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Symantec Support Gone Rogue?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the less-than-helpful dept.

Software 268

DigitalDame2 writes "PCMag Security Analyst Neil Rubenking has always praised Symantec's tech support. Lately, though, a number of readers have reported problems with chat support, so he investigated. Rubenking was trying to install Norton 360 version 3.0 on a malware-infested system when the computer crashed with a blue screen error. He connected with Symantec tech support and was told that they could fix the problem, but for a fee of $100! (Here is the transcript and screen-captures of the chat.) Even more, Symantec support suggested that he use a malware-removal tool that wasn't even made by Symantec."

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Uhm...? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27101701)

They just went rouge?

Re:Uhm...? (3, Funny)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101717)

Given today's "anything goes" business climate, they're probably not embarrassed in the least.

Re:Uhm...? (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102479)

Looks like the tech support guy was cutting and pasting from a document. See the slide "Pay up" [pcmag.com] . Note how the sentence starts, then it starts again 3 words later. Almost certainly laziness or they are trying to juggle too many conversations.

Re:Uhm...? (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102077)

They just went rouge?

Yes indeed they did, and apparently they're into mascara, lipstick and eyeliner as well, with just a hint of blush. Of course, you need a good foundation.

Re:Uhm...? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102263)

Yes indeed they did, and apparently they're into mascara, lipstick and eyeliner as well, with just a hint of blush. Of course, you need a good foundation.

Why bother with makeup when all you need is grease [imdb.com] ?

Re:Uhm...? (1)

UncleRage (515550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102531)

It is the word, after all.

Re:Uhm...? (2, Informative)

robfromnyc (1217994) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102325)

about time. i stopped using them and mcaffe like 5 years ago. They charge ridiculous amounts of cash to slow down your system. Get free stuff and stop slowing down your system. Use Avast and Spyware Doctor (free from Google)

Re:Uhm...? (4, Insightful)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102367)

or Linux

Re:Uhm...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27102559)

I just clicked the "Pay Up" picture link and it was serving a drive-by download, through my Chrome browser. Registered as over 8 attempted exploits from 62.150.216.55

lol (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27101705)

lol

Re:lol (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27102359)

Do you know why they call it Norton 360? Because when you see it, you'll turn 360 degrees and walk away.

Re:lol (1, Redundant)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102379)

Technically you are still walking the same direction. They just got you so turned around you don't know where you are going.

Re:lol (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27102423)

son, you ain't from around these parts, are you? that's an xbox 360 meme [encycloped...matica.com]

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27101711)

In Soviet Russia, malware removal tools remove YOU!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27102287)

well the mafioso types that run these malware botnets are usually russian, and probably would have no qualms about killing people, so it's quite possible.

Symantec, please shutdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27101723)

He should have made the phone call and dealt with the Indian accent.

Re:Symantec, please shutdown (1)

Slumdog (1460213) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101759)

He should have made the phone call and dealt with the Indian accent.

Yes, the tech-support guy's name Prajith is actually Indian. I wonder if he still works at Symantec though.

Re:Symantec, please shutdown (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102537)

I'd assume he has been assigned a new name... That's the usual way of ensuring that a problem employee doesn't interact with the same customers again.

It could be worse (5, Insightful)

Urd.Yggdrasil (1127899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101727)

At least they had him use a decent anti-malware program [malwarebytes.org] . I generally find symantec products to be more of a virus than most viruses, that crap is hard to get rid of once it's installed and doesn't detect much of anything.

Re:It could be worse (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101825)

I'm not surprised. Norton makes an anti-virus/anti-worm/anti-spyware product. Not a general anti-malware/anti-adware product.

Their tool does one thing (sort of) well, scans for viruses, and pretends to do a few other things well.

Unfortunately nowadays, there's software that's more insidious than viruses, and it's beyond Norton's skill to detect.

Also, I doubt intrusion by malware not relevant to the AV is covered by software support agreements; troubleshooting an infected PC is up to the user, or the PC repair shop they'll hire to fix it.

AV support is for when your PC is working correctly and you are having problems running your AV, having trouble scanning a file, or not detecting a virus in an infected file.

If you actually got already got your system infected, before even trying to install the AV, that's 100% your issue.

Of course, the AV software won't install, the various malware programs prevent it from happening, and it's your problem to solve.

