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PC Tools

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PC Tools Renewal without consent
Posted by on
Checked my bank account the other day and there was a renewal fee for $29.95 from Pc tools taken out that was tolly unauthorized. There is no way to phone PC tools and the email just bounces back. The company is stationed in Ireland so there is no way of going after them. If you have purchased any of their products go to your bank right away and put a stop payment to PC tools, or cancel your credit card and get a new one. You would never think that an Irish company would be this dishonest.Always beware of any companies online. I certainly learned my lesson about online software companies. From now on I will do my research and read the Terms and Conditions.
     
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ok4now on 2012-01-24:
I also took the bait with PC Tools / Registry Mechanic. Many businesses are now using this auto-renew practice so they don't loose customers. Consumer Reports also uses this deceitful trick. They do notify you prior to charging a renewal. Most people overlook this (they hope you do) and they get charged. Why would you ever give them access to your bank account? If you had used a C.C. you can always dispute the charge. Also read the fine print when you order any software/subscription service. Many times there is a box that you can delete the check to stop auto-renewals.

I'll make this quick. Registry Mechanic is worthless junk. Do NOT buy it. All they want is your money. Here's a better way. Download CCleaner for free. It will erase your Temp. Internet files, History, Cookies, Recently typed URL's, Index.dat Files, Recent Documents etc. It also has a Registry Cleaner that will Safely clean your registry. It's Free and works better than Registry Mechanic. Try it, you won't be disappointed.
jktshff1 on 2012-01-24:
There are several of these problems with on line companies.
You have to be sure to read the fine print carefully, look through the terms and conditions carefully. Usually hidden somewhere deep is the option to opt out or in of the auto payment. I found that out with Sirus radio and was able to opt out with no problem after I did my research, though I did keep it.
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Failure to deliver product
Posted by on
Beware

PC TOOLS products

I needed to update the Anti Virus program, and decided to search the internet on some of the more popular Anti Virus Programs on the market. One of them PC TOOLS, offered what I believed I could trust, and from a company I had used their products, even before WINDOWS became a company, back in the days of DOS when all computer operations, had to be done on mostly a command line, with a black and white monitor. Their products were helpful, so I decided to purchase
their version of an Anti Virus program.

I purchased two products, online and opted to use the 2 day shipment, along with the shipping of the actual CD’s, for their products. This was in July, 2007.

After three days, with no product, I sent an inquiry, which was replied with “Please allow 5 to 10 business days”. Unexcitable; after all I had paid for a 2 day delivery. Sent another inquiry, with a copy of the invoice, with no reply for several days.

When a reply came, I was informed that it could take up to two weeks, to get to the shipping department, then it would ship in the two days delivery which I paid for.

By the end of July, I still had not received any CD’s, and sent another query. So I don’t bore the reader with all the details, suffice to say that since then, I have sent several inquires to PC Tools.

The replies ranged from
1. “Please wait 5 to 10 business days”,
2. Please contact the SHIPPER about the problem,
3. Call the 800 number and talk to a tech support person. (Yeah, like I can understand that heavy foreign accent”,
4. Contact ELEMENT 5 for information
5. Contact PC Tools “My account” for information
6. Contact DITIGAL RIVER,

What am I an errand boy for PC Tools? If I’m to do THEIR legwork, then I need to be paid for their failure to provide what they advertise.

It is now the second week of SEPTEMBER, and still NO CD’s, only BS.

Why PC Tools expect their customers to do their work, I’ll never know. Nor why they investigate people they hire to do what they should be doing themselves.

DITIGAL RIVER has had multiple complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau, and has resolved them, according to the BBB report for that company.

ELEMENT 5 has continually refused to contact the BBB, or reply to the BBB’s request to provide information about complaints.

Why does it take a company based in Minnesota, another based in Ireland, yet another out of Germany, to get things done, is also very strange, not to mention these companies are a LLC type company. (Limited Liability Company). Shows just how creditable they feel about themselves, as a company.

The long and the short of it, is all you can expect from PC Tools, is a bunch of run around bull crap. You can certainly download their programs, from the internet, but pray that your computer doesn’t crash, and you need to re-install the program, without the CD(s).

