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Antivirus Firms Short-Changing Customers

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the nickles-and-dimes dept.

Security 205

Barence writes "Two leading security firms have been accused of ripping off customers by cutting short their antivirus subscriptions. AVG and Symantec are offering their own customers discounts on subscriptions via email or pop-ups, but the new subscriptions start immediately, 'short-changing' users who had months left on their existing deal. Both Symantec and AVG owned up to the practice, and said they had no plans to change their ways, instead advising their customers to upgrade as close as possible to the end of the subscription. However, the pair actively send out emails and pop-up messages that encourage customers to upgrade immediately."

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It's all a scam (4, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433628)

Honestly, I don't know what you get out of paying for these that you don't get out of free solutions.

Has anyone ever had a controlled experiment where having the full paid for version of Symantec or AVG actually provided more security than their free counterparts?

Windows - Microsoft (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433686)

Here's the best free anti-virus [microsoft.com] I have ever used on the Windows platform. And, it works better than Norton and McAfee.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433760)

Security Essentials only works for Vista and Windows 7. It's not available on XP which still remains the #1 MS installed OS Base right now.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (2)

HouseOfMisterE (659953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433806)

What are you talking about? Microsoft Security Essentials has been, and still is, available for Windows XP. I installed it on (yet another) XP machine earlier today.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433818)

I wonder what happens then when you click on 'Download Now' and select Windows XP. Does it install but just not work? Seems odd.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (0)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434328)

I have not personally tried it, but more than likely, it will give you an error about incompatibility. Eitehr that or it will work, and you will need to run it in XP mode.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (0)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434402)

Hmmm... okay... it just seems odd that Microsoft would provide a link to download the Windows XP version if it didn't work.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434772)

You need to run XP in XP mode?

I can't tell if this thread is just clever sarcastic interplay... I hope it is. Otherwise ... god help you both. :)

For those following along; yes; Microsoft Security Essentials is completely supported on XP.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (1)

memyselfandeye (1849868) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433826)

Odd that this [microsoft.com] link says otherwise. Not saying that maybe the 32-bit download for xp doesn't work very well, but it is available.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (1)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433854)

I run MSE on my Windows XP laptop, it works fine. I have been running it for months. Are you perhaps a shill for an AV maker?

Re:Windows - Microsoft (5, Informative)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433866)

Well that's a load of crap. I've used it on several XP installations with no problems whatsoever.

Read the official requirements here:
http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/resources.aspx?mkt=en-us&s=1#mainNav [microsoft.com]

Find out what you need to know about installing and running Microsoft Security Essentials.
Minimum system requirements for Microsoft Security Essentials

Operating System: Genuine Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or Service Pack 3); Windows Vista (Gold, Service Pack 1, or Service Pack 2); Windows 7

        For Windows XP, a PC with a CPU clock speed of 500 MHz or higher, and 256 MB RAM or higher.
        For Windows Vista and Windows 7, a PC with a CPU clock speed of 1.0 GHz or higher, and 1 GB RAM or higher.
        VGA display of 800 × 600 or higher.
        140 MB of available hard disk space.
        An Internet connection is required for installation and to download the latest virus and spyware definitions for Microsoft Security Essentials.
        Internet Browser:
                Windows Internet Explorer 6.0 or later.
                Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or later.
        Microsoft Security Essentials also supports Windows XP Mode in Windows 7. For more information, see the system requirements for Windows XP Mode in Windows 7

That covers pretty much any home installation, with surprisingly low resource requirements to boot. Get out, troll.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433898)

READ FAIL!!!