Not the A/V maker's. The only solution they can really offer you without a liability risk is to format, or hand the PC over to a qualified service person.

Re:It could be worse (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102135)

Unfortunately nowadays, there's software that's more insidious than viruses, and it's beyond Norton's skill to detect.

Nothing is beyond the power of the pink shirt [wikipedia.org] .

Blasphemer!

Re:It could be worse (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102445)

You know, Symantec markets it's products to be a cure for infested PCs. This leaves the consumer the impression that it will actually remove infections in an existing PC and I would think it not being able to do that would be part of the installation routine and part of Symantec's problem.

In other words, just so we are clear, The way Symatec market's it's product would lead people to believe the removal of infections was part of the support offered by the product.

Re:It could be worse (1)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102125)

If they were McAffee/Computer Associates/CA/whatever they're called this month they'd have the option of telling people to run Stinger. As it is I'm not sure they have an option other than telling someone to transplant the disk into a non-infected system to kill the viruses without running them.

Re:It could be worse (2, Informative)

no-body (127863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102503)

decent?

offer free download
- install
- run - shows you a gazillion of "red" things
- wants you to "register" with email address, do so
- click next
uups - asks to pay up $ 40 (- $ 0.05) plus

Yes, Include Active Protection for Only ($9.95) Recommended
Yes, Include ErrorSmart($39.95 Only $9.95) Recommended

- remove software

- install again & run
comes up immediately with ... you still have a gazillion of "red" things on your computer

Result:

- not a clean uninstall
- no clear disclosure of service terms up front (payment required)

ergo: as much a sucker as so many there are out there... not a trace of decency

Maybe it wasn't Symantec Support??? (5, Insightful)

Xoron101 (860506) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101729)

Maybe the malware infected machine had a hacked hosts file and he was connecting to some site in Russia? Or some other way of redirecting the supposed chat session with "Symantec Support"

Re:Maybe it wasn't Symantec Support??? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27101785)

One would assume that he wasn't daft enough to connect to Symantec through the infected machine...but then again you never know!

Re:Maybe it wasn't Symantec Support??? (3, Interesting)

Urd.Yggdrasil (1127899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101839)

It appears that he did from the screenshots. You can see in the background his desktop has that sort of "OMG YOUR INFECTED, BUY OUR PRODUCT" type text that rouge AV products use to scare people.

Re:Maybe it wasn't Symantec Support??? (4, Funny)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102271)

What do the violet and mauve AV products use to scare people though?

Re:Maybe it wasn't Symantec Support??? (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102565)

Broadway musicals.

Re:Maybe it wasn't Symantec Support??? (1)

kernelphr34k (1179539) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101881)

No, He was talking to Symantec Support.

What do you expect from techs getting piss poor pay. A trained monkey reading a script, and answering questions from a FAQ. Symantec dictats everything via web chat. Funny none the less :)

Re:Maybe it wasn't Symantec Support??? (1)

slashdawg (1399039) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102309)

No, He was talking to Symantec Support. What do you expect from techs getting piss poor pay. A trained monkey reading a script, and answering questions from a FAQ. Symantec dictats everything via web chat. Funny none the less :)

AGREED! Personally, I will NEVER EVER purchase another Symantec product...Had 6 months to go on a subscription to their anti-virus when it quit...Their support insisted I could reinstall it, well after numerous attempts, I could not...It insisted my subscription had expired...The support did NOTHING for me...Fool me twice shame on me...I've been using Kaspersky ever since...Works fine and not nearly as buggy...

Re:Maybe it wasn't Symantec Support??? (1)

wfstanle (1188751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102055)

Having just gone through the misery of removing the viruses from a relatives computer it is quite likely that he wasn't getting Symantec. Its quite possible that the computer was being redirected to a phony site. I've seen the list of sites that were being redirected and Symantec yas on the list. (For the curious, the list is in the registry.) Now don't get me wrong, Symantec doesn't make very good products and their support isn't very good as well.

Re:Maybe it wasn't Symantec Support??? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102267)

Having just gone through the misery of removing the viruses from a relatives computer it is quite likely that he wasn't getting Symantec.

My relatives don't call me so much anymore for that sort of thing. I don't know why, exactly ... I have a very potent anti-virus tool. It's called "FORMAT C:". Works every time.

