VersionTracker email system seriously screwed up

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
February 12th, 2004 • 8:45 am

Eighteen months ago, I bought a subscription to MacFixIt Pro, because I had benefited from the site’s wealth of information in my daily Mac tech support work for several years. As a special offer, they also threw in a subscription to VersionTracker Plus, one of several flavours of “premium” services from the TechTracker network that both MacFixIt and VersionTracker are part of.

A year later, however, I decided that the MacFixIt Pro subscription was not worth the expense, and didn’t renew. But I still kept my user id and password for logging in on the VersionTracker and MacFixIt web sites and getting access to services that are available for free to registered users, including those who did not pay for a “Plus” or “Pro” subscription.

Later on, I decided to make use of one of VersionTracker’s free mailing lists, which sends you a daily update of whichever program updates were added to the site in the past 24 hours.

This mailing list service, however, has never worked right. I remember getting the daily updates for a few weeks, and then they just didn’t come anymore. I didn’t really bother to investigate, because I still visit the MacFixIt web site on a regular basis and, with the other Mac web sites I visit, I usually get pretty good daily coverage of software updates. (Besides, I don’t really like the fact that you have to go through the VersionTracker web sites and its several layers of ad-rich, poorly coded “Click here to download” pages in order to access the actual updates, when a site such as MacInTouch gives you direct links to the actual manufacturer’s site for the product.)

Today, out of the blue, I got a VersionTracker daily mailing again. But the email was horrendously malformed, with no line breaks or paragraph breaks and streams of PHP code or other junk.

So I went to the web site to cancel my subscription to this useless mailing list service. (It’s free, so I’m not going to bother with a complaint.) But then I logged in and checked my “Email Preferences” page and… it says that I am not subscribed to anything!

Gee whiz. If they treat their paying customers as poorly as they do users with free memberships, I don’t think that they are going to survive for very long… The MacFixIt web site itself is becoming increasingly irrelevant and out of sync with the reality of modern Mac computing. (Far too few trouble-shooting issues are covered, and when they are it’s often several weeks or months after the issues first cropped up.)

It’s a bit sad, but I guess the laws of “natural virtual selection” will end up putting an end to this sooner or later.

One Response to “VersionTracker email system seriously screwed up”

  1. brian w says:

    I agree with your critique of the MacFixIt website in recent years — you used to be able to search around on there and find definitive answers & concrete troubleshooting, but no longer. As for VersionTracker — shouldn’t a Mac-based site have a layout that actually renders right in Mac browsers?? I jumped ship for MacUpdate long ago and haven’t looked back. Their email notifications via watchlists work really well (this feature was free until last month, now it’s $20 a year unfortunately–but it works, so it’s worth it) and the site design is much nicer.

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