I am an owner of WORDsearch 5, and on that basis I ordered WORDsearch 7, along with several of the optional books that came with it—Bible translations, study aids and other helps for pastors. For a while, everything ran smoothly, even though I was put off a bit by the necessity of having to go through an entry screen and answer questions that were more annoying than helpful. That was only the first sign that things would not be as "nice" with WORDsearch 7 as with WORDsearch 5. What you apparently did not uncover during your evaluation of WORDsearch 7 is that it is a lot more complicated than "5" and therefore comes with more "bugs." On a Friday night, after the WORDsearch 7 tech help crew went home (they are not there over the weekend), my program "crashed"! That is the second time this has happened to me in recent weeks. The first time, I waited patiently for Monday to arrive and called the tech help line and they fixed everything, and the program ran well for a while. Then came last Friday!
Without access to tech help, I had to do something, because it was Friday night and Sunday morning was coming fast. I needed to access some of the resources that were included with my WORDsearch 7. Nothing happened when I tried to boot the program, but I did get a meaningless error message. I re-booted my computer to no avail. I even tried "system restore." No good! Next, I uninstalled the program with the intent of reinstalling it and hopefully fixing the program. Big mistake! Now, I could not even reload the program, and there is no apparent reason why. This kind of thing has never happened before. Maybe it has to do with a security setting in my version of Windows XP or my Norton software. I just don't know.
In any event, I have decided to jettison WORDsearch 7. And after calling them, I was pleasantly affirmed that as soon as I returned the software they would refund my purchase price. But, on the other hand, I received no sign of an apology for having such difficulty with their program (not what I expected from what I view as a Christian company).
Editor's note: We invited Randy Beck, president of WORDsearch, to answer Pastor Laswell's letter, and this is his response:
"Pastor Laswell experienced some unusual error messages on two weekends during times when we were moving and upgrading our servers that download program updates to users. We regret the temporary inconvenience to users connected to the Internet at that time. Many discovered that they could avoid the messages by simply disconnecting from the Internet during program startup and then reconnecting.
"Much of Pastor Laswell's displeasure focused on the lack of 24x7x365 technical support. We provide free technical support Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5:30 p.m. Central Time, using live English (Texan, actually)-speaking staff. We think most users would prefer that the service remain free, unlike the fee-based services of most of the secular software industry, even though it's limited to normal business hours. We also provide some self-service support through our Website. We'll try to think creatively about ways to meet this need without charging for support.
"I'm glad our staff cheerfully honored our return policy, and regret that they didn't adequately express our apologies. We're sorry we let you down, Pastor Laswell."
Thanks for the September review of my book of quotes by Spurgeon, but in case anybody asks, our Website is www.spurgeon.US, not spurgeon.COM as was mentioned in the review.
Kerry J. Allen
Editor's note: We apologize! Please see ad on page 29.
Is there any thought to putting together the series of articles that John Meador wrote on marriage in a booklet form? (Ed.: These ran in the February through August, 2005, issues of Pulpit Helps.) This material would be ideal for use in counseling sessions for either pre-martial or martial. I really enjoyed the series and have made copies to use in an upcoming series of sermons.
Robert W. Moody, Sr.
Editor's note: John Meador and the staff at Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga are currently considering the feasibility of producing a booklet containing "The Mystery of Marriage" series. If, and when, it becomes available, Pulpit Helps will announce it here in Readers' Forum.
I wanted to thank you for your response to my letter (see Sept. issue Readers' Forum). You are gracious and I deeply respect your commitment to all styles of preaching. When I was a teenage preacher my dad gave me a STACK of Pulpit Helps; I was in heaven! I have always enjoyed your publication and at times buy a subscription for young preachers. I appreciate your response. The cross should, indeed, always be the center!
Palms Baptist Church