Re:Maybe it wasn't Symantec Support??? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102523)

Having just gone through the misery of removing the viruses from a relatives computer it is quite likely that he wasn't getting Symantec.

My relatives don't call me so much anymore for that sort of thing. I don't know why, exactly ... I have a very potent anti-virus tool. It's called "FORMAT C:". Works every time.

Can I interest you in my sure fire cancer cure?

Symantec has never been useful after-the-fact (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27101763)

As a real-time scanner, it is pretty good, and the corporate editions are pretty light weight, but has symantec ever been useful as a repair tool?

The support tech sounds like he did right, despite the non-corporate policy of eating symantec's own dog food.

Anyone cleaning an already infected machine would start with malwarebytes or combofix before wasting their time with symantec's stuff.

Sounds like the tech who was helping him knew this.

Re:Symantec has never been useful after-the-fact (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101897)

I don't know if that behaviour is changed but I saw 2007 version of F-Secure launching a online scanner right before installing the actual thing from CD and warned user, in very serious manner that the removal tools must be downloaded manually and run for already up and running viruses on PC or the AV won't really help.

That is what Symantec support engineer did, for money of course.

It makes way more sense asking user if they have external drive, backup their home directory (as Windows actually have one, really!) and reinstall the OS. It would take a lot less time in state of current malware. That was the conclusion I reached while trying to fix a infected XP. The boot in safe mode tricks etc. are really over it seems.

Re:Symantec has never been useful after-the-fact (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101921)

Anyone cleaning an already infected machine would start with malwarebytes or combofix before wasting their time with symantec's stuff.

I was going to say, is he complaining that tech support used a product that works but was not their own? They knew their product wouldn't work, so they went with something that did? I guess if he were working for symantech, that would be annoying, but otherwise, malwarebytes is a good solution.

Re:Symantec has never been useful after-the-fact (1, Troll)

Slumdog (1460213) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102013)

I was going to say, is he complaining that tech support used a product that works but was not their own? They knew their product wouldn't work, so they went with something that did?

Even 5 year olds can answer these questions.

Re:Symantec has never been useful after-the-fact (4, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102153)

His complaint was not the use of a non-Symantec tool, but the claim (in chat) that the non-Symantec tool was in fact a Symantec product.

Taking credit for other peoples' work is Not Cool.

Re:Symantec has never been useful after-the-fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27102525)

You must not have tried "End Point Protection".
It uses JAVA and appears to be a pig, On top of that you can't run it on a terminal server. Unless they have since fixed that.

That is the latest bad product. Personally I think they need to go back to the basics. Stop with the popups/toolbars/firewall.

FAIL! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27101769)

Generally speaking, unless you are an expert at killing malware, the LAST thing you want to try to do is install new antivirus software on an already infected machine.

Seriously, its completely idiotic and a waste of time.

Re:FAIL! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102393)

I agree. I loath Norton's shitty AV software, think it's pretty much malware all on its own, but come on, you have a malware-infested system, you start with tools actually designed to deal with malware, or, if that looks like too much trouble, just format the goddamned thing and start afresh.

Professional services cost money (5, Informative)

Alereon (660683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101795)

The computer was simply too infected to allow the Symantec software to install. This is not an abnormal occurrence. Symantec offered to have an engineer remotely access the system and clean it, which naturally costs money, since you're paying for a person's time to fix your computer, in addition to the license for the software. Symantec can't guarantee that your Windows installation isn't too badly damaged to allow their software to install, and they just offered an alternative to telling him to take the computer to be serviced. This is a non-story.

Re:Professional services cost money (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101843)

Another reason I hope Linux becomes more mainstream.

When it does get effed up, there is no licensing fee to have a boot disk for repair purposes.

Symantec shouldn't need to install to fix the system, it should be able to do it from it's own environment, so that it is not effected by installed malware. Unfortunately for everyone involved, they cannot do it cost-effectively.

Re:Professional services cost money (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102061)

I think you need to read up on how operating systems work. The whole idea of a protected-mode operating system is that programs are not allowed to access the hardware directly. As long as this is the case, an antivirus program cannot be guaranteed to run on a corrupted OS installation. In any case, the primary purpose of an antivirus is to prevent infection, rather than repair it.

