"Tech support turned my laptop into 6 lbs of hazardous waste"0.5 starson by Ren111
Pros: Caused me to learn plenty about the inner workings of the computer
Cons: See Summary
Summary: My 2-week nightmare with Norton Internet Security 2008 for Vista began when, after working well for a while, NIS spontaneously began to have trouble updating virus definitions. It ended when my computerâ€™s hard drive was formatted in a repair shop. The repair shop owner told me he gets computers that Norton killed all the time, and suggested I switch to Panda.
How did Nortonâ€™s Tech Support wreck my computer? My first ~10 chats (I honestly lost count) followed a pattern. First, I would wait around an hour to talk with someone. Then, if the representative didn't lose the connection to my computer, causing me to start over again, he would ask me some questions, perhaps taking remote access of my computer. Finally, proudly, he would tell me my problem was that I needed to completely uninstall and reinstall Internet Security.
I would then ask him why my last (2,3,4,5,â€¦) uninstall/reinstalls didnâ€™t work. He would tell me that running Nortonâ€™s uninstall program did not really completely uninstall the program. He gave me more and more convoluted things to do after the uninstall, to clean up the mess that Norton still left on the computer. These included steps like downloading a 3rd-party registry cleaner, searching for hidden files named â€œSymantecâ€�, and, helpfully, contacting Microsoft to see if they could fix the problem. Almost always, the rep reassured me that this uninstall/reinstall would solve the problem. One gentleman took over the computer and did the full process himself. Each time the uninstall/reinstall took well over an hour. It never worked.
Therein lies the problem: EVEN NORTON TECH SUPPORT WAS UNABLE TO UNINSTALL THEIR OWN PRODUCT FROM MY COMPUTER. The final gentleman I talked with took over my computer with remote access and then manually deleted a bunch of registry entries. I wish I had space to convey his reassuring tone that all was going well, as strange error messages popped up all over the screen, and the computer shut down and wouldn't boot up again. The representative then helpfully asked me to contact Hewlett Packard to fix the problem.
A couple footnotes, following the resetting of my computer to factory install (which cost me over $100): First, my brother told me he had so much trouble uninstalling Norton about 5 years ago that he vowed never to buy another Norton product again. Heâ€™s using Kaspersky and likes it. Second, Nortonâ€™s Customer Support told me Nortonâ€™s policy is not to reimburse people for damages caused by Tech Support. What a fitting end. Would I recommend this product? Umm, no.