Parallels - Crap International Version and Customer Support

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Once I got my hands on my new MacBook Pro, I did what mostly everybody else does - I bought a copy of Parallels Workstation for Mac. I need it mainly for running local servers so I can do demos of server environments etc.

For various reasons, we (Valtech) bought the license from the local retailer at the same time as the laptop. Big mistake. You see, if you buy Parallels from a local retailer in a non-english speaking country, you get a special, international, version. This version is not downloadable from the site, and has it’s own line of activation keys, so you cannot use the regular downloads from the site.

Now, that should not be a problem, should it? Well, it is. To make a long story short, I could not get the fine feature of NAT networking going. I did all the huffs and puffs of uninstalling, restarting etc, but to no avail. At the same time, the regular version worked swimmingly, apart from the fact that it would not accept my activation key.

So, I figured it was time to contact Parallels support. My idea was that due to the reasons above I could trade my malfunctioning international activation key for a working regular one. I mean, I had paid for their product and could prove it by sending the key I had.

Enter the Kafka world of Parallels customer support. I have to date sent them eight emails with an ever increasing level of anger. The first replies misunderstood my request, thought that I had lost my key and offered me tips on how to get that back. When I finally got my point across Parallels stopped replying. I had to send two more emails to get an answer. They now understood the nature of my request but there was nothing they could do about it. Instead I should take my product back to the local retailer for a refund, and then buy a new license from Parallels directly.

The local retailer Macoteket referred to the swedish importer who will not return calls or emails. And Parallels still won’t give me a new key.

The moral of the story is: if you are about to buy Parallels Workstation for Mac, make damn sure that you buy the standard version. The international one is crap, much like their customer support.

There should still be hope for VMWare on the Mac.

Update: Macoteket eventually refunded our purchase and I rebought the standard version. Too bad it took so much effort.