Return to Bad Software: What To Do When Software Fails.

Bad Software is Copyrighted by Cem Kaner and David L. Pels.


This book covers a wide range of problems and situations. Some of what we say will apply to you and some won't. We've tried to present the material in an order that lets you deal with your problem and quit reading. Our ordering won't be perfect for everyone, though, so here's a suggestion. Don't worry about reading everything in order. If you get to a section that doesn't seem useful, skip it. If you realize later that it will be useful, read it then.

The first chapters of this book are written to help you in your negotiations with the sales or support staff of the software publisher and the company that sold you the software. Most people will be able to resolve most disputes at this level.

What if the publisher won't help you? Remember the old saying that the best way to accomplish your goals is to speak softly and carry a big stick. Chapters 1-5 were about the soft speaking. The next chapters supply you with sticks, starting with one that is quick, cheap, and easy to wield.

You can go bring legal pressure to bear on a publisher or retailer who won't work with you. We say "legal pressure" rather than "sue" because we think that you don't want to sue. Lawsuits are expensive, time-consuming, aggravating, and (for most people) not the least bit fun. But, lawsuits are how you ultimately enforce the law, if you have to. If you know your rights and you know your options and you have a good strategy, and if you're in the right, you can often convince the other side to back down without a lawsuit. Almost all legal disputes are settled out of court, but sometimes you have to file a lawsuit to bring the other side to the bargaining table.

Getting bad software and bad support are no fun. You might prefer to shop more effectively next time and avoid or reduce your problems.

We conclude with a look at a serious effort underway to change the law.

Our goal in this book was to help customers deal more effectively with software companies. If you're in the right, this book is your roadmap to relief. But you might not always be in the right, and we also try to help you understand some limits on what you can expect. This is a book about reasonable expectations, fair play, honest conduct, and how those are reflected in American business practice and American law.

Return to Bad Software: What To Do When Software Fails.

The articles at this web site are not legal advice. They do not establish a lawyer/client relationship between me and you. I took care to ensure that they were well researched at the time that I wrote them, but the law changes quickly. By the time you read this material, it may be out of date. Also, the laws of the different States are not the same. These discussions might not apply to your circumstances. Please do not take legal action on the basis of what you read here, without consulting your own attorney.
Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to Cem Kaner,
Last modified: Sunday October 26, 1997. Copyright © 1997, Cem Kaner. All rights reserved.