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When I quit pirating (stealing) software, I needed a photo editor that was both full featured and cheap.  Gone was Photoshop, and testing of others began.  After trying virtually every editor out there, I settled on Corel Photo Paint.  I bought version X, upgraded to X1, and then upgraded to X2.

I found the DRM distasteful, a constant running process to prove that I am not a thief.  I lived with it despite my misgivings.  I still can’t figure out why a company that I gave money to would constantly accuse me of stealing what I have bought and paid for.

Yesterday I installed my bought and paid for software into my newly installed Win7 RC, when I attempted to activate it I got the error message that the program had already been activated the maximum number of times.  It might as well as blared “Stop Thief!”

A hindrance, maybe not a big deal.  The error message contained nothing to do if the error was an error.  So I went to Corel’s site and called support…sorry out till Monday.  I called the phone activation number…sorry out till Monday.  I left an online support request…we’ll get back to you in 4 or 5 days.  WTF?  I bought this software, I only installed this software on a single computer.  Granted I reinstall my OS more than most…  I run a lot of beta software, I dork my install often, I install and run the latest Win7 builds, but I did not steal Corel’s software, I bought and paid for it and I have the reciepts.

It is ironic really, Corel is accusing me of being a thief while they are busy stealing from me.  I’ve noticed that those who are most afraid of crime are the same ones committing crimes, they call it projection.

I have been a good customer to Corel, and the thanks I get is accusations of thievery…gee, nice doing business with you too.

I filed a complaint with the BBB demanding a refund.

So while I wait for that complaint to wind its way through the system, I find myself in need of a photo editor.  Of course I would love to use Photoshop…but it costs $700!!  Photoshop elements is a bloated piece of crap…I bought and paid for version 4 and never used it.  I downloaded the trial of version 7 and found that it has gotten worse.

Any advice or suggestions?

(GIMP does not meet my needs, I need more wizard based editing that it gives.  I find that Picasa attempts to take over my computer…I don’t like it.  I currently have Windows Live Photo Gallery, but it does not quite meet my basic needs…ugh!!!…back to the beginning.)

Edit: I just got off the phone with Corel tech support.  First I called their activation hotline, but it is impossible to do anything at that number, you can’t get a person on the line or any help with activation issues.  Next I called their support number and after 10 minutes of navigating voicemail I got a person on the line.  He informed me that I would only get 2 more activations and if I ever needed more than that then I would have to re-purchase the software and get it on disk next time (he claimed that if you buy disks then no activation is required).  When I informed him that that was not part of my EULA and that I would not accept having to re-buy software that I already own, he hung up on me.

So what is up with that?  Does Corel not realize that I am their customer?  I have been a pretty good customer up until now…  I am off to amend my BBB complaint, as an alternative to a full refund I guess I will take a credit toward buying the disks.

I am also going to test Photoshop Elements some more, see if I can’t make it usable some how.

Edit: Corel responded to the BBB complaint with the offer to give me the disk without the restriction, I must pay for shipping and handling.  I accepted the offer, it seems reasonable.

I am pleased with the resolution because Corel has the best product in this price range.  Photoshop elements continues to suck.

This is my second time using the BBB with both outcomes being positive.

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