Anti-virus skulduggery - upgrade licence clock shock slammed
AV bigs: 'No we never' 'It's a fit-up' etc
Anti-virus vendors AVG and Symantec have been criticised for sharp practices in selling consumer antivirus upgrades.
Every year security vendors bring out new versions of their products with improved engines and better technologies (behaviour blocking, improved speed performance and cloud-based-detection, for example). Marketing emails or product pop-ups from Symantec (which markets its Norton line of security software to consumers) and AVG encourage users to upgrade at a discount – but with an allegedly hidden catch.
If consumers upgrade early in response to these emails, they lose the remaining licence period for their existing software. A Which? investigation said that although AVG and Symantec reset the clocks when users upgrade, the practice is not uniform across the industry. Other vendors, such as Panda Security, transfer across the remaining licensing period.
Meanwhile, McAfee said it doesn't send out reminders about upgrading until users' yearly subscriptions are about to expire.
Symantec defended its practices, arguing that the conclusions reached by Which? were misleading because they ignored the warnings it provides to consumers who upgrade early, among other reasons.
Symantec considers Which? Computing’s press release entitled “Anti-virus companies’ antisocial practices” misleading to customers for several reasons.
Firstly, Which? has not clarified the distinction between product upgrades and subscription renewals, and we believe the press release may mislead customers into believing that they will lose subscription time when they renew their current product or download the latest version of their product.
Secondly, Which? suggests incorrectly that customers who upgrade to a different product prior to the expiration of the time remaining on their existing product subscription are not informed that any time remaining on their existing product subscriptions will not be added to their upgrade.
Symantec gives customers the option of renewing their Norton product subscriptions or purchasing upgrade products containing additional security features.
More details on the Which? investigation can be found here. ®
Who is stupid enough to use Symantec for anything? They buy in decent products and turn it into scareware bloat. No exceptions. Ghost, AtGuard, Norton etc etc. All turned into bloatware with scareware features - OMG we blocked a "probe" on port 139. We've updated your filters with more scareware shite. Why? Hell not even MS came out with crap like Symantec did, who the hell needs to know some random moron is probing netbios ports - wankers.
AVG is just a recurring accident. Only possible excuse for using it is because you got sucked into it because it used to be free. If you're still using it then you only have yourself to blame.
NOD32 email you about 4 weeks before the AV is due to expire - update before expiry you get a discount (not much) but license is just extended to the same day next year. I think I paid £150 or so this year for 5 machines x 3 year sub (£10 per machine/year rings a bell).
I have kids in school so AV isn't optional - its necessary. I used KAV for years then that went all fluffy and bloaty, Sophos is expensive for a few home machines.....
Why pay for antivirus?
MSE seems to do just fine and gains high marks in independent reviews.
"Symantec gives customers the option of renewing their Norton product subscriptions or purchasing upgrade products containing additional security features; furthermore, we cancel any remaining subscription for the previous product if the customer chooses to upgrade, thereby bringing in more money from them and taking away something they have legitimately purchased."
There, fixed it for them.