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

  • From: "Bill Belew" <bill@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 10:31:29 -0800

Marsha, thank you for your thorough response.  I think you are very far off
the mark referring to GW owners as corporate thugs, but I do agree that they
should be aware of employees attitudes and actions and that they were very
negligent in allowing you to be treated in such a hostile manor.  I also
agree that enough has been said about this entire subject.  

-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Slythy_Tove
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 6:23 AM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: podcast of window eyes verses jaws excellent!


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 an d 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 wo uld 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

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: 

Marsha and Dan, I respect both of yo u 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 leader.  
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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