking to a supervisor. You can get satisfaction but it may take a period of frustration.