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33 reviews & complaints.

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Don't go with McAfee.
Posted by on
My father has had McAfee on his computer for the past several years now without any problems, so when I was able to get an internet connection on my laptop, I downloaded and installed the program. It was all right for the first few months, then I started having issues of verifying my subscription, and keeping my system protected (which to me made no sense). Then one day while on a game forum, a program installs itself onto my computer that demands that I buy its deluxe package to protect my system. I did a little research on my dad's computer (since it was randomly blocking websites on mine) and found it was a virus. McAfee gave me few options; all of which cost a large amount of money, so I opted to run a System Restore, which was absolutely free and got rid of the virus.
Next few months pass without a hitch when BAM, hit with not one, not two, but 12 trojans. McAfee was able to get rid of some of them, but for the ones left over, said "Restart and scan". I did...and got the same message. I did another System Restore and continued on without any more problems for about two weeks.
The next virus that I was infected with was not very nice. It installed itself without any notice, demanded that I download another program, blocked my internet access and almost all of my programs and applications; including system restore. I called McAfee (who hide their number oh so well), was scripted by a foreigner who could barely speak the language, and was told that they couldn't do anything, but had experts that could for $90. I semi-politely said No.
A close friend of mine works for a local computer repair shop, and was able to look at and try to clean my system, but wasn't able to get rid of the virus. I had to wipe my hard drive, and since I had no back-up, all my files were gone.
I've been able to convince my dad with this experience to ditch McAfee and try another software, which he refuses to do until our subscription is up.
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Anonymous on 01/26/2010:
OK, you do understand that trojans and malware (your first example) are NOT viruses, and that McAfee is an antivirus program? There are other programs out there that are inexpensive (or free), like Spyware Doctor, or AntiMalware that will help you in these situations.
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Full refund? Only if you demand it
Posted by on
Despite the fact they state they only give full-refunds, a customer service representative tried to tell me my only option was a partial refund (which their website states explicitly they do NOT do.)

I noticed I was being charged for a service I have not used in approximately 2 years since I switched. That was no problem since its my fault for not checking my statements more closely. I didn't expect to get my money back, but I wanted to at least cancel the account. I immediately went to their website to see what could be done about cancelling auto-renewal. I couldn't find any sort of My Account login, so I went to the support section and saw they had a refund policy read which is located here:

Their stated policy is a 100% refund on purchases within 30 days, and 60 days for auto-renewals. I was WELL within those limits. I chose their chat option to talk with a customer service representative. After confirming my identity, I was shocked twice: 1. The email on file was several years old, so old it should be bouncing back email to the company (shouldn't that send up a red flag?) and 2. the representative told me my only refund option was a 50% refund which their policy states they will NOT do.

I am not accusing McAfee of purposely trying to scam people, but at the very least they need to properly train customer support. It isn't excusable to say, "those who don't read FAQs deserve it." It's not like I was demanding my money back on something that stated "no refunds!" I don't think it's too much to ask to stick to their own policies.

After linking and quoting the company policy and demanding all my money back, I got my 100% refund. That's why I always read the fine print.
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Anonymous on 04/15/2008:
Thanks for one of the most mature posts I have seen in ages! You didn't expect anything unreasonable. I have been a fan of McAfee for a while. I'm dismayed that they were so unreasonable with you. All you wanted to do is cancel and unwanted/un-needed service. Unfortunately, you reached a poorly trained CSR. Again, thanks for a great post!
advisor1008 on 04/21/2008:
Good looking out... Thanks a bunch!!!
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Worse Customer service
Posted by on
I have never had a worse experience with any customer service organization than I have had with McAfee, 9/15/2007.

At 7:00 CST I attempted to login onto McAfee, but was not able until 7:14 AM CST, 14 minutes after their supposed start time). At 7:14 I was able to logon so I could enter my credit card number and pay $64.95 to get help. I called 877.772.4513 and paid $64.95 twice (once two weeks prior to this call) to have viruses removed from my computer. The first call the tech removed the viruses, or so I thought. He then installed reinstalled McAfee protection, or so I thought. Days later I had virus problems again. I called 877.772.4513 again and "James" in India removed my viruses again (virus pin number 24453738). I told James before the call started that I though my McAfee protection was not working... He said he'd check it later in the call. At the close of the call he said that I would have to call 866.622.3911 to have them help me download since I did not have protection. While downloading I received a prompt which stated that a potentially unwanted program is detected, C:\WINDOWS\RGViYmll\asappsrv.dll if you do not recognize potentially unwanted program, McAfee recommends that you remove it. I was given a choice of the following: Remove this program, Trust this program, or close this alert.

