TheKey Chronicle

$6 back issues!

Ballpoint Adventures mega-T

Sunday, October 31, 1999


Here's how it went:

I got the setup program from Pitney Bowes' web site and tried to install it, mostly because I wanted to get the free $25 in postage the company promises to the people who beta test their new internet postage stamp printing software (it allows you to print stamps right off of your printer). THIS is where the simplicity ended.

Sure, it SOUNDED simple enough, but what happened was not worth the free twenty five bucks in postage, I'll tell ya that much for free! Anyway, so I go to install the setup application. It starts out fine but then halfway through, my machine locks up. Now, I know the instructions said I need to shut down every other application I have running in order to properly install the postage program, but EVERY setup program tells you to do that and I never do, so why should THIS application be any different?

So, I turn off the machine and wait 30 seconds (because hitting control-alt-delete didn't work) and then turn the machine back on. I try installing again and everything seems fine. I enter all my info, including my credit card number for when I run out of the first (free) $25 in postage. A LOT of sites ask for your credit card info whether they need it or not these days and if you don't like it, don't do it. But, since I was used to it, I gave out the number. I was pretty sure if they wanted to keep doing business with me, they wouldn't dare mess with my card.

So, now it was time to download the free $25 in postage from the Pitney Blows - I mean Pitney Bowes web site and start printing postage right from my printer. Right? Almost. So I tell the app(lication) to connect with the Pitney Bowes web site and half way through the process I get an error message. It seems as though there was some problem connecting.


Well, let's try it again.

Same problem. Damn.

Well, one more time.

NOPE! Still no clean connection.

I try it one more time and finally I get through and my postage printing program is ready to go. Where's the catch you ask? I'm glad you asked.

Two days later, I get this odd call on my answering machine at home. It's a guy from Pitney Bowes wanting to talk to me about the beta testing, but alas, I got the message too late in the day - they've closed already. I'll just call them on Monday.

SATURDAY MORNING AT 9:30 AM, I get a call - I let my machine get it. It's someone else from Spitney Bowes - I mean Pitney Blows - I mean - Pitney Bowes only this time she wants me to make sure that I download their postage app because there are a limited number of slots available for beta testers. But... I already downloaded the app TWO DAYS AGO.

A few hours later, I am doing a routine checking of my finances by visiting when I discover Pitney "ha-ha, we've got the sap's credit card now!" Bowes has charged my $25 FOUR TIMES.

That's $100 they have charged me WITHOUT MY AUTHORIZATION.

I almost want to call the cops - I mean, it IS theft. Just because you give the neighbors a key to your home doesn't give them permission to come in and take whatever they want, right? Well, I tried to call them on Sunday only to discover that they're not open on weekends. WELL THEN HOW THE HELL DID SOMEONE CALL ME BEFORE 10AM ON A FRIGGING SATURDAY?!?

Here's a tip - just say NO to Pitney Bowes.

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