Renewing Symantec Sucks

“To Symantec Hell and Back in 15 Easy Steps.”

Step 2. Am incorrectly charged the Canadian rate, after noticing that the “please wait while we process your request” on the site as I try to renew is for some reason in Italian…

Step 6. Am transferred to India.

Read the other 14(Thanks to Jackie!)

The poor lady ends up thinking she’s going to fix her problems by installing Norton. Sure, your computer will be safe. The tradeoff is it will also be too slow to actually use to do anything besides play Minesweeper.


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  1. CatMoran says:

    Number of hours I’ve spent in purchase/renewel hell with either Norton or McAfee:

    Number of viruses & trojans I’ve had to clean off my computer since ditching anti-virus software completely ~3 years ago:

    I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but anti-virus software is a bit like carrying a gun: it can make you careless.

    For the record: I currently have 3 PCs running Windows 2000 or XP. Sygate Personal Firewall is running on each, I run Spybot (at least) once a month, and I avoid Outlook and IE like the plague.

  2. Josh Cohen says:

    Odd. I have never had trouble renewing my Norton Antivirus subscription. My problems with Norton stem from the fact that there’s some sort of artifact in my startup and I have to click “OK” to an error message every time I boot my computer. A small price to pay.

    I don’t use Norton’s other suite of programs — their “worm protection” or e-mail scanning, for instance — because they interfere with my wireless. Always have. Symantec’s entire suite (including virus scanning) did the same thing when I had a Dell. (I now have a Toshiba.)

    One note on CatMoran’s comment: regrettably, due to my company’s strange system architecture, I am required to use Outlook and IE to check my e-mail or access my system while not at the office. But that’s the only thing I use them for. Companies that build software which only works on one browser need to learn that there are better browsers out there, and should remove the compatibility requirement.

  3. AcidReign says:

    …..When Dr. Solomon anti-virus got bought out by McAfee years ago (and didn’t honor the update contracts), I switched to Norton. My friend who’s an IT director warned me that “Norton IS a virus.” I didn’t listen, and got a mega-slowed-down computer that was a lot more crash-prone. My fix was to kill all the Norton start-up stuff, and run with no protection, other than a weekly scan.

    …..We never got what Norton considers to be a virus. However, using MSIE, we got Comet Cursors, Sex Downloader, Alexa, CWS, Xupiter, and quite a few other unwanted intruders. Spybot and/or Adaware could pluck them, till a couple of years ago, when the really nasty ones started piggybacking on Windows Explorer, and refusing to be deleted. When I started having to boot off a DOS diskette and manually delete these parasites, it was time for a new browser.

    …..I have yet to get any spyware off of Firefox. And AVG antivirus is free and eats very little in system resources. It’s well worth the switch.

  4. Morgan says:

    One note on Josh’s comment on CatMoran’s comment: I just wanted to add some perspective as a web developer. I’ve worked at three different companies; while none of them specifically build software to only work on IE, all of them develope the software for IE first and foremost and will only add in testing for other browsers if the customer wants to pay for more. The conversation usually goes like this: “We have your site working for 75% of the people out there. (I don’t know the current statistic; since I started doing this before firefox came out, it used to be considerably higher than 75%) Do you want to spend up to $X (where X is a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on how large the site is, how much coding that could screw up in different environments there is, and how anal the customer is about having everything line up down to the pixel) to make sure the site works exactly the same for the other 25%? Remember that the other 25% generally have access to IE anyway.” Some customers are willing to spend that money, some aren’t, but as developers we can’t add in support for more browsers if the customers aren’t willing to pay for the time it takes us to do that.

  5. Ben Popken says:

    Petbrip writes:

    “I’ve worked in computer sales before and currently work in a tech shop. I would suggest to all consumers that they just go out and buy another retail product and opt. for the rebate that they come with.

    Example: 50 dollars retail (plus a 20 dollar in the box) or 30 dollars to upgrade over the internet. In the end it’s the same price, and the rebate hassle is a lot less than the online renewal hassle.

    Also when upgrading online, you are told to uninstall the old version and then install the new one. Well, during that time you aren’t running any anti-virus at all and are completely open (which is what causes most of the problems for people).

    Just being connected to the internet for 16 minutes these days can get you something, you don’t even have to be browsing web pages. As for the comment a reader left about Spybot, that does not actively search for viruses and worms.

    I myself use Trendmicro internet security.”

  6. AcidReign says:

    …..And that’s why I’d use a router, even if I had only one computer. A hardware firewall (stealthed)in front is even better. It really helps when you format c: and reinstall Windows. You can get it patched and configured without worrying about getting miscellaneous open default ports raided.

    …..Trend’s Housecall service is about as good a web service as you can find!

  7. nevernortonagain says:

    As I type this, I have been on the phone for hour two with Symantec. Symantec is only slightly better than the Nigerian spammer looking for your credit card number. They sold me a download, but have yet to produce a human being in Bombay or otherwise who can help me install 2007. And when I asked for what purpose I was being transferred to supervisor who clearly couldn’t help me, the young lady across the sea just hung up on me. Come to think of it, maybe she has been trained in American customer service techniques.