Kate from 866.622.3911, (case # 24454119) stated that I needed to uninstall the McAfee program I had just installed 5 minutes prior. Kate had me reinstall McAfee at which time I received another warning that McAfee detected an unwanted program called, Adware-Isearch. During this call, I was getting unwanted web sites on my screen, leading me to believe that I was getting more viruses again. Kate then told me I would have to call a toll free number 900-454-6223. I called this number twice and it did not work either time. I then called back 866-622-3911 and spoke with Grace, ref number 24454689. Grace told me to call 800.644.8144. I told Grace that I had already spent 3 hours trying to solve the problem and that I was not going to call this number until after I spoke with someone in management. Grace took 10- 15 minutes to transfer me to her manager, Reese. Reese told me I would have to call toll free number 800-644-8144... I told her she would have to stay on the line with me and transfer me to that number so we could solve the problem. Reese agreed, and then transferred me. However, she did not stay on the line. I then received a recording that I would have to pay for the call with my credit card... Since I already paid $130 over the course of two weeks I hung up and called 866.622.3911 which took about 10 - 15 minutes for Jame to answer my call. I told Jame I needed to speak with Reese. Jame put me on hold for 10 -15 minutes and came back and told me I would have to follow Reese's instructions. I told her I was not going to call 800.644.8144 again because Reese told me it was a toll free call and that she needed to transfer me to Reese. Jame told me Reese was in a meeting and that she could not answer my call. I told Jame that I need to speak with Reese's boss. I then stayed on hold for another 20 minutes until Jame told me she was still looking for another manager to speak with me.

After several minutes of waiting Jame came back on the phone and stated that they were short staffed and that many customers were calling in. Jame told me that she was waiting for R.J., her manager, to get off the phone with another customer so he could speak with me. I was beginning to think I was on the phone with the Hackers who took over my computer, rather than McAfee, was this a conspiracy? Jame told me that should could not tell me managers names or provide additional information about upstream management who could help me stating this information was confidential. It is now 11:18 AM CST, and I am still on hold waiting for Jame’s boss, R.J. to pick up my call.

At 11:34 CST I hung up the phone with Sam who told me she couldn’t help me and that I would have to call 800.606.2266 to get a refund, and that this department would also help me safely install McAfee. I told Sam (case number 2445366) I wanted to speak with her boss, but she told me that was not possible and that she was as high as I could get. I called 800.606.2266 and received a recording that their office hours were Monday through Friday. Since this is a Saturday there was nothing I could do. Did Sam really care about this?

At 11:45 I called 877.772.4513 and spoke with Robert who answered at 11:57. Call ended at 12:42. Robert claimed he removed all viruses. Robert then told me to restart my computer and run a “Scan” and that if I had anymore viruses to call him back.
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jktshff1 on 09/15/2007:
good post. I guess I'm lucky. Had a world of problems with Norton, but never with McKafee.
It really sounds like you need to take your system to a local tech for a good workover.
Nohandle on 09/15/2007:
Eph517 try renewing your subscription to Nortons. I'm beginning to think all these companies are the same. With Nortons when my subscription came due for renewal, I signed up for the two year plan. Savings of whatever and gee all those added features at no additional cost. Sorry, I couldn't get into many of the programs I could before and had to have someone come over here, get the two year plan off and put the basic no frills edition back on.

Your telephone calls remind me of mine with Nortons before I got fed up with it all. Many of our members use the no charge protection, either provided with their ISP or ones that have been recommended to them. Now that I've got mine back the way I want it, knowing I won't receive a virus or pass one on anyone, I have no intention of dealing with any customer service reps anywhere. It's not worth the headache. Good post..thanks.
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Does Not Stand by Product.
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
NEW YORK -- When I phoned customer support at the 800 number listed on McAfee website, stated they could not help but could transfer me to helpdeskhub which I thought was part of McAfee, but had charged me to fix my computer. Later I found out that they should have been able to help me and when I requested a refund, I was denied. The charge was not theirs, but a different company,. Why would they transfer me to someone else?
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McAfee Internet Rip Off
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
SPAIN -- Auto renewal took money from CC that expired 12 months ago? Was badgered to renew my card detail with them telling me my old card had expired so confused how they took the money £59 99 from my bank. Took the a full 5 to 6 weeks before it was even up for renewal.

