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Symantec support gone rogue?


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#1
dsenette

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http://www.pcmag.com...,2342634,00.asp
interesting PCmag article:

Pay For Play
For my evaluation and review of Norton 360, I installed the product on a dozen malware-infested systems. Most installed and ran flawlessly, but one system had a blue-screen crash during installation. On restart the Norton 360 installer gathered and analyzed error logs, then offered a link to support. I was impressed—most products don't have such resilient installers. I followed the link and initiated a conversation with chat support agent Mohanakrishnan (at least he didn't claim his name was Bob).

Mohanakrishnan asked some questions and (with my permission) took a remote-control tour of the system. He pointed out one blatant malware symptom: a big screen from a rogue antispyware program claiming it had found terrible problems and offering to fix them, for a price. He escalated me to another support agent in the Virus Removal Department, after verifying that I had a valid registration key. Sorry, if you get stuck during a trial installation, chat support is not available.

Prajith, the second agent, asked a lot of questions about my online activities but didn't bother to remote-control the system. He suggested I "remove the infection immediately." I pointed out that was my intention—I'm trying to install Norton 360 so it can remove the infection. He continued that "expert consultants will do a complete diagnosis of your system, and troubleshoot any malware present on your computer." Only after I agreed did he add that this is a for-pay service and ask if it would still be OK. He didn't state the price, but later research revealed that it would have been $99.95 to get this $79.99 product installed....


Taking Unfair Credit
As it turns out, the story doesn't end here. The Norton 360 installer still wouldn't complete its job. On every reboot, the app went through its whole rigmarole again, collecting and analyzing log files and sending me to tech support. It wouldn't complete the process and I couldn't uninstall the incomplete program. Once again, I followed the links to chat-based tech support.

Murugash, the chat agent, remote-controlled the system and verified that the Norton 360 installation was stuck. No problem. He downloaded the Symantec Norton Removal Tool (SYMNRT) to my test system. This is Symantec's answer to uninstallation problems that were common with older program versions. It removes all trace of all Symantec products. After running it he offered to "run a scan from the Norton security scan" to make sure all threats are gone. I asked if this is necessary, given that I've already scanned the system with the bootable Norton Recovery Tool. He said "it is a deep scan just from a online Norton program," so I let him do it.

To my surprise, he downloaded and ran the free Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware utility. This is, of course, not a Norton program by any stretch of the imagination. It did find a few traces of various threats left behind when the CD-based scan wiped out the executable parts. Now, don't get me wrong. I have no grudge against tech support using free tools from other sources for cleanup. It's a fairly common practice. I just resent it when they pass those tools off as their own....


Charging you twice for support? AND using MBAM as if they owned it? i've not had the best track record with Symantec...especially their support arm...but this takes the cake!
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#2
sari

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I think that goes to show that they recognize their own tools aren't as effective. I also doubt MBAM's developer would be overly happy about Norton passing off his tool as their own. I find the paid support egregious though. If you have a licensed version of software, especially software that hasn't been fully installed, you should be entitled to free support, IMO.
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#3
dsenette

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somewhere else in the article it said that symantec support said that when you buy the software you pay for upgrades of the product and the virus signatures....not support
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#4
sari

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Which is a crappy policy, in my opinion. At least installation support should be free, because if you can't get the product installed, the updates do you no good.
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#5
dsenette

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any way you look at it it's stupid, if i pay for support i want to get application support
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#6
happyrock

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Norton has sucked for years now...they should be put in the same category as AOL...DO NOT INSTALL EITHER OF THEM
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#7
sari

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any way you look at it it's stupid, if i pay for support i want to get application support


I think this should be true of a lot of software. You can get "free" support if you pay for a subscription for some products, but I don't understand why there can't be free incidental support for a product you've purchased. That goes for Adobe, Peachtree, and other products I've had to support as well.
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#8
hfcg

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I would think that support would come with the price tag, at least for 15 days so that a normal home user could use the product that was paid for!
I do not like norton (will not even capitalize the n). Some one told me that their new products have been improved. I WAS willing to be open minded until I read this!
What a load of beep
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#9
BHowett

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he offered to "run a scan from the Norton security scan" to make sure all threats are gone. I asked if this is necessary, given that I've already scanned the system with the bootable Norton Recovery Tool. He said "it is a deep scan just from a online Norton program," so I let him do it.

To my surprise, he downloaded and ran the free Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware utility. This is, of course, not a Norton program by any stretch of the imagination.


its one thing to have to pay for support, but it really burns me up that they use a free tool, and claimed it to be their Norton security scan. I had norton years ago, but once I got turned on to the free AV's I never looked back.
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