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Old 05-18-2002, 06:32 PM
Posts: n/a
Alldata CDs

In 1998 I bought the Windows 95, 1982-86 Imports 'Me thru V' series Alldata CD set at a local AutoZone parts store. I then registered my 1985 500SEL by telephone, and for an additional fee, my 1985 Volvo 760 Turbo.

I was somewhat familiar with the Alldata version that professional repair shops use and assumed I was getting a subset of the same package.

I soon discovered that the software implementation was a nightmare, one of the worst I had ever seen. Navigation through the system was difficult at best, the fonts were archaic and hard to read and the illustrations and graphics were almost unintelligible, even on my .26 dpi, 21" monitor at 1200 x 1600 resolution.

I am a computer professional and have some of the most advanced equipment and software available, but I literally could not produce a readable hardcopy on my photo-quality Postscript laser, even after generating an Adobe PDF image of the output.

I was more than disappointed, and several times emailed and left voicemail messages in a vain attempt to get someone's attention at Alldata. I had just about given up hope of contacting Alldata when I happened to access their website and discovered that they had a new internet-based system and they were charging a $25 per year subscription, discounted to $19.95 for the first year.

Because I typically keep a given car forever, I thought the price was unreasonable. I was also quite upset that I had been ignored by Alldata for four years, so I emailed an angry complaint letter to all six of the 'Customer Satisfaction' VPs listed on their site.

To my surprise, I received three responses, two of which were positive, the other a 'and so what are you gonna do about it?'. I was offered a year's subscription to their new version, but after I declined, they offered to give me a full refund, which I accepted. I found out that they were good guys after all.

I recommend that you contact them also. They seem to be eager to avoid bad word-of-mouth publicity.
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