Norton Security: Customer service fail

For the past two weeks I’ve been trying to get approval for a license I already paid for to work on my laptop.  Probably a dozen times I’ve gotten a message that I’ve been “updated,” or “approved,” or somesuch, but each morning when I boot up I get the nastygram from Norton that my “trial” security period is ended — or now, that I’m wholly unprotected.

Never mind that this is the 6th license I’ve bought from Norton in two years for two different computers.

Skroom.  Norton security is worthless if it doesn’t work after you’ve paid them several times.  Off to shop for something else.

And, just try to contact them.  E-mails go unanswered for weeks.  Phone calls are disconnected after 15 minutes of waiting, in the middle of some explanation for why you should be happy to be waiting.

Once upon a time I found Norton to be responsive and very useful.  Now Norton is merely the subject of great frustration.


14 Responses to Norton Security: Customer service fail

  1. mark says:

    It could be worse…you could have dialup Internet. Think of the benefit of getting a free NAV upgrade that takes a week and a half to download.


  2. James Hanley says:


    OK, I back off the “one reason only” claim. But it is a major reason. It’s the same reason the 9/11 hijackers targeted Manhattan instead of trying to crash their commandeered airplanes into a small farmtown somewhere in upstate New York.


  3. -Before I get to the subject, I want to note that anti-PC/pro-Mac arguments are silly. The only reason for greater security on a Mac is it’s lower public profile (due to market share). As more people use Macs, the security lowers.

    -On the subject, I recommend a different anti-virus solution: NOD32. ESET is the company which provides it. I’ve used NOD32 (Anti-virus, not the “total security” rubbish) for four years without a hitch. It updates a few times each day, it doesn’t hog resources like Norton, and I’ve only had to contact them once (solved the next day).


  4. Mike says:

    I have been using Linux Ubuntu for three years and never needed to pay for any security. As opposed to a Mac, which locks you to a monopolistic manufacturer, Linux can be loaded on any machine that you already have.

    Consider it, Ed. It has made my computer life much simpler and far less expensive.


  5. george.w says:

    James Hanley: “Macs get fewer viruses for one reason, and one reason only: fewer people use them, so they’re a less tempting target. “

    That’s a bit simplistic. Mac runs on a *nix kernel and the associated architecture isolates user the user’s profile from the operating system. So it is inherently more difficult to write a self-replicating virus for Mac.

    But I do get uncomfortable when people talk about their Mac or Linux systems as if they were bulletproof. For one thing, viruses are so 2005. The real money now is in browser hacks leading to identity theft, and people are no better at updating their browsers than they are at Flash (the worst security hole of all), Java, or their Operating System, regardless which one they are using. Eternal vigilance is the price of security.

    Anti-virus software, whoever makes it, is about third down the list of counter-measures. User behavior and current system patching are items one and two. Use secure passwords where it matters, and don’t let your system remember them. I do all my online banking in an incognito window in Chrome on my Linux machine, for instance, and I still check my monthly statement carefully.


  6. Ediacaran says:

    One of my computer-saavy friends recommends Trend Micro.


  7. James Hanley says:

    Macs get fewer viruses for one reason, and one reason only: fewer people use them, so they’re a less tempting target. So encouraging more people to use Macs in order to avoid virus issues is a self-defeating strategy.

    Also, because they get targeted less, they tend to respond slower to virus problems than Microsoft. There was a report on that a couple of years ago (although it’s possible they’ve improved in the last couple of years).

    My wife uses a Mac–she’s a graphic artist. I use my laptop almost exclusively for writing documents, doing spread sheets, and the occasional powerpoint presentation. The Mac versions of those Microsoft Office products suck balls (if I may express my great disdain through vulgarity). My wife likes to pretend they don’t, but then always ends up asking me how to do something in Word or Excel on her Mac.

    Some people are happy using their Macs for office work, obviously. More power to them. But there’s a reason most offices that don’t involve much graphics/visual work stick to PCs. That’s what they’re designed for, and Macs aren’t.


  8. george.w says:

    Doh! I forgot to mention; Microsoft Security Essentials is excellent – we use it on my wife’s Windows machine.


  9. george.w says:

    I’ve been in computer support for 15 years, and have never been thrilled with Norton. Our University uses McAfee, and that’s no walk in the park either.

    Most important – weekly check that Windows, Flash, Java, and your web browser are on all latest updates.

    Mac/Linux not bulletproof. An old version of Flash can compromise either one, for instance. Keep all computers patched!


  10. mpb says:

    Norton also interferes with Windows and some other programs and eats space. If you can, thoroughly uninstall it. Avast is good antivirus. Windows7 has its own firewall which works well; otherwise, I recommend Comodo.

    McFee used to be Dr Solomon which was good and then a few other things added in, which was good, then they went to solve-all-your-problems, as did Norton.

    [Quit clicking on those Free iPhone ads in Facebook.]


  11. Ed Darrell says:

    I had used Norton early on, but switched to McAfee. With a couple of rebuilt computers I got the free AVG, which performed marvelously.

    My two most recent computers came with Norton loaded, and a great buy on the beefed up internet security version for the laptop I got (about three years ago, now). When AVG went pay-only, the price was about the same, and Norton was already there . . .

    Dallas ISD uses Kaspersky. It seems to work pretty well, but the rest of the system leaves much, much to be desired.


  12. Ellie says:

    I have McAfee. I’m happy with it, but will not ever “take advantage” of an early renewal savings. Did that a couple of years ago, and was charged when the expiration date came, any way. Other than that little glitch, no problem. I don’t know too many people who are happy with Norton.


  13. Ed Darrell says:

    Next one, perhaps.


  14. karl says:

    Dude: Get a Mac. Problem solved. Sure, the up front price tag is higher, but you’ll make for it by not having to throw down for things like Anti-virus software and trips to computer doctor. It’s nice when things just work.


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