LAKE MARY, FLORIDA -- On July 19th I received an email from Symantec alerting me that a program for internet security that I had purchased and installed on my computer had not yet been activated. In the email they provided a link to go to and download and activate the program.
I did that and followed the instructions. During the download a message appeared alerting me that I would have to call a technical for assistance, which I did.
I was obviously directed to the call center in India for the technical assistance. I was on hold for 63 minutes until a technician finally answered. After another 58 minutes with him, he finally told me that he could not help me and would have to transfer me to someone else. I was on hold for over 48 minutes and the someone else wasted another 45 minutes only to tell me he could not help and that he would have to transfer me to someone else. In the process of transferring me, the connection was cut and I had to call back.
When I called back I had to hold another 73 minutes until someone answered the phone and following his instructions my computer finally crashed and could not be rebooted. He then told me that he would have to transfer me to someone else with higher skill levels and that person spent the next hour trying all sorts of things to get the computer to respond and finally said that he could not help and that it was not a Symantec problem but the manufacturers problem and I would have to get in touch with the manufacturer of my computer. I asked to speak to his supervisor and I was cut off.
I called back and demanded a supervisor and after 58 minutes a supervisor came on the line and said that she had read the technicians reports on the ticket number and that she could not help me and that the problem was not a Symantec issue, rather an issue of my computers manufacturer and I should call them for assistance. When I tried to protest and explain that my computer had been functioning perfectly until I followed the instructions in an email sent to me by Symantec for a Symantec product she said that she would not be able to help me and said there was no one else with whom I could speak.
I called the computer manufacturer and luckily found a technician who was able to identify the problem. Unfortunately, whatever the Symantec program and technicians did caused a problem with the operating system on my computer and the only solution was to do a hard disc recovery operation which caused the loss of three years worth of work stored in my computer, all my files, client data and work papers.
I lost over $900 in consulting fees yesterday alone because I was tied up with Symantec trying to resolve the problem they created, plus a loss of more than $3,000 in additional consulting that I have scheduled for Monday but with the loss of the data will take me at least a week to recreate and therefore I can not provide the consulting services my client needs for Monday.
It will take at least a week to recreate enough of the data files that were lost in order to be back in a position to perform my consulting work and I will definitely lose some clients as I will not be able to recreate the data they provided and once I have to request it again, they will move to another consultant to work with.
Today, as if to rub salt in my wounds, I get an email from Symantec indicating that the reports show that my problem was resolved and asking me to fill out a customer satisfaction survey.
My offices are in a building that Symantec has 4 floors of people and no one there knows who to refer me to about this issue and no one there could provide any assistance despite the fact that one of the floors is a technical service group.
This company does not merit any confidence and I would advise anyone dealing with them to be very careful.
I am developing a conspiracy theory that Symantec has been taken over by Dick Cheney and the Bush administration. Only something that radical can explain why a culture of incompetence pervades what used to be a good company with a solid product. I give you the anecdotal evidence, which of course is all you need for a good conspiracy theory.
EXHIBIT A: The company that can't build it right.
If you have a product with a subscription-based revenue stream, like Norton Anti-Virus, you'd want to make it easy and painless to renew subscriptions, right? Also, you'd want to minimize the cost of support calls by making the whole renewal process easy to understand and relatively fool-proof to implement, right?
Here's where it begins to get interesting. Symantec actually did the opposite of what is logical, leading me to suspect that it is a branch of government rather than a for-profit company.
I was using a version of Norton Antivirus for the Macintosh I bought last year when I got a pop-up message saying my subscription would expire in a month. I went to the web site, fumbled around Symantec's poor site navigation, and found the way to renew the subscription online. Rather than simply renew NAV, I opted to upgrade the product, Norton Internet Security, and downloaded it. I followed the directions, and registered the product, but was surprised when, the next day, I got another message saying that my subscription was expiring, and would I like to renew? I also got the option to enter a subscription code and make everything right.
“Surely,” I thought, “I must have a subscription code.” After all, I paid for their product. There must be something on Symantec's site that tells me how to find the subscription code. Nooo.
