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Sneaky Renewal Practices - This is not an accident - Tips to protect you
I have 7 previous subscriptions for Norton products and every year there's something weird. Products change since the last time you paid for a subscription, they've always had this invasive auto renewal - slimy policy (but they say, "it's for your protection.")
There are always sneaky tricks Norton uses to get money out of you, but this has been the worst so far:
1. Tons of spam for 30 days telling me I won't be protected (which isn't exactly true - you won't be as up-to-date, but you will be at least partially protected forever).
2. My last subscription for 3 or 5 licenses was about to expire on Oct 19. Today is Oct 6 and I went online to renew my own subscription manually.
3. I opened my account and could see a lot of pressure to renew. I clicked the button for "Special Promotions" and it took me to a screen where I could upgrade to a new version with 5 licenses for $49.99. It seemed more than I wanted to pay because I only have 2-4 devices. I didn't renew for this Special Promotion.
4. I looked at one or two more links ON THE NORTON WEBSITE and I found the SAME SOFTWARE with 5 licenses for $35.00!! And there was a BETTER deal with 10 licenses! and 25 GB backup!! for $39.99!! (It's called Premium). So I bought the Premium.
5. In my email this morning, I got an email from Norton that THEY HAD RENEWED MY ORIGINAL SUBSCRIPTION (as soon as they had my credit card info from the purchase I had just made) - FOR $87.00!!!!!
6. I called and they removed the "renewed" subscription and refunded my money - 20 mins on the phone.
7. I just looked at my account, and the premium version subscription, I purchased this morning, STARTED TODAY Oct 6 and not at the end of my previous subscription (Oct 19).
THIS IS ALL REALLY SNEAKY - here's why:
1. The automatic renewal process is hard-sell and spamming, and fear that your computer will be ruined the instant your subscription runs out.
2. It's Norton, and I've been a customer for years. You should not auto renew me at the highest MSRP. There should be a low-price guarantee that you don't have to surf the coupon sites to get the best deal on their software. Hey Norton, "You should try to build OUR TRUST not engage in underhanded tricks to get twice as much money from us." When I go to Delta.com I know I will find the lowest available price and they will put it right in front of me. Not Norton. Sneaky.
3. Norton should know what the hell is going on with it's customer accounts. Has it never, ever happened that someone manually purchased software before the subscription deadline? And what did you do? Sneakily charge them for another less-featured package than they just bought at over twice the price? When they realize it (which I'm sure Norton is betting many people don't notice so Norton can get away with a double charge), and now the consumer has to call for a refund, don't you - as a long time loyal customer - don't you at least get the benefit of your full subscription? The Premium version I just bought 13 days before my Deluxe version's subscription would have run out, reset my 12 month subscription. It's 13 days so I'm not going to get on the phone for 20 minutes to get satisfaction, but shouldn't Norton have enough experience to avoid this terrible user sneakiness?
What you can do:
1. Turn off your auto renewal.
2. Delete any credit cards you have on the Norton website.
3. Search and find your own deal for the next update and hopefully norton.com get's a smaller commission.
4. Wait until the last possible moment to renew - you can even install a few days after your subscription runs out and it won't hurt anything. Norton does not update it's virus protection every day. [But your online 25 GB backup might vanish the instant your subscription runs out. I'll find out next October 6th].
5. BEWARE OF NORTON'S SNEAKINESS!!