Feeds

McAfee sued over third-party pop-up pitches

Consumer pair take issue with 'deceptive' sales tactics

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Security software maker McAfee is being sued over alleged sneaky tactics in promoting third-party services to consumers buying its anti-virus technology.

A lawsuit seeking class-action status and filed by two California women, Melissa Ferrington and Cheryl Schmidt, takes issue with pop-up ads for McAfee partners that appear when users install the security firm's software. Customers buying McAfee security software are reportedly confronted with a pop-up with a large "Try It Now" message during the download process. Lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that users might easily think the pop-up is for McAfee's software but is actually for one-click internet purchase technology from Arpu, which costs $4.95 per month. Other third-party add-ons from other McAfee affiliates are sold in a similar (allegedly misleading) way during the download process.

"A single click on the deceptive pop-up causes the purchase of an unwanted product from Arpu, a sale made without the knowledge or authorisation of customers, using credit/debit card billing information that they have entrusted solely to McAfee," the lawsuit charges, Computerworld reports.

Arpu's site acknowledges its affiliate relationship with McAfee. "McAfee partnered with ARPU in September 2007 with the goal of increasing their profitability by selling additional products to their customers," Arpu explains. "Now, whenever a McAfee customer completes a purchase on McAfee.com, an ad will appear for a related product or service. Interested customers can choose to subscribe to the product or service using the billing method just entered in their recent McAfee.com purchase. This convenience to the customer streamlines the purchase flow and increases the overall conversion rate."

Ferrington and Schmidt were billed each $4.95 per month via credit card for PerfectDisk Live, an online disk defragmentation service sold by Raxco Software, a service neither wanted. The lawsuit against McAfee seeks an end to the marketing practice, compensation for the litigants and punitive damages. It also accuses McAfee of breaching US consumer protection laws. Schmidt claims McAfee refused to help her cancel the Arpu charge when she called to complain.

A McAfee spokesman told The Reg that it was "reviewing the matter and don't have any comment on this pending litigation at this time". ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?