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Security The Almighty Buck Software

Security Software Costs More to Renew Than Buy New 164

Posted by Zonk
from the helping-the-consumer-choose dept.
Matt Whipp writes "In a story I wrote for PCPro, I explore a tip submitted by one of our readers. They pointed out how much more it costs to renew security software, rather than buying it new. In fact it cost less than half the price to buy it new than it does to renew the license because of heavy discounting. He feels a bit cross that, as a loyal customer, he is the one penalized. From the article: 'ZoneAlarm may have tripped up on this discount issue, but it's not alone. It highlights just how cynical companies can be in relying on customers' assumptions that a renewal should be cheaper than buying new. McAfee's Internet Security Suite costs just £24.99 with the current 50 per cent discount. However, should you be fool enough to already be a customer of McAfee, you'll have to pay £39.99 to renew your licence.'"
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Security Software Costs More to Renew Than Buy New

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:24PM (#18209220)

    PCPro [...] pointed out how much more it costs to renew security software, rather than buying it new.

    Hello? Slashdot? Yes, I have an "Admiral Ackbar" on the line for you. He says it's urgent?
  • by Sciros (986030) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:30PM (#18209296) Journal
    There's so much great free security software out there (Avast, for instance) that for the educated consumer, the price of Norton or McAfee should be a moot point in my opinion. Not to mention that those two products are far more resource intensive than their free counterparts.

    I don't know what prices one would be looking at when it comes to commercial version of Avast, or how much actual support contracts cost a company if it wants Norton on say, 1500 desktops. But for the typical consumer, paying for security software is just a waste of money.

    As for McAfee's 50% discount, the latest Norton is free with rebates at certain points in the year, so as long as you wait until then to buy it, you can even get Norton free.

    Why renew a license when you can just buy a newer release in a store?
    • by networkBoy (774728) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:39PM (#18209456) Homepage Journal
      Avast is not free.
      They give home users a free copy as advertising. SOHO technically should pay (though I don't think the police it) and business must pay according to the license agreement.

      That said I use Avast and plan on using it at my pipe-dream cyber cafe. It's a good product and fortunately they are a company that "gets it" that the home user market is rife with piracy and really is low (profit(/(work to extract $$) ratio. They aviod the issue by giving it away to home users and charging businesses, which is the way it should be with everything IMHO.
      -nB
      • With giving away a home version, can disclaim away support for the free version too. If you want any support, you can either actually try searching the knowledge base for free or pay for the product.
      • by Sj0 (472011)
        If I opened a cyber-cafe, I'd use a linux machine with a kiosk-like setup.

        That way you can eliminate the viruses and malware as a source of grief on one end, and you don't have idiot users costing you more than they're earning you because they're breaking your machines all the time with their bonsai buddy crap.
        • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

          by networkBoy (774728)
          Really the computers were to be a loss leader. I was planning on using SunFires and charge a buck an hour, one hour incr. and $8/hr for gaming machines.
          The real goal was to make it a "cool hangout" for the 16-24 crowd and sell them high margin junk food and energy drinks/fountain soda... basically the theater model.
          -nB
          • by Sj0 (472011)
            Just because they're a loss leader doesn't mean you want to ignore the money you drop into it.

            Erm...Unless you're Sony.
    • Not to mention that those two products are far more resource intensive than their free counterparts.
      That's how you know they're working.
      • by dosquatch (924618)

        <user, screaming> "AARRGGHH, it burnssss! It burnsss ussss, pressciouse!"

        <Symantec Support 1> "That's how you know it's working."

        <Symantec Support 2> "Damn - actually, it was only supposed to tingle. Back to the drawing board, guys."

    • by ravenfan (1070656)
      Freeware is great when you're a techie but what percentage of the population is that savvy? Not to mention that there is the perception of getting something when you pay for it. When I buy software, I expect that there's some guy in India on the other end of the phone. With freeware I'm SOL.
      • by dal20402 (895630) *

        When I buy software, I expect that there's some guy in India on the other end of the phone. With freeware I'm SOL.

