Monday, February 1, 2010

The Norton Anti Virus Virus (AKA The Norton Consumer Ripoff) = Disconnect


Do you have a Norton Anti-Virus program? Once upon a time we did. And we recently got ripped off by the once 'trusted' folks at Norton. Here's the story.

Several years ago when we purchased this computer the Norton Anti-Virus protection program was installed in it as a perk. When that 'free' subscription ran out we did not re-subscribe to it as we have other virus protections. Still, we got and continue to get Norton 'pop-ups' urging the purchase of their product and we always decline. This has been going on for almost 2 years.

On December 30, 2009, there was a debit to my VISA credit card from Norton in the amount of $44.99 for the purchase of a NORTON VIRUS PROTECTION plan. A purchase that was not wanted, purchased or authorized in any way. It just appeared on the statement.

After more than an hour of MY TIME was spent trying to undo something I did not want or purchase, speaking to a customer 'service' rep with a difficult accent in India, I may have corrected the situation, but won't know until my next Visa statement arrives in about 3 weeks.

So, what happened? How did this happen? We don't really know. But we suspect the vendor of the computer (the bankrupt Circuit City) either sold or somehow shared our credit card number with Norton, who in turn decided to rip this consumer off. Maybe Visa had a hand in it too. We don't know. But there is one thing for sure, we were not the only consumer ripped off in this scam. We suspect 100's of thousands have experienced the same thing. We wonder how many other unsuspecting consumers have not looked at their credit card statements closely and simply paid the fee.

To us and other reasonable people, we see this incident as fraud. A theft. A criminal activity. From a legal point of view it's probably not these things, but some legally permissible activity given regulations or the lack thereof with such things. But a 'ripoff' just the same. And there just may be a 'class action lawsuit' cause with this scenario.

So, where is OUR consumer protection? Where are the government regulations? Where are our government representatives with this kind of stuff?

On a broader basis, we all need to beware of those politicians running for office on a "take our country back" platform. What this really means is de-regulation of the kind of circumstances identified here, or no regulation at all to these practices. It also means taking our country back to and for the organizations who paid for those politicians to be in office in the first place. So, look out!

The bottom line message here, however, is to examine your credit card statements and take action when you have been ripped off like us.

J.

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