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 Post subject: No more Watchdog? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:30 pm 
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I can't believe you've sent the watchdog to the pound! That's it, I'm canceling my subscription!

Okay, not really. But I'm really gonna miss that one - not many places these days where one can get satisfaction when dealing with the business world. Guess I'll be calling "7 On Your Side" if I have a problem from now on. :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:21 pm 
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ttfitz, I can't speak for Maximum PC, but I think there are several reasons why they canceled it.

1. There is already a similar company that handles all types of these complaints. They are the BBB.

2. Maximum PC has no more power than the BBB to force the company to do something. In fact, the company doesn't even have to answer the phone.

3. I bet submissions of interesting requests are declining. They are probably getting swamped by the typical "Should I file a charge-back issue?".

But like I said, I don't work for Maximum PC so I don't know the official reasons for canceling it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:31 pm 
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You can't seriously be comparing the Watchdog column to the BBB.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:23 pm 
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Edward6287 wrote:
You can't seriously be comparing the Watchdog column to the BBB.


What exactly does MPC do that the BBB does not?

Contact company? Both do
Hear their side? Both do
Ask what they will do? Both do
Inform reader? Assume both do
Write-up in magazine? MPC
Record of complaint? BBB easier to navigate


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:40 pm 
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hackman2007 wrote:
Edward6287 wrote:
You can't seriously be comparing the Watchdog column to the BBB.


What exactly does MPC do that the BBB does not?

Contact company? Both do
Hear their side? Both do
Ask what they will do? Both do
Inform reader? Assume both do
Write-up in magazine? MPC
Record of complaint? BBB easier to navigate


They're not really even comparable. BBB exists entirely as a consumer advocacy corporation. The Watchdog is a column in a monthly magazine. You may as well ask: "Why do motorcycle magazines compare tires since they are all stamped with DOT markings already?"

What MPC can offer is pressure in its publication pages to a specific scope of companies from an enthusiast marketing segment.

MPC acts as a sounding board and informs it's readers. They possibly can use their influence as an authoritative industry voice to influence comanies to straighten up or lose potential customers.

To my knowledge as a reader, MPC doesn't keep records of complaints beyond the magazine archive. There is no arbitration or moderator available to resolve disputes; though the dog has occasionally gotten companies to beg for forgiveness. They don't have influence above any citizen to get the local/state/federal government attention when there is widespread consumer abuse.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:43 pm 
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I understand that the watchdog is for a magazine and I'm not denying that fact.

What I'm really asking, is it necessary. I have submitted multiple problems to the watchdog for example, not one has been answered.

Motorcycle magazines compare tires because they are all different, same with why Maximum PC reviews other products. What the watchdog mostly deals with is unhappy customers.

The watchdog is basically a consumer advocate, just for the magazine, not just for the general public. The BBB is a consumer advocate corporation for all products and companies.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:16 pm 
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BBB has no real power, and is impossible to get anything done. It takes laws and lawyers. If you get jacked by a BBB certified vendor, they'll still be BBB certified even if you've lost thousands in a shady deal.

If they're in the Dog Pound with shady results, all of us know not to use them...or at least pause before we do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Chumly wrote:
If they're in the Dog Pound with shady results, all of us know not to use them...or at least pause before we do.


But you are talking about the Dog Pound on Maximum PC :wink: .

The BBB archives all of their records too, you don't deal with a company that has a bad reputation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:11 pm 
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Yet, I lost thousands of dollars over people with BBB ratings? Doesn't make sense man.

My single dealings didn't take them down a notch, and BBB has no power to help...ever. The dog actually tries to call.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:39 am 
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hackman2007 wrote:
I understand that the watchdog is for a magazine and I'm not denying that fact.

What I'm really asking, is it necessary. I have submitted multiple problems to the watchdog for example, not one has been answered.


I didn't really expect to set off a controversy, even a minor one. But, to answer your question, I don't understand why the existence of another similar service like the BBB negates the need for the Watchdog. That's like asking why do we need Maximum PC magazine, anyway, we've got PC Magazine and PC World?

I'm glad we have the BBB, and make use of it, but that doesn't mean the Watchdog was a waste - I appreciated having an advocate specific to our own little area of commerce.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:23 pm 
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ttfitz wrote:
I'm glad we have the BBB, and make use of it, but that doesn't mean the Watchdog was a waste - I appreciated having an advocate specific to our own little area of commerce.


the good part about it was you could take the issue to the reading room

Sorry but MPC gets a big ole WOOF! from me.
It's the 1st thing in a while that pissed me off enough to come here and post about.