        Let me fix that for you:
        When I buy software, I expect to be SOL. With freeware I'm SOL.

        Seriously, though, I just can't imagine using the unstable, resource-intensive, naggy commercial security products anymore.

      • by heroofhyr (777687)
        I fix quite a few PCs of coworkers and friends of coworkers for extra money and usually the #1 problem is that the computer is running Windows 98, full of viruses, adware, and all kinds of other crap, and they were under the false impression that the OEM version of Norton that came with their computer 9+ years ago is still protecting them (well, it is, but only from viruses prior to the last definition list). Surprise surprise the last time the virus database was updated was maybe 5 or more years ago. So
        • The counter-Veblen effect. People believe get what you pay for. If you are asked to pay 0 they assume must be a reason. Either it is illegal, there are strings, or the product is so bad it has a value of 0. Silyl isn't it. If I just wrap up linux in a $300 gold plated box anc charge 350 for it they'd buy in droves.
    • by bendodge (998616) <bendodge@bsgpro g r ammers.com> on Friday March 02, 2007 @03:26PM (#18210208) Homepage Journal
      Avast's detection is poor compared to AVG Free's according to almost any current review you can find. Nothing compares to Kaspersky though.
      http://www.transceiver.co.uk/txt.php?article=52 [transceiver.co.uk]
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by G00F (241765)
        Then that means both suck ass.

        My wife had a number of trojans and virus AVG free didn't detect, but the free scan from trentmicro got them and removed them.
  • McAfee makes what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis (446163)
    Can't find any of their products on my workstation. Haven't seen this "norton" people keep talking about.

    Decided iptables was more effective than zonealarm [more configurable] too.

    Wow, I must be one of those Linux hippies...

    Tom
    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:39PM (#18209446) Journal
      Wow, I must be one of those Linux hippies...

      FreeBSD is like, "Hey, dudes! Come use our free stuff for whatever you like. Just don't forget to thanks us and it's all good."

      Linux is like, "You are free to join our collective but you have to contribute if you want to distribute our free stuff. Whatever you contribute becomes part of our free stuff."

      See the difference? FreeBSD is for hippies and Linux is for commies. It's a subtle distinction, I know. ;-)
      • Point taken, except the DISTRO is a collection of various OSS licensed gear.

        I wouldn't dare contribute to the kernel, I'm only a lowly software developer with 7 years experience and my beard-fu is weak.

        Someday I hope to develop even weaker social skills, a long beard and the aptitude to wear a kilt. Then I can be a kernel developer. :-)

        Tom
      • by jc42 (318812) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:54PM (#18209716) Homepage Journal
        FreeBSD is for hippies and Linux is for commies. It's a subtle distinction, I know. ;-)

        And Macs are like "Hey, our stuff is so much more stylish that those other systems." That's why they tell us that Macs are for gays, I guess.

        Lessee; I'm typing this on a Mac laptop. On my desktop are the display/kb/mouse attached to my linux box. On its screen are some windows ssh'd to a remote FreeBSD system that I use for part of my development and portability testing, and as a mirror for my web site.

        I guess this all must make me a gay, communist hippie.

        Please don't tell my wife or employer (or George Bush) ...

      • by PitaBred (632671)
        Aye, but it's communism that works because you aren't taking anything away from any contributor in the system. If you take my cow and give it to Yuri, I no longer have a cow. With Linux, as soon as I make a cow, both Yuri AND I can have a cow, and when he makes a horse, we both have horses.
        • by spun (1352)
          Ah, but what if Yuri is a libertarian objectivist and thinks sharing weakens the herd? What if he wants to make a buck off of you? You are denying him his Natural Right to profit off of others. Without the profit motive, Yuri has no incentive to make a horse in the first place, unless of course he has an itch that only a horse can scratch, but how likely is that? I mean really, what are the chances that thousands of Yuris world wide would all choose to make various barn yard animals and give them away for f
      • No, no, no... BSD is hippies, yes. But Linux is the Borg!

