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Guest monkshood

Trouble with Purchase and Validation

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Buyer beware. Some words of warning.Each year thousands of hopefuls go online and spend money, tons of money, on various FS products with no problems at all. However, every so often an issue arises that require the attention of the vendor.Now, when this rarity does happen I think it

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Buyer beware. Some words of warning.Each year thousands of hopefuls go online and spend money, tons of money, on various FS products with no problems at all. However, every so often an issue arises that require the attention of the vendor.Now, when this rarity does happen I think it

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I dear say this reply will last as long as the original.I'm in the same boat with a certain FS shop - well two.One won't accept my card as it's issued by an American bank for myself in Australia, and the other always tends to put a pending charge as well as the purchase price.My solution - I don't buy from either, though the later is the sole supplier of the products that I really want but after it happened 6 times (total of nearly $300 purchased, and with the amount of products they're releasing could of resulted in that again already since I stopped), I refused to continue purchasing, although they have suggested a couple of other options, neither of which accepts my card.Although I have problems, I know of plenty of others that have no problems, so I don't generally try to post against them, as I believe I'm in a minority.The best option, is you should of contacted your credit card company and got the transaction reversed. What people don't realise when they do reversals is that it costs the company you've bought from more on most occasions. Enough people report a problem with a company, the more the card companies look at them.You will only need to tell you credit card company that what you purchased did not work, and that you have exhausted all avenues with the company in question.Give it a shot - but posting who etc, will only get the people who back them up in arms, and likely all instances of the thread deleted.Laurence

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What makes you think your post will be deleted, you haven't broken any forum rules (apart from the one about using your real name). That is not to say your post is going to get a huge amount of respect... five or six paragraphs before you start to tell us what your problem is, and then you start by saying "three PC

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PMDG have been and always will be top class in customer service. If anything, Robert R. will look into this, as he has done with many others, find your log in details and come up with a solution. I remember he found out how many times someone logged in to the ecommerce section but didn't go through with the purchase for the 747-400X and then when the special was stopped, said customer complained about not being able to get it at a discounted price. Robert sorted him out by telling him he logged in 2 or 3 times at whatever o clock the first time and such and such o clock the second time and didn't proceed when the special was on. Give it a day or 3. If what you say is true and you have purchased all PMDG's products, they may look at that and anything else that sheds light on the matter and sort it out.One thing I have noticed in the forums is the amount of piracy that goes on and all add on developers are extra cautious about handing stuff out without what they consider adequate proof of purchase. People still have the nerve to demand support for a product they didn't pay for.I'm still baffled why people would go for pirated software as I hear that viruses and spyware run rampant in those things. I'd rather keep my 200+ add ons in FS9 without risk of corruption. I did get the dreaded black screens in my 747 but Paul from support said it was a corrupted file somewhere because the -400F worked fine and a quick reinstall fixed the problem as outlined in steps from support.Also, you didn't say exactly what you were told. Messages get misconstrued over text dialogue. As I say, give it a few days and let Robert R. get back to you. He always addresses these things personally if they don't get resolved. After all, a company can relish in their success from all the positive feedback they get, but it only takes 1 negative experience from a customer for others to start asking questions.Reputation is a funny thing.Goran

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Well, I thought your issue was at least diagnosed in your thread: http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtopic=246643Have you contacted your ISP to see if there is an unresolved DNS issue?I pinged www.precisionmanuals.com @ 64.71.225.166, different from your 75.126.63.20.It is unfortunate that you are having this issue, but I still think there are solutions out there to resolve your issue.Edit: Did you really need two threads on this topic? I have merged them!

