Thursday, March 04, 2010

Norton, You Suck

*** warning. I swear in this post. If you don't like that, don't read. ***

We have been together since my very first computer Norton, but as of today, we need to break up because to put it bluntly,

you SUCK.

Never mind the fact that we had to fork over $120 for new antivirus software because once Jake's school computer was confiscated, they deleted the download and there wasn't another one to put on the new computer. Or the fact that the new computer has Windows 7 (which I'm not sure I like) and Norton 360 version 3 wasn't compatible with it.

No, it was the fact that the brand spanking new Norton 360 version 4 wouldn't play nice with Windows 7 (even though it says so on the system requirements) that first annoyed me.

Download? Check.
Install? Check.
Run or do anything? Not so much.

Where it really gets messy though is when I went to your customer service people for help because that's the thing to do. I'm not a techie. I know a little bit, but not much. And I trusted you. You've never led me astray in the past, have always gotten my virus software working beautifully, so when I had the option of letting an agent remotely access my computer and fix things, I didn't even bat an eye.

It went well through the first 3 agents, all of which tried, and tried, and tried some more to get the software working with no luck. I began to get sleepy, because it was late, and Jake needed his computer for school the next morning so I pressed on, confident that you'd either fix it or tell me that the program just won't work.

Here, dear Norton, is where things went to Hell in a handbasket.

By the third technician, they began to think we had a virus and passed us onto the virus removal people.

Hmmm....I began to wonder-each name sounds like the person is from southeast Asia. Am I wrong in thinking that possibly the person accessing my computer is in..India? Maybe because Norton, you are outsourcing your jobs to foreign countries. That pisses me off. There are lots of perfectly good Americans over here who need jobs, and what the hell are you doing?

Anyway. Back to the computer. Okay, fine. I don't have a lot of time to run around to computer stores to get things fixed. Hubs and I were wary, but we thought we'd check out this whole remote virus removal thing. Mostly because YOU, dear Norton, never led us astray before.

Ah, but this time we were wrong.

You told us with certainty that we didn't have just one, but two dangerous and horrible trojans on the system (Trojan.dropper and trojan.vundo), gave us dire warnings about what they could do, and then told us that to remove them one must be very careful because it's like preforming "brain surgery" on the computer. Only the experts should do it, you said.

Experts like Norton support people and wow, aren't you lucky that we'll do it for $99 US!

Sit back and enjoy while we take care of your computer needs!

Or, you countered, you can do it yourself.

It's midnight, by now. I was almost asleep at the keyboard. You had already kept me there for 3 hours, what's a bit more? Besides, we just wanted it done. Okay fine dammit, take my Visa number and just fix the damn machine.

We chose to let YOU, Norton technician, into the bowels of our son's lifeline to the world; his computer.

Wow was that stupid. Because after 45 minutes, you say,

"What sort of trojan pop ups did you say you're getting?"

Huh? I never said anything about any pop ups.

"Oh. Well there was no virus. You computer is clean."

WHAT?! One second before half asleep, suddenly I was awake now, as the realization of what just happened dawned on me.

"Wait a sec....I just paid $99 for virus removal because YOU SAID I HAD A VIRUS and the computer didn't even HAVE ONE?" It took a full 3 minutes to get a response. (and I'm paraphrasing here because I don't completely remember-it was 1 am)

"No. But you can be assured that your computer is clean and running virus free."

"What the HELL kind of scam is THAT?"

"The fee is for the consultation."

"Consultation?! The techie clearly stated that the system had TWO trojan viruses and encouraged me to make use of Norton's virus removal services. No. I can get a consultation down the road for $35. I would NEVER pay that much for a consultation, I was paying for VIRUS REMOVAL. Which was because YOU SAID WE HAD VIRUSES. I want my money BACK NOW!"

There may have been some four letter words involved.

"I'm so sorry, but now you can be happy that your computer is virus free!" Norton, you began chirping back these ridiculously stupid lines and would not acknowledge that you even said I had a virus at all.

And then, without warning, you left.

My screen was black. The wall paper was gone, files were open and everywhere, but I wouldn't know the damage until the morning. We may not have had a virus, but that didn't stop you from digging through everything-deleting registry keys, the CD rom driver, removing admin permissions, changing and moving things, and in general?

You left the computer completely inoperable, you moron.

It's just a damn good thing my 14 year old knows how to fix computers or he would not have one that works AT ALL. And then? THEN? I try to call you back today to let you know just how much I think you suck, and I get put on hold for hours, only to wind up with some woman who barely speaks English and who I can't understand at all.

Why? Because the office is in FUCKING INDIA.

Not just that, but while your staff can tweet "I'm sorry" at me, nobody who is on the same continent can pick up a telephone (remember what those are?) and give me a call to rectify this. No, I have to wait until Monday because everyone in the North American offices are not available.

Are you kidding me? On a Wednesday? What the hell are they all doing, getting pedicures and playing golf??? Is this how you conduct business? You call this customer service?

So Norton, the point is we are going to have to break up. I can't deal with a company who scams me so blatantly, completely screws up my computer, and when called on it can only say "I'm sorry" and routes my calls through a foreign country with people I can barely understand, then I have to wait 4 days to talk to someone on my continent. These days I'd think that customer service would be a priority, but I guess the quick cash grab is more your style.

Well, not anymore. You just lost us as customers, and I don't mind telling my followers why.

All 3,000 of them.

Update (2/5/10): a few hours after this was posted, a Norton representative from California contacted me. I will give him credit-I haven't been the most cheerful person to talk to, and I've been hard for him to get a hold of. He e-mailed, phoned, and tweeted me until I could answer. As far as I know right now, I've been referred to the "escalations" department.

Funny-that's what they said when they switched me over to the virus removal techs (we are "escalating your issue").

Jake's computer is buggy and things aren't working, and after some phone calls around to local techies, I was told it can be fixed. The price? Not sure. First they have to look at it.

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