Disgusted with them as you can buy the product they offer online for £29. No better than the hackers trying to get into your PC, just bandits.
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Terrible Customer/Technical Service
Posted by on
Currently on hold now for 30 minutes to the 3rd person they have transferred to me. I just purchased the small business software package and when I clicked the link to download I was prompted to enter in my name, email address, etc. My email address shows "invalid". The 2nd support person I spoke with tried sending me an email and it was sent back to her. With her hands up in the air, not knowing what to do, instructed me to hold yet again to transfer me to yet another person. Currently, 32 minutes on hold. Terrible. I never had this problem with Norton or AVG. Ridiculous!
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SaMoore on 08/24/2010:
Good review OP. Informative.
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McAfee Poor Customer Service
Posted by on
After downloading McAfee Virus Protection, my computer instantly slowed down significantly. It would take up to a minute to access a website, and when typing an email, the characters would lag several words behind what I was actually typing. It was annoying to say the least, so I contacted the McAfee technical support site. I clicked on a button that was labeled "Chat and Email," but when directed to the site, the only option available was chat. It took me three tries of repeatedly typing my information and trying to chat because, as I finally discovered, McAfee was blocking the citrix server that provided the chat(!) After enabling the site, the representative, Vishnu, was slow, never bothered to read the lengthy description of the problem that I had typed in initially, and didn't seem to understand what I was trying to convey. He finally told me I had a virus problem (my McAfee virus scan has never found any such thing) and that he would connect me to the 'virus experts'... for a fee of $89.95!! I told him no thanks, that I had already paid for a service and didn't feel that this was a legitimate charge. My husband has Norton protection on his computer, and has never had this kind of problem. Thanks to the greed of McAfee, I'm switching over to Norton. Is it just me, or does it seem that it's getting harder and harder to find an honest company that delivers what it promises without trying to squeeze ever more out of their customers? Sorry, just had to vent...
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Posted by on
For the past two weeks, I have been receiving email messages that my subscription to McAfee is to expire on January 24, 2010. Today I decided to renew and followed their instructions. I paid about $64 for a one year renewal and paid using PayPal. As soon as I finished, I think my computer was scanned. Then I tried to use my computer and was unable to use it. I kept getting these pop up "Security Warning". in which it asks if I want to activate antivirus software now. If you answer "yes", you get the same warning. Because I got this virus when I renewed from McAfee, I called technical support. After a long wait, I did get a technician. She sent me an email asking me to download some file and run it. I tried but because of the pop ups every five seconds or so, I couldn't run it. She told me that someone from McAfee could take over my computer and remove the virus and it would cost me about $90. I want to warn others that you may get a virus if you accept the offer to renew and McAfee will charge you about $90 to bring your computer back so you can use it.

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waterbury01 on 01/18/2010:
McAfee is not the best anti-virus software. The site may have been hacked and virus implemented into the downloading procedures but I would remove the antivirus software and get Norton. It's going to cost you again but it will cost less than the 90 dollars McAfee is going to charge you for removing the virus remotely.
Anonymous on 01/18/2010:
McAfee is clunky, less than user friendly and downright annoying.

Lots of good free stuff out there. Start here:
madconsumer on 01/18/2010:
anti virus pro, is a rouge virus that give false error and warning messages. only way to get rid of it is to roll back your system to a previously good date. on the web there are several fixes, but non seem to work as good as a roll back.
Anonymous on 01/18/2010:
*agrees with mad* that annoying pop up pseudo warning has been around fora while now.....roll yourself back
PepperElf on 01/18/2010:
are you sure the email was really from the company?

I personally never click on the links from emails like that
instead I open a new browser window and go right to the source.

well except for antivirus. I don't pay for that.
my mac doesn't need it and my pc - well right now it's offline and is linux, but when it's XP I just use my NAV that the workshop handed out.

I'd say try avg
and contact your bank to make sure your credit info wasn't compromised
Anonymous on 01/18/2010:
You got scammed and it wasn't by McAfee. McAfee does't email it users to upgrade. The box will pop up on your screen to let you know you are soon to expire. You clicked on a virus and installed it. Of course McAfee is going to charge you to remove it. I just spent 6 hours removing a nasty virus I got downloading a movie. No more movie downloads for me.

Don't click on things in email. You can always check to make sure an email is valid by clicking on SHOW DETAILS and it will give you the email path. If it does not match where you think it is coming from, you know it is fake.

Be careful accusing a company of illegal behaviour when you don't what you are talking about.
Anonymous on 01/18/2010:
Lady, try Netflix for movie downloading. Not free like most torrents, but cheap and SAFE
jktshff1 on 01/18/2010:
I use McAfee with no problems. Had many issues with Norton.
Lady, McAfee does send e-mail notifications.
I guess it's like everything else. You get comfortable with a program and keep it until ya have problems.
Anonymous on 01/18/2010:
jkl, I use McAfee and they don't email me. I get a renewal pop up. Must be my services.

