Symantec’s Day Of Torture
This is a copy of my email sent 3/7/07 to a "Manager" at Symantec. Currently, there has been no response.
Yesterday, I spent 12+ hours either speaking to or “waiting” to speak with “Sam”, “Patrick”, Jax”, and “Michael” of your office. When not speaking or waiting, I wasted hours trying to fix a computer problem which was caused solely by the downloading of SystemWorks 2005 and the misinformation or absence of valid information furnished by ¾ of the above employees.
Do you care?
Let’s hope so, since I will take the trouble of detailing a “Symantec day of torture”.
My computer uses Windows 98 – I have chosen NOT to buy new one since it is reliable and causes me little problems – until yesterday that is – but the fault lays not in my computer but as you will see, with Symantec.
On March 1, 2007, after continual notifications that my subscription for SystemWorks 2003 will expire on March 7th, I paid you as urged – via my credit card and the internet – the requested fee of $29.99 for a renewal of my 2003 subscription.
Yesterday, March 6th, I noticed that despite payment my subscription had not been extended. After being unable to download the renewed subscription, your web site told me to call Symantec.
At approximately 11:00 AM (EST) I called 1-800-927-3995 - and as was repeated for every subsequent call - waited approximately 40 minutes before speaking to “Sam”.
Summarizing my conversation, Sam advised me that for the same price I could receive SystemWorks 2005 and a one year free subscription. Even with this “generous” offer I was reluctant to change what had worked for me for the preceding four years and chose to renew my 2003 subscription. He activated it and when I ran it I noticed that despite the “renewal”, viruses were only “current” to June 2006! My subscription renewal fee had bought me nothing! Sam more or less said, “I told you so” and offered me a credit for the 2003 renewal and for “only” $10 more a subscription to 2005. Ten dollars more is not “the same price”, but I digress. I gave him my credit card number for payment of $39.95 for 2005 and he promised to give me a $29.95 credit for my purchase of a completely useless renewal of my 2003 edition. I was assured that despite using Windows 98, I would have no problem.
He sent me via the internet the 2005 and told me to follow the instructions – one of which was to delete my SystemWorks 2003 edition. He assigned me “Priority number 'xx' (omitted for privacy)” and we said goodbye and I went about following the instructions.
At the point where the computer was opening Norton, I received for the first time but far from the last, the following message:
Error 1723 There is a problem with this Windows Installer package. A DLL required for the install to complete could not be run. Contact your support personnel or package vendor.
I tried to load the 2005 version several times but each time Error 1723 showed up instead. Knowing to call Symantec meant waiting on the phone for 30 to 40 minutes, and wondering if the problem lay with my computer, I tried to “fix" the problem myself with nothing but frustration to show for my efforts.
At about 7:30 PM (EST) I again called 1-800-927-3995 and after the obligatory 30 to 40 minute wait, was connected to “Patrick” who told me the problem was that there were still Symantec 2003 files in my computer and after leading me through a series of web sites, sent me Symantec “Removal Tool” with the assurance that after using this tool, all would be well. I was reluctant to “lose” a human being’s voice and asked him to hold on while I followed the instructions. Patrick said don’t worry and gave me a “special” telephone number to call that would eliminate the waiting – 1-800-927-3991. He also assigned “priority case number” xxx and told me to use that number and I would get fast service in the unlikely event that I had further problems.
Of course I had further problems – that’s why I am writing you.
The Removal Tool apparently did not remove sufficiently since I continued to receive the Error 1723 message.
I called my “special number” and it was anything but “special”. I waited the 30 to 40 minutes again and “Jax’ got on the phone. I told him my situation and he said for an additional $39.95, Symantec would download my 2005 version from their offices. Was I upset? What do you think? Jax advised me that I had been connected to the “expert” line which would only help if you paid them. I told him this was the special number that Patrick had given me. He said I must have pressed the wrong number on the phone. I said, at this point after waiting hours and hours and trying to fix a problem that was not of my making, - it was possible but that in view of the circumstances, please, please, please do not transfer my call which would only mean another wait. He was not moved and transferred me and I waited.
Next up at about l0:00 PM (EST) was “Michael” who reviewed my “special case file”. He sent me to various Microsoft web sites and instructed me to download several files (which he couldn’t or chose not to explain what they were) and to run the removal tool again. He also told me to remove “the Help Spot” file which CAME with the computer. He said, as is often said by Symantec employees, “that should work”. For some reason I was impressed with Michael and he sensed this and told me I could write to his manager at the above email address. At this point I again was reluctant to lose a human’s voice and I earnestly requested him to stay on the line while I tried downloading again. He said he could not, but would call me back in 30 minutes. I was quite moved. (For the record, he never called.)
At approximately 10:30 PM (EST) I followed the new instructions with the newly downloaded files and it worked!
Let us summarize:
· Four calls – an average of 30 to 40 minutes waiting on each call.
· After deleting SystemWorks 2003 as I was told to do, I was without ANY virus protection and was wary of going on the internet.
· After trying to download the first time, I received a series of message from my computer that a number of other applications were not working.
Symantec has cornered the market. The help that you render to your customers is deadly. Here are just a couple of suggestions:
1. Don’t offer a renewed subscription which is completely worthless – the 2003 renewal. You waste everyone’s time and money.
2. Don’t allow your employees to say for the “same price” when in fact it is $10 more.
3. Don’t allow your employees to give partial and incomplete help – this only causes the customer to call back again and again and thus jam your “help” lines. – which in turns creates a 30 to 40 minute wait.
4. Wouldn’t it have been better if the first employee I spoke to stayed with me to see if the problem was solved – which it couldn’t have been – rather than compelling me to call again and again?
Nearly all of my friends and business associates use one of your products. A copy of this email is being sent to them and I am sure they are as anxious as I am to learn of your response.