What can I do to get a refund for Kazaa Lite?

Question

My son downloaded Kazaa Lite software. I had so many fatal error shutdowns and he had so many problems working the service that we deleted the software. Kazaa Lite will not refund the membership of $19.95. Do you know how to get his money back from the service?

- Linda

Answer

This question was answered on May 5, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Kazaa Lite used to be a free program that was used to access the Kazaa file sharing network without all the adware, spyware and pop-ups that come with installing the Kazaa program.

The parent company of Kazaa (Sharman Networks) went after the authors of the free Kazaa Lite program late last year and had them shut down for copyright infringement Since then, many pay versions of Kazaa Lite have sprung up trying to cash in on the popularity of the original Kazaa Lite’s reputation.

Many of the web sites offering to sell you a copy of Kazaa Lite, K-Lite or some variation are located in foreign countries.

There are many warning signs at these sites that should tip most users off that something isn't right Most of them boast of 'Unlimited Music Downloads' that are "100% Lgal" for a dollar a month, but when you look at the fine print, they say "We do not condone copyright infringement Due to the nature of peer-to-peer software, we are unable to monitor or control the types of files shared within the peer-to-peer communities".

There are no legal music download services that charge a dollar or two a month and give you unlimited access to music, movies and software.

The legitimate music sites like iTunes.com, Napster.com(yes, now they are legit) and Walmart.com all charge per download (usually 99 cents or less) and have a limited library No single source for legal music downloads has every song ever published in its library, mainly because the rights to every artist’s work must be negotiated with each label and/or owner of the copyright.

As with any software program that you install in your computer, you take the risk of introducing a problem after you install it When you install poorly written software from shady operators, you are much more likely to have problems and have almost no recourse.

You can try contacting your credit card company (I hope you used a credit card!) to see if they will remove the charges based on your complaint, but the real lesson to be learned here is to be extremely careful about what is allowed to be installed on your computer.

Today’s Internet is much wilder and loaded with many more con-artists because the number of uneducated victims continues to grow

If you have Windows XP, you can limit what each user can do with the computer including who is allowed to install software or make changes to the system

You can also install special software like CyberPatrol ( www.cyberpatrol.com) that will block access to certain types of web sites, chat rooms or programs.

If you feel that your child has more control over your computer than you do, seek some help from technically proficient friends or a professional source.

Any time and money that you spend to prevent these kinds of issues in advance will save you ten fold in time, frustration and money by avoiding the pitfalls of bad decisions.

The less that you allow to be added or changed in your computer, the better it will perform and the longer it will run without all the associated headaches!

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on May 5, 2004