I like to believe that I have a decent command of the English language. However, I am far from being a perfect writer. As such I require an editor to go over my work, but I don’t have a writing staff or funds to pay for one. So what does a small team like NYCTalking do? Use nerd software, that’s what we do! That being said, I have seen plenty of typographical, and grammatical errors on publications much larger than this one. So, I’m ok with slipping up every once in awhile, but I do try my best to produce quality work.
Enter the writing, editor assistant software Whitesmoke. Mind you that this is the second editor I tried, initially I had played with Grammarly. However, as crappy as Whitesmoke has proven to be, that one was just as bad, and even worst.
One of the major problems that I have with whitesmoke is the mysterious disappearing of words. Yes, words disappear!
ORIGINAL SENTENCE > The dog is happy today! > AFTER WHITESMOKE > Theis happy today!
How can I even remotely rely on a piece of software that actually drops words from my articles? It doesn’t even catch that basic words are missing from the sentences? Note that we haven’t even arrived at the part where the application will fix my errors yet, the app is actually creating errors for me to fix by taking away words and not even catching those errors!
There are multiple versions of this app. There is a web only version which you can use from any browser. There is a desktop version as well, which seems like the web based version wrapped in some local client anyway.
Initially I had purchased the web version only, this version was not working out for me at all. Every time I ran an article through the application, it would completely ruin my spacing and formatting. When you are writing very long articles, having to manually go through and fix formatting, and the spacing of each carriage return, that wasn’t initially broken is terribly annoying. There goes Whitesmoke breaking stuff! It also deletes any links you try to embed, so you have to wait until after you use the app to add any links or HTML tags. That part I can deal with, disappearing formatting, not so much.
This made the product unusable for me, so I called up the company to cancel and get my money back. These guys were trying to be helpful, they made me an offer to try the desktop version of the product, at no extra charge. Okay, fair enough, I agreed to try it. I will say that yes, this did fix the issues with spacing and formatting, but it introduced an even worst issue, the disappearing of words!
Since these guys were nice enough to let me try the desktop version for free, I decided to try and work around this issue. I’m a tech guy, so I tried different methods and techniques to work around it. However, after consistently losing portions of my articles, this problem rendered the product once again, unusable. So I reached out to the help team again.
This time, the group didn’t seem as eager to help me. It seemed like night and day to me. The first time I felt very impressed, I thought “Wow, these guys have amazing customer service.” That is part of the reason I agreed to keep using the product.
I reached out for help via the chat function as I did the first time. These guys are extremely willing to sell you an upgrade, I’ll tell you that! Besides sending me dozens of emails offering me “amazing discounts”, when speaking with someone about my issues, I also encountered sale tactics but little help in terms of my issue.
|info: A WhiteSmoke operator will be with you in just a moment.
info: You are now chatting with WhiteSmoke Team.
Rep: Welcome to WhiteSmoke Software, how may I help?
You: i want to look at the new product you guys have
You: the current one seems a bit unstable
You: driving me nuts
Rep: May I have your email address please, so I can check your license info?
Rep: thank you 🙂
Rep: one moment while I look that up
Rep: alright, would you like to order the new version of WhiteSmoke for one year for $49.95 or the lifetime for $$99.95?
You: what happens with my current subscription?
Rep: Well, if you upgrade to lifetime, I’ve already gone ahead and subtracted your previous payment from that, or if you’d like to get one year I’ll just go ahead and add the remaining number of days onto the new account
Rep: also, the v8 is a pre-order, so you wouldn’t have it for download use right away, but I’d be happy to provide you with access to the online v8 until the download comes out
You: negative. i don’t really want to invest in a pre-order. i’d rather try to address why this one is flaky then.
You: i have access to the online version
You: and the desktop version on this one pc
Rep: do you have the v8 online? that has a different sign in page which I’d gladly direct you to
Rep: As for any problems you may be having operating the software itself, I’m just a sales representative, but you can always contact our technical support team at *** and they’ll assist you
You: my license prob tell you what i have
You: i’m not even sure.
You: i know its the one that allows me log in from any browser
You: and run it locally on this pc
You: just this one pc
Rep: alright, yes, I am looking and can see that you have one year of the online
Rep: as I said, I can get you the new version of that, or for any technical difficulties you can contact support and they will help you out with any questions
You: but my concern is that i’ll invest more money and the new version may be troublesome too… :-/
You: I think I’ll email those people.
You: thanks for your help.
Rep: you’re very welcome. And if you decide you’d like to upgrade to the new version at any point please feel free to contact me directly at **** and I’ll be sure to give you that same pricing option
I wasn’t buying what they were selling. No way no how!
Next I emailed the support group. You know, the second time around, the emails seemed cold, dismissing, and it was like I was being told “do it this way or piss off.” Here are the technical steps I was given.
Please make sure you are using either the F2 key or the floating icon to check your text. This is significantly better than copying & pasting.
Moreover, the ideal way to check text with WhiteSmoke is paragraph-by-paragraph. This method will make sure nothing gets lost and it is much less likely to hang your program.
Here’s the problem with that, pressing the F2 function as they said, automatically selects the entire document for you. Then it runs the editing checks. So in order to check one paragraph at a time, then that would require copying each paragraph into another session, or a notepad, one at a time, then pressing F2. Seems like an awful roundabout pain in the ass to simply use a product that is supposed to work.
Meanwhile you want me to upgrade to the lifetime version of a product that has thus far proven highly unreliable? Seems legit. As it stands, I have no intention of renewing or upgrading anything. If you want me to try the new version, and determine whether it works, give it to me free. I’ll try it, and if it actually works, I’m more than willing to pay for a lifetime subscription. Now I’m going to check and make sure I do not have an auto-renew option setup here.
Have you used whitesmoke? What has your experience been like?
Growing Up Bronx
Please note the date on a post as it may be an old viewpoint. I keep old posts to show my evolution. The opinions and views expressed here are solely those of the author.