McAfee tricks

I got an email from McAfee this weekend telling me that the autorenewal on my virus software had automatically renewed. Which is great, except I don't trust auto-renewals, so I don't use them. Haven't for years. The email tells me that I have 60 days to cancel for a full refund. So I have to take action to keep them from forcing a service upon me. Hmmmm...

No problem. I'll just cancel. I was going to allow it to lapse anyway, that's why I didn't heed the multitude of renewal notices. So let's see....huh. No email address or phone number in the email. Well, I'll just go to the website. Huh. The only web address they list is a tech support address. Well, I'll just google it. OK, there's the site! And I'll just look for a contact number.... huh. nothing. Oh look, a search box. I'll just type in c-a-n-c-e-l, and yep, there's aphone number. I'll just dial that and- get an out of service recording. Huh.

After searching carefully through the site, I found a number: -1(408) 922-8599, then option <4>, then option <3>. You know it's a good number because it isn't toll free. So, I'm finally connected to a 'service rep', who informs me that my service was renewed because I agreed to it in my End User License Agreement (EULA). When I informed her that this was the reason I was cancelling (not to mention their poor performance and excessive cost), she had very little to say. She had even less to say when I asked her if there were any other things in the EULA that I needed to be aware of, such as if they could kidnap my dog, or burn down my house if I cancelled. Should I take that as a 'yes'?

I looked up the EULA. The site didn't show it when I searched, but the Electronic Frontier Foundation provided a link to the McAfee EULA, which contains this quote:
"Upon expiration of your subscription to the Software, the Company may
automatically renew your subscription to the Software at the then prevailing
price using credit card information you have previously provided."
Which means they're storing a databse of credit card numbers. Lovely. Escpecially given the already lovely ethics demonstrated by their EULA. OF course, the service rep informed me, you can opt out of the auto renew by first agreeing to it, and then calling the same long distance number I gave above. (which can be easily found by spending an hour or so surfing their site). Or you can just avoid their whole scheme and refuse to play their little game by taking your dollars elsewhere. Which is what I'll do.

Consumer reports recently recommended the Zone Labs Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite. I think I'll check them out. McAfee, you can bite me.

UPDATE: The EULA mentions this number (1-800-338-8754), too. So you conceivably cancel by calling there, although I'd guess it wouldn't be any easier.

Update#2: When deleting the McAfee Security Center, I deleted each of the components, then went for the suite itself. When I tried to delete the suite, it said I had to delete all of the components first. Turns out, there’s a file in the mcafee.com folder (extension .adf) that needs to be manually deleted in order to remove the SecurityCenter. Details are here. AFter that, McAfee was finally out of my life. I swear, for an antivirus company, these guys operate a lot like malware group!

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