FALSE advertising is a crime, but then if your not a high priced attorney, just what can the little guy do? They know this, and the Better Business Bureau, has NO TEETH. All they will do, is contact the company, and hope they respond. Just what good are
they.

My hope is that if I can do two things. One is to advise others of what they may well be up against, the other is to get enough notice, that PC Tools will finally do something about THEIR screw up’s and practices.



     
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Anonymous on 2007-09-10:
Good info … I vote very helpful.

I use Kaspersky Lab with Windows Vista. They work better than most commercial AV and use less system resources. You can download a free demo online.
http://www.kaspersky.com/
Anonymous on 2007-09-10:
Good review. I voted your review as being 'Very Helpful'.
Anonymous on 2007-09-10:
See if you can still file a chargeback on your credit card for non delivery. Good post.
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No help with help or live chat
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
Purchased Registry mechanic. Installed and it immediately wants me to renew the product. New computer and new program so no older versions are installed.

After several day of on line and self help in the help sections, still not working. Programs wants me to update but I can not up date because it wants a renewal. Online chat is useless as the tech to help has no clue. Keeps sending me to the self help section of the web site.

No help and a crippled program. Slowed the response of the computer considerably to opening up programs. The program also installed some other online communication software to send data back and forth. Possibly spy or other type, unknown.

After three days now I am slowly removing all traces of this software and considering my loss of $29.99 as very lucky. Considering I could have lost my entire computer to this.

Recommend a do not purchase. If you do, do it from a retail store and get a disk with the program on it. That way you pay only once. No auto renewal on any credit card.

This used to be a good product, but it is really gone down hill in the last two years. Now it is at rock bottom.
     
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Criminal behavior
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I wrote before about my concerns that this "business" that provides service to prevent viruses from gaining access to your computer might be doing some identity theft, although I have no way of proving it. After my first complaint in November, within a week I had to cancel my debit card because "someone" was making unauthorized debits from it. Last week I sent a complaint to the Better Business Bureau about pc tools and this week, coincidentally, there are unauthorized charged to the other debit card that this company had access to. Stay as far away from this company as possible.
     
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Poor customer service at best/criminal behavior at worst
Posted by on
Automatic renewal in Nov. 2010 caused me to be double-charged because I had already renewed prior to that date. I was put on hold for 10 minutes or more, TWICE and THEN disconnected. After at least 6 phone calls and talking to 2 people, I finally got a refund after 2 weeks. But, like others have said, they will not stop the automatic renewal, you must cancel your credit card. At that time they had a BBB rating of A +. Fast forward 4 months and they now have an F rating and have taken my computer hostage. I can't get on some of my regular websites because their software has "banned" these sites. Ironically, pc tools is also a website that is banned, so I can get no information, technical support or contact info. So, I stay on hold for 30 minutes and phones go unanswered. Suspiciously, the day after the above-mentioned phone call to demand a refund, I started getting "unauthorized debits" to my card--one being $2000 sent to Stockholm Sweden. A coincidence? Stay away from this unethical company. Anyone that goes from an A+ to F in 4 months should be avoided at all costs.
     
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MRM on 2011-02-23:
I cringe when people buy into subscription-based software. There are a lot free softwares out there that are just as effective as the paid version.
Ted Reuther on 2011-05-19:
Anyone looking for a phone# for these criminals, THIS ONE WORKS
800-764-5783
I just got done talking to an actual person to CANCEL my account with them.
Lucas on 2011-06-24:
Stay away from this product and company it is a scam and once in you can not get your money back.
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Predatory Business Practice
Posted by on
If you purchase a software license from PC Tools, be advised that it will be impossible for you to cancel the $29.95 automatic renewal even if you specify this as terms of your order. When the charge hit my credit card one year later, I asked for immediate confirmation they would reverse the charges in 24 hrs.

The operator stalled & then put me on "permanent hold." I have yet to receive "email confirmation" she claimed would be sent. I have disposed of the computer for which the license was purchased last March so this is irritating & forces me to replace my credit card.
     