Minimum system requirements for Microsoft Security Essentials

Operating System: Genuine Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or Service Pack 3); Windows Vista (Gold, Service Pack 1, or Service Pack 2); Windows 7

Re:Windows - Microsoft (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434946)

Really? [microsoft.com]

Find out what you need to know about installing and running Microsoft Security Essentials.
Minimum system requirements for Microsoft Security Essentials

Operating System: Genuine Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or Service Pack 3); Windows Vista (Gold, Service Pack 1, or Service Pack 2); Windows 7

* For Windows XP, a PC with a CPU clock speed of 500 MHz or higher, and 256 MB RAM or higher.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433810)

Have to agree with this; my experience with MSSE has been excellent. However, comparing AVG Free to something like Kaspersky is night and day. Kaspersky gets updates for new viruses earlier, uses less resources, is easier to use, doesn't require constant restarts and is basically better than any free package out there. Symantec on the other hand is currently an epic piece of shit and even if they paid me I wouldn't install it on a computer I don't even use.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433822)

it works better than Norton and McAfee

Really setting the bar up high, aren't you.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434174)

By comparing it to the "big boys" in the market? Yeah, they may be crap, but they're the gold standard crap.

Would you prefer my "I like it better than any other antivirus I haven't paid for, and really wish that the MS security center warning would list 'Download and install MSE' as one of the options in response to 'You lack an antivirus or it is out of date' error"? No forcing it, no bundling it, just make it a clearly available option, maybe with an (MS Recommended) beside it or something. It's a really good option for an antivirus, and it's free, but they do absolutely nothing to push it, even in the slightest.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (1)

no1nose (993082) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434154)

Agreed. I like it the best and it works great on XP.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434168)

>>>MS Security

hahahahahahahaahahahaha! Oh man that was priceless. Almost as funny as saying Innerweb Exploder is one of the best browsers. MS hasn't produced anything good since 1977's MS Basic - well and 1985's Word. Now: how about a free AntiVirus tool that doesn't require me to sell my soul? Thx.

L8r

Re:Windows - Microsoft (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434322)

>>>one of the best browsers

P.S. Which would be the non-google Chromium, Mozilla/seamonkey, or PuppyFox (for lucid 10.0 linux) because they run in less than 150 MB.

Re:Windows - Microsoft (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434586)

Here's the best free anti-virus [microsoft.com] I have ever used on the Windows platform. And, it works better than Norton and McAfee.

But does it work on Linux?

Re:It's all a scam (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433764)

Honestly, I don't know what you get out of paying for these that you don't get out of free solutions.

Besides would you really be comfortable paying crooks for your internet security?

Re:It's all a scam (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434388)

Crooks or not, I often wonder about it though.

At work, we've got a massive volume license on Symantec - we have our own Synametc AV server that downloads the updates from their server and then our computers connect to our server to get the updates, at a time of our choosing, as opposed to hundreds of computers all requesting updates from the Symantec www server and bogging down the internet - we basically put all that traffic on our Gigabit intranet, much quicker and less slowdown.

Now - it does occaisonally happen that someone somewhere gets a virus on their PC. How this happens, we don't know. It's not unsurprisingly the departments that have relaxed management. You know, the ones where the manager is trying to be your friend more than he is trying to make sure work gets done. (Maybe I'm just jealous, haha).

So what we've got is an antivirus that runs weekly across the company and doesn't bog down our network. Bogging down a PC is an entirely different thing. Its usually not too bad if you schedule your PC's to do updates and scans after hours and make sure people leave their PC's on when that happens. Of course sometimes they forget, the scan ends up going as soon as they boot on the PC, and they wonder why this ccApp.exe is eating up all their memory, so everything takes really long to load.

So I understand what we're paying for; regular scanning, less network traffic. The real kicker is that Symantec has only ever caught about 5% of the infections that we have to fix, and when it does detect something, its often not equipped well enough to remove it.

So yeah, I know the CEO and IT manager will insist that SOME antivirus is on the computers and this seems as good a solution as any - but really, for home use? I would never pay for it.

Re:It's all a scam (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434670)

Interesting business model...

"Look we will eventually OWN your computer. What we can do is if you sign up and install our control program, you get to run your computer when you want. When you're away it's part of our network. In exchange, you also get to access our supernetwork for large processing tasks, including offloading video encoding, increasing lag times for all your opponents in PvP matches, and routing around any throttling put into place by your ISP.

