Cris Mooney
A Personal
Web Page: 

"Of course, that's just my opinion, and I may be full of shit"
- Dennis Miller -

Since this opinion was considered in great detail, it will be difficult to change my mind. However, it's not impossible. I am always open to reason. I welcome well thoughtful, logical, response.

Recorded March 21, 1998

The Old Bait And Switch

For three consecutive PC Magazine issues, vol 17 no. 3-5, Umax ran this ad offering very inexpensive PCs as a "limited time offer*". When the ads ran, none of the product was available. Instead salespersons offered a more expensive replacement. This is Bait & Switch to me.

I recommend  (no UMax) business. Beyond this, you may wish to write them to express your opinion on the matter. Below is the letter I sent. 

Update: Since the ad ran well after the supplies lasted (it any ever existed), I don't care about that footnote that I subsequently found on the third page of the ad (no one else of the number of people I had talked to had found it either); however, the note may cover their legal butt. You may be able to read this on at the right side of this page. In the next to last line of the "legal size" paragraph, the footnote for "Limited Time Only*" changes from Limited Time to Limited Supplies with the footnote "*Pricing for UmaxPC 2230/200 and UMaxPC 2430/233 available only while supplies last".

Update #2: Subsequent to sending the letter, I did buy a new high end PC from BOLData. Not to leave you with the impression that BOLData is any gem either, they did ship me the wrong DVD drive (old model) and Graphics card (good, but different than what I ordered). And, one ISA port is bad, as well as one audio input channel being dead (I may have trashed the audio input). BOLData support is hard to reach, and I do not recommend DOLData. As of, Sept 1999, I recommend EMachines for low end purchase, but this sort of recommendation changes all the time - product seems good, and support has been decent for the friends that I know that have had problems.

Update #3: In December of 1999 I purchased a system from Neocomputers, and there was a mistake on the shipped configuration. I thought I would once again have a battle on my hands, but that was not the case. When I contacted this company be email, their response was quick and helpful. They made good on their mistake, working out a resonable deal with me. All too many companies these days give you the run around - but this was not the case. Though I can't guarentee they will stay this good, I must say my experience with their service was excellent.

To the following letter I have gotten no response (none was requested):

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 11:32:49 EST
To: Umax sales <>
From: Cris Mooney <>
Subject: Umax-Sold Out...Count me in as a lost customer
Cc: Gateway 2000 sales <>, Dell Home/Home Office Customers <>,,,

To Umax, and Whom It May Concern:

As a long time Umax scanner owner, and a Mac user that had held your company in a respectful position, I would like to enter myself into what must be a long list by now - those who will no longer deal with your company.

In the near future I am going to be in the market for a PC, and would have considered your company as a viable option - perhaps even for one of your higher end models. However, a friend drew my attention to your recent ad, and I felt the need to verify what sort of company Umax was. Though I called right when each ad came out, and continued to come out, you had none of the advertised product available - and the sales person offered a more expensive "alternative" without compassionate explanation. Though I would really have been interested in a more expensive model, I was not yet in the market nor would I ever do business with a company using such bait and switch methods. I learned what I needed to know.

The ad that continued to be run in PC Magazine for multiple issues AFTER you were unable to meet demand has put an unremovable blemish on your company name. The ad never said "limited quantity", a more justifiable but often as sleazy a technique, just "limited time" (with an * and no footnote). Yet the ad continued to run. When was the "limited time", and why were ads scheduled to run after that date? I do not want an answer, since none will change my resolve to avoid your company and down talk Umax at every opportunity.

Any vendor running such a full page ad would clearly be aware of the sort of response they would get. I don't care about the law, I don't care about excuses, this was clearly a case of bait and switch. I will not deal with such a company, ever again.

Cris Mooney