Friday, January 28, 2011

How bad can an "automatic" upgrade get...?

Pretty bad if you've got Norton Internet Security, their annual subscription service, and you follow their suggestion to upgrade to the latest version (I should have listened to that small inner voice that warned me against this upgrade, but I do want to keep my machine as secure as possible).

The actually installation and upgrade went quite well, actually: download a couple of files, reboot, and then the new version was up and running. The problem was that the ending message greeted me with the statement:

"You have successfully activated and registered Norton Internet Security, and now have 30 days of protection for up to 3 PC(s)."

30 days? I have a subscription that is currently active...right?

Wrong! In the upgrade process it "lost" my subscription and now Norton IS tells me that I have 30 days remaining on my subscription and that I can "renew".

Finding/getting help on their website is nothing short of semi-hopeless:

  1. Their online chat service was broken (site not available)
  2. Finding content on their website was very difficult... when I tried to send an email, they required the submission of a product key: finding where to find that was a drag.
  3. I tried going to my account and finally found the product keys
  4. Email constantly said "Please wait..." and never submitted
  5. Finally, when I tried the Chat option, that worked, and the tech fixed the problem in about 15 minutes (kudos to him!).
Although they eventually did solve the problem, it cost me about an hour of time, when it should have recognized my existing license and subscription and upgraded correctly. Failing that, they could have at least given clear instructions by recognizing that it was an upgrade and sent me to the right place.

A big Thumbs down for: service unavailability, improper upgrade, misleading information
Thumbs up for: quick fix once I got through.