I LOVED utorrent, but I am not going to spend hours removing bugs lol. That was my first time with pirate bay getting anything, but once is enough. I hate paying for movies lol. But I guess better Ebay or NF than wasting my time fighting bugs.
Anonymous on 01/18/2010:
pirate bay used to be great, however, recent injunctions and nonsense have made it CRAP.
Starlord on 01/18/2010:
I have used both MacAfee and Norton and got fed up with both. In 2007, I signed on with Avanquest's Security Suite 7 Pro. I now have SS 10 Pro, and have been tickled. I get updates automatically, notified if there is a port scan, and there are like 50 programs, all integrated to diagnose, optimize and keep my PC at peak efficiency.
Anonymous on 01/18/2010:
Star I get auto updates too, but when my subscription is near over, I get the renewal pop window.
Anonymous on 01/18/2010:
I use AVG free 9 and Zonealarm free I am quite happy with both
GenuineNerd on 01/18/2010:
A free program called "Malwarebytes Anti-Malware" (google it to find the download-I downloaded mine from CNET's site) is good at removing rogue antivirus sites. Also, download ComboFix. Warning: Let ComboFix do its job-it may take a while. DON'T shut down your computer while ComboFix is running. ComboFix is also a free download that removes rogue antivirus sites, but should be used only if Malwarebytes or other antivirus/antimalware software fails to remove the rogue site. As for McAfee, I have been a McAfee customer for years, and have never had problems with renewing. You were scammed, since McAfee usually uses the credit card you have on file with them to renew your subscription. The only way you'd have to enter a CC number with McAfee is if you bought a retail-store version of the McAfee software, or if you are downloading McAfee for the first time. If the CC you used expired since you subscribed, they will ask for a new CC number or expiration date. That pop up was not from McAfee. It is rogue antivirus software that got past your McAfee, and it had to happen as you were renewing.
Nohandle on 01/18/2010:
Each among us hopefully has a security program we are pleased with. Once we have all our other settings to our liking don't want to change anything. I've had Norton's since day one. I DO NOT use the edition available on the Norton's website. That's a story for another day I learned the hard way when almost every site was blocked. I didn't want to be bothered with resetting everything.

When my annual subscription is up for renewal I receive a Popup from Norton's about a month before expiration. I actually had mine renewed today. It's the System Builder Edition Norton's Antivirus 2010 with Antispyware that a local computer company installed. The old version is deleted and the new one replaces the prior edition.

If what you have works then I say keep whatever.
Anonymous on 01/18/2010:
Genuine, I downloaded MWB, and while it took off the 976 rogue files I had, it did not get rid of the virus. I had to remove those files manually. All the Hkey, installers, dlls etc. One by one. I was so tired and mad lol. I do this on a regular basis for other people. To be hijacked myself was a wake up lol. I uninstalled utorrent and deleted the files I had just started before getting attacked. I wish I could have kept UT, but I am taking no more chances.
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McAfee more harm than good
Posted by on
"Am I protected? No" McAfee is the first company I've encountered that alerts customers that they've gotten the shaft. You have to dive into their policies to understand that you're not only unprotected, you're out of luck. "Will I get help from your technical team? No." That message isn't so clear. At least not until you've spent hours trying to get one of their overseas representatives to help resolve the matter. They were good enough to confirm that I did pay for a valid subscription though. They just couldn't fix the problem. "Will I get my money back. No." They have a strict policy. They don't do refunds.