"We'll also ensure that any "grey" P2P downlaoding is split amongst several anonymous IP addresses so you can never have any activity traced back to you.

"In sum, you use your computer as an access node, giving us your excess cycles. You get to use the excess cycles of other people's computers when and as required, assuming that we do not require them at the time."

[ DOWNLOAD NOW ]

Re:It's all a scam (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433874)

This [flickr.com] graphic sums up, better than mere words, the quality of Symantec, and the general scumminess that so easily creeps into "protection" businesses...

I have AVG free edition...almost definitely a scam (5, Interesting)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433998)

As the title of this post suggests, I have AVG free edition (yes, I know... it's bad). It's due to renew in 2 weeks with the new version. Amazingly, with only a short time to go on the free edition it detected a "generic trojan" for the first time (despite daily scans and relatively safe online behaviour) last week... just after the nag pop-ups started to appear. It recommended that I upgrade to the paid version. No online scan (eg. House Call from Trend Micro) seems to identify this heuristically detected "generic trojan" in my Sony-Ericcson phone management software. Convenient that it happens now, I thought. Guess who's switching to Avast? sarcasm Although maybe I should stick to this new version of Antivirus7... errrrr, I mean AVG. sarcasm/

Re:I have AVG free edition...almost definitely a s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434460)

Why Avast?

MS Security Essentials is lighter and does as good, if not better, at detecting viruses...

Re:It's all a scam (1)

pckl300 (1525891) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434156)

Has anyone ever had a controlled experiment where having the full paid for version of Symantec or AVG actually provided more security than their free counterparts?

Has anyone done a controlled experiment to prove that antivirus software does anything at all?

I work in an IT office, and despite loading antivirus software on everyone's computer, it doesn't seem to do anything to stop people coming in every week with some sort of easily avoidable infection

Re:It's all a scam (3, Funny)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434690)

I think you're looking in the wrong places. Maybe you should advise them to use more hand sanitizer or to stay away from those street girls.

Re:It's all a scam (2)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434214)

Has anyone ever had a controlled experiment where having the full paid for version of Symantec or AVG actually provided more security than their free counterparts?

No, but I have had plenty of experiences where they (almost exclusively Symantec actually) cause a hell of a lot of problems on their own - and missed some rather nasty viruses. Disinfecting a computer that already has Norton installed is _not_ fun. Because Norton won't let you remove it, and it seems to do battle with any alternate antivirus you install. I've seen computers slowed to the point where it takes a good 5-10 minutes to move the mouse over and click the 'start' button because they accidentally had Norton and another AV installed. Not really sure why this happens either - I've seen other combinations installed without any problems. Still not a great idea, but you'd be amazed how many clueless users (and sysadmins....) hear their business offering free AV, and get that installed...when their computer already came with AV installed...and then they see a free AV mentioned online a bit later, forget that they already have _two_, and install that one too. Worst part is that usually they have someone else (who should know better) install it for them. And as mentioned, if one of those AV apps happens to be Norton, that's gonna slow it down and be harder to remove than any virus I've ever seen.

I still to this day do not know how to uninstall Norton. You try the uninstaller, and it flat-out _refuses_. Try through control panel, same thing. I usually end up booting up a Linux LiveCD and just deleting a few critical files so that it can't start up anymore...then the installer will generally run.

Re:It's all a scam (2)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434552)

Symantec actually make a separate Norton Removal Tool [norton.com] available from their website, which allegedly (this is second-hand info, I don't know this from personal experience) actually works to uninstall Norton. (It's advertised as a tool to help you recover from problems during the installation, incidentally; I wonder if that's an attempt to justify the existence of a tool that should be redundant to the uninstaller?)

Re:It's all a scam (2)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434628)

As part of a college group assignment, that is what we did. This was 5 years ago. Comodo and Microsoft had not released an AV product. The test was to verify if the AV products would prevent various attack vectors. The computer was re-imaged after each test and then loaded with the tested AV product. One test was performed with the image and no AV. We tested AVG, Norton's, McAfee, and ZoneLabs offering (using the free or free trials version). I also tested with one product that was advertised on TechTV / G4 using that Scandinavian girl asking if you have viruses. I used several different scanners to verify infections.