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This is absolutely a DNS issue. I have told you multiple times in your other threads to contact your ISP regarding this - we have NO control over what IP address your ISP's DNS resolves our domain name to. It's 100% on them and continuing to blame us for something that we cannot in any way control is not fair.Let me clarify the issue further so that you understand exactly what is happening:Domain names such as www.precisionmanuals.com, www.google.com or anything else are not the real addresses used to communicate over the Internet. They actually get converted into a number called an IP address, which takes the form of 4 binary "octets" from 0-255 separated by periods. So what happens is, your computer passes "www.precisionmanuals.com" to the DNS server at your ISP - it actually looks up a numerical IP address that is current associated with that domain name and uses it to communicate. The reason it does this is because IP addresses can and do change. This allows the same domain name to always work in "finding" the site, even if the actual IP associated with it has changed. Think of it like having someone's name associated with a phone number in your cell phone's address book - that person can change their phone number, but you still select their name in the address book to call them, even though the number has changed. If you tried to call their old number that's no longer in service, you will get an error.What's going on here is that we changed our server last year prior to the MD-11 release when the new bigger faster one was brought online. This caused an IP change. Your ISP's DNS has not updated to the actual current one (which is 64.71.225.166) and is instead trying to access the old one (75.126.63.20), which no longer exists. This is 100% the fault of your ISP - a standard "propagation" command was sent to all the world's master DNS systems (which ISP DNSs use for their information) when the server was changed and your ISP has apparently not pulled an update from one of them yet. Thus it still has the old IP cached in its records and that's why you get the old IP when you attempt to access our ecommerce or validation.I have just verified that Open DNS does in fact have the correct IP - there is absolutely no reason that using it shouldn't work. Are you using a router or are you directly connected to your cable or DSL modem? If you are directly connected, then simply placing Open DNS's server IPs into your TCP/IP settings as outlined on their site should make it so you're using their DNS servers. If you're using a router, the router may have its own DNS server settings that are overriding what you place into Windows - this could explain why Open DNS may not have worked in the past if you tried it previously.A for sure way to tell is to go to https://www.opendns.com/start/create_account and see if Step 1: Change your DNS settings shows that it is completed. If not, then you are still using your ISPs DNS server and not Open DNS's.Please post back after you have checked this.

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I dear say this reply will last as long as the original.I'm in the same boat with a certain FS shop - well two.One won't accept my card as it's issued by an American bank for myself in Australia, and the other always tends to put a pending charge as well as the purchase price.My solution - I don't buy from either, though the later is the sole supplier of the products that I really want but after it happened 6 times (total of nearly $300 purchased, and with the amount of products they're releasing could of resulted in that again already since I stopped), I refused to continue purchasing, although they have suggested a couple of other options, neither of which accepts my card.Although I have problems, I know of plenty of others that have no problems, so I don't generally try to post against them, as I believe I'm in a minority.The best option, is you should of contacted your credit card company and got the transaction reversed. What people don't realise when they do reversals is that it costs the company you've bought from more on most occasions. Enough people report a problem with a company, the more the card companies look at them.You will only need to tell you credit card company that what you purchased did not work, and that you have exhausted all avenues with the company in question.Give it a shot - but posting who etc, will only get the people who back them up in arms, and likely all instances of the thread deleted.Laurence
Hi Laurence,Thanks for this, with me there is no issues with the card, that works OK. The issues is with my system not seeing the PMDG system and not being able to validate the MD11 that I bought 2 or three weeks ago. I have tried all the suggestions so far, but with no result.Thanks.Merv Gagen

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This is absolutely a DNS issue. I have told you multiple times in your other threads to contact your ISP regarding this - we have NO control over what IP address your ISP's DNS resolves our domain name to. It's 100% on them and continuing to blame us for something that we cannot in any way control is not fair.Let me clarify the issue further so that you understand exactly what is happening:Domain names such as www.precisionmanuals.com, www.google.com or anything else are not the real addresses used to communicate over the Internet. They actually get converted into a number called an IP address, which takes the form of 4 binary "octets" from 0-255 separated by periods. So what happens is, your computer passes "www.precisionmanuals.com" to the DNS server at your ISP - it actually looks up a numerical IP address that is current associated with that domain name and uses it to communicate. The reason it does this is because IP addresses can and do change. This allows the same domain name to always work in "finding" the site, even if the actual IP associated with it has changed. Think of it like having someone's name associated with a phone number in your cell phone's address book - that person can change their phone number, but you still select their name in the address book to call them, even though the number has changed. If you tried to call their old number that's no longer in service, you will get an error.What's going on here is that we changed our server last year prior to the MD-11 release when the new bigger faster one was brought online. This caused an IP change. Your ISP's DNS has not updated to the actual current one (which is 64.71.225.166) and is instead trying to access the old one (75.126.63.20), which no longer exists. This is 100% the fault of your ISP - a standard "propagation" command was sent to all the world's master DNS systems (which ISP DNSs use for their information) when the server was changed and your ISP has apparently not pulled an update from one of them yet. Thus it still has the old IP cached in its records and that's why you get the old IP when you attempt to access our ecommerce or validation.I have just verified that Open DNS does in fact have the correct IP - there is absolutely no reason that using it shouldn't work. Are you using a router or are you directly connected to your cable or DSL modem? If you are directly connected, then simply placing Open DNS's server IPs into your TCP/IP settings as outlined on their site should make it so you're using their DNS servers. If you're using a router, the router may have its own DNS server settings that are overriding what you place into Windows - this could explain why Open DNS may not have worked in the past if you tried it previously.A for sure way to tell is to go to https://www.opendns.com/start/create_account and see if Step 1: Change your DNS settings shows that it is completed. If not, then you are still using your ISPs DNS server and not Open DNS's.Please post back after you have checked this.
Thanks Ryan,I have taken on board all the suggestions previously offered, including the Open DNS route. I did that and as far as I know (following the directions given) I have sorted out an OpenDNS account. I have changed my DNS settings to point to OpenDNS and indeed I am connecting through a router and I have changed the DNS setting in the router to plint to OpenDNS. Hain't made a hoot of difference. I have fulshed, cleared, cleaned everything I can think of, still not a hoot of difference.Using OpenDNS I even entered 64.71.225.166 directly into my browser (https://64.71.225.166/) and I get the notification screen at https://www.precisionmanuals.com/productcar....asp?message=83 even though I goiing through OpenDNS both on my system TCP and my router.Now, I'm not saying that this is all the fault of PMDG, it clearly isn't. What I am saying is that whatever connection methods PMDG is using to sell and validate products isn't working for me, perhaps others as well. As far as the ISP not updating it DNS thingy, well, when I did eventually mange to buy the MD11 I did so on another PC that was wireless connected through my network, so, therefore, using the same ISP as me. Perhaps you guys at PMDG have thought this through and come up with a solution, but if so it has not filtered down to me.From where I'm standing I have a bought product that, for whatever IT or technical reason, I can't do a thing with. Now, PMDG embrace that technology and rely upon it, I don't. As an end user all I want is the product I paid for to work on my system just like it says on the tin, indeed like all the others do. I have no issue with paying for this stuff, your'e running a business; in fact, given the previous products from PMDG I would have willingly paid half as much again without batting an eyelid.My principal frustration is that a solution is multifold and well with grasp and it doesn't involve me fiddling about with softwear here on a system that otherwise works perfectly fine and guns along nicely. Send a file that does not have to go throught this process, you know I've bought it, you have the records. Or refund the cost ($80) and I'll shrug my shoulders and go away miffed that I can't join in the fun, at least untill the MD comes out on DVD. Other than this, the next step for me is to notiy the card company and put it over to them.Ta.Merv
Did you try switching to OpenDNS? That would seem to be the simplest solution to your problem.You can find step-by-step instructions to change your DNS settings here: https://www.opendns.com/start/
Yep, I did, sorry to say it didn't make a hoot of difference.Ta.Merv