I always read the dog, then doctor..

IMO the dog was probably too time consuming for them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:40 pm 
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I've said it in other places, but I'll say it again here:

I am a big fan of Watchdog, but it takes a ton of time for what's essentially two pages of content in the magazine. With the current staff size that we have, I can't justify the amount of time that Gordon spends on it. We need him to be writing reviews, features, and researching upcoming stories, instead of calling deadbeat vendors.

Should we ever be lucky enough to get a larger staff, Watchdog is at the top of my list of things to reinstate.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:53 pm 
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The dog has always been my favorite part of the magazine. I usualy saved it for last. I can see how it can take up alot of Gordon's time, but why cant other editors do each one. I would also like to remid you that the origonal reason that was given to be moving many parts of the mag online was the addition of editorial content. This is getting rid of it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:57 pm 
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It's a different world than it was 6 months ago.


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 Post subject: Well then to be blunt about it
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:38 pm 
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Since this is a new world.

When I subscribed it was in the "old" world for the old content. To this day I still enjoy the magazine. I recommend it as a primer for noobs that want to get into tinkering with a pc.

Now, this brave new world into which you have just thrust this magazine into, holds exactly what for the old folks that been here since boot?

Curious now, since your subscriptions are up, and the content is basically down. What gives?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:13 pm 
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I think that the mag is moving from a hardcore "DO IT IN THE BIOS OCING!!! mag"--->a more softcore, gamers, and "the OS oc is OK, i guess..."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:09 pm 
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willsmith wrote:
I've said it in other places, but I'll say it again here:

I am a big fan of Watchdog, but it takes a ton of time for what's essentially two pages of content in the magazine. With the current staff size that we have, I can't justify the amount of time that Gordon spends on it. We need him to be writing reviews, features, and researching upcoming stories, instead of calling deadbeat vendors.

Should we ever be lucky enough to get a larger staff, Watchdog is at the top of my list of things to reinstate.



i totally understand what you are saying about Gordon's time... however the watchdog pages are invaluable to many of us that read MPC... i actually find it more valuable than many of the reviews as you can get 50 different reviews of the same product on the internet with 99% of them saying the same thing as you and the other editors.... not that many people are drawing the shitty vendors out... when one of us complained it's just another customer.... when we write to you and you call them out you're representing thousands of customers.... big difference....

here's a suggestion for you.... how about you create either a folder on the forums or a section on the webpage where people place the same questions then allow a number of people to investigate these suspect companies.... place the results they find and let people use the info as they will........ a watchdog blog so to speak..... if it doesn't do well then hey you were right in the first place and the interest isn't truly there.... but who knows it could create a great stir and affect real change as it's meant to...... :wink:


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 Post subject: you know its like calling your local tv station
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:46 am 
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when you have a problem, you are just one guy.
but when the tv station shows up an puts a camera on them, its a differnt story.

I understand that most of them end up similar and not good for print. When they get quizzed they immediately change their tack an claim it was a mix up. Yet we all know that had MPC not showed up, the little guy,your subscriber would have gotten hosed! Not many consumer places understand tech well enough to take the vendors to task about the rip off. They can be bamboozled out of the facts by double talk and technogibberish you guys can not.
I too faithfully read the consumer pages in MPC and find them some of the best the magazine has to offer!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:57 am 
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The removal of Watchdog spurred me to actually register here to complain. I have purchased MaximumPC for many years both as a subscriber and directly off the newstand. The dog was one of the things I enjoyed most about the magazine. Hearing problems people were having and what the companies response was influenced my buying decisions. Future is really having me question whether I want to keep spending my hard earned money on their magazines. Both MaximumPC and PC Gamer have been steadily going down hill.

When the consumer sees how steadily the faces at the mag keep changing, it really makes us wonder. If Future can't generate enough interest in the Editors to stick around, what do they think the consumers are going to do? It saddens me but I think I am going to have to start "shopping around" for different magazines to buy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:04 am 
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Nastastu wrote:
Future is really having me question whether I want to keep spending my hard earned money on their magazines.

I would agree if the subscription price was higher than $12/year. Really...if I can anything whatsoever out of the magazine all year, it was worth $1/ issue.


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