|Volume 2: No. 34|
Watch out for discount hardware/software houses. PC World has identified several people in Los Angeles who have ripped off readers for $100K-$500K. They use each other as references to get bank credit and merchant status, then place ads in leading magazines. Substantial discounts may be offered for cash in advance. They get your money, but never ship the merchandise. Law enforcement officials have shown little interest. If you're not sure about a company, order COD. (Charge cards will give you a refund, but you don't want to give your charge number to a crook.) You can ask the Better Business Bureau or the regional postal inspector about complaints, but that won't help with a new company. Make sure you're offered a 30-day money-back guarantee and after-sales support. Keep detailed records of every conversation -- including first and last names. If something seems to be wrong, cancel the order for a full refund. [Eric Knorr, PC World, 5/92.]
Several complaints and lawsuits allege bad faith by discount retailer Computer HQ (Palo Alto, CA). [CC, 8/11. Also Palo Alto Weekly, 8/12.] Computer Currents is continuing to carry the owner's two-page ads, and to carry his bids via its Fax-a-Quote service.
Counterfeit versions of PKZIP 1.10 are appearing on bboards. PKWARE, Inc. reports that PKZ201 and PKZIPV2 can damage hard disk data. [Alan Alper, CW, 8/17.]
New standards from the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) have dropped a proposed restriction on government employees participating in professional associations. Federal employees should continue under previous regulations. [FYI (email@example.com), 8/10. Russel Shermer (firstname.lastname@example.org), sci.research, 8/10.] OGE will issue a new proposed rule at a later date, but is waiting for the furor to die down. Over 1,000 comments were received, many of them from professional associations.