        You will be assimilated. Your sexual, psychotropic, and musical distinctiveness will be added to our own. Commercialization is irrelevant. Microsoft is irrelevant. Resistance is futile.
    • Decided iptables was more effective than zonealarm [more configurable] too.

      You ported iptables to Windows? Neato.
      • Isn't it obvious? I ported Windows to Linux. :-)

        And technically you can use iptables "with" a windows system. It's called running your NAT router on a Linux box. *rolls eyes*

        Tom
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          And technically you can use iptables "with" a windows system. It's called running your NAT router on a Linux box. *rolls eyes*

          You can also put Linux into a virtual machine (vmware is free), 100% firewall the ethernet connection as far as windows is concerned, use a host-only network with the VM as your internet connection, and then bridge linux to the ethernet and use THAT as a firewall - all on one box. You could probably run the VM on only 128MB since you're only really using the kernel once it's booted

          • by billcopc (196330)
            You could also post on slashdot pulling half-baked ideas out of your ass. For the virtual machine to be able to reach the internet, its host needs to have internet access as well. You could firewall the crap out of the VM, it won't do squat for the host no matter how you try to route your traffic, since your front line is wide-open.

            It's kind of like putting the keyhole on the INSIDE of your door. Anyone can just turn the knob from the outside and waltz in, but YOU need keys to get out of your own damn ho
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by drinkypoo (153816)

              You could also post on slashdot pulling half-baked ideas out of your ass. For the virtual machine to be able to reach the internet, its host needs to have internet access as well. You could firewall the crap out of the VM, it won't do squat for the host no matter how you try to route your traffic, since your front line is wide-open.

              Hello, you are stupid [vmware.com]! There's actually several implementations of this very idea. It works because vmware will bridge to your network interface.

              Virtual Machines, like any othe

          • For an easy way to do this, check out the IPCop Virtual machine. http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/directory/39 1 [vmware.com]

            I run a dedicated IPCop box on my home network with the plugin for Dan's Guardian content filtering. (I have a 6-year-old daughter.) Running the VM would hardly be noticeable on a modern PC. My IPCop box is a P2 333Mhz with 64 MB because that's what I had on hand. It will run on a lot less.

        • You originally compared Zone Alarm to iptables, obviously both are for different operating systems and different markets, yet you decided to mention them in the same sentence. I'm well aware of iptables on a router, I know because I have an old linksys WRT54G with the DD-WRT firmware.. I still wouldn't call that using iptables on Windows, I would call that a Windows box hidden behind a router with iptables.
    • Or a snob
      • It seems at least once a day there is an article about this or that not working in Vista. Sure a lot of it is just bullshit postering. But a lot of the complaints are legit. Licensing problems, requirement for resource hogging addons, etc.

        It's just funny what people put up with to have an "easy time" with their computer.

        To me the computer is a tool, it allows me to develop software, browse the web, watch tv, play games. I've found that I can do this all with Gentoo. Sure I can't play the latest FPS, bu
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tomhudson (43916)

          Sure, I gotta pay redmond cash money, run three different "anti-bad" scanners, buy approved hardware, and upgrade my box every 6 months, but look, I came play Doom 7 with the medium resolution settings!!!!!!!!

          ... of course right now, and for the forseeable future*, Duke Nukem Forever plays just as well on a linux box ... :-)

          * forseeable future: the sun turns red giant | mutant ants rule us | whatever. Certain terms and contitions may apply. Your mileage may vary. Screen shots are not necessarily repre

  • by mastershake_phd (1050150) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:31PM (#18209312) Homepage
    Lots of companies do this, and they wouldnt do it if it didnt work.

    CABLE, PHONE, & INTERNET ONLY $29.99 A MONTH!!!!!!!!*





    *first 3 months regular rate of $150 a month applies 4th month and on.
    • Lots of companies do it with service contracts in which case the model makes sense. But this one? Given a choice between "$20 to install or $40 to upgrade", I better have some compelling reason to avoid a new install. And more likely I'll think your software is crap since I can't import my old settings or somesuch thereby forcing me into a more expensive upgrade.

