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Unscrupulous Vendors, be wary of them

Unscrupulous Vendors, be wary of them

Here's an important thing to remember when working with any IT professional who installs any type of software onto your systems:

Almost all "paid for" software requires an activation code, whether it's the OS, Office, or any other application.

If your previous IT consultant didn't provide you with an email or document that contains the "Activation Key", then you don't own the software.  While the software may, in fact, be installed on your system, without this activation key, you don't, in fact, own the software.  The person who controls the activation key owns the software.

Today, I received a call from a potential client who worked with another "Computer Shop" on Main Street, here in Lake Zurich.  The computer shop installed Microsoft Office and charged the client over $150 for the software, yet the shop didn't 'activate' the software with the "Activation Key".  After the trial period of 14 ran out, the client was left with a computer that no longer ran Office.  The Office software presented an error saying that the product needs to be activated.

Short of buying 'another copy' of Office, I informed that client that he needed to retrieve the activation key from the shop.  He paid for it;  He owns it;  He needs the 'activation code' in his physical possession.

An Activation Key usually consists of a cryptographically generated code similar to the following that specifies an exact license that the client has purchased from the software vendor:  nnnn-nnnn-nnnn-nnnn-nnnn.  The Activation Key will usually have four to five blocks of alphanumeric characters that are exact and precise that grants permission to the system to run the software.

Be sure when you purchase software from anyone that you retain a physical copy, either on paper or in an email/text, that contains this code as it relates to the software.

Without the activation code, you will not be able to re-install the software if for some reason you need to rebuild or reinstall the software.  Without the code, you don't have or own the software; the person who has the key owns the software.