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antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

Yes, that PC cleanup app you saw on TV at 3 a.m...

»arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/01/···-a-scam/ -- "Why these apps are awful and what you really need to do about your slow PC..."



sbconslt

join:2009-07-28
Los Angeles, CA

1 recommendation

Someone will be getting a call from a team of lawyers tomorrow.


Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

which is unfortunate because the article is right. those programs do nothing that cannot be done for free. either with built in tools or proven and tested freeware.

One thing it did not mention that I usually have done for messed up computers is run the programs like Spybot and Malwarebytes from safe mode. Some malware hunting you have to run from Safemode with Networking because otherwise it jacks all outbound internet requests which means if a customer does not have the software already they cannot download it.(keeping in mind this is because I have mostly done this over the phone, not in person where one would have all the tools on a CD or USB.



sbconslt

join:2009-07-28
Los Angeles, CA

1 edit

3 recommendations

It's worse than just that the software does what can be done for free. It's fraud, the capital F kind. It should anger you greatly that it goes on unchecked.

Sadly, when they do finally do get taken down by a class action, they just come back under a different name.


Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

It doesn't anger me. I get angry at idiots who get snookered because they are too lazy to educate themselves about this or anything they get snookered on.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson



goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big

4 recommendations

Why assume people are lazy?

Uneducated, yes. But judging from the training the schools in my area give, safety is barely even touched on. People who can type fast with their thumbs or use Facebook are presumed to be "experts" by other people who know no better, including the school board. Thought processes that make them all easy pickings for a whole host of scammers.

It's not just kids or recreational users - I know people who have worked in IT for companies for 10+ years who are utterly clueless when faced with a virus. Most are small companies, but even large companies and government agencies hire them. They do something all day that keeps them employed, but heaven knows what. I'd never hire them even though they're friends, but people do. It's the Wild West out there.



StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
Premium
join:2000-08-06
Galt's Gulch
kudos:2

1 recommendation

said by goalieskates:

It's not just kids or recreational users - I know people who have worked in IT for companies for 10+ years who are utterly clueless when faced with a virus.

Unfortunately that's true. It always amazes me how many "computer professionals" haven't the slightest idea about how computers work. I'm talking about the fundamentals.
--
Don't feed trolls--it only makes them grow!


Cartel
Premium
join:2006-09-13
Chilliwack, BC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Shaw
·TELUS

Installing the free MyCleanPC scanner and running it using the default settings resulted in 1,020 "issues" on a PC with a week-old, barely-used clean install of Windows 8 running on it.

That sounds about right.

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to goalieskates

Well, maybe. But I think we ought to distinguish between "unable to recognize obvious crap when they see it advertised" and "unwilling to do their own software maintenance". The former seems to be an egregious failing, the latter is merely a sense of having something better to do.

(Car analogy for the latter part: I know how to do an oil change. I prefer to pay someone to change my oil.)



cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27

1 recommendation

reply to antdude

"you can't fix stupid, but you can charge for it!"

Dear Andrew,
You should work with putting this kind of article in AARP, Family Weekly and Casino times! Maybe even have ArsTechnica can sit with Nightline or 20/20 (or other...) and get the message out that:

FUD is real. People that spread it want to reap the failure that stupidity is a birthright.
--
Splat


rfnut
Premium
join:2002-04-27
Fisher, IL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Mediacom

1 recommendation

reply to antdude

Installing the free MyCleanPC scanner and running it using the default settings resulted in 1,020 "issues" on a PC with a week-old, barely-used clean install of Windows 8 running on it.

Must play devils advocate, and I do not endorse or even believe that this service is a good thing.
While it may classify "issues" in grey terms from our (non-novice users) perspective, The real question is; How does it perform on a system that actually has what we, as experienced seasoned professionals, consider "issues".

In other words, does this "MyCleanPC" service actually perform any function that benefits the end user that subscribes? Ars needs to follow up with some more tests on user systems that are actually experiencing "slow-downs", errors, or various popups/malwares/viruses before labeling SCAM.

Since someone else laid out a car analogy, I will too. I liken this to a "bad" auto mechanic. People still take cars to sub par mechanics, and much of the time they may be satisfied. Does not mean the mechanics work is the greatest or even acceptable. Especially from a master mechanics point of view, but some cars do get fixed properly.