As expected, the last one failed miserably. McAfee and Norton's didn't do so hot. Zonelabs did well and AVG was the best... at being adequate. I admit I might have had a bias when performing the tests, but I was being as thorough and consistent throughout the tests as possible.

I turned away from AVG when the nag-ware piece of their software became overbearing and their software started to get as sluggish as Norton's had been. I have been on Comodo since just before their Internet Security software left beta stage. I've not had too much problem with viruses.

Having said all that... from this point on, I'll be much less informed - I've gone Ubuntu. I've now got to learn how security on Linux works and how to properly configure its firewall.

That was a fun test. It would be much easier to perform now with VMs being as stable as they are.

Sounds illegal to me... (2)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433638)

Sounds both deceptive and illegal, but ianal. Let's get some actual lawyers that deal with consumer rights issues on this and see what they say.

Re:Sounds illegal to me... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433944)

Costco did something like this. They settled in a class action suit. A source [sun-sentinel.com] .

Re:Sounds illegal to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434664)

From the parent link re costco...

While there is no law specifically prohibiting this practice...

This isn't really too much different than Lube-stop sending you a notice to change your oil before 3000 miles. The only difference is that you are sort of entering a contract with the AV firm to provide services (as opposed to the oil change example which is simply a one-time service w/ no implied waranty).

Depends on the details of the contract, but my guess is that the AV firms have their "A" legal team on that click through contract so that they don't have to refund any money for the early termination of the initial install.

Otherwize if you just uninstalled the AV (to go cold turkey or install a competitor), you'd probably think you should be entitled to a pro-rated refund on the unused service duration, but my guess is that all i's are dotted and t's are crossed...

In the costco example, I'm guessing the not all i's were dotted and t's may have been left uncrossed...

aren't they.... (1)

Chubby_C (874060) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433644)

the ones who claim to protect you from scams and such online?

Stealing money via emai? (1)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433646)

Sure sounds like some kind of phishing scam to me! What are we paying these companies for again?

Re:Stealing money via emai? (4, Funny)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433786)

What are we paying these companies for again?

protection ;)

Protection? Hah! (1)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434384)

Try "peace of mind." It doesn't even have to be actual protection, just the sense that you're protected, even if it's just a bald-faced lie. And they're not afraid to taint that peace of mind if it guarantees sales.

Case in point: I put Norton Antivirus on my father's laptop. The newest version of NAV has a live map lit up with places where cybercrime is reported. Think about it for a moment. It doesn't help detect malware, it doesn't help find or remove viruses, and it does nothing to educate the user, unless you consider the message "Computer crime is everywhere!" to be in any way an informative message. It is there for one reason and one reason alone: to make the user afraid not to have it.

It's why I say "Norton Antivirus: You pay for the security. The fear is free."

Re:Protection? Hah! (1)

backdoc (416006) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434640)

I don't want to speak for parent, but I think he meant it as a joke (think mafia tactics).

Re:Stealing money via emai? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434416)

you wouldn't want anything to *happen* to your data now would you? what would you do if someone say... broke your data's knee caps? paying *US* protects you from these kinds of.... discrepancies....

Free MS Security Essentials (2, Informative)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433648)

Solution: Uninstall AVG and Symantec and try http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/ [microsoft.com] instead.

Maybe it will be free forever? Maybe it will stop all malicious attacks?

Re:Free MS Security Essentials (2)

MyNicknameSucks (1952390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434262)

The free MS option is the best I've used -- it catches as much crap as Norton, is free, doesn't nag you to upgrade or re-up, doesn't hog resources, and doesn't leave bits and pieces of itself and other Symantec software scattered throughout your registry and HD. Honestly? I'm smelling desperation out of Symatec -- it looks like they're trying to milk their users for every possible cent before people wise up that Norton AV both sucks and blows, and that MS has a superior free product available. And, I mean, your software must TOTALLY suck ass if MS has a product that is both "free" and "superior".

