Read Symantec’s Fine Print Before Renewing Norton Online

  • Comments: 1
  • Written on: October 16th, 2006

In the past I have not been a big fan of Symantec’s online renewal system. Over the past two years however, they seem to have made great strides in improving the system. My main beef was that renewals were too complicated to install and were often fraught with technical glitches.

I had the opportunity to renew my Norton Antivirus this week and I noticed that the online renewal was much easier, but there was also a LOT more fine print. As usual, I tend to read the fine print so my readers do not have to. Before you click I agree to that online payment for renewal, there is something you should know…

This year Symantec has started an opt-out renewal program. That means that once you pay for a renewal online, they store your credit card information and automatically bill you again each time your subscription expires unless you tell them you do not want them to.

This isn’t a bad idea, really. In fact we are playing around with a similar system for our Maintenance Checkup Home Edition software. But Symantec crosses a line because they FORCE you to pay and then REQUIRE you to log in a second time and turn off the auto-renew feature.

It would have been just as easy to provide a yes/no check box on the payment screen – heck, even default it to yes to snare those who don’t pay attention. But it is completely unreasonable to force a customer to create a Symantec account, sign up for automatic renewals, assign them a password, and then ask them to log in to turn off automatic renewals at a later time.

If you plan on renewing your Symantec software online this year with your credit card or checking account, make sure you note your Symantec account information and immediately log in to disable automatic renewals, unless you want to keep it enabled.

Personally, I don’t like people hitting my bank account once a year. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast, let alone what I signed up for a year ago. Charge me monthly – that would be ok with me. That way I remember what I signed up for and I can cancel it without wasting a year of prepaid, non refundable service.

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