Finally, out of desperation, I made a support call. Actually, I made a couple of them. One tech rep suggested I de-install Symantec completely, then re-install. “Been there, done that,” I told him. Actually, I did more than that. When it didn't work the first time, I manually (and painfully) discovered the loose flotsam and jetsam of the Symantec product, left over after you de-install. You'd be surprised at the rag-tag job of de-installation it does. I didn't expect this from a company that actually looks for such odd bits of code as evidence of malware.
So, here's the thing. The product that blurts out non-useful information; the web site that leads you in circles, swirling around and around; the description in the Users Manual that simply fails to describe anything, the grossly inaccurate screen shots that show how to get the product code; and the baffled representatives who don't seem to understand what is going on—all of these point to a magnificent “pyramid of incompetence.”
Connecting the dots, other "pyramids of incompetence" include the Guantanamo Bay detention system and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, suggesting the same architect is behind all of them.
EXHIBIT B: The company that can't communicate.
* See Exhibit A.
* Since their web site doesn't actually explain anything, and you have to make a support call to a human who doesn't actually know anything, we have what I call “The evil loop of non-communication.”
* Finally, there's the issue of “When I say ‘rebate,' I actually mean something else.” (See Exhibit C)
Connecting the dots, we have the Bush Administration example: "When I say 'war', I really mean 'peace.'" (George W.) Need I say more?
EXHIBIT C: The company that counts on consumers being idiots.
First, let me start by admitting that 'I am a fool.' Not only did I not get their product to work upon download, but I paid good money for the boxed product, thinking it must actually contain all of the information I need to make the thing work. I became an even bigger fool when I read the Users Manual, believing it would provide more useful information, and made additional support calls.
So, if I'm an idiot, why do I believe Symantec counts on people like me for revenue?
* See Exhibits A and B
* When we plumb these depths, we find legal twists as intricate as a knot of Calabi-Yau space, found in Symantec's rebate approach. Here's how it works. First, get people to buy your product by promising them a Big Rebate. Then (and Symantec is not alone here) put in a lot of fine print when you actually open the box, and make it really complicated to get the money. Finally (and this is where Symantec achieves either the apex or nadir of marketing, depending on your point of view) give people the rebate in the form of a credit card. Add more fine print saying that if you don't use the card they will deduct fees on a continuing basis.
Connecting the dots, this last touch seems to bring it all together. The same people who worked out the Symantec Rebate are obviously the ones who advised us that the Vice Presidency is an independent branch of government. Q.E.D.
Having exposed this major conspiracy, please excuse me while I run and hide from the 'Men In Black.'
P.S. After one final support call and many angry messages, I finally found someone at the Symantec support desk who just gave me the subscription code. I hope that Symantec has the good sense not to fire him. But then, I'm an idiot. What do I know?
I was notified by Symantec that they were going to "automatically renew" my subscription. If I didn't want the automatic renewal I should go to a specific web site and click on the "Do not Renew" button. Well, problem is that the "Do Not Renew" button doesn't exist! So I responded to their email saying I did NOT want to renew my subscription. Naturally that email, and subsequent emails sent to Symantec, were ignored. Today I found out that they charged my credit card so now I have the pleasure of contacting my credit card company and going through the motions of removing that charge from my card. The problem is that I think their product is decent, it's just their business practices that are questionable!
I have just read a review concerning Symantec crashing a persons computer, it was like listening to myself, I feel sorry that someone else is being maltreated by this company however I feel a bit better knowing that I am not on my own. Here in the UK I have not had a lot of consumer problems but companies like Symontec will eventually destroy all our credibility in the Internet shopping scene. Other retailers should gang together & stop them from ripping people of. Symantec do not have a complaints procedure in fact they do not seem to recognise the word, their people are just taught to be condescending & polite in the extreme. It is sickening.
I needed to take my Dell desktop in for repair to Best Buy, aka, Geek Squad after purchasing it only 15 months previously. It could not start up, and after 6 weeks of trying to find the source my motherboard needed to be replaced. It seemed to work fine till I purchased and downloaded Norton Internet Security Software after just a couple of days. I removed it and reinstalled but now my computer is once again out of service which requires me to be without it again for how long I do not know. My sister also was told she has a very nasty virus that Norton told her would cost an additional 100 dollars to clean from her computer. Norton did detect the downloader virus yesterday from my computer and cleaned it, but as I said, now the computer is dead again. There may be two different problems but I wonder if anyone else has had these type of issues with Norton.