Re:Free MS Security Essentials (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434290)

Uninstall Symantec? Last time I tried that...it refused. The uninstaller says it can't uninstall while it's running. But there's no 'exit' button on it. You try through CTRL-ALT-DEL and it just pops back up. Even if you can manage to get the entire process killed, the installer still usually gives you something along the lines of "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that."....even in Safe Mode it won't let you remove it! I generally end up booting a Linux LiveCD and just wiping whatever Norton files I can find...only then will the uninstaller usually cooperate and clean up the rest of it.

Re:Free MS Security Essentials (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434512)

Go into the folder where the program is installed and delete every file you can. Open Task Manager and kill any related processes. Delete more files if you can. Reboot. Repeat until the whole damn thing is dead.

It sucks, but this will kill just about any nasty thing you want off your computer.

Re:Free MS Security Essentials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434742)

Eh, yea. But as you said, that takes a lot of time and patience. I never arrive to fix a PC without a few LiveCDs anyway, so those are easier. Especially when the PC is running so slow that the time between hitting ctrl-alt-del and the window actually popping up is measured in _minutes_.

Re:Free MS Security Essentials (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434880)

It sucks, but this will kill just about any nasty thing you want off your computer.

Except a modern virus.

Because unless you get the whole thing in one go, the bit that the remains just regenerates all the pieces you removed.

Re:Free MS Security Essentials (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434786)

Add/Remove programs - it works, trust me

Re:Free MS Security Essentials (1)

donatzsky (91033) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435002)

I've had this problem myself once.
Thankfully, Symantec provides a removal tool [norton.com] . Many other AV vendors do the same.
A good list of AV removal tools [raymond.cc]

Irony. (1)

kenshin33 (1694322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433658)

is this spam or what?

In other news (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433680)

a corporation with completely open and honest policies was found today; er correction that story is unfounded.

Av software is scummy. (1)

coniferous (1058330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433690)

People who profit from other peoples' unethical behavior are accused of unethical behavior themselves? SHOCKER. AV companies are scum.

Re:Av software is scummy. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434126)

Now, now, that's like saying all police is scum because their only existence is warranted by crooks, murderers and thieves.

And just like with the police and crooked policemen, don't toss the whole lot just because of a few foul apples.

Just another reason to not install these (1)

Draconis183 (1871664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433702)

1) Take over system and bog it down 2) Spam n scam your paid loyal users. 3) ??? 4) PROFIT!

Avast also (1)

jayemcee (605967) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433740)

They sent a request to renew to my parents last month even though their yearly doesn't expire until March of next year, pathetic shakedown. They'll be using MSE once it expires.

Re:Avast also (3, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433776)

You do realize there's a free version of Avast for home users, right?

Re:Avast also (4, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434736)

You realize that MSE is tested as the best, lightest, cheapest AV solution available, right?

I used to use AVG until it got spammy. Then I used Avast! until MSE came out and it tested better. (I use Linux and my brain as my main AV products...)

Best Buy also ripping off customers (5, Interesting)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433746)

I bought a laptop for my wife from Best Buy less than a year ago. Normally, I would never buy from them, but this laptop was on sale, and the best bargain we found. It came with a year long subscription to the horrible, horrible Webroot anti-virus program. Less than a year later, we saw a mysterious charge for $49.95 on the credit card we had used to purchase the laptop. Turns out Best Buy had thoughtfully resubscribed us, and only charged us a small fee for the service. Of course, I had uninstalled Webroot the moment we got the laptop home.

We called the credit card company, and as soon as we said the words "best buy" they said "we'll reverse the charges, this happens ALL THE TIME." How is this not criminal fraud on Best Buy's part?