Re:Professional services cost money (2, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102251)

I'm curious. What exactly does in your comment has anything to do with the previous one? Why then does the above poster have to read up on something other than what they are talking about, and how do you know that they are ignorant of it in the first place?

His idea of boot media with disinfection software on it has been implemented in various forms for what seems like a couple of decades, and the entire point of the restoration software is not to trust ANYTHING in the compromised partition anyway. This protected mode buzzword bullshit is irrelevant if you are not even using the same file system drivers as the compromised system.

Re:Professional services cost money (1, Insightful)

alienw (585907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102419)

I'm curious. Did you actually read the article? The product he was trying to install was a desktop antivirus. It doesn't come on a boot disk, and it's not intended for cleaning heavily infected systems.

Obviously, most products that are actually intended for cleaning heavily-infected systems are self-booting. I'm sure Symantec can license some sort of command-line version of Windows in a way that's cost effective, or use a different NTFS implementation. It's just not what this product is intended for.

Re:Professional services cost money (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102459)

Well, he did say 'an antivirus program cannot be guaranteed to run on a corrupted OS installation', so I think he was implying that Windows is a corrupted OS installation, and does not have the proper tools to externally boot and clean up.

Re:Professional services cost money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27102089)

So you're saying that any software should be able to install on a system crippled by malware? Tell me more of your pearls of wisdom.

Re:Professional services cost money (2, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102439)

Yeah, and the typical Windows user which installs plenty of malware would have such an easy time fixing their Linux installation from said boot disk ..

Re:Professional services cost money (5, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101851)

If you RTFA, what he needed to run at the point when he was being upsold on a services package (and told that no other option was available) was a freely-available utility to remove previously-installed Symantec tools.

Moreover, Symantec's management acknowledged that they were in the wrong, and indicated they would be addressing this -- hardly indicative of the no-fault scenario you proclaim.

Re:Professional services cost money (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102023)

Even more sad - the poor kid in India who was probably following company procedure (at least as far as charging for support) is probably going to get smacked by the management at outsourcer after symantec smacks the outsourcer.

Re:Professional services cost money (1, Insightful)

Slumdog (1460213) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102027)

Moreover, Symantec's management acknowledged that they were in the wrong, and indicated they would be addressing this

Acknowledgment is valuable when faced with bad press.

Re:Professional services cost money (3, Funny)

pcgabe (712924) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102221)

If you RTFA,

I see where you went wrong there.

Re:Professional services cost money (1)

wunchaliketano (647296) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102375)

Slow Down...

Look at the chat session:
"before we proceed, I would like to inform you that this is a paid consultation service."

"Your Joking right? I bought your product to fix my computer."

Read the lines before that:

tech says basically I need to access your computer remotely, "and do all this for you directly. Would you like me to go ahead??"

"Yes Please"

"I thought you were the expert consultant. O well!"

After this comment, this person is not getting anything free from me. Paid product or not.

I don't do tech support, but the only thing this mofo would get from me is a free taping of his next root canal.

Try to be a little nicer, it may help you along your journey.

T

Windows too infected to install antivirus.... (4, Informative)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101867)

There are scads of free options.

Try a linux alternative [lmgtfy.com]

Like this. [bitdefender.com]
Or this. [avast.com]

Hell even an online scan may work well enough, http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ [trendmicro.com]

Re:Windows too infected to install antivirus.... (2, Informative)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101909)

I would say the case for a F/OSS Operating System has been made. I simply love the security of Linux. You can count the amount of malware available by hand and it is all easily defeated. I think the last virus I got several years ago, an rm -rf worked wonders. I checked my netstat and used other programs to verify that I wasn't spewing data out to a botnet controller and I still periodically check. Proof positive that security by obscurity doesn't work.

Re:Professional services cost money (2, Interesting)

Varzil (1481801) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101941)

>>"The computer was simply too infected to allow the Symantec software to install." It's always wise to actually *READ* a story before commenting on it. One seems smarter that way! Those who read the story know that Norton's CD-boot "Norton Recovery Tool" was completely capable of cleaning up the system to the point where N360 would install.

Re:Professional services cost money (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102039)

So why can't it be run off a bootable dc/dvd and scan+clean the system locally? Oh, that's right, it's crap. "your system is too infected for our anti-virus to run!"

