A word about ZoneAlarm's LIcense Renewal Policy

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by richrf, Sep 15, 2004.

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  1. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    I thought this might be of interest to newly licensed users:

    About two weeks ago, ZoneAlarm began reminding me to renew. Today I renewed with two weeks left and as a result, ZoneAlarm reset my "time ticker" to 366 days, even though I still have 16 days left on my current license. In other words, ZoneAlarm does not add in the previous days remaining, even though I am entitled to those days since I paid for them. On top of this, I am now informed that I can get a refund if I reset my license to my old number, but ZoneAlarm doesn't let me reset.

    ZoneAlarm has two simple options that would be to the licensed user's benefit. Either, do not prompt for renewal until the full 366 days are up (apparently ZoneAlarm provides a 60 day grace period), or add in the days remaining on the previous license. Instead, ZoneAlarm opts for the only option which is to the detriment of the user, which is to discard the days remaining. I think this an unfortunate policy and does not speak well for the company's customer care perspective.

    At the moment I am working with customer care to try to resolve the problem, but it is certainly irksome and hopefully others may avoid this issue during their renewal process.

    Rich
     
  2. smiddy

    smiddy Registered Member

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    My lisence Just ran out so im gonna go back to Zonealarm Free edition
     
  3. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    Hi Smiddy,

    Sounds like a good idea to me.

    I received a message on ZoneAlarm's user forum and it appears this policy of slowly ripping off customers has been going on for some time and ZoneAlarm, for obvious reasons, is not taking any action to correct it. If you figure they get few dollars each year from customers via "prematuire renewals", that really adds up on the bottom line if they are doing it to millions of users each year. I believe this is a very poor behavior from a customer point of view. Imagine if magazines ran their operations in this manner.

    Rich
     
  4. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    Hello Fellow Creatures of the Wild(ers),
    Yes. I too have heard of this policy. I used Zone Alarm Free for years. Then got 4.0 retail box Pro. It was a satisfactory firewall. But then came ver. 5.xx. :( o_O :eek: I have not made my mind up for sure yet 17 days left on my license. I am leaning very strongly towards just keeping my 4.5.594 Pro and letting it lapse. To bad Zone Labs has really soured me against their products. :doubt:
     
  5. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    I really use to like this company and its products - but boy they must have some interesting people making decisions concerning "customer service". Now they want me to sign a form stating that I will destroy my copy of ZA before they provide me a refund - even though I have two weeks left on my license. Given the fact that this is a very competive area - with many vendors offering firewalls - I am surprised that ZoneAlarm would take this route. However, it is true, that McAffee use to be one of my favorite vendors also, before they started to mess around with their product design. New management - new policies. I guess it happens all the time.

    Rich
     
  6. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    One of my ZAP 5 licenses has expired. I will not renew. But window pops up on every reboot asking to renew. I select renew later, but it doesn't let me choose 60 days, so I see it everytime I reboot. It does not have the intended effect (making me want to renew). :mad:

    Is there a way to silence this pop up other than uninstalling or renewing?
     
  7. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

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    blaze pounder but why dont you renew when it actualy up not befor hand?

    it usealy says how many days you have left

    i mean is it that hard to watch porn eat a ho ho get fat at the computer and wait to the subscription runs out and renew lol

    are you really geting jacked?

    if i had 60 to 30 days left i use them i dont pay more for less

    and is it really there fault you jump the gun lol

    sniker sniker all by the way i hate zap company but they do make a good firewall

    im useing it right now
     
  8. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Well said Mr. Blaze! :D :D
     
  9. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

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    :D well it true i am sitting in front of the pc looking at the renewl date thinghy eating ho ho geting fater and watching a porn and posting here lol

    im not haveing any difculties lol other then spelling lol
     
  10. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    Hi Blaze and Devinco,

    Normal subscription practice is to renew ahead of time so that a license does not run out and the new subscription is added to the current subscription. This is normal practice - and it is not only normal it is what is legal required since I paid for a total of 2 years of service. ZoneAlarm, without prior notification, deducted two weeks from my contract with me. What's more they have probably been doing it for several years. The reason I am posting this message is so that other licensed users do not fall into the same trap as I did - and it is a trap.

    Rich
     
  11. q1aqza

    q1aqza Registered Member

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    Does ZAP cease working when licence expires? If it doesn't then why bother renewing? A FW is not like an AV where you need the latest updates to be fully protected.

    If it does cease working then I would recomend looking at another product such as Outpost, Kerio or LooknStop. These continue working after licence expiry. In the case of LooknStop even the updates and support continues.
     
  12. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    Hi q1aqza,

    Thanks for the tip. Of the three that you mentioned, which would have the ease of use that would most approx. ZA? Thanks.

    Rich
     
  13. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi q1aqza,

    ZAP does continue to work but on every reboot a window with a red warning that your subscription has expired pops up. Very annoying that there is no way to say don remind me again!

    The more I read about ZAP, the less I like it. My next choice would be Outpost Pro for a noob. It has a nice interface and the default settings are okay. But if you take a little time to learn how to configure it, it is really good.
     
  14. flyrfan111

    flyrfan111 Registered Member

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    I really don't see the problem, the renewal site clearly states;

    ZoneAlarm Pro 1-Year Renewals
    Please note: These annual update and support renewal license keys are valid for 12 months from date of purchase.

