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Smarttweak UpdateMyDrivers to infect your computer
Member Name: TheGoodSurveyer
Date: 15/07/12, updated on 15/07/12 (3028 review reads)
Advantages: They take your money straight-away, which is an advantage to them.
Disadvantages: The software infects, and adds blank junk files to the computer, and the refund policy is false.
=== Why I purchased their software ===
I purchased Smarttweak's UpdateMyDrivers software a few years ago, which was from their previous domain smarttweak.com (now smarttweak.org). I had a few drivers on a Windows computer, which weren't working as they were supposed to work due to a number of incompatibility issues - following a Windows update. I tried a number of online driver scans, including the one on Intel's website (http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/detect). None of which could completely solve the problem.
I then found a number of websites, which offered trial versions of their software. This website (smarttweak) was one, which had found over a hundred driver update files. The scan results were very impressive, and I clicked on the button to update the system drivers. A prompt screen appeared - which said I must purchase and register the software with a licence key, before I can run the update. Before purchasing the software, I read their refund policy. At the top of the page it read "30 day money back guarantee", and the small print stated that this applies when the software doesn't work as advertised. For people requesting a refund within two days, it said "immediate refund...no questions asked".
=== Purchase, installation and activation ===
I purchased the software, and paid via Paypal. During the payment process I noticed something a bit suspicious, but gave them the benefit of doubt. The price was in American dollars, which was about $10. The payment confirmation page showed about $24, and I thought I'd let them know about this error after updating the drivers.
I received the licence key, which I entered into the program. The program brought up a message, which said it needs to be reinstalled, and the licence key re-applied after the reinstallation. I reinstalled and licenced the program, this time the installation was extremely slow. The initial installation took about five minutes, and this time it took over two hours.
=== Using the software ===
I started up the software and ran the update scan, which found a smaller list of updates. I found this a bit odd, because the trial version seemed to find a lot more. I still didn't understand why this software was experiencing some problems, even though it appeared to work well in trial mode. I then clicked the button to download the driver updates, and my antivirus software blocked three or four of the files, which were infected. These weren't false positives, because I had heuristic analysis switched off, because the computer was working a bit slow - due to the problem with drivers.
Many files did download, and the software showed the driver update successful. I restarted the computer, and ran the update scan again. I noticed something strange, the program found exactly the same driver updates. I then looked through the list, got a few examples, and searched for the drivers. I found nothing added to the drivers' folder in Windows, and a quick Google search showed the named drivers in the list - to belong to hardware, which didn't exist in the computer.
I thought there's something wrong with either the software, or my Windows needs to be reinstalled. I reinstalled Windows, and this time I installed the trial version of the software on that PC, and on another computer. I ran a driver update scan, and on both computers - it found exactly the same results.
=== Company correspondence ===
Because the software cost me at least double its cost, and because it didn't work as advertised - I asked for a refund. This was half a day after purchase. The reply they kept giving me was the same "There are no reasons for refund. Please read our refund policy." I had read their refund policy, including the small print. It clearly said there's a thirty day money back guarantee, to which the small print explained - this applies if the software doesn't update the drivers correctly, or it doesn't find the same results as it finds in trial mode. Apart from that, there was the two day no questions asked, money back guarantee.
They continued to reply with the same thing, that there aren't any reasons for a refund. I even told them that when it came to payment confirmation, I was charged double the cost. They then edited the cost information on their website, which now included "download insurance". This insurance enables you to re-download the trial software, should the original download fail. Even though anyone can download the trial software, at any time, they chose to use this as an excuse to cover up for the extra money they took.
They had refused to give a refund, and I had been discussing with them for a lengthy time. I decided to continue the matter the next day. The next day I went to their website to find some changes, which included the refund policy. They had removed the two day no questions asked, and the thirty day money back guarantee. I had opened the case with Paypal; it was dismissed, because they had made those changes, and Paypal didn't know that the web content was any different before.
=== My conclusion ===
It's somewhat understandable - to have made the mistake of purchasing a useless piece of software, which installs blank files and infections to the computer. I've learnt to be a bit more careful about which software providers to trust, and which not to trust. I switched to mostly open-source software, which avoids the hassle of purchasing from fraudulent software providers. Keep your computer safe; don't install their junk on it.
=== To sum up ===
I purchased their driver update software, because the trial version showed many driver updates, and instructed that the update can only be done after registering the software. Software didn't work as it was advertised, and behaved more like malware.
Summary: Use a different driver update utility.