Either it can remove viruses, or it can't. If it can, then there's no reason not to make it so that it can launch from bootable media. In fact, it SHOULD load from bootable media so that it's running in a known-good environment. "Oh, but it needs windows to run ..." Yeah, riiiight .... it's just a file scanner/pattern matcher.

Get a real operating system. Or if that's not easy enough, get a mac.

Re:Professional services cost money (4, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102199)

The computer was simply too infected to allow the Symantec software to install. This is not an abnormal occurrence. Symantec offered to have an engineer remotely access the system and clean it, which naturally costs money, since you're paying for a person's time to fix your computer, in addition to the license for the software.

That's a load of crap. They advertise that it will fix your computer, not that it might fix it as long as your computer's not really all that broken. Do you also have weird parsings of "all you can eat" and "flat rate"?

Its a racket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27101829)

I have had bad experiences with symantec support as well - they are very condescending and feel "too big to fail". Though I must admit - I dislike the whole concept here.... wouldn't it be a sweet deal to release malware and then provide a solution? Sometimes I wonder.... I mean antivirus the products are crap from every vendor. No one seems to do it right and the programs are built, especially symantec, to a standard that assumes the user is as brain dead as a door nail while saps system performance. Vista UAC, on the whole, is better designed. There is no stronger argument to use Linux.

Have a hunter throw a flare (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101859)

Sorry, too much WoW.

You gotta watch out for flaming hunters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27101873)

Sorry, too much Left 4 Dead.

Re:Have a hunter throw a flare (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101899)

Hey that is just as effective as running Norton Internet Security/Norton AntiVirus ;)

I suppose they're helping.. Kinda? (3, Interesting)

jmello (856993) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101903)

As a general rule when working with badly infected systems, the only guaranteed way to get it working again is to nuke and reinstall. Symantec is, I suppose, doing them a service by trying to help, but if a system is too far gone to allow Norton to be installed, it's most likely too far gone to save. Every client of mine that insists on going through the motions about not wanting to pay for a data backup or to get all of their programs reinstalled signs a waiver that states that I offer no warranty on the system or any of the work done on it. Surprisingly enough, most of the systems I get that are so bad that they require a nuke and reinstall were running Norton to begin with.

Re:I suppose they're helping.. Kinda? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102545)

While I will agree that most of the systems I end up having to clean are running symantec products in the first place, I disagree on the need to nuke the install.

It is cheaper in most cases to start over, especially if some sort of sane backup is done before hand. You have to remember to goto a known clean state to update all the antivurus protections before attempting to go into the more recent updates that could be just reinfecting the computer. But I haven't seen an infected windows machine yet that can't be cleaned reasonably enough to back up data and restore it to a new install. For the most part, you can't really trust a compromised PC but with a statefull packet inspecting firewall, a good cleaning and followups over the next couple of weeks, you can reasonable be assured that it doesn't pose a direct problem either.

Wait, Symantec support has EVER been useful? (2, Informative)

coppro (1143801) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101913)

Honestly, I've never, EVER found them to be worth a grain of salt. When installing a product (Norton 2005 I think), it refused to activate itself. So I looked on the website. I tried everything they offered, like their "Complete Removal Tool" to do a clean reinstall, and nothing worked. So I finally broke down and went onto their online support. Their advice was EXACTLY the same as the advice I'd already been given by their website. They (plural!) couldn't wrap their heads around the idea that I had already tried everything.

I had to reinstall Windows twice to get it to work.

this still happens? (4, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101947)

People still get malware, and still use Symantec products?

Re:this still happens? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102081)

People still get malware, and still use Symantec products?

You mean, it's _not_ the year of the Linux desktop yet?!?

Re:this still happens? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102085)

People still get malware, and still use Symantec products?

No, people still buy the malware called Symantec Antivirus.

Re:this still happens? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102289)

Careful there man, Symantec Antivirus is pretty decent. It's Norton Antivirus that sucks. SAV is the corporate version.

Re:this still happens? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102567)

SAV blows compared to other products out there. The AVG corporate network editions seem to do a better job.

I used to have lots of issues with the symantec corporate edition like no being able to upgrade to hole number versions without visiting each workstation manually, viruses not being caught or SAV not being able to stop their installation or remove them. Now don't get me wrong, AVG has similar ussues but not on the same levels as the symantec products. I gave up on version 10 I think so something may have changed.

