Strike II: Symantec Support gone rogue

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by vijayind, Mar 7, 2009.

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  1. vijayind

    vijayind Registered Member

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    If the Strike I : ASK.com toolbar episode wasn't enough. It now seems that Symantec Support is after you buck too. Users have reported that increasingly, chat support agents are fooling users to sign up for premium support that can cost you $99. Plus the agents seem to be using MBAM for cleanup :eek:

    PCMag's Niel did some investigation blowing the lid of Symantec "Grab Money" chat support.
    See:
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2342634,00.asp

    As per article best place for symantec support are user forums like Norton Community ( and of course Wilders :thumb: ) where volunteers and experts help out for free.

    There is a thread on this in Norton Community Forum too. But no response from any employee so far there.
    http://community.norton.com/norton/board/message?board.id=nis_feedback&thread.id=37421

    :blink: :doubt: :( :mad:

    Remember Symantec Strike III and you'll be out .... ( or in 218 days when my subscription ends, whichever happens earlier ;) )
     
  2. Baldrick

    Baldrick Registered Member

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    A leopard does not change its spot...ever! ;) This is why I dropped NIS (& Symantec) a long time ago.
     
  3. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    I can bet most of Norton's staff would be using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware - MBAM and not pay/donate one cent for it.

    So you have Norton trying to charge top dollar for support, and making loads of cash pre-bundling their program on most systems sold nowadays, while Malwarebytes (I assume compared to Norton/Symantec) struggle to put bread on the table.
     
  4. vijayind

    vijayind Registered Member

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    Well, I have been around some outsourced support centers. And from this episode, it would appear Symantec has:
    • chosen the dirt cheap company
    • provided an sale based increment policy
    • to avoid loss of any IP has restricted the support firm from access to Symantec's Chest of custom antimalware tools and scripts.

    That is why (maybe) they:
    • don't seem to be offended when customers protest as to why no installation support is provided for purchased products
    • seem to push for sale of premium product where another technician would assist them
    • use MBAM for cleanup instead on Norton custom tools.


    I have seen such scenario with other firms some years back. What did Symantec do ? Invest $ 10 billion in Bernie Maddox Finance Inc ? :blink:
    Why are they seemingly so desperate for cash ? :cautious:


    On a lighter note, :cool: maybe MalwareBytes can sue Symantec for $1 trillion and use Niel, other symantec users as eyewitnesses :argh:
    Now that would be karma ... :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  5. CountryGuy

    CountryGuy Registered Member

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    Maybe its me, but I don't remember Symantec having decent support for years. The real source of support is their Community boards, as was previously mentioned.
     
  6. vijayind

    vijayind Registered Member

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    I don't know of before, I was for long a TM and McAfee user.

    But as per PCMag article, their support was actually good around NIS 2009 release. Then it went straight down the hole ....
    Plus if I remember correctly Norton Community was launched only during/after Norton 2009 release. So before that there was only Wilders, I guess.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  7. Jadda

    Jadda Registered Member

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    Well, in the article it was also mentioned that Symantec did not like this support behavior and would address it immediately. Though the price to remove malware from the system is a bit too much. That is my only concern.
     
  8. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    They were just caught and they try to get away with stuff like this.

    This doesn't just happen by accident. It happens when they just go for the money, take the focus off the customer, and (mostly) disregard ethics.

    (See also ask.com thread)
     
  9. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    I am trying to understand specifically why adding the Ask.com search window to the Norton Toolbar is a "problem". Can you explain, please? At the moment I haven't made up my mind, but from what I've read it seems innocuous and can simply be turned off and ignored.
     
  10. vijayind

    vijayind Registered Member

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    From what I understand Symantec is doing the following:
    • Push an incremental upgrade via Norton LiveUpdate
    • The upgrade will replace/add Norton Toolbar, with a new one which will contain SafeWeb and prominently an ASK search bar.
    • Also it will add ASK.com in bookmark and make the same as default search engine.

    The above is what Symantec states and what some users have seen. We don't know what happens behind the scenes.

    Now I am pissed about this because:
    • I didn't pay so much money to have ASK installed behind my back. If Symantec really cared they could make the ASK as an additional opt-in. Like they do currently with Norton Labs, Norton Confidential and Parental Control modules.
    • Today its ASK. Tomorrow they may silently install/enable some other thing without informing.
    • For you and 90% of other people here at Wilders, this can be removed/disabled with ease. But the vast majority of Norton users are not in the same bracket and they will be potentially milked.
    • As market leader, they are starting off a bad trend, which more developers may adopt.
    • Seriously what is the USP of Norton SafeSearch ? What am I getting so great with the ASK combo ? Answer technically, practically is :p

    ASK to me is merely one of the horsemen of Norton Apocalypse.
     
