Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Argh! Incompetent tech support folks...

Image representing Symantec as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase

A month (or possibly several months ago, when I was still using NAV2007) I had inserted a VCD into the drive, and on the VCD is a VCDPlayer program set to autorun, but it's infected with W32.Pinfi.

NAV2007 caught it right away, and prevented the VCD from auto-running. I played it with VLC, no problem. But somehow it went into unresolved threat queue. The VCD has since been nuked (I made a copy of it, without that player program).

In June 2009, I installed NIS2009. And somehow the unresolved threat list migrated over. So every time I have a full scan, I get that unresolved threat.

I just spent TWO HOURS in online chat with Norton Tech Support this afternoon. The first guy, upon hearing the word W32.Pinfi, immediatley forwarded me to "Virus and Spyware Removal Department", and I got a regular case ID as well as a priority ID.

The V&SRD guy will NOT believe me that my computer itself is unaffected (and uninfected). I told him MULTIPLE TIMES that every scan, quick or full, came back clean, ever since install of NIS2009 in June 1, 2009. I gave him the whole history of this problem. He simply kept pushing that technician remote scan. I asked him how can NIS2009 itself cannot find the virus, he ignored my question, and kept droning that a technician remote scan will solve all of my issues and problems.

I flat out asked him "How can I purge the unresolved threat list?" And he went back to that sales pitch again.

Finally, I asked him how much, and was absolutely flabbergasted when the reply was $99.

You see, I got my 3-license NIS2009 FREE after $50 rebate. And I've so far only used ONE license. So asking me to pay $99 for a 'scan' on a computer that doesn't even have a virus, just to prove to Norton that the program has problems, is simply out of the question. I ended the chat session 30 seconds later, absolutely exasperated with Norton Tech Support.

And I can see that I am NOT the only one who has experienced this problem. There are MULTIPLE TOPICS on this very issue, and the solution posted above, original by Tufe, and reposted by Quad, did solve my problem (I also found the original post by Tufe last December).

So, Symantec / Norton, you guys need to do two things:

1) Solve this problem in NIS. Clearly, your program should NOT flag a risk on a removable drive without a way to purge it. Either offer up an IGNORE button, and file the risk under "ignore risks" with optional purge command, or simply be SMARTER about the device's capabilities. After all, why offer to "remove" a virus from a file on a CD? Just warn the user, and offer to eject, but don't force the user.

2) Stop the heavy-handed sales pitch. I thought the 2nd guy I was talking to was a 2nd level tech. Turns out he's even MORE clueless than the first tech I talk to. All he can do is recite the standard sales pitch and he's rather pushy about it. If he can't help me, he should just say so. Clearly neither actually tried to understand my problem, as the solution was in their forum all along.

I have been using Symantec/ Norton products for a VERY long time. In fact, I wrote some of the programs that print those yellow labels that go on the bottom of retail boxes. I like Symantec products, but if this is the current state of tech support, I am worried about Symantec's future.

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