Symantec, McAfee settle over subscription auto-renewal problems

By Justin · 28 replies
Jun 10, 2009
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  1. Symantec and McAfee will be coughing up a chunk of change, following a settlement that arose out of complaints regarding how each of them handled their customer\'s subscriptions. As anyone who uses paid security products is aware of, each year you must pay a renewal fee to keep your software functioning. According to the involved plaintiffs, however, both Symantec and McAfee were deceptive when it came time to pay, renewing people\'s subscriptions without their consent.

    Read the whole story
  2. I was a customer of Mcafee for three years, and finally ditched them after (3) $129 automatic renewals before I noticed it on my credit card. This crooked scam was set up by mcafee, another TX company screwing the pulic, just like that other TX company (ENRON) did.

    I'm sure they both felt safe from prosecution , as long as the Bush's were running the country and were protecting them. God knows they paid enough in "donations" for that protection.
  3. T77

    T77 TS Enthusiast Posts: 300   +6

    dump these paid ones & go in for free ones
  4. It's NOv 24, 2009 and McAfee is still up to their old ways of deception. I just received an e-mail stating that my credit account is bding charged 79.99 for a one year automatic renewal. I'm not playing games with them. Sending a written notice to my credit card company tomorrow contesting the charges with a cc; to the State Attorney General of Virginia.
    IN addtion I sent McAfee a "Cease and Desist" e-mail telling to immediatley stop.
  5. GACrabill

    GACrabill TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +9

    With so many excellent FREE anti-virus products available, I am still surprised by people who buy an AV product. These same folks will spend hours on the internet but don't seem to know how to do a Google search.

    My neighbor got his credit card automatically charged for a Norton 360 renewal and now he will never buy another Norton or Symantec product ... and none of his friends and co-workers will either.

    I swear that there are *****s running these companies. They seem to be very good at alienating their customers and very poor at delivering a reputable product.
  6. Aolish

    Aolish TS Enthusiast Posts: 171

    I don't think its because of them not knowing about it, but more towards... "FREE" being NOT as good as for a paid one. I've talked to numerous ppl that think the PAIED ones are better simply because "you get what you paied for". Many ppl feel that the free ones aren't as good as detecting viruses as the paied ones.
  7. McAfee is still continuing to charge when no service is provided (11/30/09). I just checked my credit card account today and noticed a charge for 39.99. It turns out I've been paying this for the last 4 years! I haven't used the software since 2005. I have no problem paying for services I'm using, but when I'm surreptitiously being signed up for a service I don't use, and I am not notified of, I believe that's tantamount to thievery. Lesson learned. Keep an eye on your credit card statements and don't use McAfee.

    As an aside I discovered earlier this year that Amazon had done something similar by signing me up for an upgraded shipping service, that I didn't ask for either, and charged me $80. I maybe order 1 thing a year from Amazon, so not exactly something I'd be interested. Check those statements.
  8. compdata

    compdata TechSpot Paladin Posts: 529   +7

    Why doesn't everyone use the free Microsoft Security Essentials? Works great for me with much less annoyance then AVG or Avast.
  9. claycc

    claycc TS Rookie Posts: 43

    I stay away from anything that automatically renews without your consent (magazines, software, etc.). This kind of stuff makes me want to stick with AVG. Works great and is free.
  10. There are thousands of fake anti viruses so beware while choosing any free anti-virus. i would personally recommend for Norton AV , FREE nahee Sabse Achcha..

    Devendra <>
  11. I just received an auto-renewal notice from McAfee for VirusScan Plus. The renewal term was to begin in early April 2010. This was after I paid for what I thought was an electronic renewal notice in August 2009 (I know I should have checked my own records before renewing!). I contacted customer service--someone apparently in India--about the issue, making the essential complaint that I have been paying for two simultaneous licenses since August. The rep first tried to assert that I had gotten two separate licenses for two separate computers, but he could only come up with a recorded ID for one computer. The rep finally agreed to cancel the auto-renewal account and stated that he would provide a manual renewal notice in August 2010 for the second account. When I asked him repeatedly about getting some kind of reimbursement for what amounts to about 6 months of double coverage, the best he could do was extend the August 2010 renewal for another 30 days. Do I feel ripped off? You bet!
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,965   +2,521

    We can all hope that the new "Microsoft Security Essentials" turns out to be effective at combating malware. That might force the aftermarket houses rethink their marketing strategy.

    I hate to say this, but it seems like M$ has done something positive for the Windows user.

    BTW, how much money do you people have that you can ignore/ overlook $80.00+ dollar charges on you credit card statements?
  13. After being disappointed by several "paid" antivirus programs/security suites including Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky & Vipre, I decided to try Microsoft Security Essentials when it was released a few months ago and I've found it to be at least as good if not better than any of the "paid" antivirus offerings. While MSE's layout may be visually basic, it does what it's supposed to do without needless bells & whistles.... the more elbows you install in your plumbing, the easier it is to clog up your drain.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,965   +2,521

  15. Yeah, I just got a renewal notice for a McAfee trial product on my Microsoft Home Server. Their website has a checkbox to opt out of the auto-renewal program but you can't uncheck it. What a bunch of scammers! McAfee lost a lot of customers due to their recent update that crashed XP computers. I hope they disappear off the face of the Earth. Losers!
  16. I had my McAfee 3-user account renew automatically - again with my 'knowing' consent - as in, I wasn't called, emailed or prompted by my McAfee security centre icon/program.

