Zonbu? No thanks…

When my parents started having trouble with their PC, I found myself  spending quite a bit of time on the phone with them answering questions. Not that I minded. But as you know, it's very difficult to trouble-shoot when you don't see the screen.
"It's asking me to do something," my mother would say.
"Well, what's it saying?" I would ask.
"I don't know, I already clicked and it's gone."
So when I saw Zonbu, the machine that claims to …

"works for you — there's nothing to install, no software to configure,
and nothing to update — ever. Your computer is always up-to-date with
the latest software releases and always free of malicious viruses,
spyware and malware."

What could be better, I thought. Plus, the reviews were strong. The package was this: buy a box for $100 and pay $15 month. The service fee would support the software updates, virus protection, and backups automatically. The biggest benefit, I thought, was that it would all happen seamlessly. No more questions from my parents!

No such luck. Because it is a linux-based machine, the interface was confusing. And there were "questions" because my mother kept calling to ask me why it wasn't "just working" as I claimed it would or what did it mean " to do such and such." She wondered why it didn't "look like" her old machine.

 Finally, after several months, the machine kept freezing, which would prompt a, "it won't let me in!"

 I determined long-distance that it must be a bad wireless router, so I had my parents purchase another. That wasn't it.

Finally I contact Zonbu for support. I was surprised to learn there was no phone support at all–surprised since they were paying $15 month for SUPPORT. We played email tag for a few weeks, but help was not forthcoming. My emails were answered quickly, which was positive, but the advice was not.

"Go buy a PS2 keyboard connector to see if that helps."
What? I have a USB keyboard. I need to buy something else?

No thanks, I responded via email. I cancelled my mother's account, paid the $200 fee, and bought her a Dell. At least I can try to speak "Windows" long distance.

Nothing is easy these days.

Lesson learned.