NothingÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢s been more frustrating to me today than trying to buy a license to SymantecÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢s Client Security 3.1. About a month ago I started getting pop-ups on my notebook, reminding me that my virus definitions were out of date and my free trial had ended. But clicking on the link and calling the 800 number on the alert proved fruitless. Apparently Symantec is not interested in selling anything less than 10-user packs of this security suite.
The idea of trial software that comes loaded on notebooks is that if you like something, you can buy it. This doesnÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢t seem to be the case with Symantec however, at least if youÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢re a lowly small businessman. IÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢m not particularly partial to SymantecÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢s Client Security 3.1, but itÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢s done a fine job of keeping my notebook clean, and buying a license would save me the hassle of uninstalling it and reinstalling another security suite.
I clicked on this link to the Symantec security licensing which brought me to the SymantecÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢s online store for the suite that came on my notebook. The greeting at the top of that page reads:
To continue your protection against Internet threats beyond your introductory subscription period, please purchase a full license now.
Yup, thatÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢s what I wanted to do. I was hoping for a downloadable license key, but it looks like the company only offers packaged versions of this product. I added the 1-user pack to the shopping cart ($69), but the product is backordered. According to all those alerts my notebook keeps flashing at me, I need this update ASAP and backorder wonÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢t do. The 5-user pack ($320) is also backordered, but a 10-user pack ($591) is available.
I thought the 800 number would helpful since the site says sales experts are available 24/7. The rep said they wouldnÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢t be able to sell me anything less than a 10-user pack. He was nice enough to suggest I try the link in the Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…out of dateÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ alert. I told him that the site was Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…backorderedÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ on the product I wanted. He gave me another toll-free number to call, which ended up being out of service.
I called SymantecÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢s HQ to get the correct number for a single license of Client Security 3.1 for my notebook. Armed with a new toll-free number, I dialed again and was told that I needed to call the Enterprise sales guys for the product I have installed on my notebook. He gave me yet another toll-free number (800) 721-3934. A prerecorded message greeted me said Symantec experiencing a high volume of calls do to a new licensing gateway and hold times are over 45 minutesÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¦no time for that so I hung up.
What should have been a simple upgrade just robbed me of an hour of my workday. Symantec needs to do some serious rethinking of itÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢s upgrade procedure for small business users. I can understand one or two glitches, but this whole process is laughable and an extreme example of poor customer service. I’m sure Symantec is geared towards satisfying larger clients, but I’m sure there are many customers that need 1-9 licenses for Client Security 3.1.
Six phone calls and an hour later, IÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢m still no closer to securing my notebook against new viruses or spyware.
Having enough of the runaround I called SymantecÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢s PR department and was given their agencyÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢s number. The PR rep thanked me for calling and said heÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢s heard of notebooks.com. He said he would get right back to me, but IÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã¢â€ž¢m waiting for a response.
UPDATE 12/7: Brian, a Symantec PR rep called me back yesterday and explained that Client Security 3.1 is not sold in single or small licenses. He said the product I wanted should never have been on the web site and was surprised by that it was. I IM’ed him the upgrade link and he apologized for any confusion.