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Anti-Virus Companies Short Changing Users

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It seems as if the very people you trust the security of your computers to, have been sneakily conning you out of months of security time you were entitled to, by offering you discounted deals which you would be ‘crazy’ not to sign up for.

We’ve all got the emails or seen the pop-ups in the corner of the screen reminding us that our computer is at risk of an alien takeover or something and offering us a discounted upgrade but only for a limited time. It appears now that some of the more reputable companies have been renewing your software months prior to the licence running out on the old software but not adding the remaining time onto your new subscription - meaning you miss out on months of security without anyone every telling you.

An investigation by consumer magazine Which? has resulted in Symantec, who produce the popular Norton AntiVirus, admitting: “If customers install and activate the upgrade prior to the expiration of the time remaining on their existing product subscriptions, any time remaining on their existing product will not be added to their upgrade.” And it seems as if Symantec are not the only ones at it.

AVG, another popular protection company, offer discounted deals to its subscribers but don’t seem to mind short-changing them as a result. “As is very common with the software industry, all our products have a specific time frame - one or two years from activation date – and we recommend that our customers renew their products as close to their expiration dates to ensure that they maximize this time.”

Other companies however offer their customers some better value for money when it comes to renewing subscriptions. Panda Security for example said: “When a customer buys an upgrade, the remaining time of services are added to the remaining time on their current contract.” McAfee said it only issued reminder emails to clients approximately 35 days prior to the renewal date and the renewal will only count on automatic renewals from the date of expiration. BitDefender said its procedure for the vast majority of its renewing customers is to extend existing licence keys and automatically add on any outstanding licence key validity, meaning no licence time is lost.

Which? computing editor, Sarah Kidner said: “‘Symantec and AVG are operating a confusing and arguably misleading anti-virus upgrade service. If consumers are given the opportunity to upgrade at a reduced price, it’s perfectly reasonable for them to expect their new licence to run on from the end of the existing licence.”

Source: Which?

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