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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Symantec, McAfee settle over subscription auto-renewal problems



Symantec and McAfee will be coughing up a chunk of change, following a settlement that arose out of complaints regarding how each of them handled their customer's subscriptions. As anyone who uses paid security products is aware of, each year you must pay a renewal fee to keep your software functioning. According to the involved plaintiffs, however, both Symantec and McAfee were deceptive when it came time to pay, renewing people's subscriptions without their consent.

This most likely would become a big issue if someone decided to switch products, only to find themselves being billed by another company later. Due to problems like this and the complaints that followed, the companies will each pay $375,000 to settle the case. The Attorney General's office in New York came to the conclusion that the "automatic renewals" clauses were buried under lengthy terms of service, and ordered Symantec and McAfee to be clear and up-front with their customers when it comes to these fees. Furthermore, users will get the option of a refund for up to 60 days after being charged.

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