Friday, February 22, 2008

Snortin’ Norton Update II

After my posting last week about my troubles with Norton Anti-Virus, I got an e-mail from one of the company’s higher-ups, who was sorry to see that I was having problems with their software and told me that my story would be passed on to the customer service department. The subtext was pretty apparent; we’re sorry you had trouble with our program, but we’re even sorrier to see that you blogged about it.

I then got an e-mail from a person in the customer service department who offered to call me to discuss the issue. I wrote back that the call wasn’t really necessary; the software was working fine now, as I had explained in a follow-up post, and I just wanted to know if my experience with the glitch in my subscription expiry date was isolated or part of a larger pattern. I also told him that the Norton Anti-Virus program was a large, intrusive, and cumbersome program. Back when I had my Toshiba Satellite laptop, it took a good ten minutes for the program to boot up and do all its scans before I could effectively use the computer. I told him that if I hadn’t replaced that computer with my HP Pavilion with the larger hard drive and bigger RAM, I would have let the subscription on my Norton products expire and then drop it like third-period French. His response was basically, Gee, maybe your computer was maxed out, and he never said whether or not my subscription issue was an isolated incident.

That is not what I call customer support. That’s what I call dodging the issue. In actuality, my old computer was not maxed out; it still had plenty of room in the hard drive. It was a slower computer, to be sure, but telling the customer that basically “it’s your fault” — even if it is — does not engender good feelings on the part of the customer, and I’m still seriously thinking about dumping Norton next November after I squeeze my $49.99 out of them.

Compare that with the experience I had yesterday with Go Daddy. They are my e-mail service provider as well as the managers for the domains of,, and When I got home yesterday afternoon and opened Outlook, I got one e-mail. I normally get about fifteen or twenty, and then I got the error message that Outlook could not contact my incoming mail server. I got on the phone to Go Daddy technical support and got through to a guy named Mike who explained to me with no hesitation whatsoever that they were having a problem with their e-mail servers and that it would be resolved momentarily. He apologized graciously, then showed me how to get my mail through the web. No “blame the customer” and no obfuscation about whether or not it was a system-wide problem. And true to his word, in about ten minutes my e-mail was up and running in Outlook.

It’s the things like that that count in customer service. I will recommend Go Daddy to anyone who asks just because I was able to get a quick and honest reply out of them. As for Norton, I think the only reason they contacted me via e-mail was because I embarrassed them on my blog.

Perhaps I’ll hear from them again now.