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to goalieskates

said by goalieskates:

Why assume people are lazy?

Uneducated, yes. But judging from the training the schools in my area give, safety is barely even touched on. People who can type fast with their thumbs or use Facebook are presumed to be "experts" by other people who know no better, including the school board. Thought processes that make them all easy pickings for a whole host of scammers.

It's not just kids or recreational users - I know people who have worked in IT for companies for 10+ years who are utterly clueless when faced with a virus. Most are small companies, but even large companies and government agencies hire them. They do something all day that keeps them employed, but heaven knows what. I'd never hire them even though they're friends, but people do. It's the Wild West out there.

Well Yes Clickers are a big problem. And I have come across people who should know better. But they get a popup that says they are infected and they click scan and pretty much just let the crooks in the front door. As the moment they click scan the malware hijacks their PC and makes them pay to even access the internet again.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports


sbconslt

join:2009-07-28
Los Angeles, CA

1 recommendation

reply to rfnut

The demonstration would be to establish a fresh Windows installation into a known security and performance baseline, one where the web browser had not been so much as opened much less used, with everything patched to date and tuned to perfection, snapshot the system there and then install the software in question and watch what it reports.



vaxvms
ferroequine fan
Premium
join:2005-03-01
Wormtown
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Charter

2 recommendations

reply to antdude

yawn... MyCleanPC

2009 »Re: [Rant] How stupid do you have to be...
2010 »CyberDefender scareware scams being advertised on TV/Radio
2010 »[Scam] Cleanmypc.com and other fake looking commercials
2010 »Re: New Ad for Computer Fix
2010 »Re: [Scam] Supportonclick.com scareware scam
2012 »Scam PC optimization software that advertised on TV
--
CMKRNL



sbconslt

join:2009-07-28
Los Angeles, CA

1 recommendation

Also, separately from the technical questions about the product, and probably more seriously, CyberDefender has been accused in and settled class action suits involving billing abuses such as renewing subscriptions automatically without notice and consent, failing to honor subscription cancellation demands, and refusing to give people's money back after marketing their products with a money-back satisfaction guarantee. Are you angry yet?



StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
Premium
join:2000-08-06
Galt's Gulch
kudos:2

1 recommendation

said by sbconslt:

Are you angry yet?

No because I have a healthy sense of skepticism about all such companies and TV ads (PC cleanup or other). I wouldn't give CC details to any of them. Some ads are pretty amusing though

As the old saying goes "there's a sucker born every minute".
--
Don't feed trolls--it only makes them grow!


siljaline
I'm lovin' that double wide
Premium
join:2002-10-12
Montreal, QC
kudos:17

1 recommendation

reply to antdude

The ad for that crapware app still airs on CNN and other large US TV networks.
The link goes into my custom Hosts file that get's installed on every PC I service. Thanks for the awareness on this one.


dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

reply to rfnut

Take though that scary message "your disk is 1.27% fragmented". That actually means "is so unfragmented you needn't give it another thought", but it is presented as if it's a sign of impending disk apocalypse.

So, the motor mechanic equivalent would be one who's saying "your oil life is 1.27% used up, you need to replace it".



antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

reply to siljaline

said by siljaline:

The ad for that crapware app still airs on CNN and other large US TV networks.
The link goes into my custom Hosts file that get's installed on every PC I service. Thanks for the awareness on this one.

Hopefully, they get thrown off soon! I doubt it.
--
Ant @ AQFL.net and AntFarm.ma.cx. Please do not IM/e-mail me for technical support. Use this forum or better, »community.norton.com ! Disclaimer: The views expressed in this posting are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.


siljaline
I'm lovin' that double wide
Premium
join:2002-10-12
Montreal, QC
kudos:17

Every time I see the ad on CNN, I shake my head in disgust as it's well known this stuff is flat-out foistware.

All we could possibly hope for is enough disgusted users to call CNN HQ and say hey ... get this "expletive" of the air.



carpetshark3
Premium
join:2004-02-12
Idledale, CO

I agree that it's crap -
but according to marketing, it's probably legal. If they pay for the spot, someone will place the ad somewhere. You notice that it's at real off hours as drive time and prime time are expensive.

