Paid phone support for... ummm.... what did you say it was called again?

I ran across a webpage today offering support for … our favorite project. (Lots of exuberance and bad grammar but little information.) With the project logo prominently shown.

And it was on a domain called ‘FamilyTreeMakerSupport dot us’ … they even had a live chat. I checked a little deeper and the enterprise was offering Tech Support for pay.

So I decided to try the chat and ask about Gramps. The agent’s response was to contact MacKiev. So I called the 800 number. (The domain’s “about us” and registration listed an address in a small town east of Dallas/Fort Worth Texas. Google Street shows a tiny 2 bedroom place in the middle of desolate country.)

I’m pretty certain that I was connected to a Call Center sweatshop. (His english was well pronounced but there didn’t seem to be much comprehension. I’ll leave ethnicity out of this discussion … but it was a outsourcing call center cliché.) It took several minutes to convince the 1st person that Gramps was promoted on the website and to explain that it was a open-source Genealogy software package. I was asked to call back in 30 minutes when someone could explain their webpage and capability.

When I called back, there was a run around. Again this person (with identically poor English comprehension) did not recognize Gramps even after describing it. I was trying to discover their rates and abilities. However, the rep claimed that they had knowledge in all genealogy tools and this would translate to Gramps. If I had a specific issue, I could engage them and they would develop on-the-spot the knowledge/skills to give an immediate answer.

Ummm… yeah… Riiiiiight.

I was hoping that there would be some competence and that their service would be worth the price to SOME users. Then we could post it as an alternative, help them make a living, and help some users who were willing to pay for personal service. No dice.

Now I’m left wondering if it isn’t a phishing scheme to get charge card info from unsuspecting seniors with disposable cash?

Don’t want to put a live URL in the posting:
familytreemakersupport dot us/gramps/

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