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433890)

There is probably some bizarre clause somewhere in that packet of papers that says "Best buy will renew subscriptions automatically, please fill out this oddly worded form and send it in to opt-out"

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433914)

Which is Why you never EVER buy a computer from best buy with a credit card or debit card.

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434280)

Then how do you go around and buy a computer from Best Buy? With a money order? Cash? Pennies?

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (2)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434386)

You do realise that cash is still a valid and perfectly acceptable form of currency... right... RIGHT?

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434454)

Oh God forbid we pay cash for anything, that would require us to be able to *gasp* afford it!

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434544)

Why not cash?

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (2)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434596)

There's this weird technology called checks. You deposit money into a "checking account" and then write on these checks to make payments for things. I've tried it. It works. :p

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434716)

Yes there are two very secret technologies you can use. I will probably be killed by the FreeMasons for revealing this secret of theirs but I think it's worth the risk..

1 - you can use a very secret form of payment called cash. It's specially printer paper issued by a secret government department that very few people know about.

2 - a bank check or personal check. These both are very secret ways that many people have been killed over by even talking about them... What do you think Jesus was crucified for? He told Judas about writing checks for paying for things and the illuminati had him CRUCIFIED for it.

They fricking killed the son of god! That is how serious these people are.

So dont tell anyone ok, I'd hate to see a smart guy like you killed.

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434780)

pennies. not rolled ones either, pennies from a giant pickle jar, that still has pickle juice in it. Serves them right.

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434424)

Which is Why you never EVER buy a computer from best buy with a credit card or debit card.

This should be a fricken' Public Service Announcement.

The More You Know!

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433916)

It was in the microscopic .001 font size print. What? You COULDN'T read it?

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433966)

I use virtual credit card number when I shop on line. But having to protect the card number against unauthorized use against a brick-and-mortar retailer is new.

Here is what you do. Go to a reputable trusted vendor and buy BestBuy gift cards. Use it to pay for BestBuy purchases. They would not be able to pull this stunt again. Best part of the deal? Local grocery store selling BestBuy card considers it a "purchase" and gives cents-off-gallon frequent shopper reward.

But WHY? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434520)

So you're making extra work for yourself to avoid the scammy tactics of a known scammy merchant...?
Why not just buy from somewhere that doesn't use scammy tactics?

Re:But WHY? (1)

silentace (992647) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434936)

He did mention that he gets some sort of points off his gas due to the purchase. Interesting idea if it works. I once rember seeing gold dollars being sold for 1 dollar and free shipping. People were talking about buying 1000+ in gold dollars to get the points and then redepositing into their bank... probably some law against that kind of transaction but ianal

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434166)

> How is this not criminal fraud on Best Buy's part?

Did you file a complaint?

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434310)

Who would you recommend filing a complaint with? The BBB? State AG? I don't really know where to go here...

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434418)

Send an e-mail to the AG. If you should be contacting someone else, they’ll at least know who.

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434952)

Thanks, I will do that.

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (2)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434632)

You could start with the management of the store... then the local newspaper if they refuse to do anything. They like it when crap like this goes public around Christmas time.

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (1)

hazydave (96747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434480)

If you buy a TV at Best Buy, you MAY get a good price. I bought one there a few years back, a bit more expensive than B&H in New York, but that more than made up by the lack of shipping charges (for a 125lbs 71" TV).

But if you look around the TV department, accessories are crazy expensive -- and consumers by those anyway, just because it's easier. So you drop some cash on a carefully investigated HDTV, at a great price, then spend $50-$100 on an HDMI cable you could get at Monoprice.com for $5-$10. The reason is simple: Best Buy knows you're not paying attention, and the might come close to doubling their profits on the sale if they load you up with accessories.

That's why they push those antivirus solutions (I didn't know about the automatic re-purchase... these guys have nothing on the online porn industry). Years back, I bought a "Black Friday" PC for one of my kids... $200 for the whole thing, including monitor, a sweet deal. At the checkout, they all but bludgeoned me over the head to buy Norton/Symantec, depite the fact I ensure them I didn't need it, my cousin worked for McAfee (true, at the time), there were plenty of free options, etc. They really put the screws to me... I can imagine Joe Regular Consumer caving to this pressure. And I had to wait an extra half-hour to get a PC without it... they were so successful at this upsell, they had pre-installed Norton on every machine they had down on the floor.

