I hate auto-renewals

I got notification a few weeks ago that my Norton Anti-Virus software was being auto-renewed, and a charge for $48 would appear on my card. I’m generally not a fan of auto-renewals and would have considered this an important exception to that rule of thumb, but…$48? I paid $30 the previous year.

I headed over to Amazon.com to check out their price: $23. I contacted Norton’s customer service to ask about the huge discrepancy, and after warning me against the possibility of a disreputable dealer, offered me preferential pricing of $40, a refund, or to make up the difference with an extension of the anti-virus subscription. I asked for the extension, which would amount to an additional 10-11 months, and they declined. I requested the refund and just this morning downloaded via the Amazon software & games downloader the shiny new McAfee Norton Anti-Virus 2010 version –

For $14.49 + tax, making it worth waiting until the last possible moment, though that was not deliberate.

Paid for with my Amazon gift card balance earned through Swagbucks (yes, that’s my referral link – it would make my day for someone to sign up through it!)

Now let’s hope my feeling of financial smugness doesn’t backfire on me with a virus attack!


9 Responses

  1. Oh man, I’ve done battle with Norton in the past… We’ve got two computers each with different versions (and levels) of Norton installed and each with the auto-renew setting turned on.

    Of course, when the auto-renew kicks-in each year, they try to upsell the crap out of me on the cheaper version I have running on one and then confuse the fact that I have two computers and hit me up for like $120 — for continued virus updates plus an upgrade since my auto renew doesn’t line up with the software that they “think” I have installed.

    There’s some sort of disconnect there — and every year I go back, contact customer service, and just end up pissed off all over again… and $120 poorer…

    Thanks to this post — my autorenew comes up in July — I’ll do my best to make a “change” before then! :0)

  2. I no longer get Norton because of their “renewals” but mostly because I have notice, both times I had them, that within a week of the expiration date I suddenly had LOTS of “threats”. I didn’t just imagine their suddenly finding lots of threats at the time of renewal. I don’t like that kind of game play.


  3. My personal recommendation for Antivirus software is AVG by Grisoft. It is free if you download the home version. My husband and I and our families have been using it for years without any issues. I find that Norton and McAfee dont offer nearly the same level of protection as AVG. In fact, when we switched my mom, we ran the new AVG and it found 14 viruses on her computer and she had been keeping her Norton updated.

    AVG does automatic updates/scans and will let you know when a newer free version is available.

    I do not work for AVG in any way but I am a computer professional for the US military.

  4. Frankly, I am not a fan of Norton, so I don’t think you’re missing much. Our hard drive imploded because of something we clicked on. When I called Norton to get help, they basically said that we must have accepted it (we only download from trusted sources) and so it would cost us $100 for them to log in and diagnose the problem. It might cost more to fix, though the $100 would be applied toward that.

    Nice, eh?

    We’ve gone with Kapersky ever since. (When we went to buy a new computer, we bitched to the sales guy who more or less nodded his head off and took us over to Kapersky.)

    Now every time anything even glances at the computer, Kapersky lets me know. It asks if I want to download and reminds me it may be unsafe. I dunno. I feel very secure. And a two-year extension was $70. So I consider that a good investment, though I think next year I’ll try Amazon, too. Like you, I’m a lover of Swagbucks.

  5. I concur with the AVG comment. I love it plus I find it doesn’t clog up my computer like Norton/Mc did.

  6. The school I work for recommends AVG. The tech guys like it as it is free for all of us other folks who do work at home and send it to the school computers. The free at home aspect keeps many virus’ out of the system. Besides, free is my fave four letter word.

  7. I have one which is a pain in the *** because sometimes my credit card assigns a new number to me when some store has had its computer system hacked and then my autorenew has an outdated credit card number and….it’s a pain!!

  8. No additional comment here, just clicking the subscribe by email box!!

  9. The only thing I have auto-renewal is my Netflix account. Although I’m thinking about canceling it and sticking to Redbox. Sometimes magazine subscriptions do it as well (and credit cards).

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