So, I have no protection, no help, and I'll get no refund. And, there's absolutely nothing I can do about it. "Did I get the shaft? Yes." "Should you do business with McAfee? No." It's a big rip off.
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Anonymous on 03/09/2009:
The OP needs to visit a McAfee user forum. Post the problems there and get a real answer. I've used McAfee for many years without a problem.
Anonymous on 03/09/2009:
I second that.
Ponie on 03/09/2009:
PB and Ken, I'm able to get McAfee at no cost from my ISP, Comcast. However, I've found it really slows down my computer no matter how many times I uninstall and re-install. I don't bother using it anymore because the couple times I've called with a question on why the slow down, I'm told it 'shouldn't slow down the computer.' So I stick with the free Grisoft program.
Anonymous on 03/09/2009:
I also use the Comcast version. I don't see any performance degradation at all, although I believe it when others say they they do see it. I'm just a little baffled why there is such a disparity.
L Lake on 03/09/2009:
I also download the McAfee with my Comcast Internet and I don't see slowing down in my computer at all. I have seen slowing down with Panda to where it was just crawling, but not McAfee.
Ponie on 03/09/2009:
OK, Ken and L Lake. Only because of your comments, I'm going to the Comcast site to immediately download McAfee. If it really slows down as it has in the past, the two of you are going to hear about it! Bet both of you are trembling in your boots, right? :)
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McAfee Software Is Useless And Tech Support Run By Robots
Posted by on
ROCKWALL, TEXAS -- Renewed McAfee software in March. Started getting messages that my computer "was not protected." So far we've used the online technician 5 times, been on their so-called "chat" assistance 3 times, uninstalled and re-downloaded 2 times. Tried to call McAfee and the automated answer was to call another that was a fee-based support and to have credit card information available. We've asked the "chat" assistant on the last 2 occasions that we wanted either a disk mailed to us or full refund. I get same responses to my problem, word-for-word, regardless of who the chat assistant claims to be. I give information, and they in turn ask me for same information. I will never use McAfee again.

And, if anyone knows of a class action lawsuit, I'm ready to throw my name in the hat.
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Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
Do you have any other computers networked at home? You will see this message if another machine on the network is not up to date on anti-virus definitions. What it is saying is that you are not protected because another, vulnerable, machine is on the same network as yours.
I got the McAfee suite free from Comcast, and I expected it to be worth every penny of free, but I have been pleasantly surpised with it.
My only criticism is that it is not as user friendly as you might want. The above example is a good one, it was not immediately clear that the reason I saw the message was that the kitchen computer hadn't updated viruses in a while.
Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
BA Ken. I had a similar experience when I was running networked PCs protected with McAfee.
Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
Frustratedintexas, Ken has some good points. We had a problem with a computer that always showed the you are not protected message on the status bar. The auto update and auto fix feature would not fix it.

We researched the issue and soon found the install had gone bad. We used the (MCPR.exe) program (free download) and uninstalled all the McAfee products. Then wiped the registry and system clean using (also free). Did a re-install and everything has been fine since. There are better products out there, when your license is up look around.

Step 1 - Uninstall your McAfee consumer products using Add/Remove Programs in the Windows Control Panel
Windows 2000/XP
Click Start, Settings, Control Panel.
Double-click Add or Remove Programs.
Select the McAfee SecurityCenter product.
Click Remove and follow the steps provided.
Windows Vista
Click Start, Search, type Programs and Features, and click Go.
Double-click Programs and Features.
Select the McAfee SecurityCenter product.
Click Uninstall and follow the steps provided.
Step 2 - Download and run MCPR.exe
Download the removal tool from:

Click Save and save the file to a folder on your computer.
Navigate to the folder where the file was saved.
Make sure all McAfee windows are closed.
Double-click MCPR.exe to run the removal tool.

Note: Windows Vista users must right-click MCPR.exe and select Run as Administrator.

Restart your computer after receiving the message CleanUp Successful.

Your McAfee product will not be fully removed until the system is restarted.
If the message Cleanup Unsuccessful is displayed, follow the steps below to view and save your MCPR log files for analysis by Technical Support.

Saving troubleshooting logs
On the Cleanup Unsuccessful notification dialog, click View Logs.
Your troubleshooting logs will open in a Notepad window. Click File, Save As, and save the file to your Desktop. Name the file MCPR_date.txt (for example: MCPR_Jan10_08.txt).
Contact McAfee Technical Support and provide the log file to your technician for troubleshooting.
When all McAfee products are removed from your computer, continue to Step 3.

Step 3 - Reinstall your McAfee Products
Note: Please refer to the instructions from the partner you purchased your McAfee consumer product from, or reinstall using the partner links below.

If you purchased your software directly from McAfee, go to to log in and download your software.

Comcast users should go to

DELL users should go to

Gateway users should go to

eMachines users should go to

MSN users should go to

AOL users should search on keyword: Safety ( On the AOL Safety & Security page, click Download Now.
Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
What that pop up means is there are some features you may not have turned on. For example on my PC IM protection is switched off because I don't use IM. Yet every time I restart the PC I get the warning. Just close the warning and ignore it.
Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
PB is correct, that will also cause the message, but there is a way to tell McAfee not to look for whatever module it is that you are not using. I don't have McAfee in fromt of me atm, but I remember it was in the control center.
Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
Ken, security center >> advanced menu >> configure >> security center configuration >> ignored problems. That is good as long as you don't have a trashed installation. If the install is in really bad shape sometimes you can'r even get to the security center. Which is why I posted the "drastic" fix above.
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