AVG and Symantec ripping customers off

December 3, 2010

In a recent Which? report, both AVG and Symantec have been found to short-change their customers by being sneaky with the renewal policy.

They do this by sending out an email to “upgrade” the product before the renewal period is set to expire; which is a good thing. The problem is that when their customers renew, the renewal period is reset so they lose the remaining time left in the current subscription.

For instance, you buy 12 months antivirus subscription in January, the vendor sends you a renewal notice to upgrade on 1st October to which you diligently react. But you find out that your subscription period starts the day you renew effectively losing out on three months.

Symantec said:

"If customers install and activate the upgrade prior to the expiration of the time remaining on their existing product subscriptions, any time remaining on their existing product will not be added to their upgrade."

And AVG position was:

"As is very common with the software industry, all our products have a specific time frame – one or two years from activation date – and we recommend that our customers renew their products as close to their expiration dates to ensure that they maximize this time"

This is all well and good but exceptionally unfair to the consumer. Whilst this may be their position to expect a user to wait, why send out the email early. Why not send it a few days before the real expiry date?


Either way I’ve slowly gone off both of these products; Symantec because of the massive drain on PC resources and AVG for its surprising ability to prevent certain types of infection from entering your PC .

But set aside the technical issues it’s just an underhand practice that breaks the trust between the supplier and consumer.

Read more from the Which website.