[bct] Re: podcast of window eyes verses jaws excellent!

  • From: Slythy_Tove <mcg907@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 06:22:38 -0800 (PST)


When I started my research project for my writing class I had no opinion one 
way or the other about any of these companies.

GWMicro's staff was antagonistic to me from the get go as soon as I said that I 
was writing a research paper and wanted information on the product.  I had to 
get most information from the website and from interviewing users.  I won't 
name names, but my blood still does a rolling boil when I hear one person's 
name mentioned.  Rude.  Nasty. Inconsiderate.  Demeaning.  Hostile.  I think 
those are all pretty tempered descriptions of what I experienced.  

JFW's staff was somewhat less hostile but certainly not helpful at all and were 
more interested in promoting and advertising agenda rather than actually 
providing information to use in a product comparison paper.  

The people at HAL - Dolphine could not have been nicer.  They bent over 
backwards to provide me with anything and everything I needed.  They discussed 
the pros and cons of the program, what they hoped to do and their goals and 
visions.  They sent me a demo copy, gave me access to users who described their 
experiences - the problems, the joys, the pitfalls. 

I really worked hard on that paper and I had several highly educated members of 
the blind community read it over to make certain that it was as accurate as it 
could be.  It came complete with footnotes and credits to the folks who 
contributed to it. I had no axe to grind.

JFW/WE were so much into competition and naked power struggles for domination 
of the market that they did not want an honest discussion of their product.  
When I did release my paper I was careful to say it was a snapshot in time and 
would be only useful for a brief period between updates and was based on a 
limited amount of information - then the harassing phone calls and emails 
started.  Both JFW and WE were furious I allowed anyone who was blind to read 
the material and were calling and writing me and were intentionally harassing 
and intimidating.  

Had I had as much law school then as I do now I'd have told them to blow it out 
their ear and sue me.  I hope they have their liability insurance paid up, for 
surely if they pull that stunt with another person or two someone is going to 
know an attorney who will sue their socks off and win. Whether it was done with 
the knowledge of the CEO's or not is immaterial because an agent who speaks for 
the company and has implied authority to act for the company can bind the 
company to actions in tort.  All knowledge the agent has is imputed to the 
owner of the company whether the agent told the owner about it or not.  That 
means that the CEO had better know if his agents are  being screwballs and 
harassing people. 

Personally, I'm all done with JFW and WE.  If I ever need a screen reader I 
will contact Dolphin.  I would probably use Mac's screen reader before I dealt 
with either JFW or WE again.  And that is from someone who had no opinion at 
all before this incident.  

Do I plan on calling anyone about it?  No.  They are not on my radar screen any 
longer and had Dan not mentioned it I would never have brought it up.  In my 
experience, they are staffed by corporate thugs.  On the other hand, I do not 
use their product and they have no reason to attempt to cultivate my favor.  

My best guess is that the products are largely still the same in terms of 
comperable  offerings.  I have a hunch that Dolphin has the most potential for 
extreme quality because of the underlying concepts it is based on, but it may 
take some time for them to come into their own.  My money - in the long term - 
is on Dolphin. 

I regret that I had that experience with JFW/WE.  Had I to do it over again, 
I'd write about almost anything than screen readers just to not have to 
interface with those companies.  I've quite washed my hands of them.  

Now, I suspect we have said all there is to say about this.  I'm unlikely to 
feel more kindly to them over the long term because what is done is done.  As 
long as others are being treated well, that is what is important.  Personally, 
I will never voluntarily deal with either of them again unless I am 
representing a client against them and that is unlikely as I don't plan on 
doing torts work.


Bill Belew <bill@xxxxxxxx> wrote:   Message    Marsha  and Dan, I respect both 
of you and value what you share on this list, but I have  to say that your 
attitude about GW Micro doesn't fit my experience.  They  are a small company 
that has managed to stick around for over 15 years and that  has stuck by some 
pretty strong ethics about how they do business.  I have  worked with them as a 
dealer in the past and have found them accessible and  honest and willing to 
listen when I was a dealer and since then as just a  regular customer.  I know 
most of the people there from meeting at  conferences and through many phone 
calls over the years, and they have always  been helpful and friendly and more 
interested in creating reliable access than  becoming big or making huge 
profits.  I have found them to be a little  defensive at times, which I think 
comes from being the little guy trying to  compete against the big corporate 
 Obviously, your experience is yours, but it is so different from my  
experience of GW over the years that I would respectfully suggest that you give 
 Doug Geophray a call and talk things over.  Knowing Doug as I do and  knowing 
the two of you through the list, I feel certain that you could easily  come to 
a better understanding.  

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