Compared to norton products, yes it is decent, compared to other products in the same areas, it still seems to blow.

Re:this still happens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27102195)

Yes they do. Also they call me to fix both of them.

Another outsourcing tragedy? (1)

Virus Hunter (1274224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101985)

Symantec did just outsource a bunch of their support. I wonder if they'll reconsider the move.

Re:Another outsourcing tragedy? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102097)

Symantec did just outsource a bunch of their support. I wonder if they'll reconsider the move.

Not unless it begins to affect their bottom line sufficiently to offset the savings they think they're getting by outsourcing in the first place.

Re:Another outsourcing tragedy? (2, Interesting)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102141)

Symantec did just outsource a bunch of their support. I wonder if they'll reconsider the move.

I was employed by a call center company to do tech support for a large ISP many years ago, and one summer they opted to get a second call center going down in Texas. Within a week there were at least one or two incidents where hard drives were reformatted just to fix stupid dialup errors, or something else went horribly wrong. Naturally, those incidents had to be reported to the company we were working for, but by no means they were going to terminate the contract they had just signed.

The short answer is no. They'll take that incident and use it as an "opportunity for training" to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Re:Another outsourcing tragedy? (1)

British (51765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102405)

When I did tech support at an ISP, if we found out a user had a virus infection, we had to basically stop everything and tell them to "seek professional help". Worded wrongly, it sounds like we were telling the customer they needed to go to the funny farm. Sadly, some of them did need to.

Re:Another outsourcing tragedy? (1)

cfryback (870729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102159)

Symantec did just outsource a bunch of their support. I wonder if they'll reconsider the move.

Just? At work we have Symantec Enterprise - which is worlds better than Norton's. We used to have Backup Exec - and their support has been outsourced for ages, any support issues and you knew that their VOIP system was sending you overseas somewhere....

What we have here is a Failure to Communicate (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27101991)

There is a major difference between offering defect support for software and offering services surrounding the software. Let's review the order of events here:

1) Customer is unable to install product on test environment. Receives BSOD.
2) Customer contacts Symantec requesting defect support. Per customer the product is not functioning as described on a test system.
3) Symantec's front-line support team misinterprets the customer's request for defect support. Instead, they believe the customer wants the system cleaned, regardless of whether a Symantec product is used or not. As a result, Symantec services are offered for an additional fee of $100.
4) End-result is one unhappy customer, and a heavily biased article criticizing Symantec support.

What should have happened is anybody's interpretation. But, during #3, at a minimum, the issue should have been escalated to the next level where an actual support engineer discusses a bit further with the customer to try to understand if they a defect with the product, something unique to customer environment, etc.

Conclusion: Front-line reps at Symantec need more training. Customer needs to work on communication skills to be clear when contacting defect support. Failure to communicate.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware might be better (4, Informative)

exhilaration (587191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102069)

I had to help someone clean up a popup problem and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware [malwarebytes.org] (which is free) eliminated not only the adware but also identified and removed a trojan that an up-to-date Symantec Anti-Virus didn't even find. I was really surprised.

Re:Malwarebytes Anti-Malware might be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27102455)

Are you sure it was a trojan? All of the scanners occasionally give false positives, the free ones tend to do so more.

You get what you pay for (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27102109)

You want Windows? You get viruses, trojan horses, and malware.

At that point "what symantec does" is really not important. YOU chose to allow your PC to be infected, used, pwned by others. YOU are at fault. Not Microsoft. Not symantec. Just YOU.

Next time just ask yourself "When I buy hardware do I want other people to own it?" If the answer is no, don't pay the Microsoft tax, don't run the Microsoft OS, and then you won't be calling Symantec, Dell, or any other support organization.

Linux isn't popular because it's a fad. It's popular because it's a successful alternative that doesn't allow remote control by the bad guys. Welcome to 2001.

E

Re:You get what you pay for (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102183)

inux isn't popular because it's a fad. It's popular because it's a successful alternative that doesn't allow remote control by the bad guys.

Neither does Windows if you have a clue. The problem is, most users don't.

Re:You get what you pay for (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27102233)

What's inux? You put a windows box on the net and you can't download the service packs and the patches before it's infected. Windows is an open sore waiting for the pus to come out.