Of course, I didn't buy that, I wouldn't sign anything that let them charge me for it later, and if they did charge my card, I'd do what I could to get it treated as a case of fraud.

Re:Best Buy also ripping off customers (1)

pogle (71293) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434848)

We got a replacement laptop for my wife this summer at Best Buy, and got a free 6mo of Kaspersky with it. Which I never bothered installing. It started its countdown on date of purchase, and expires this Sunday without every being used. I've been getting nag emails about it for a month+ now, but its not defaulting to auto-renewal. I specifically checked (while trying to find a way to turn off the nag emails).

So, no auto-renewal without my permission: good. But constant email nags w/o any visible way of turning them off: bad. Not to mention that the standard BB account page has no linkage whatsoever to the subscription service that I could find...I had to rely on URLs (typed out) from the email (which is annoying with the number of phishing emails out there, you should be able to go to bestbuy.com, login there, and find all that you need w/o clicking or even having to read the email).

Still was a good laptop for the price and what she needed, at least, but I just tell people to say "no", period, to those freebie addons. More trouble than they're worth in the long term.

In 2010... (1)

ELCouz (1338259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433780)

Who need an anti-virus ?
GET FREE VIGRA P1lLS
NO CARR%^^%

Of course, Antivirus software is a worthless scam (2, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433950)

It always was. It only catches some of what's out there, and once your system has caught something, you're hose. Time for a wipe and re-install. The stuff it doesn't catch is what you'll get. I recommend against it for everybody I know. Too many people think that somehow having antivirus software actually does something useful, or that their PCs will be magically immune because they have it.

The only real defense against viruses is software that is written from the start to have as few security holes as possible, making sure you keep up on patches, and being careful about what you agree to when you computer asks you if you're sure about something.

People who are already participating in a scam getting scammed even worse than they originally thought isn't much of a surprise to me.

Not quite right (2)

ThePawArmy (952965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433962)

If you upgrade from one norton product to different product, say like going from norton antivirus to norton Internet security, when you renew you lose the remaining subscription. If you upgrade or renew to the latest version of the same product, like going from norton antivirus 2009 to norton antivirus 2010, you loose nothing. If you renew your existing product you loose nothing.

Re:Not quite right (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434072)

Yeah, I had a feeling it was something like that.

Re:Not quite right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434202)

YOU are actually the one that is "not quite right",

RTFuckingA, the companies in question ADMITTED to "losing" the remaining months when RENEWING EXISTING INSTALLED SOFTWARE early.

If it weren't for idiocy, we'd have no idiots at all...

Re:Not quite right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434484)

Actually its you that need to RTFA, especially the part subtitled "AVG and Symantec response"

Re:Not quite right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434234)

You may need to upgrade quickly, seems you have the "insert an extra 'o' into word 'lose'" virus. Looks like your computer got infected mid post

I'm too lazy... (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434092)

...to post a new submission today (actually tied up with tech issues on a Win7 box, but the same net result), but ran into a colleage last night who mentioned that the most recent AVG pro update whacked all 64-bit boxes. Anyone hear any more on that one?

Re:I'm too lazy... (2)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434434)

No need to post anything new, just read Slashdot [slashdot.org] .

Re:I'm too lazy... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434860)

It got mine. easy solution is to boot into linux, mount the windows partition and delete the avg folder under program files.

Isn't this profitability 101? (1)

Goaty66 (1190783) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434176)

1) Charge too much for too little. 2) Give people the least quality they'll stand for. 3) Repeat

Other than MSE, (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434270)

which other free AV is good? How does Antivir compare to AVG?

