Customer Loyalty Cuts Both Ways
Now Goes Under the Radar
On Nov. 10, 1997, Qualcomm Inc.—a NYSE company—bought Now. Two years later, it ditched the two programs I'd become dependent upon, TouchBase and DateBook Pro, licensing them to something called Power On that was run by John Wallace and his wife Sheila.
When the new millennium hit, I could no longer print out the calendar. But I could “Print Screen,” which was the same thing.
I tried to contact Power On once or twice but couldn't find it anywhere.
No problem. The programs worked fine on my desktop Mac and traveling laptop.
Then a year or two ago, I upgraded to a new Mac G4 desktop that wouldn't support the OS 9 operating system, which means my Now software is Now dead. Mercifully, it still works on my laptop.
The other day I decided to enter the 21st century and get my creaky, old system up to speed. Surfing the Web, I found Now Software in Columbus, Ohio. The CEO is Power On’s John Wallace. I sent the following e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org on a Saturday:
I have been using TouchBase & DateBook Pro for maybe 15 years. My new Mac OSX will not support it. Tell me what to do. Thank you.
I received the following reply that day, Saturday:
You should be able to. Here's some help.
Toll Free Direct: 866-527-0533
Enclosed was a March 2003 document titled: “Importing TouchBase Pro 4.x Contacts Into Now Contact 4.x.”
Just one problem: Now software is selling Contact 5.
Further, this complex set of outdated instructions came on blank paper—no letterhead, no address, no phone number to call for help, no Web address.