Saturday, February 17, 2007

Goodbye Norton

I'm not opposed to paying for software. Really I'm not. I've paid for lots of software over the years, and there's no pirated software on any of my computers. But tonight I got rid of one piece of commercial software and replaced it with a free alternative.

I've used Norton Antivirus on this computer since I got it, and used it on my previous computer for about half a dozen years. Every year I go to renew my AV definitions, but this year I decided it was just too objectionable.

I went to renew my definitions, but wasn't sure how to do it. The software gave me a number to phone, but it wasn't connected anymore. On the web site I was able to see a renewal for my Norton Antivirus 2005, but I wasn't sure. I couldn't find a number to phone, so I sent a help request by email. They got back to me to tell me to go ahead and use the website. And that's when the objectionable stuff started.

The web site had removed the antivirus definition renewal, telling me that I now had to upgrade to Norton 2007. The shopping card still listed the definition renewal from the last time I logged in. In addition, they automatically added to my shopping card an option that would allow me to download my product again for a full year rather than just 60 days. As if it costs them anything to allow me to download my software again for a full year! Also, there was a little note saying they would automatically renew my antivirus definition subscription each year on my credit card. If I didn't like this, once I went through the whole ordering process, they would send me some instructions for opting out. And of course this means they would be storing my credit card number in their system. And by the way, they would be sharing my credit card number with their e-commerce partner.

And so I uninstalled Norton Antivirus, and installed the freeware version of AVG. I had a couple of minor configuration issues, which their free support forums on the Internet resolved within minutes. Sure, I understand businesses want to find ways of increasing their profit. But I didn't like Norton's approach and I voted with my feet.


Blogger Jaby said...

Do you have a link for that freeware virus program? I let my Norton subscription expire for the same reason. Until recently I was using the Trend Micro House Call from their website. It is free, but lately it hasn't been working for me.



3:20 p.m.  
Blogger Shawn Abigail said...

5:41 p.m.  

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