I complained as our business accepted ads from that damn name a star registry. Those ads are phony, but not illegal as it's their OWN registry. They never said the names would be recognized by any official naming registry like the IAU.



Robotics
See You On The Dark Side
Premium
join:2003-10-23
Louisa, VA
reply to antdude

I cant remember the name of the company (but the ad is still running out here in Va.) but it claims the same thing being talked about here, and near the end of the commercial they show the guy clicking to get the job done (repair all the unwanted junk) and you see an email address there that I guess the info on the junk gets mailed to (?),and it is pc-pitstop. 0.O

I remember years ago pc-pitstop was a decent place to go to...guess they have fallen on hard times.

UPDATE: just went to their site...its PC Matic. Wow has that site changed (for the worse)
--
Long you live and high you fly, and smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry,
and all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be.

Expand your moderator at work


siljaline
I'm lovin' that double wide
Premium
join:2002-10-12
Montreal, QC
kudos:17
reply to carpetshark3

Re: Yes, that PC cleanup app you saw on TV at 3 a.m...

You're right ! Unfortunately, unless parties launch a suit or something or the Network(s) decide to pull the ads - they will stay where they are.

As always, buyer beware - just because it's on CNN doesn't mean it's not a hook.



Phoenix22
Death From Above
Premium
join:2001-12-11
SOG C&C Nrth
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..

said by siljaline:

You're right ! Unfortunately, unless parties launch a suit or something or the Network(s) decide to pull the ads - they will stay where they are.

As always, buyer beware - just because it's on CNN doesn't mean it's not a hook.

as a rule of thumb.................never impulse buy anything on t.v.
do all your homework..........and research....it'll pay off big time

one other thing may occur if your buying from the expert t.v. guy
or girl.......happens to the tune of billions$ per year.....w/c cards
see this thread:

»VISA Account Updater
--
101ST ABN Div. (AirAssault) "Rendezvous With Destiny!" "Night Stalkers/Phoenix Flight" For Buddy...who lived it! Whiskey for my men and beer for my horses! H.A.L.O!, 5th Grp., MACV SOG, 160TH AVN SOG, Death From Above, VFW, AmLegion


newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast

1 recommendation

reply to sbconslt

said by sbconslt:

It's worse than just that the software does what can be done for free. It's fraud, the capital F kind. It should anger you greatly that it goes on unchecked.

... and the television networks who allow these lies to be disseminated should be prosecuted for fraud right along with the perpetrators of the fraud.


sbconslt

join:2009-07-28
Los Angeles, CA

Well, no, they wouldn't meet the criteria, strictly.



dbarber

join:2000-07-25
West Chester, PA
reply to antdude

If these guys can afford to keep advertising on TV, there must be SOMEBODY out there responding to these ads. If they weren't making money, they wouldn't continue to run ads.
I guess we just have to accept P.T.Barnum's saying that "There's a sucker born every minute." I don't see how we can educate all of the ignorant (read unlearned) people.

Oh well
--
These opinions are strictly my own. However, if you really want them, we can negotiate.



antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

said by dbarber:

If these guys can afford to keep advertising on TV, there must be SOMEBODY out there responding to these ads. If they weren't making money, they wouldn't continue to run ads.
I guess we just have to accept P.T.Barnum's saying that "There's a sucker born every minute." I don't see how we can educate all of the ignorant (read unlearned) people.

Oh well

Like spams on the Internet.
--
Ant @ AQFL.net and AntFarm.ma.cx. Please do not IM/e-mail me for technical support. Use this forum or better, »community.norton.com ! Disclaimer: The views expressed in this posting are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.


goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big
reply to newview

said by newview:

... and the television networks who allow these lies to be disseminated should be prosecuted for fraud right along with the perpetrators of the fraud.

I'd vote for that. It's false advertising, and they're benefiting from it.

So when exactly did the Feds decide to stop enforcing truth in advertising laws? Or decide to let networks get away with things on cable channels they don't allow on the regular ones?

I smell lobbyists at work here ...