    So they are not being deceptive, the customer is spending their money, be aware of what you are spending your money on. If you do not renew on the exact date it expires the software will still work. You purchased the software, you will not be entitiled to recieve updates or webfiltering if your license expires but ZA will still function. You have 30 days after expiration to renew at the reduced rate, after that you must pay the full price again.
     
  15. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    Hi flyrfann111,

    Yes, this is true. The license is valid for one year for that key. There are all kinds of ways to trick customers. So when I figured it out, I tried to reapply my old key and the software will not allow me to use my old license key.

    I talked to a manager at their customer service. First she says that ZoneAlarm adds the days - which was clearly not true. Then she says that if I renew within two weeks then I lose the two weeks - which was true. But she and the company's policies do appear to see anything wrong with this whole setup.

    So life goes on. I know that the company I originally contracted with was an upright company. I had many contacts and they always helped me. That company was bought out by a new company, Center Point Software - and there is now a new regime. I'm not happy with this new regime. Not the way they handle technical support issues, not they way they handle their business with customers. This is not a company I would want to rely on in a fix. So it is time to change. :) I'll just find a company I am happy with. No problem. Does DiamondCS have a firewall? :) But I did want to alert other ZoneAlarm licensed users about this licensing issue.

    Rich
     
  16. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    Hi q1aqza,

    Thanks for the tips. I am really disenchanted with ZoneAlarm. It makes me uncomfortable relying on a firewall company that does not really treat its customers with respect and concern.

    I will take my time trying out the other firewalls and look over the comments on the firewall forums. One quick question, that you or someone else may be able to answer for me. I have a Netgear router on my network. Is it easy to configure the other firewalls with network routers like Netgear? If this is an issue, I will probably start another thread since I do not want to have a big conversation on this topic under this thread.

    Thanks again,
    Rich
     
  17. flyrfan111

    flyrfan111 Registered Member

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    Sorry if I upset you, I just reread my post and thought I might have been alittle antagonistic. I was just saying that I disagreed that ZA was being deceptive, I agree that it is a stupid policy, but unfortunatley it appears needed due to all the cracks available for ZA products they are merely trying to protect revenue from their product. As for the woman you spoke with saying ZA adds the days, she is incorrect, ZA encrypts the product version and expiration date into the license number that you are issued. I also think that once you enter the new license number on your system it voids out the previous one. Not positive about that just a guess from my experience and what you described as well. Even if time was left on that license, it no longer works. As for the Netgear router question, I think most popular firewalls out there should work just fine with it. And I don't think Diamond has a firewall, but I could be wrong. best of luck!

    Regards,
     
  18. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    Thanks for the helpful reply flyrfan111. I was not the least upset with your response. It is appreciated. I thought I would present my situation so that you would understand it better.

    What is surprising is that I am a long time paid subscriber of ZoneAlarm. You would think that they would be more thoughtful in their attitude. All I did was ask for a refund or a two week extension that I was entitled to. Well, c'est la vie. Time for change. :)

    Regards,
    Rich
     
  19. Peaches4U

    Peaches4U Registered Member

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    yes there is a way to stop the pop ups.

    1. bring up ZA on ur screen.
    2. click on OVERVIEW
    3. click on PREFERENCES.
    4. uncheck where it sez "AUTOMATIC" for updates.
    5. check it to set on manual "MANUAL. or u can leave it blank.
    6. volia' no more irritating pop ups.
     
  20. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Thanks Peaches! :) :)
     
  21. Peaches4U

    Peaches4U Registered Member

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    my pleasure. :)
     
  22. q1aqza

    q1aqza Registered Member

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    I also have a Netgear router. I recently switched from ZAP to Outpost Pro. It's not quite as user friendly as ZAP but there is a great forum that tells you everything you need to know http://www.outpostfirewall.com/forum/ with lots of configuration tips to really tighten your PC security. Once you are used to it you'll find it as easy to use as ZAP and it is lighter on system resources. It also auto detects your local LAN/router. Once licence expires it continues to work fine just that you can't download updates.

    I also like Kerio 4 as it is as easy to use as ZAP and after 30 days it reverts to the free version which still offers lots of features.

    Lately I have been testing Kerio 2.1.5 (Free) and Look n Stop 2.0.5 (payware) on a second low spec PC I have. Both these are light on resources and are very powerful but need more effort/knowledge to configure them compared to the likes of ZAP, Kerio4 and Outpost. Again there are lots of guides around in the forums to help. Look n stop is a one-off fee with no expiry but updates would only be valid until major version upgrade occurs. I'm not sure what version increments qualify as a major upgrade but I would guess that when the current 2.0.5 reaches 2.1.

    Whilst Outpost is my first choice at the moment, once I have learned more about configuring rules I may switch to LooknStop - then again when Outpost Pro 2.5 is released I might be tempted to stay!
     
  23. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info q1aqza. I do not mind paying for the firewall. It is an integral part of my security and I have been paying for ZA up until now. I'll take a look at Outpost and Kerio 4.

    Thanks again,
    Rich
     
  24. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I wanted to thank everyone for their support and advice on this thread. To my surprise, I received notification from ZoneAlarm this morning that they have credited my charge card so we are all square. No doubt, the support of this group had a great deal to do with it. Thanks again everyone.

    Regards,
    Rich
     
  25. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

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    hmm i might want to go with new firewall if they were bought out

    old zap knew what the hell they were doing this new take over might be bad
     
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