When software makers go too far


We have all been bombarded with program upgrade notices by email from those software developers who don’t offer free upgrades.  They want to let you know about the new features in the latest and greatest version of the software and offer you a great deal on the upgrade.  While these emails can be annoying it is only when it goes too far that my blood gets boiling.  A company called ScanSoft that makes PaperPort software for scanners among other products has been emailing me upgrade notices for years.  I don’t remember when I actually bought one of their products, I suspect it was an OEM version of their program that was bundled on a scanner or printer I bought years ago.  Last year ScanSoft changed their name to Nuance and the notices stepped up to a ridiculous level.  I get an upgrade notice via email at random but frequent intervals, and it quickly goes into the trash because I don’t even use their program.  I have tagged their offers as junk mail in Outlook but they change the sender address each time so they always get through.

This is annoying but not a big deal but today they stepped it up to the next level.  I got a call on my cell phone a few minutes ago.  It was a telemarketer informing me of the great new version of the PaperPort program and since I was a good customer I could upgrade not for the standard $300 price but for only $99.  I indicated quickly that I wasn’t interested but the guy wouldn’t quit.  When I insisted I wasn’t interested he said that obviously he wasn’t explaining himself well enough and badgered me as to how I could possibly not be interested in such a good deal.  I informed him for the third time that I wasn’t interested and he just got silent.  Refused to say a word so I hung up on him.  This is ludicrous behavior for any software vendor so Nuance, don’t contact me anymore and don’t ever call me again.  I have no idea how they got my cell phone number.  I should have known better to answer a blocked caller ID. 

UPDATE:  I think I know how they got my cell phone number and I am furious.  Last year Nuance provided me a review copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking which they also produce.  I ran a review of it here on jkOnTheRun and that was the end of it but for them to ship the software I supplied them with my cell phone number.  They obviously have turned it over to their telemarketers.  Bad, bad, bad.




Too bad…PaperPort is actually an excellent program. But I understand the problem. I HAVE upgraded, straight from the company’s website, and I STILL get bombarded with upgrade notices! And don’t even get me started on their abominable activation, which requires you to answer several pages of marketing questions.

I guess they’ve examined the pluses and minuses, though, and decided the pestering is worth it!


Lars, that tactic works great on a landline. Unfortunately, in the US it’s not “caller pays.” Here, the cell phone owner pays for both calls made and calls received. That’s why we’re so protective of our cell phone numbers.

Davey, unfortunately there’s no absolute protection from telemarketers in the US. They aren’t allowed to call cell phones using autodialers (which most of them use), but good luck trying to prove that an autodialer was used to call your phone. Otherwise, I’m not aware of any other prohibition with respect to telemarketers calling cell numbers.


Telemarketing (my opinion only) is obscene regardless but one of the funniest voice mail recordings I have yet heard said, “Hi, you’ve reached 999-9999, please leave a message after the tone Or, if you are a telemarketer, please press 2 and hang up.”

Ahh levity…

Lars Juhl Jensen

Telemarketing can indeed be a real pain. I usually try to be a nice guy and ask them to never call me again. There are obviously those companies that don’t understand the message. For these companies I have a special, incidious strategy that has proven very efficient.

The idea is this: if you waste enough of their time, they will eventually blacklist you. So next time you get to talk to one of those telemarketers who just don’t take a “no” for a “no”, all you have to say is “sorry, hang on for a second”. Then put down the phone … don’t hang up … just wait … and wait some more … and keep waiting. Eventually they give up on you and hang up after having wasted a lot of their precious time. This works particularly well if you are able to convincingly feign some interest in their product before you tell them to “hang on for a second” ;-)

Mike Cane

Oh, just wait until you lend your cell to your wife and she gets the one about, uh, enlargement! You’ll never blog again. >ROTFLMAO!<

Davey A in the UK

That is an absolute disgrace.
In the UK we are “protected” by the Data Protection Act, I don’t know if you have any equivalent over the pond.
I had the same trouble with a DTP company (S*r*f) who were very aggressive on the phone which I now boycott.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with Nuance who incidently regularly email me, I will as a result steer clear of this company too.

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