Anti-AntiVirus

Dear Symantec. In 2004 I purchased Norton AntiVirus 2004 5 User Small Office pack. Yea, I even recommended and sold the 10-User version to one of my clients. How I sang the praises of the products of Symantec.

Today, I decided to renew my subscription. I’ve spent the better part of the last two hours trying to renew my subscription.

This, apparently, is an exercise in futility.

The software asks me for a subscription key, which I do not have, and need to obtain from the helpful people at Symantec. Whose office hours are 8:00am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday. Alas, I chose to attempt this on a Saturday. God forbid one of the largest anti-virus and security companies in the world should provide extended hours for tech support.

At least I am provided with an option to renew online. I click the link, and the resultant form asks me to enter my product part number, found on the About Norton Antivirus page, on the help screen.

I enter the number under part number. I get this message: “You have entered an incorrect part number. Please try again.” I carefully re-enter the eight digit part number. Same error. OK, go to the help link. Follow the detailed instructions that lead me to exactly the same number. Same error. I then proceed to dig out the CD, and try the various other eight digit numbers printed on the CD. If I had kept the large empty box that contained a small manual and CD in a paper sleeve, I could have copied the number off that.

So I click around the other links on the website to look at the renewal options – apparently if I lived in the US, or Canada, or let’s face it, almost anywhere else in the world, I could just buy a renewal. But for some reason, I have to provide Symantec with proof that I actually have the product installed.

Why is this? Does Symantec believe that Australians are still convicts, so you need that extra level of security just to make sure that the copy of Norton AntiVirus that we have installed wasn’t stolen along with a loaf of bread?

Really, is this some kind of obstacle course to separate the truly committed Symantec customers from the ambivalent ones? “Go on, if you really love Symantec, you’ll put up with our insane hoop-jumping to make you renew”.

I’ve given up. This post was largely re-written from the email I sent their tech support in the vague hope that they might actually provide some useful support.

Oh yeah, technical support for Norton AntiVirus 2004 ends on 1st December 2005.

That quiet voice in the back of my head repeats the mantra “Buy a Mac”.

  • Ian

    Interesting… Mum didn’t have any problems when she renewed the subscription for Norton 2003. Bummer.

  • mmmm Mac, nice. Come on over, it is nice on this side… You can still go back over and play but at least you know you have a safe place to come back home to.