Of course I was silly to purchase it anyway as I just recently found out I get McAfee free for being a Comcast customer. I have also been told that Norton is not recommended by computer savvy people.
Norton Symantec HP Mobile www.myord.com
If you are charged CANCEL it within 60 days.
DO NOT Touch this virus software if it comes with your computer. They will charge you without your permission. By registering your laptop possibly?
This is the second time I've bought an HP computer and both times I end up with a Norton Software charge that I have not approved. $59.99 this time.
Once I realized I'd been charged, it was too late to be reimbursed. AVG is free with no hassle whatsoever and one of the top performing online virus detectors.
Remove Norton Symantec immediately or have someone do it for you.
Norton is really slick, 60 days or they keep your money even though I did not use their software.
If HP continues to use this low-down company I will not buy another Hewlett-Packard computer.
I've also told Costco the same. Costco has more clout.
So, my 'protected by Norton' laptop contracted a horrible virus... I contacted Norton for help and they pressure-sold me a $99 package where a 'technician' gains access to your system remotely and removes the virus. They assured me that it would be fixed to my liking before the process was complete.
Well, four-hours later, my system was INOPERABLE! I tried to contact them via online chat and telephone chat for hours, constantly being booted off, put back into the endless queue, or giving some half-witted 'excuse'. I even scheduled a call from them one evening... which, SURPRISE, never came!
I did this for four days straight and finally took my laptop to a local repair shop who told me that the virus was STILL there!
So, a week later, I am still fighting with them to get my money back... just today, I was transferred to three various reps when I went online to get a refund... are they kidding??
HORRIBLE software, HORRIBLE company, HORRIBLE customer service. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!
I bought Norton 360 in July and installed it on my two computers.
In December one of my computers got "hyjacked" by a bot that sent out over 400,000 emails a day. I only learned of the security breach because my ISP shut down my service.
Norton technical support was no help. They could not understand my problem and kept telling me that the problem was with my ISP.
I went with another security provider, OneCare, and they solved my problem.
When I returned Norton 360 to get my money back they refused because it was passed the six month refund period.
Stay away from Norton 360
I kept encountering problems while trying to up date my Norton Antivirus program. Symantec suggested contacting their consumer service dept. which I did. After three separate attempts the technician asked to take control of my computer which she assured me would be perfectly safe. One and one-half hours later, with no progress I suggested that I could find a different supplier. She requested fifteen minutes to make one last attempt. Unfortunately I agreed. I then saw folders flying across my screen and some were erased. In short order I found that I could not even get on the computer. The reason, it turned out, was that she had completely erased my hard drive.
The manager who responded to my complaint (after I found the problem) offered me a one year free subscription to one of Symantec's products. Given that I have now spent approximately $2,000 to recover my data and purchase a new computer I feel that his offer was a bit insufficient.
As a former reseller of Symantec Products I am ASHAMED to have ever recommended, sold or heard of Symantec!!!! The technical support is shocking if not nonexistent, even as a dealer and reseller you are treated as an irritation and given the run around speaking to at least 30 people on each time you call all of whome say they are unable to help you and you MUST call again and choose option x.
Our latest and LAST dealing with them involves Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery Server 8, for 4 months we had an open case as the Software supplied does not work!!! After 4 months they asked us to download a newer version which fixed all the problems, so far not great but problem resolved. Not quite, 2 months on the new software stoped working as the Trial has expired!!!!!!
Well after half a day of calling support, sales, sales brother, supports mother, and about 77 other departments the final answer is you need to buy the new version in order for the software to work?? No matter how many time you tell them you have purchased the software already the answer is the same, send more money, buy the new version, also buy a new support contract (for just $400.00 extra) and we will look at your problem.
NO Symantec, we will NOT send any more money, we will NOT BUY any more Symantec Products, we will NOT SELL any more and we will NOT SUPPORT your products any more, you don't support us. There are real products out there with great support where the helpdesk is not in India and the you are not transferred from department to department.
WARNING TO EVERYONE DO NOT BUY SYMANTEC PRODUCTS, EVER!! If you do you will be very disappointed and have to buy something else to replace it that works.
Tell all your friends, Symantec is DEAD, no longer mention that name in public, they had a good run but Symantec Service has left the building. R. I.P.