It’s that time of the night (usually around 6:30pm) and the phone rings. A lovely Indian voice from Support On Click tells you that your computer has serious problems which must be fixed by paying them a subscription fee for a remote support session. Would you be suspicious? What if the caller told you that they were actually from Microsoft, or that they were calling on behalf of your internet provider (even mentioning BigPond by name)?
On first glance, the Support On Click website seems to be for a legitimate, remote support business. As a provider of remote support services, I understand the value of this kind of support and how it really can benefit someone with computer problems. But like most human beings, I struggle with handing over my credit card details over the phone to a company I’ve never heard of, especially when they then will gain remote access to my computer and the rest of my personal files and identity details. Does this mean that the company is in fact a scam? Well, it was worth investigating further anyway.
Google revealed many people talking about similar marketing/direct calling tactics. More than anything, that’s the part that worries me. Even if they were randomly going through the phone system drumming up business, the practice of pretending to be another company (especially Microsoft) or stating to be sanctioned by your ISP is deceitful if not illegal. But dose this make them a scam?
Their website pitches that they will deliver a remote support service in return for an agreed fee. If they do indeed provide this service, then they are a legitimate business. So, next step – is there anything in the fine print?
IN NO EVENT SHALL SUPPORTONCLICK.COM ANDOR ITS RESPECTIVE SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF SERVICES, MATERIALS OR SOFTWARE, FAILURE TO PROVIDE THE SAME, OR INFORMATION AVAILABLE IN THE MATERIALS. – And I have to agree to a big liability waiver that says they are not responsible for anything.
f) Sharing. We will share aggregated demographic information with our partners and advertisers. This is not linked to any personal information that can identify any individual person. – So they will pass on my demographic details to advertisers, gee thanks.
g) Log Files. We use IP addresses to analyze trends, administer the site, track user movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information. – Big brother is watching me.
The internet is a very faceless way of doing business and, as seen with many email & virus scams, some people believe what they read or hear without giving it a second thought. That doesn’t mean it is wrong to do business this way though. But personally, when something like my computer is involved, I’d rather have a relationship with the people that will be fixing it, even if they then do use remote technology. At least I will have met that and built some level of trust with them. To me it would be like handing over my banking details or discussing my financial plans – you know I want to meet and trust that kind of service provider in person too.
I’m not going to leave you with a verdict on Support On Click, but at least I’ve uncovered some more of the facts to enable you to make uo your own mind. If indeed you do feel you have been scammed by this company, let me know.