McAfee Auto Renewal

I just retired one of the old computers in the house and remembered it was running McAfee and was subscribed to their auto-renewal program. Since I no longer had use for that McAfee license I decided to opt-out of the auto-renewal now that I still remember about it. So I logged into their customer portal, clicked on the appropriate link and saw this:

McAfee Auto Renewal Page - Can't Disable This Feature

McAfee Auto Renewal Page - Can't Disable This Feature

Um… So where is the opt out button? Oh, right – they don’t have one. Apparently you need to contact the customer support to disable it. Nice one McAfee! Well done!

I did as they said – I sent an email via their online form, and I got a confirmation in the mail the next day. Apparently they canceled the renewal service on both products on my account. The email said I can always log in and re-enable this feature.

I decided to double check it myself, but to my surprise the auto-renewal link was removed from the sidebar overnight. It’s now gone and I have no way of accessing this feature. I’m not sure what this means…

It’s possible that McAfee understood the error of their ways and removed the shady auto-renewal feature altogether? Or did they just hide the incriminating page so that their customers can’t easily check up on their status. Interesting…

Needless to say, I made a note in my calendar to remind me to watch my credit card statement next year to see if they really opted me out like they said or if they will charge me again.

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11 Responses to McAfee Auto Renewal

  1. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I once bought McAfee online cheap (like S$20 == US$14?), because my university was having an offer at the time. It was for 1 year, and I thought that an annual subscription at that price was good. What I did not read that the fine print stated the price was good for one year only, it was US$70+ after that.

    Of course, I was shocked when my debit card statement came. So much had been deducted after the currency conversion, I was practically broke. Luckily, there was a 30-day return policy, so I promptly sent an email saying I wanted my money back, which lucky for me, McAfee refunded without asking too many questions (just a small survey).

    I promptly switched to Avast after that, which was free for home use, and light on resources.

    It was a good lesson for me on reading fine-print, which I do almost religiously now.

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  2. Sam Weston UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    I just signed up for sky tv (uk satellite tv service) which includes 20mb adsl, phone as well as tv. It comes with a 3 month McAfee trial, which my friend luckily noticed in the small-print auto-renews unless cancelled… How dare they take money out of my bank account for software I’ll definitely not use…

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  3. Zel FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Well, considering they have to compete with increasingly complete free security software, they have to keep their obscure scheme to keep the customer paying…

    By the way, what do you run when under Windows ? I’ve used a combination of Avira Antiriv Personal, Spybot S&D and Zonealarm for years now and so far had neither problems with malware/virus or with the programs themselves.

    @Mart: I’ve heard a couple of security experts (or so they say ;)) not recommend Avast as an antivirus, because their service is not very fast to react to new threats. It gets high scores in reviews because it cause detects lots of old and well known viruses, but the biggest risk comes from the yet unknown ones.

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  4. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Sam Weston: Ah, yes – the old service bundle trick. Everyone loves those.

    @Zel: Well, I have that McAfee subscription running on my machine because it came with the computer. I also run Malwarebytes which is one hell of a malware remover.

    It detects and removes just about anything, and costs $25 for a lifetime license if you want the resident real-time protection. Otherwise it’s fee.

    I used to be a big Spybot supporter but it seems like they have faded from the scene a bit. Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware (yeah, I know – the name sounds shady, but the product is good) seem to be the top 2 malware removal tools recommended. I see one or both of them being mentioned in almost every single trojan/spyware removal thread on the internet.

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  5. Rob UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I’ve been using AVG Free, mostly because I’m a cheap bastard. All I can say is, never let Norton touch your system. It’s like herpes, impossible to get rid of.

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  6. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @Rob: LOL! Norton == Herpes. This is officially the quote of the week.

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  7. Tino UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    Remember the good old times when Norton and McAfee actually were good, useful products? I wonder what law of software it is that dictates the devolution of anti-virus software into stinking piles of ****. I have been recommending AVG Free to people, but it is getting increasingly clear that they follow the same destructive path.

    What is needed is a free software antivirus suite that uses a subscription-based database of virus signature updates using an open format. The first antivirus company capable of producing a good such database and realizes this will win (along with the rest of us).

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  8. Zack UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I can’t believe anyone that reads or writes this blog actually uses McAfee. Next to Norton, it’s quite possibly the worst AV solution out there! Horrible detection rates…among other things. So many better solutions out there now.

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  9. Jake UNITED STATES Epiphany Linux says:

    What do you guys think of AntiVir?

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  10. Dave Scott UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    With regard to McAfee Auto Renewal I too was very annoyed with the 60 day letter that indicated that I will be billed again for the service. There is no election to opt out. I located the contact number to Disable the Auto Renewal. It is 866-622-3338 and they will disable the Auto Renewal after confirming the e-mail address and billing address. I would not recommend McAfee from this point not because of software performance issues but rather the elaborate procedure to entrap someone who wants to opt out.

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  11. Firing McAfee UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I am unbelievably p.o.’d with so many companies’ fraudulent behavior in this issue. We immediately Opt OUT of auto-renewal and McAfee (and godaddy earlier this year) fraudulently charged my credit card despite this. How do they get away with this? Why bother giving us the Opt Out option if they’re going to continue to charge our credit cards and hope that we won’t notice? Not only that, but McAfee “renewed” my account FOUR MONTHS prior to it’s expiration date of April 2011. When I called and spoke to a very nice person, she told me I had two accounts there. What? No. We went back and forth while I explained that I have one account, and that I was accessing that account directly from my email sent from McAfee. Round and round we went and I’m thoroughly disgusted. She canceled my auto-renew (even though I had already opted out, remember?) and then gave me another number that I had to call to cancel the other account or I would be charged again. Interesting. BTW: GoDaddy somehow got my NEW credit card number. They had sent me several emails telling me my expiration was coming up and if I wanted to renew, follow the link and renew. I had already opted out, so I didn’t bother. I started receiving emails saying they tried to charge my card but it was declined, and if I wanted to continue my service with them (I don’t) I needed to log into my acct and submit a different CC. I didn’t do that, either because I didn’t want to renew and I certainly didn’t want to give them my new credit card number. AMAZING! I have no clue where they got the new card number, and I’m pursuing that through the Better Business Bureau and will now file a complaint with BBB about McAfee’s fraudulent practices.

    I think everyone who gets renewed without authorization after Opting OUT, should be reporting this to the BBB.

    I will be going with *pained sign* Microsoft’s free protection.

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