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Apart from the fact that the original poster's issue was ISP related, I take this thread as an opportunity to express my personal opinion and vote for a change in software protection.To protect non-material stuff like music and software, companies started to implement copy protection mechanisms which in time got more intelligent and stronger and thus harder to crack. In an attempt to ban piracy, the approach was and still is to encapsulate the digital media in a protective cover of some sort. With the advent of digital rights management, the ultimate weapon seemed to be finally found: Digital media is kept under complete control of the company which sells it. This company defines in the end when, how often, where and if at all a customer is allowed to use the product. Instead of owning digital media, the customer is degraded to someone who first needs to ask for allowance to use the product by going through a process of demonstration that he's no criminal and he has paid for the right to use the product. The result of an undisclosed validation process on the selling company's end decides if the customer can use what he has paid for or not.As a result, customers completely depend on the validation process which is unknown, they don't know when this process happens and what could make it fail. Moreover, unsuccessful validations could additionally damage systems on the customer's side, PMDG is a shining example: The latest service pack for the MD-11 for FSX, should the validation fail and a decision is made that the current installation of the original product is pirated, deliberately destroys not only the MD-11 installation, but deletes big parts of FSX as well, rendering it unusable.So, the customer in fact is left in a state of complete uncertainty: Neither does he know if some mechanism for some reason decides to lock access to what he purchased at any time, nor is there any guarantee for support by the selling company.Another example: Windows Vista. This software needs online activation and requires regular online re-activation. What if Microsoft decides to close down and disappear without warning? In the worst case, thousands of Vista installation will stop working after some time without any chance to recover.An additional problem of the complete dependency from the selling company: Customers are considered to be criminals by default and are in charge to justify their need for another re-install of a software in case a low threshold of installations is exceeded.On the other hand, pirates aren't impressed by copy protection, the piracy scene is alive at all times. Instead of fighting piracy, software protection causes it to expand: Many crackers see protected media as a challenge, they crack because there is something to crack.In fact, the only persons which are negatively affected by copy protection are paying customers. Instead of offering their customers products which are easy to handle, companies treat customers as possible pirates by default and sell digital media which can mean massive problems for customers. These participate in the game and accept all the disadvantages, probably because they're not informed in what negative situation they're in.After all, copy protection turns out to not bring the expected success: E.g. the music industry complains over declining CD sales. Instead of analyzing why CDs are copied (maybe the artificially high kept prices?), a system of patronizing customers and criminalizing them is in place.The open source scene has shown that there's another option: Earning money with free software seems illogical to many, but it can work if "added value" comes into play.My suggestion is to add value to software products as well: Are pirates really "lost customers"? Are they really interested in the product and would they have paid for even if it costs only 1 EUR? Serious customers need added value in form of support etc. By offering added value, copy protection is no longer needed, real customers will pay for what they want to use and the whole problem with copy protection is eliminated.Some customers already abandoned the digital rights management way and successfully turned towards such a business model. I can only hope others follow, and that PMDG will among them.I for my part hate any software protection, as much as I understand the reasons why they're in place. I don't want to delegate control over my software products, I want to play, hear and see what I've purchased when and where I want. I don't see any reason to write or call someone and declare my need for another install and ask for any allowance.As long as copy protection is in place and I don't see any movement towards "customer satisfaction" (I'm not a satisfied customer when I have a protected product) I do what I can to separate me from the protection by getting pirated substitutes. So, I legally own the product, but I'm independent from "big brother". And I can say that I succeeded so far, and yes, I have cracks for the latest and greatest MD-11 for FSX as well - sorry if that sounds "illegal".Pirates won't get away, and it's on companies like PMDG to leave the DRM way to nowhere and turn towards better customer support. There are a lot of opportunities to do this.Nevertheless I continue to buy PMDG products, maybe I'll switch to boxed ones instead of downloads (oops, another security hole, all those .iso torrents floating around...).Andreas

