Feeds

McAfee sued over third-party pop-up pitches

Consumer pair take issue with 'deceptive' sales tactics

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual 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". ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
(Not so) Instagram now: Time-shifting Hyperlapse iPhone tool unleashed
Photos app now able to shoot fast-moving videos
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.