Reader Lance emailed Digital River to opt-out of the automatic license renewal that came with his three-year subscription to BitDefender Antivirus. Rather than read Lance’s email, Digital River instead decided to cancel his entire purchase. After throwing several protest emails into Digital River’s customer service void, Lance decided to accept the refund so he could buy a different antivirus package. Except now, the refund is nowhere to be found…
I thought you might be interested in my recent experience with Digital River after purchasing BitDefender Antivirus 2009.
My old AV software’s license expired and I decided to look at what else was out there. I had tried a demo of Bitdefender in the past and thought it looked OK so I thought I would give it a shot. I found a coupon for 10% off and decided to order a license for 5 PCs for 3 years.
When I was ordering I saw that they sign you up for auto-renewal when the license expires and if you do not want that you must request that auto-renewal be canceled after you get your license key. This should have raised a flag I guess but I really didn’t think it would be that hard to take care of it right away; before I forgot about it. At least that is what I thought…
I followed their instructions to cancel the auto-renew via their website. A little later I got a reply back and this is all I got there was no actual confirmation that followed:
—- **This is an automated response.** **Do not reply to this message.**
Thank you for contacting the Online Store Customer Service Center.
If you require the assistance of a Customer Support Team representatives, please review the below information so that we can help you with your question(s) as fast as possible.
If you have DOWNLOAD, BILLING AND/OR SHIPPING QUESTIONS, you can visit our Customer Support at:
Here, you can find information to assist you with the following tasks:
- Download a digital order
- Check the shipping status of a physical order
- View and print an invoice
- Get answers to common questions
If you still need to contact our Customer Service Team via email, this can be done by accessing our email webform. To get to the Customer Support webform, simply choose ‘Contact Customer Service’ located at the bottom of the FAQ page. When completing the webform, make sure to include your Order Number in the field provided. If you do not have an order number, please include the product and site name in the comments filed.
If you have questions regarding technical support or product installations, please review your order confirmation message for the appropriate technical support contact information. Technical Support should be able to assist with any of the following: - Questions on installation
- Troubleshooting software
- Help with features
- General questions regarding the product
NOTE: We apologize for this inconvenience, but due to a high volume of various non-business related and unsolicited messages, emails sent to email@example.com that did not originate from the Customer Support form will no longer be reviewed by our Customer Support Team.
Thank you for contacting the Online Store Customer Service Center.
Sincerely, Online Store —-
Now to me this wasn’t a clear message that they had accepted or processed my request. From the note at the bottom it looked like they wouldn’t read any email I sent. I figured they were trying to make me jump through hoops to get this done in the hopes that I would give up; but I wasn’t going to. I would think this would be a billing thing so I followed the instructions in the email and went to the URL provided and accessed my order. I tried to submit the cancel auto-renewal request through the support form. None of the options in the drop down were for specifically canceling the auto-renewal but there was a cancel option so I selected it. There was also a section for you to type your comments about your problem or issue. I clearly stated that I only wanted to cancel the auto-renewal and submitted the form.
Fast forward a few days… I get home from work and my wife asks why Bitdefender stopped working and says the license key is invalid. I figured they must have mistakenly just canceled everything and not just the auto-renewal. I checked my email and found an email stating that they canceled my entire subscription. I tried to call their customer service line a couple of times and listened to hold music for 20 minutes or so each time before having the call dropped. Trying to not be deterred I found they had live chat support so I tried that. The person there stated that I asked for it to be canceled. I told them I had not and tried explaining the situation. I gave the rep the automated reply I got from them with my comments asking for just the auto-renewal to be canceled. I was told they would have to open an internal ticket and I would be hearing from them in 48 hours. I never heard anything.
I tried replying to a couple of their automated emails hoping the ticket numbers in the subject would get it read. One was to ask for confirmation that the auto-renewal was canceled and here is the other one:
I need some help. When I submitted the original request to cancel the auto-renew I got a automated reply that said if I needed help I had to contact you through the web form. It was not clear that my original request was accepted but looked as if I needed to use another method to make the request. I followed the link back into the web order page and looked for a place to make the cancel auto-renew request. The form that I got to did not have cancel auto-request as an option so I picked cancel subscription but put in the comments that I just wanted to cancel the auto-renew. The automated reply reflected my comments to just cancel the auto-renew. However it appears that someone there did not read my comments and canceled my subscription which is not what I wanted. I just wanted to cancel the auto-renew. Now Bitdefender will not work on any of my computers and says the license key is invalid. What can we do to resolve this problem? Again I did not want to cancel the entire subscription just the auto-renew but that is not what happened; someone there canceled my entire subscription.
Here is the reply I got:
—- Dear Lance,
Thank you for contacting the BitDefender online store.
We have received your request for a refund for order number xxxxxxxxxx.
A separate email message containing an electronic refund request form for this order has been sent to the address listed on your order. Should you decide to proceed with a refund you will need to follow the instructions in the form to complete your refund request.
If you do not receive the separate email, please check your junk or spam mail filters. Please allow up to one hour for delivery of the message.
Once received, to complete the electronic refund request form, you will need to open the message. Use the link that is provided (please note that the link may need to be completely copied and pasted into the address area in your browser window if you encounter problems), follow the on screen instructions and choose ?Accept?. After completing the electronic form, your refund request will be processed by our accounting team. Please allow 5 to 7 business days for the credit to appear in your financial institution?s records.
BitDefender online store
Customer Service —-
Its like they don’t read anything I type! So at this point I am pretty frustrated. I decide I have had enough and will proceed with the refund. Guess what? I never got the email with the refund form. I checked all mail marked spam from the last two days and don’t have it. I wrote back asking for it to be resent but I don’t have much hope now. It just irks me with how hard they are making things and their ambiguous or totally unrelated replies to what I write. What do you guys suggest? Should I go to my credit card company and do a chargeback or press on?
Digital River later sent the following email:
A refund has been generated for your order as a result of your request,
the fulfiller’s request, incorrect address, or a refused shipment. Refund details:
Order ID: xxxxxxxx
If you have further questions regarding your order, please click on the link below for assistance:
Please note: This e-mail message was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.
This place really confuses me. I never got the refund form that they said I would need to fill out and then I get this from them. It hasn’t posted to my account yet but I guess I just play the waiting game now. I think that from now on if I find that something I want is sold through Digital River I am going to have to really think it over before I enter into this mess again.
If Digital River can’t even take your money, how can you expect them to take on viruses? Definitely pursue a chargeback, and check out a free antivirus program like AVG.