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102315)

Put an unpatched Linux from 2001 on the net and you'll highly likely achieve the same result. Does that mean Linux is an open sore waiting for the pus to come out? No. You can't expect to hold up an 8 year old version of an OS as the paragon of its security.

That said, no machine should be exposed directly to the internet anyway. A firewall should always be in play whether it's a standalone router or a Smoothwall/whatever install.

Re:You get what you pay for (2, Insightful)

Darkk (1296127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102395)

A hardware firewall will not stop outbound traffic if you don't have some kind of a IDS installed.

A really decent hardware firewall can do anti-virus, IDS and content filtering before it even reaches the PCs on your internal network. Problem is not everybody can properly configure the firewall or even understand exactly how it works. Which is why alot of security companies are making a killing on "security appliance" which for a yearly fee they will manage the device for you. They will push the updates to your hardware firewall and basically baby sit it for you. Only thing they will not help you with is ISP problems.

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102563)

While true, a hardware firewall will stop inbound traffic, and that is what most "unattended" compromises rely on - the ability to hit a service on the unpatched computer directly. If you basically just plugged it in and started updating with a hardware firewall, there is (virtually) no vector for attack in the first place.

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

Tarmus (1410207) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102269)

This.

I've used Symantec products for years, and never had a problem.

People have to use their machines responsibly. This is like driving your new car down a gravel road, and then blaming the people who paninted it when it ends up scratched.

They've gone rouge? (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102115)

Damn Commies...

Proof of a product need. (2, Insightful)

j741 (788258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102163)

this is just more evidence that anti-virus/malware products need to be on bootable read-only CDs that can connect to the internet, obtain current definition files, and scan and clean a computer before actually installing any realtime protection software.

Malwarebytes is NOT free! (3, Informative)

lscotte (450259) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102201)

Malwarebytes has a trial offer that is free, but the full product is not...

Re:Malwarebytes is NOT free! (3, Informative)

dcjensen (930592) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102237)

That's a matter of semantics. It's free if you want to run it manually. If you want more features, including automatic mode and full support, you have to pay for it. TANSTAAFL.

Re:Malwarebytes is NOT free! (4, Informative)

Urd.Yggdrasil (1127899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102239)

Actually Malwarebytes is free, the paid version just gives you "realtime protection, scheduled scanning, and scheduled updating".

nothing wrong with this (1)

spywhere (824072) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102203)

As much as I dislike Symantec and their products, they had no obligation to fix pre-existing problems on an infested system.

Makes sense (3, Informative)

Nephroth (586753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102457)

Symantec's products have declined in quality to the point in which we do not recommend it to our clients, in fact, we actively discourage it. Endpoint protection, even the corporate version, is heavy and almost useless for the detection of any kind of malware. The management software is so bad, that when left unchecked, it will fill a server with logs sometimes generating as much as a gigabyte per manged PC in a month.

Considering a job at Symantec (1)

Aiml (1450363) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102463)

I'm considering applying for a job at Symantec, whenever anyone calls in with a malware problem I'll direct them to ubuntu.com.

MS (3, Interesting)

Joebert (946227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102483)

That's not as bad as the experience I had with Microsoft Tech support recently, I would have been happy if they tried to sell me something that works. My question was

I want to know if Windows XP Home will run on my AMD64 system before I open the box my neighbor bought and can not return it to the store

No matter how I tried to explain that, the only answer I received was that "Windows can only be installed on one computer per license".

I ended up getting soo frustrated that I swore at the guy on the phone and hung up on him before returning the copy of Windows and just going with Ubuntu instead.

more proof of skullduggery! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27102507)

Symantec Support claims $99.00 for cleaning up the toolbar that was actually installed as part of regular update. Daylight robbery?

http://safeweb.norton.com/reviews/18936

Always been a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27102543)

I wanted to remove a Symantec program and install a new upgraded program, which is from the Symantec line, but because I didn't have tech support anymore for the old program they wouldn't help me. A little service doesn't go a long way. I believe that their support has been rogue for sometime, but maybe the amount of problems has increased or the fan boys have stopped burying the problem

Seriously, why bother? (1, Informative)

Casandro (751346) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102575)

I mean, viruses used to be a problem way back when people installed Windows natively on their machines. But today, you can simply run your Windows inside of a virtual machine you backup regularly. If you notice some odd behaviour you can simply roll back to the old version. Or you can roll back daily.

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