Re:Other than MSE, (1)

silentace (992647) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435014)

Personally, like many others, MSE is the best no nonsense out there. Why try and fix what isn't broken? MSE allows for very seemless antivirus integration that updates through the OS automatically. My experiance with AVAST/AVG/Antivir/etc all end up being too bloated or nagging to warrant using them over a very well design program like MSE.

Also I can't say how suprised I am that almost no one has negative things to say about MSE. Except for maybe NOD32 or Kapersky, MSE has to be one the most highly aclaimed antivirus software programs in a long time.

Don't buy an anti-virus! (1)

SilverSlimer (1952400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434380)

I switched over to Microsoft Security Essentials from Webroot SpySweeper (which is a great product) and I haven't looked back. I was looking to just save money and was surprised that Microsoft's anti-virus does a great job. If I can away with not giving money to people who slow down my computer under the guise of offering me security, I'll take it.

This is unbelievable (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434412)

Symantec ripping people off. This can't be true and I don't believe it. I mean, they have never done it before.

I mean, anybody that used to use EarthLink and tried the EarthLink solution more than likely knows how great Symantec is. For those that do not know, please let me enlighten you: I use to take tech support calls for EarthLink. We were supposed to upsell the EarthLink solution, which was Symantec. Now, if a person already had Symantec, we would be trained to talk that person into buying this as well. Symantec loved it when we would get them to pay for our version of Norton (which somehow seemed to never work right), use the EarthLink version (which was a paid service), and talk them into keeping their old Norton subscription just because "you never know".

Yes, some companies would help Symantec get people on double subscriptions.

My vote for Trend Micro (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434494)

You pay more, but the offerings from Trend Micro have been top notch as far as I'm concerned. From detection, protection, to customer support, I couldn't be more happy.

Minor gripe. Trend Micro upgraded their Worry Free suite to version 7. Six was always good. Only a few service packs and updates needed now and then. Seven OTOH seems to be a rushed product.

the devils (1)

slmdmd (769525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434542)

Once upon a time I worked for a mega city gov as Linux consultant. I had to quit in disgust after the antivirus sales people mcpaid brainwashed the managers to put it on all linux server. As if it was not bad enough that they were running production systems on Vware. I made an good effort to educate the managers by showing them various articles from wiki and explaining the unix design but failed. Vware is another story, I showed them bonnie++ throughput measurement for disk io on a desktop vs a guest on highend esox. From my perspective looked like they deserve each other, but obviously huge kickbacks were involved. Both parties were benefiting each other at tax payers expense. By experience(15 years) I have learnt that whenever such illogical stuff takes place on a large scale you know that recession is around the corner.

Trend does this as well... (1)

BulletMagnet (600525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434584)

We have a large footprint of OfficeScan/ServerProtect/ScanMail and we renewed 6 weeks early in 2008 and suddenly we got shortchanged, that time. Now, I don't even schedule the order renewal until the week before it's due. We have a large footprint of OfficeScan/ServerProtect/ScanMail and we renewed 6 weeks early in 2008 and suddenly we got shortchanged, that time. Now, I don't even schedule the order renewal until the week before it's due.

Not in my experience (3, Insightful)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434622)

As a reseller of AVG, I have never experienced an upgrade license behaving in this manner.

If the end-user is unintelligent enough to purchase a brand new license direct with AVG, of course they will get a brand new license that starts on the date they purchase it.

However, if they renew an existing license, the license always renews from the existing expiration date, AND they often tack on a few extra days or weeks to the license. Even if they are renewing and also upgrading to a different version (say, Antivirus to Internet Security), the license is upgraded, they are charged the prorated upgrade price based on time left on the existing subscription, and then the renewal year(s) are added.

So if you are getting short changed, it's your own fault, not the vendor.

Hummmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434682)

Avira Antivir is the best Free AV anyways. AVG has been a joke for years now.

If you want the 'stolen' days back from Symantec.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434810)

...contact Symantec support and they'll add them onto your new subscription.

(I know you shouldn't have to jump through hoops like this, but it's better than nothing)

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