      It seems more like preying on ignorance - which is a perfectly legitimate (though somewhat cynical) business model. We'll see about now thoug

    • by mpe (36238)
      Lots of companies do this, and they wouldnt do it if it didnt work.
      CABLE, PHONE, & INTERNET ONLY $29.99 A MONTH!!!!!!!!*
      *first 3 months regular rate of $150 a month applies 4th month and on.


      Most likely also with "Offer not available to new customers"
      Sometimes even "Not available to existing or previous (within the last X months) customers". Presumably avoid (annoyed) customers saying "right i'd like to cancel then sign up".
      It's hard to see how this can be good business sense, not only does this cr
  • by ect5150 (700619) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:31PM (#18209318) Journal

    I'm not so certain this a 'screwing over' loyal customers as much as it is an incentive to give new customers a cheaper opportunity to try service. This trend doesn't apply to software alone but exists in many services (phone, cable TV, etc.)

    As companies compete and offer new services, you want them to offer you deals in order to entice you to try their products.
    • This is very similar to the argument that DRM is a win-win. From their perspective, they can offer you ten copies of their current hot movie - one for every type of player in your life - at super affordable prices ranging fron $4.95 to $24.95 depending on the application. If you only need, say, a PSP version and a DVD for the living room, you might only spend $12-13. That's a huge savings over the "full" user fee you might have to pay if you needed two for the cars, an HD version for the HT, a couple PSP
    • by RedBear (207369)

      I'm not so certain this a 'screwing over' loyal customers as much as it is an incentive to give new customers a cheaper opportunity to try service. This trend doesn't apply to software alone but exists in many services (phone, cable TV, etc.)

      I hope I can increase your certainty level.

      You are comparing this to a service where you pay periodically according to a contract or something, and where you can only avail of the special discount one time (per household, or whatever). This is how subscriptions work. Th

      • by mpe (36238)
        You are comparing this to a service where you pay periodically according to a contract or something, and where you can only avail of the special discount one time (per household, or whatever). This is how subscriptions work. They keep track of who you are, so you can't repeatedly get a "first month free" deal by closing your cable TV account every month and signing up again. So the regular subscribers are not being penalized just because they offer a special short-term deal for new users.

        So long as the th
  • by singingjim1 (1070652) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:31PM (#18209322)
    If you have Comcast cable internet McAfee security suite is free. Other ISPs provide security products free of charge as well. Shop for a better ISP, not for a Symantec vendor. Also, it might be a good idea not to click on things you're not sure of and stop surfing for porn so much.
    • "stop surfing for porn so much."

      Or at least stop surfing it with IE and no firewall.

      I've never run anti-virus software on a home PC. What's the point?

      I currently have a router firewall, and I don't web surf much with a Windows machine. When I do, I use Firefox. On occasion I'll download Avast and run it, and I have never found a virus yet. By the time the software company releases a patch, and you download and apply it, there's a sporting chance you've been infected already. Then there are the slowdown
    • If you have Comcast cable internet McAfee security suite is free. Other ISPs provide security products free of charge as well. Shop for a better ISP, not for a Symantec vendor. Also, it might be a good idea not to click on things you're not sure of and stop surfing for porn so much.
      Why not use AOL while you're at it, I'm sure they have all sorts of security software for you...
      • Me Too!

        And pleeeeee send me the latest warez links and nekkid photos of the current hot starlet, and serial numbers for maya as well......
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you have Comcast cable internet McAfee security suite is free.

      And almost worth it.
    • by tomhudson (43916)

      Both my bank (for online banking) and my ISP offer "free" security/antivirus software - which I don't need, since I don't use Windows. Maybe I should ask for a discount/fee reduction?

      Or maybe the bank should get a f$cking clue - I can't believe that they're running Windows and Internet Explorer in bank branches in this day and age.