  11. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

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    Having read many different opinions of NIS'09 here I gave it a try for a while. It seemed pretty good and my wife wants security effective and simple. So I bought it.
    Within a few days something got past it, I still don't know what, and changed my FF 3 settings and made my system very slow. A reboot got rid of the sluggishness and a full system scan showed nothing wrong.
    Their 1 Click support entered my pc remotely and made a few adjustments and everything was OK.
    But not for long.
    We started having problems with some programs, such as Messenger Live, operating properly.
    Support said that was not NIS but my machine.
    I've been using Live for a few months with no problems until I installed NIS.
    A few other things gave me a headache so I checked Nortons refund policy and I qualified for a refund.
    The first time I asked I was given a hard time and finally gave up because I just didn't want to argue with anyone.
    The next night I tried again and was told somebody would get back to me in 24 hours or less.
    At around the 30 hour mark I sent another request, reminding them of the fact that they had already acknowledged my request for a refund.
    Then I finally received an email stating that I would receive the refund.
    I don't care if they receive an Oscar for their product. I just don't think I would ever again do business this company because of these tactics.
    My point is simple. Irregardless of why I wanted the refund, I qualified for it under their own guidelines. I should not have to fight them for it.
    That's just my opinion.
    Hugger
     
  12. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    I have the latest NIS 2009 which includes the Ask.com search window, and I just checked IE7 - Ask.com was not added to my favorites list, and although Ask.com "Safe Search" was added to my list of search engines it was not made the default. Assuming that the Ask.com search window has nothing to do with Norton Safe Web and is being added only to generate revenue, I would agree they are approaching a line that a security software company should not cross. But is using Ask.com for searches any different then using Google or any other search engine? You are right that we don't know what is going on behind the scenes, but that is true most of the time for most of us. Still, people that really have malicious intent try to completely hide what they do (e.g. stealth malware). This move by Symantec does get my attention, but they will have to take it further before I will feel the product is compromised.
     
  13. vijayind

    vijayind Registered Member

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    To each one , his own .... :thumb:
    I happen to be like many other here in Wilders who have multiple AV licenses lying around. So I just moved to another product.
     
  14. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    Yes, I think that's fine. I can't say I'm happy that Symantec included the Ask.com search window, but I'm trying to really evaluate how this impacts NIS instead of immediately moving on. Does it really compromise NIS or is it simply the "appearance of impropriety" that people are upset about?
     
  15. Cloudcroft

    Cloudcroft Registered Member

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    My sentiments exactly.
     
  16. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    We may never know, or only after a few years have passed.

    To some extent there is no proof, but why adding the 'ask' feature if ASK/IAC doesn't pay Symantec for this ? It's not exactly a great search engine, so I guess they get paid for it. What would ASK have to gain if they won't get valuable ('personal') information ? Just a larger market share, without the ability to deliver targeted advertising ?

    ASK/IAC has a bad reputation, so for as far as I'm concerned, the burden of proof is on them and Symantec.

    (We seem to have gone a little off topic) :)
     
  17. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    I've recommended NIS to a few people who want an easy to use product.

    Ideally...

    1. People pay for a security product, that's what they should get. No additional installations like useless toolbars. What's next, an Ask.com screensaver installed?

    2. People are entitled to support, that's what they should get. No shelling out for premium support when they've already paid premium price for a product they could have download for free (another company's free antivirus which has similar detection, another company's free firewall etc).

    Symantec has recently improved their reputation, a better program means more sales and profits. Why the need to source additional revenue? Other security companies aren't needing to do so (Comodo is, but they can be excused as their product is free), and the other security companies' market share is miniscule.

    So if anyone who should be installing the toolbar with a security program, and asking for premium support, it should be those small companies who are struggling and have no market share, not Symantec.
     
  18. jmonge

    jmonge Registered Member

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    no way even me that i am poor i boght my self 2 copies;)
     
  19. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Excuse me for asking but doesnt Symantec also now own PCTools?

    If so, this puzzle is no longer speculation but based in facts.
     
  20. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    I'm not familiar with the "premium support" issue. I've used the Symantec online chat option a few times to work out problems with NIS 2009 and I was not asked to pay for the support. Has that changed?

    Regarding the need to generate revenue, to be fair we don't know the state of Symantec's finances. We are assuming they don't need more, but we don't really know. In any case if the next update of NIS includes an Ask.com screensaver I will be packing my bags :cautious:
     
  21. BrendanK.

    BrendanK. Registered Member

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    That's an interesting one. I wonder if the Symantec support guys would ever use PCTools programs on an infected system? :doubt:

    @Victek: A lot has changed with Symantec recently. Chat support guys probably get a certain "cut" of a premium package they sell, therefore they want more money, and will do as much as they can to get it.
     
  22. rainbow1112

    rainbow1112 Registered Member

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    Symantec chat support suck... had a liveupdate problem and went to their site they remote control my computer and remove ALL security product from my computer saying that it will have conflict with Norton 360 reboot and the problem was still there. End up i fixed the problem myself...

    Microsoft Support is the best.. my copy of windows is OEM and they give me a free support which cost $29.90
     
  23. Dark Shadow

    Dark Shadow Registered Member

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    OK how many stars will Neil give symantec Now.Its seems the drama continues for symantec,I guess you can't teach a old dog new tricks,good ones that Is and there is No way I would grant them remote access or any other for that matter.So other then a lighter creation it seems not much has changed with cutomer support what a shame.
     
  24. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    Here is a link were Neil Rubenking talks about his recent experience with Symantec support trying to rip him off. He is asking people to save copies of chat transcripts and send them to him so he can monitor the situation (and use the power of the pen to hold them accountable).

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2342634,00.asp

    .
     
  25. JasSolo

    JasSolo Registered Member

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    All I can say is, that my experience with support, is quite different. I recently renewed a NIS license and got at non working new key. I then called for support (through online chat support in NIS) got this fellow to investigate in my computer. He gave me a new key and inserted it in NIS + put it in my online account as well, PLUS he gave the subscription a week extra, for the troubles. It all took about 5 minutes, nice 'n neat.


    Cheers
     
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