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Alain on 2011-02-19:
I have to agree with you about these 'automatic renewals'. I don't want any company charging my card for something I didn't authorize. I've only had a few problems with companies renewing when I specifically removed their renewal check mark (which is usually there as a default in hopes you won't notice it) and, so far, I've been able to get a prompt refund to my account. Like you, I also stopped dealing with the companies that pulled the stunt.
jktshff1 on 2011-02-19:
McKafee did that to me, but refunded it willingly. I use MS Security Essentials.
ok4now on 2011-08-13:
Easy solution to this, use PayPal. They can't auto renew you because they don't have your C.C. number. I use this for all of my internet shopping. They can't make any unauthorized charges and it keeps you safe.
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Impossible To Cancel Renewal
Posted by on
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- These guys are good, I mean really good, they have it figured out...they make you jump through several hoops to cancel, and most folks can't spend over an hour on the phone to cancel, and that is the only way you will be able to cancel (be sure to get an email from pctools before you hangup from the customer service clerk) first they say to cancel you must login to a link called "MY ACCOUNT", which they will never let you do, even though you request multiple times for a new password because they make you think you don't know your password, then after you have tried several times with the password they send to you. Try clicking on the "Chat Support" link, you will be assigned a que number (mine was #8) where you will stay at the same number for over an hour, so next try calling the number assigned for customer support for your country, good luck, they will answer but then they have it programmed to hang up immediately to kill the call. Like I said -these guys are good!! LOL, so I put it on auto redial and after about the 32 calls I got someone, and I explained that I worked for a law firm and was going to do my very best to start an investigation into the FRAUD that PCTOOLS is committing, but its ever so subtle how they are doing it. The mans name was Manual Bailon, Customer Support Representative PC Tools Customer Support Services, he did laugh when I told him the time I spend and all the resources I used to get to the point of talking with him. He knows what is going on, but if you are READING THIS AND going through this same problem that I did, please contact the BBB and report it, that is what I have done, if they get enough of these complaints they will start an investigation and PCTOOLS will stop their scam. I estimate that probably 1 out of 10 customers will go to the trouble I did to cancel the renewal.

Some will kick it back through their credit card, but the majority will accept the charge, and that is how PCTOOLS is generating revenue. PLEASE CONTACT THE BBB, I KNOW THEY ARE OFFICIALLY OWNED IN IRELAND BUT THEY CAN BE STOPPED.
     
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Obsfucation on 2010-08-27:
My complaint with them is that they default you to automatic renewal. Once I realized that, I had no problem turning it off.
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Spyware Doctor is scareware!
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Recently, my computer has been infected by the "Security Tools" virus. After some internet search, Spyware Doctor was pointed as the one to clean the infection. So, I installed the software in the safe mode, because the virus don't allow any exe file to run. To my surprise, the program stated that it wouldn't run in safe mode! Then, it was useless for solving my problem. Further search, led me to the program that really cleaned the virus: SUPERAntiSpyware. My computer beying cleaned, I went on & forgot about Spyware Doctor. Suddenly, doing my job, my speaker sounds like crazy and a panel appears stating that my computer is infected by a huge number of viruses, Trojans and similars! I was really frigthen! Happily there was a button on the panel and by clicking it the program would remove all the threats. So what I done? I clicked the button, of course! And what happened? The program opened a page on the browser stating that only Premium users should benefit from this feature, but, if I agree to pay some money, the program will be happy to clean up my computer. What this behaviour reminds you? Exactly what scareware does! In other words: "your computer is badly infected and if you want to get rid of the infection, you must pay some money"! You may say: "But the computer was really infected"! "It wasn't scam"! Wrong! Since the free version - which I was running - doesn't clean the computer, I did it mannually. At least, I thought, it pointed me out the infections and the files and locations. Fair enough! So I deleted the pointed files and cleaned up all the cookies
via "Tools/Options" of the browser. And to make sure no one will be left, I went to the cookies folder and wipe out every thing on it. Well, I thought to my self, now my computer is clean. Wrong again! Just in case, I ran a full search with Spyware Doctor and what was the result? After the crazy sound, the same trojans and cookies, plus some others were pointed out on the panel! I wonder: what is going on? If you can't trust a company that claims that intend to protect your computer, but instead, it scares you to force you to buy its product?
     
