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A necessary evil?

Today marks one more time of a thousand where I’ve had to fix a computer having major problems with Norton Antivirus. What’s wrong with the people over at Symantec? They make a fortune from poor computer users under threat of virus, spyware, worms and other nasties, certainly enough money to hire competent programmers. So why is it that every release of their client virus software for the past 10 years has been bloated and mal-functional? I am starting to wonder who’s worse here, the virus writers or the people who write and sell bloatware that crashes your computer and forces you to pay them more money to make it right (see below).

Just today I talked to this poor guy who couldn’t even access the internet because his norton antivirus/internet security suite would hang on boot. He couldn’t even remove Norton in Safe Mode (they don’t allow uninstall in safe mode). After spending a few hours on the phone with low-level Symantec technical support, he spent 4 more hours waiting for various tech support ‘fixes and ideas’ from an individual who’s actual name was kilambackenran (his nickname was also kilambackenran). Not only had their software ruined his computer, they then made sure that his day was wasted on the phone, outsourced to cheap foreign labor. The fantastic advice at the end of the day that was dished out from India to this guy to fix his anti-virus? Uninstall his current version, then pay to upgrade to the latest version! That’s right, his computer would not work properly again unless he paid them more money for a product that was already paid up for another year.

Here’s a story that is all too common with Symantec. Every time something goes wrong with their software (which is all the time) they tell you to upgrade and give them more money in the process. It’s an interesting business model. Generate a steady stream of money flowing into the company by releasing a product that fails so badly you MUST pay for the upgrade. Why do people continue to put up with this shoddy workmanship? Imagine buying a high quality wood table from me for your home, only to take it home and the legs all fall off the day later. What would you think if I then charged you to put the legs back on?

To make a long story short, I told this guy the same as I will tell anyone. Dump Norton. Uninstall it. If you are having trouble uninstalling it, visit their website and use the norton software removal tool. Then stop paying people to write buggy code! There are very good, stable and just as effective tools out there that will get the job done for free. Such as AVG Free Antivirus. Download it here and be forever free from Symantec.


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