May we vent for a minute? Much as we love technology, sometimes we get fed up with the companies that provide it. Maybe it's the notice saying that important features of our perfectly good money-management software no longer work just because it's a couple of years old. Maybe it's the new PC we just bought, so loaded with unwanted junkware that it takes minutes to boot and runs like molasses. Or maybe it's the way we're forced to switch to a certain behind-the-times carrier if we want to buy a certain way-cool phone. (Oh, and that fairly new operating system we don't like, don't want, and can't escape? Don't even go there.)
Yeah, we're fed up, all right. A survey showed our readers have had their fill of such annoying policies and practices as well. Hoping for a little retribution — or at least some explanations — we went knocking on the doors of Apple, Intuit, Sony, Symantec, and other perpetrators of bad behavior. We didn't always receive good answers (or sometimes any answer — Apple didn't bother to return our calls), but we did put these companies on notice: Annoyed customers frequently turn into ex-customers.
Who got served? Here's our list of some of the most annoying practices (and practitioners), along with suggestions for working around the hassles or avoiding them altogether.