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raphahz on 2010-08-09:
Moved From Other Review: PC Tools site is moking the user! You cannot contact support unless you are a premium customer (OK with that), instead, you can post a note at the forum. So far so good! First, you must register on the forum using the proper form. So, you enter your name, email, password, etc submit and ... you receive an error stating that the administrator has banned your email! Further more, on the very same msg, theres's the following sentence: "If you want to contact the administrator, click here.", were "here" is a link to another page, where supposedly you should email the administrator, questioning why on hell your email was banned, but, surprise! To send an email to the administrator, you must first register on the forum! Isn't that nice? Come on! I'm sure that a company like PC Tools can do better than this! Anyway, I'm stating here for my deeply displeasure with this situation and hoping that in some way, this note will help the company to put some judgment on the people who develop the site.
PepperElf on 2010-08-09:
try avg
they have a free version out there still I think
Obsfucation on 2010-08-10:
Actually, I had very good results with this product, and the cost of $30 lets you install it on 3 computers. What I did take issue with was that by default you are signed up for automatic renewals, and they don't make it obvioous, nor is it up front on turning this feature off. For that reason, I chose not to renew it, but for the purposes of restoring the PC I was working on, it worked like a charm.
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Impossible to Cancel Automatic Annual Renewal Fee
Posted by on
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- If you purchase a software license from PC Tools, be advised that it will be difficult or impossible for you to cancel the $29.95 automatic renewal. The company's telephone number does not work, and email to support@pctools.com bounces back. The telephone number of the company's San Francisco office is also unlisted. I am unable to access my account online because the system claims not to recognize my email address, even though I just received an email from them.

I just filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, but the company is officially located in Ireland, so it will probably go nowhere.
     
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bargod on 2010-03-08:
Nothing is impossible... only mathmaticaly improbable. Call your CC company and tell not to put anymore charges through from these cowboys. Good info.
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Unauthorized Credit Card Charge
Posted by on
I received an email today, 6/7/2009, advising me that my annual subscription was renewed. Quantity of two at $24.95 each for a total charge to my credit card of $49.90. I was very angry since I never reordered this product, did not like the product very much the one time I purchased it anyway. Furthermore, I don't understand why they charged a quantity of "2". Perhaps it is because I have two computers. Or perhaps it is because they are charging my account for "two" one-year subscriptions. The credit card I used had a two-year expiration date so that would put the expiry at 6/30/2009. So I can see why they rushed this auto-debit prior to expiration date - and charged me for a two-year term. Quite sneaky, I think. And quite unscrupulous !

I called my credit card company to dispute the charge and was advised to call back on 6/10/2009 to further discuss after the charge from "Digital River" will advance from a pending to a posted transaction.

I sent an email back to PC Tools to complain about the charge. I don't expect any comfort. I will also log on to the web site to review my account status regarding a "cancel feature". I see from my invoice today that the duration of subscription is "unlimited" and billing period is every 12 months. I have a suspicion that their billing department, in order to increase sales, just guesses at the expiry date based on the year previously given. Perhaps they repeatedly plug in an expiration year and hope it works. That's just my guess.

There are three companies to deal with here: PCTools in the United States, Digital River in Cologne Germany, and PC Tools Limited in Clare County, Ireland. Multiple entities in different jurisdictions to deal with is far too cumbersome - which is the way they would like it. Where to place the blame ???
Time will tell.

This is a SHELL GAME. What shell has the peanut (and my money) under it ?

I will Never buy from this company again.

I cancelled my subscription to PC Magazine a year ago.

     
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Ponie on 2009-06-07:
'I see from my invoice today that the duration of subscription is "unlimited" and billing period is every 12 months.' I think that's your answer right there. Looks like it's one of those 'we'll keep renewing unless you notify us otherwise.' It's not uncommon. Perhaps direct contact with the company can get you a refund. Doubt very much that cancellation of the magazine subscription also canceled your subscription to PC Tools.
indiana2009 on 2009-11-17:
This same thing happened to me as well. I was able to find an 800 number and complained. The operator explained that she will refund the money and I should wait for confirmation through my bank.
Anonymous on 2009-11-17:
They are very clear and specificwhen you buy it that it is an annual subscription, and they tell you up front when they will post the next charge. They also have a link embedded right there that will take you to a page where ypu can turn the annual billing off. This presumes, of course, that you actually read what they are telling you on the screen.
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