Tag Archives: google

Spam attack from China – WARNING

I had a Chinese attack on my email account. Google shut the door on them after it sent out 3 emails in seconds. It had a link in it – I don’t know what the link is as I didn’t click it. I recommend you don’t either.

The attack lasted just long enough to fire off one email to my address book. It has all the signs of being an automated attack.

I have changed all of my account data – so the password is no longer 0000… 😉 …(I kid!)

My security is always kept tight…, so this must have been either a fluke attack by phishers or Google screwed up.

MSN PLUS – How to escape

Several years ago I bought MSN Premium services for me and Chris…. like 7 years ago….

I tried to cancel 3 years ago because Google offer the whole lot for free. Heck, Googlemail and all the other Google services run rings around Microsoft.

The trouble with cancelling from MSN is that it would be easier to find the one ring that controls them all… to pass wind through the eye of a needle…to actually watch all the Adam Sandler movies back to back without killing yourself… than it is to cancel an MSN subscription.

I searched the net for like minded people… there are many. MSN apparently lie our money and make giving it to them easy… but trying to get it back or stop payment is a different matter.

Oddly enough though I thought that an expired credit card would soon have them contact me – seeing as they failed to return my emails – and the customer support links in the MSN Premium web pages were always “under maintenance”.

Nope… I still got emails saying that maney was being taken from the expired card.

Others that had tried to end subscriptions had posted information and links on the net – trouble is it appears that MSN keep changing the location of any pages that allow you to unsubscribe, so all of the links were no good.

I had to search and search until I finally managed to get an online chat with an MSN representitive. The answers he gave were odd and disturbing to say the least….

Here is the transcript:

LRB: Initial Question/Comment: MSN Premium:general question

Anthony has joined this session!

Connected with Anthony. Your reference number for this chat session is 1xxxxxxx7.

LRB (Me): Hello

Anthony: Thank you for contacting MSN Support. I’m Anthony, I’ll be your Support Assistant. Please give me a moment while I access your account and verify this information.

Anthony: Thank you for patiently waiting, Lucas. How are you doing? 🙂

LRB (Me): I’m a bit confused to be honest

Anthony: Don’t worry, I will do my best to help you.

Anthony: I understand that you want to cancel your MSN Premium subscription and I’m sorry to learn that you’ve decided to discontinue this service. For documentation purposes, may we know the reason for cancellation?

LRB (Me): I haven’t used the service for a few years. I tried to cancel last year but nothing happened.

LRB (Me): The service is good – but just not what I need now (Got to be nice – It’s much easier if you’re nice to them)

Anthony: I understand. Please give me a minute while I access my tools and cancel this subscription for you. Please stay online for your confirmation number.

LRB (Me): What has confused me is that my billing card expired in 2005 – yet each year you seem to renew. I no longer have that card…it expired!

Anthony: Thank you for patiently waiting. I have processed your request to cancel your MSN Premium subscription, and your confirmation number is 1xxxxxxxxx8. Effective immediately, your subscription is canceled. Would there be anything else I can assist you with?

Anthony: We apologize for the inconvenience.

LRB (Me): I also pay for my wifes service and need to cancel that one too.

Anthony: Let me inform you that Microsoft/MSN will try to charge the credit card on file regardless of the status until the subscription has been canceled. So you did the right thing in contacting us to cancel the MSN subscription to avoid future charges.

Anthony: I can also assist you in canceling your wife’s MSN subscription. Can you give me her primary e-mail address?

LRB (Me): xxxxxxxxx@hotmail.com – All the addresses and billing info are the same as mine

Anthony: Okay. Please give me a minute while I access my tools and cancel this subscription for you. Please stay online for your other confirmation number.

LRB (Me): If my card has expired, has MSOFT been able to even take my money – or has this just been overlooked for the past 4 years?

Anthony: Your credit card has been charged but nothing has been taken out of it. (Okay…. so the past few years MSN have charged a dead credit card, but not taken any money out – Remember this……)

LRB (Me): Ah right. I could have carried on with free subscriptions then! Doesn’t matter as I haven’t been using it, but still!

LRB (Me): How’s it going with that second number?

Anthony: Thank you for patiently waiting. I have processed your request to cancel your wife’s MSN Premium subscription and issued a refund for 34.95 GBP. Effective immediately, your wife’s subscription is canceled. Microsoft will process your refund within 72 hours. It may take longer than 72 hours to appear on your bank or credit card statement. Your confirmation number is 1xxxxxxx2. Would there be anything else I can assist you with?

LRB (Me): How can money that wasn’t taken be repaid into a card that doesn’t exist? I’m a bit confused now.

Anthony: The refund is for the subscription of your wife which still has 4 more months.

LRB (Me): Yes, but it would have been on the same card – which expired in 2005…. So the money couldn’t have been taken from it (as you said). I just want to know how it can now be refunded if it wasn’t taken? You see my problem?

Anthony: There is a tie up between selected banks and Microsoft that will let Microsoft charge even the expired credit cards so the subscription can be reactivated. (That’s a bit scary then. An expired card won’t stop payment – You have to jump through all the hoops and get the cancellation numbers – There is no other way, just the near impossible way that MSN have set up…)

LRB (Me): Does that mean money can still be taken by MSoft even if the card has expired?

LRB (Me): or that it can just charge?

Anthony: Yes. That’s why you really need to cancel the service to avoid these kinds of trouble in the future.

LRB (Me): Sorry – was that yes to Msoft can still take the money?

