Wednesday, September 13, 2006


My relationship with McAfee products is a tortured one.

I first used the McAfee AntiVirus program years ago when I had an MS-DOS based computer. If you don't know what MS-DOS is, it's what your grandparents used. Okay, your parents. But you get the idea.

Back then, everyone used McAfee AntiVirus because it was considered free for standard users. It might have been. Perhaps it was shareware (which isn't free; don't let anyone tell you otherwise). Still, lots of people used it without cost. But it wasn't the low price (okay, no price) that attracted folks. It was the quality.

There were other anti-virus programs around. Norton made a good one. I also used IBM AntiVirus, Norton AntiVirus (my favorite), and Microsoft AntiVirus. But McAfee was the one everybody talked about.

When things developed where you had to pay for McAfee (or else pirate it, a practice of which I disapprove), my money went to Norton. I just liked it better. However, I always recognized that McAfee was a quality product in the field of virus protection. I just didn't like it.

Recently, when putting a clean install on a computer -- that is, using the installation process that comes with the computer -- it put McAfee products on the computer.

Now, I have a multiuser license for ZoneLabs ZoneAlarm Suite, which includes not only their industry-leading firewall, but their highly-rated anti-virus package. So, I had no need for McAfee (it's a 90-day trial anyway). I want to install the ZoneLabs Suite, since I'm paying for (actually, have already paid for) a license that expires in 201 days.

So, I called McAfee. What was I thinking?

The first lady I chatted with (chat is free, phone calls cost money) seemed to understand the issue and walk me through the steps. However, when I got to a certain point, the system froze and we were disconnected.

So, I went back to the site and tried again. This time, the fellow I got seemed to not understand what I was encountering. He was basically reading from a script. When my results deviated from the script, he was lost. For example, he expected me to have an icon in "Add/Remove Programs" ... and I didn't. Though I said I didn't, he said for me to highlight it. That kind of stuff.

Anyway, the service was poor.

True, I'm trying to remove their stuff, not install it. Still, you'd think they'd help someone get rid of it if they didn't want it. And, bless their hearts, I'm sure they tried.

But if this is their definition of customer service, perhaps I need to re-evaluate my opinion of their product.

You see, to me, the only products that install themselves and don't offer a way of removing themselves are ... viruses, spyware, and other malware.

Remember when Microsoft AntiVirus caused a stir when it recognized Microsoft Windows 95 as a virus? I do. And I wish ZoneLabs Suite would recognize McAfee products as a virus (or malware) and remove the darn thing.

1 comment:

  1. I dumb McAfee on any computer I come in contact with and advised the person to buy Norton Internet Security and do regular updates and be done with it. McAfee was good at one point, but I like you have had nothing but problems with it.


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