    I returned from a week away and explained that whilst I was delighted with the software, and, after reading on the internet that the 'auto-renewal' was in very small print, I objected to this process of McAfee just simply taking my money.

    In past years - last year for example, I was prompted and reminded that my software would expire in XX days and once it expired I was reminded to renew. So, I clicked on the link. To my surprise the renewal price was very competitive - about £16-£19 GBP if I remember with the option to increase from a 2 to 3-user account for another £5. So all in all, I paid about £23-£25 GBP (I can't remember exactly) to get another 12months, this time I could cover my 3rd PC/laptop.

    So, I called McAfee UK - 020 79490107 - and spoke to a very helpful American girl. Within minutes of me explaining how I felt, that I was happy with the software and last year's renewal price, I wasn't happy with the auto-renewal - especially 30 DAYS IN ADVANCE OF IT EXPIRING?!

    I appreciate what McAfee are trying to do - protect your PC from viruses etc with no gaps in renewal - but surely 30 days is plenty of notice to advise customers they need to renew (if they wish to - after all, there are other products on the market!)

    She said I'd get a refund and matched to the best of her ability last year's price saying I'd get 50% discount costing me £24.99 GBP.

    I accepted this but got slightly concerned that my original 'auto renewal' fee was £53.89? Like you, I know that 50% off £53.89 is NOT £24.99 - so, had I been charged more in the first place?

    It didn't matter - I was happy with £34.00 GBP for a 3-user account of their 'Internet Security' package.

    I finished by saying that I thought it was wrong that they just took my money, especially 30 days in advance of it expiring anyway - and said that an email/phone call/on-screen prompt reminder 30 days in advance would be plenty in any furture instance. This had happened to me last year so why just the auto-renewal this year? (Ah, yes, because I'd excepted the small print).

    So - I suggest you give it a go. Give them a call and explain if it's happened to you. The girl I spoke to was very effiecient - and said it must have been upsetting for me to realise my money had just been taken - so, McAfee are obviously aware that customers are not happy. And, at a guess, perhaps the Call Centre workers have been told they are able to offer discounts as the bosses at McAfee are aware that customers will be calling with uhhappy auto-renewals?

    Also - she de-activated my auto-renewal and said I'd get an email/on-screen prompt in future - which I ;m much happier with.

    Sorry this is a bit long - but I wanted you to know my story in case your instance was very similar!

    As Martin Lewis the UK Money Expert says - we, the customer have to keep on top of where our money is going with all these companies!
  17. I was automatically renewed on Sept 22 and charged double the online price! I too was unaware that they could charge me without my consent. I guess this makes me another FORMER customer. I will try the MS product.
  18. Yes Mcafee auto renewal scam

    I was victim to this too. My anti virus cover expired with them on the 21st October 2010 but the credit card i used to purchase the software with them expired in August 2010. They sent me at least 10 emails to say that my credit card for auto renewal was going to expire before the 21st October 2010 and that i should supply them with my new card details to avoid interuption of the service.

    I did not do this as i did not require the service!!

    However the cheeky buggers assumed that the replacement card would have the same card number (normal) and guessed a new expiry date and charged me without my authorisation. Is this legal? I doubt it!!
  19. Another victim of auto renewal.

    I have auto-renewed (or at least clicked something to renew) for about 3 or 4 years. Each year Ive paid about £30. Fine for me. This year it came through on the credit card as £65.

    I asked.

    "Autorenew is charged at the standard price - but I can give you 50% off if you like"

    Rather than a 50% discount for having a moan, it sounds like a 100% penalty for being loyal.

    A very dishonest and foolhardy way to run a business if you ask me. They can add me to the pile of loyal customers who they've alienated
  20. I just saw a 11-22-10 charge on my cc of $79.99 from Called my cc company, filed a dispute form. All I need now is a class action lawyer to sue McAfee. Please let me know if another lawsuit is being discussed, I want to add my name to it.
  21. I too have been billed by mcaffee for an automatic update. It would have been nice if they would have warned me a month ago that I was going to be facing these charges. The only good thing about this is they sent me an email verifying that they had charged my account, however the charge had not yet gone through. Althought I had 60 days to get the refund, I immediatly contacted their customer service via webchat. The person I talked to was very helpful, and I have my fingers crossed that all goes well. They said I would receive a survey from them as well...I'm hoping to tell them basically everything I said here. They definitely need a better system.
  22. I received an email from McAfee telling me that my subscription was going to run out in 30 days also, but that my CC information was not current and they could not auto renew, and that I needed to call them and give them the new CC #. I never called them. 30 days later I see a charge on my new bank card for $79.99! I called them the next day when they were open and the person on the phone said that they worked with my banking institution to get the new info. I like their product so i just said ok I will not ask for a refund but let it be known I am not happy about how easy it was for you to get my new number.
  23. We are the victims of the Mcafee's cheat, theft, robery. I am very angry with mcafee who charged me without my consent. I can be killed because of anger and pressure. We must sue the mcafee. Lets us do it now. Mcafee is a theft; a low class theft with the theft of the high technical activities. Lets stop it now. Shoiw me the way how to sue it.
  24. I turned off McAfee's auto renewal and guess what they charged my account $96. They said it might have been a problem with the internet the caused the auto renew to turn back on. Refund in 5 business days. Great so tell me McAfee how do I get my prescriptions filled while I am waiting for you to refund what you illegally took from me?
  25. I cancelled my subscription to McAfee after they charged my credit card 30 days before my subscription was to expire. There is no reason they couldn't wait until the actual expiry date.

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