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Andreas,Is the entering of three pieces of information during a setup routine such a hassle?What method would you propose to alleviate these software protection measures?

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Steve, Flight 1 seem to have a nice security system going with the .key file and password verification process. They give the buyer an option to install on a different machine. I have reinstalled Flight 1 software countless times at the "Speed of thought". Sometimes, I reach my download limit but then I go to Flight 1 and request further downloads and it is instantly done. Also, I have requested my passwords to different products many times and it is all automated.Not saying PMDG's verification process is flawed. FWIW, it's pretty damn secure. But perhaps PMDG can implement something more automated for instances such as this.Goran

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Merv,Have you tried pinging since you added the OpenDNS settings? On the basis of those results, are you now pointing to an address that is the same as others have suggested on here?As per my previous answer to your post, I know you were reluctant to attempt making changes to your hosts file; with careful reading, and sufficient backup, you should find that this is a fairly low risk operation. It may or may not help, but it is a helpful method in determining what the problem is likely to be (although, I tend to agree with the concensus, its likely a DNS issue).Andreas,I think you make some very good points - I largely agree with your concerns over companies control over my purchases through their Digital Restrictions Management implementation - but, as I pointed out on previous posts, you have to strike a balance - a balance between the need for the vendor to reasonably protect their IP, and the need for the vendee to easily and seamlessly install that product. I believe that PMDG and, citing another example, F1, have this balance just about right. You're completely correct in that some companies make you feel a criminal and awkward approaching them when you need to reinstall - there was/is one FS addon company rather infamous for this attitude in the past; but they've learnt, through some (brutal but honest, IMO) feedback, that their paying customers weren't by default pirates, out to rip them off as soon as they could. They've simplified their activation process, and, via personal experience seem less paranoid now than before (or they just hide the paranoia a lot better. I prefer to think its the former though :( )PMDG/F1/Aerosoft to name but three, in my experience (and that is all I am going on, its all the subjective knowledge that I have), do not employ unreasonably low reactivation thresholds - at the start of the year, I had a very tricky problem that required, I reckon, four or five reinstalls of Vista and the MD11; at no time on either product was I challenged for exceeding the number of reinstall attempts. That's pretty reasonable, I think... once you're getting beyond six installs or whatever, some challenge may be in order, if for no other reason than to offer support, perhaps on the assumption that you're having a problem - the very "added value" that you argue vendors should offer to legitimate purchasers. I certainly didn't feel like a criminal having to ask for the 747 to be reactivated.

So, I legally own the product, but I'm independent from "big brother". And I can say that I succeeded so far, and yes, I have cracks for the latest and greatest MD-11 for FSX as well - sorry if that sounds "illegal".
I have to part company with your opinions here, though Andreas - legally purchased or not, you're still using unlawfully distributed software, and not for any reason that I think you can remotely justify, other than to perhaps satisfy your paranoia at "big brother"; to be honest, its coming over as a little childish - you've got a working product, PMDG don't look like they're going out of business any time soon, the validation process is as near easy to anything as you'll get (username, order number and serial number? I lose count at the amount of software I have that requires that same information). As a final note - regarding your comments about declining CD sales. My personal thought is as simple as they churn out bland drivel, something the consumer has gotten wise to and no longer wishes to support. I can but hope.

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