We protect our software from illegal copying by registering each copy. If someone installs the software in a new machine or if they change the registered user details the system warns that it will not be usable. The call at 4am was frustrating because one of our clients had ignored the two warnings and proceeded to change what they were advised not to change without getting a new serialization code first. Their action got a couple of people out of bed and a young family woken – all because they did not follow the simple advice on the screen.

Such are the frustrations of some middle of the night support calls.

Some may say why allow people to change something which could disable their system. Our view is that you can only go so far in protecting people against themselves. When we say they need a new access code we assume they follow that advice and get it prior to proceeding.

I really feel for the members of our team who take these 4am phone calls, especially when the reason for the call could be avoided by the user of the computer reading the message on the screen and following the advice. Some users have the view that they are awake at that time of the day so why not everyone else.

We’ll continue to take these middle of the night calls but we will be tougher about holding people accountable for not following basic advice which could have avoided the call.

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