let me share my experience with parallels. i bought a macbook pro two weeks ago (late october) and took some time to research how to use windows with it. i didn?t want to use bootcamp, as i didn?t wantt o partition my hard drive and reboot to switch systems. i thought about vmware and some others, but felt parallels would be best option. i liked everything i heard about it.
so off i went in search of parallels website. i paid $87 for the download version of parallels desktop 5 and the extended download service. i installed it and thought great. i created the virtual machine and then tried to install windows xp. at this point, our experiences become very similar. the installation of xp stopped at less than halfway and i got a message that parallels tools had not been installed, and i got an option to click the button to install the tools. what happened next was surreal.
the program began searching the xp disc, in the dvd drive, for the parallels tools. i thought it was odd as i had downloaded the program. but after i had clicked the button, i could do nothing. parallels froze my machine. i figured i had just had bad luck until i tried to contact parallels for support.
unlike most reputable companies (for example, hp has the most excellent after-sales service i have ever encountered), parallels was a bust. first, they say there is a 30-day free support. that, in my case was bullshit. when i tried to make contact to make use of that 30-day support, i was asked for my purchase order id number. when i typed it in and click submit, i reeived a notice that the number was invalid. i tried several times, but got the same result.
i then tried to find an e-mail address but, conveniently for the company, they do not offer one for north america, from where i bought the download. unfortunately foe me, i am a journalist working in china, so it is not practical for me to call their phone number. when i uninstalled the program, i got a feedback form asking why i removed the program.
i sent a detailed e-mail back, explaining the situation, how the program did not work right and how their lack of any semblance of customer support left me with NO confidence in either the product or the support team and i asked for a reply.
i did receive an automated reply with the typical promise to read the e-mail etc etc, but have not received a reply. i have reopened that automated e-mail and sent a reply again asking for a refund, confirmation that i will receive a refund and confirmation from a person that they received my e-mail.
only once have i experienced such an abysmal product and even worse customer support. can?t even refer to it as customer support, as with customer support there is some form of communication and response to the complaint. and for the life of me, i can?t understand how the purchase order number was invalid. the activation key they sent me worked fine and registered the product.
i would like to hear from others who have had bad experiences (or even good) with this product and company representatives. i am thinking about writing an article about my experience with parallels for the tech pages. i might not get my refund, but i will be able to warn others what could be in store for them if they purchase this product.