Anthony: Yes, that’s correct.  (OKAY….. so what he said a minute ago about “not taking money out” was bulls**t)

LRB (Me): Okay. Finally then, why is it so difficult to cancel any Msoft subscriptions? Everything is complicated and hidden away, yet to pay for things it’s all very easy. I tried to cancel last year and yet the renewal still came through this year -all very contrary.

Anthony: We apologize for the inconvenience. We are trying our best to present an easy and quick process in canceling MSN subscriptions. I’m glad I was able to process the cancellation to both your accounts. Can I assist you with anything else, Lucas?

LRB (Me): That’s all, thank you very much Tony. (It was a small thing using Tony and not Anthony… but I felt a bit of warmth for that…. )

Anthony: You’re welcome. Thank you for contacting MSN Support. Bye.

So… I would really like to give you the links and info on how you too can cancel any MSN subscriptions, but I can’t. They change the link addresses so any link I post will no doubt be dead as soon as I post it. Feel free to drop me a line and I’ll try to help you out though.

Where does this leave me then? Well, now I am adamant that that I will not touch Microsoft products ever again.

I bought an Apple iPhone a while back…. It impressed me so much that I took the big leap and bought a Mac laptop. I am so impressed by the Mac laptop that I am perfectly happily enough to never buy a PC again. Windows is history, MSoft is history… and I don’t care how good an XBox could be, I’m sticking with PS3 and whatever new none Msoft systems hit the market.

True, the Mac appears to be pricier than a Windows computer if you compare hardware specifications, but IGNORE that… The Mac uses all it’s parts in such an efficient way that although it has a lower spec, it far out performs far higher specification PC’s…. Infact I will go as far to say that you would need to spend more money on a PC to meet the performance of a lesser specified Mac.

I don’t use MS Office or any other hugely expensive MSoft software, because SUN make free software that is MSoft compatable OPEN OFFICE.

It doesn’t end there. Why pay for Windows operating systems when there are free operating systems out there? You could even use the standard Mac O/S which costs next to nothing compared to MSofts software.

MSoft just want your money and rely on people buying there stuff because they don’t know of the other options.

I am not an Apple Fanboy or PS3 fanboy, I’m just someone who doesn’t like the second rate service and products of Microsoft – and I don’t like them telling me what I should and shouldn’t have when there are better options out there.

Preaching to the perverted

Well, my damp cat, soggy wood chomping critter and dodgy water heater have given predictable results…

This is just 15 hours into day 2 of the experiment. That’s a fair increase in traffic!

I realise some hits are generated from people visiting through the links I put up, but the search engine data shows that a few too many people have dropped in after Googling naughty stuff….

It just goes to show, doesn’t it?

Wet hairy beaver and an 18 year old bald pussy.

On a lighter note – and triggered by something I wrote at the Sniper Central forums (of all places….):

So yes, the water tank is sitting on swollen wood – and I’m sure due to this news that this page will get Google searches bringing people here who are searching for “Swollen wood” – but I assure you, this isn’t that type of blog, and there is a time and a place for that type of thing.

You may think this type of Google hit is unlikely, but honestly it is more likely than you’d think.

The admin side of this blog shows me all the daily hits, popular posts and links etc. It’s all very interesting – especially the part that tells me what people have put into search engines to get to this page. I think my favourite has to be “Naked hare and tortoise”. The mind boggles as to what that person was searching for!!!

One thing that can double a page web hits is the following – and I thank all the teenage lads out there for that.

Bald pussy cat

Old bald pussy cat

If a picture of an 18 year old hairless cat doesn’t get people visiting my web pages, then maybe they are more interested in a picture of this fine thick furred Canadian critter…

Wet hairy beaver

Wet hairy beaver

It’s odd really that so much interest can be generated in teens by such specific wildlife and domesticated animals!

I shall let you know, dear reader, what the latest search engine hits are – and if this page did in fact bring more people in…

Australian swearing or just a great tale?

Dave Gorman is a comedian/writer who I’ve not paid much attention to. Well…no attention really, if I am honest.

I only really knew about him from some clip ages ago about him meeting other Dave Gormans, and writing about it – which sounded less than interesting.

I’ve seen him a few times on panel shows, and he seemed likeable, but I still had this idea that he was a boring person who only got to where he is by the fact he wrote that book, which on one particular day, and without looking at it, I had assumed would be boring. That thought stuck with me.

Then a few nights ago – whilst not sleeping due to back pains – I caught the start of a live show he did. It was about a trip he ended up going on acvidently after being told about “google whacking” (not and Australian solo bedroom pursuit it appears).

The show was on quite late, and although it had me glued to the screen, I knew I wouldn’t watch the whole thing as I was tired and my pain killers had just kicked in. The following morning I ordered a copy of the book and film for a nice low price on Amazon (low price as it isn’t a new thing…in fact it appears that I am several years behind the times with this one!).

I then waited. Surprisingly the parcel turned up very quickly – and we were in to receive it (a rare thing, but chalk it down to a bad back!). The DVD was then watched.

Where have I been?!?! This show was amazing! Dave Gorman told his accidental several thousand mile unintentional tale fantastically! I hung on every word – which is odd, as tv is often just back ground noise (even if it is something I want to watch).

I won’t go into the story too much as I don’t want to spoil it for you. It really is worth you going out and getting it though.

A bit sweary in places, but not out of vulgarity and poor communication skills, oh no! His word useage blends perfectly to make the story drag you in and feel the bumps of his funny, thought provoking, touching, crazy and “coming of age at 32” presentation.

Stop reading this now and go buy a copy. Well worth it.

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