  • This sort of drel is why I use and support Clamwin. I would rather make a donation from time to time and use open source (free) software than be held up for ransom by these crooks.
  • by cnelzie (451984) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:35PM (#18209382) Homepage
    When our annual contract for NAV comes up every year, I tell the guy on the phone that he is asking for to much money.

        He starts giving me the run around and I say, "Thanks, but no thanks. I am going to seek alternatives to your product, have a nice day."

        That usually drops the price right then and there.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:35PM (#18209384)
    I have one odd dedicated system that is very sensitive. The only antivirus software that can be used (long story) is Norton 2001. However, Symantec won't sell you updates (at any price) for Norton 2001. You are forced to upgrade to a more recent version if you want to be current, and in this case I can't upgrade.

    Oddly enough, if you install Norton 2001 on a fresh system, it works perfectly, and you get to download updates for a full year from the date of installation (which is the default).

    So the updates exist, but Symantec won't sell them.

    Bastards.
  • "Everybody" gets tax software, so while they have you, they discount AV software too. So, just get in sync with the low cost and buy new every year. Renewals? Ha!
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:38PM (#18209430) Journal
    Mullah Nassirudin wanted to learn music, and he enquired the tuition rates. "20 dinars for the first month and 10 dinars a month from the second month" was the quote he got. So the old Mullah said, "I will start from the second month".

    If all of us were wise as the Mullah, teaser rates from credit card/mortgage companies, cell phones companies, ISPs etc wont work. But in most parts of the world, inertia rules. Once you accept a monthly bill, then they got you.

  • Non-commercial users should never pay for security software in today's market. From free-with-rebate to free-for-home-users to free-with-ISP-services, there's no reason to pay.

    Commercial MS-Windows users have fewer options, particularly on Windows Server platforms. Many freebies are limited to "1 per address" or "not for commercial use," and most won't even install or run on Windows Server platforms.

    On the plus side, most vendors do have decent discounts for large-volume customers. Small businesses with
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:40PM (#18209476) Homepage
    My wife recently bought a new computer with Windows XP to replace her aging Windows 98 machine and asked me to help with the migration. There was really only one piece of software she wanted to migrate: Quicken. I was brooding over ways and means. When she booted up her new HP machine, she said, "Oh, look! We don't need to worry about it. It comes with Quicken."

    On closer inspection, it came with something called Quicken "New User Edition." It did absolutely everything she needed to do with one small exception: it wouldn't import a file from a previous version of Quicken like, for example, the Windows 98 file with five years of our financial life in it.

    But fortunately it automatically offered to sell us an upgrade. Of the alternatives on offer was something called "Quicken Deluxe Edition 2006" which could be ours at a special upgrade price of just $39.95. It did many more things than my wife needed to do, but it would import older Quicken files So I shrugged, and said, "Well, gee, I dunno, seems like a lot, I suppose, line of least resistance, what the heck."

    But, when she typed in her credit card number and tried to buy it, it popped up the web browser with a message saying yes, we could get Quicken Deluxe 2006, but wouldn't we rather get Quicken Deluxe 2007, which could be ours at a special upgrade price of just $49.95? We looked at each other. My wife says, rather disgusted, "You know, I'm never going to upgrade Quicken again if I can avoid it, so I suppose I should start out with the most recent version." I said, "Yeah, I guess so, but, wait just a minute."

    I hurried over to my Mac, which hadn't been contamined with any versions of the Quicken software, and when I went to their website from a virgin machine, it offered me a choice that the browser on her machine had not offered: something called "Quicken Basic," which had exactly the same functionality as "Quicken New User Edition" plus the ability to import older Quicken files. For $19.95. Full price for a brand new purchase, not an upgrade.

    In other words, those bastards had not only included an artificially crippled version of Quicken Basic in the HP software offering, which was bad enough, but they deliberately programmed all the auto-update-salesware to hide the cheapest and most appropriate version of the software.

    I wish I could tell you that we decided not to buy any version of Quicken, but in the end of course we bought the $19.95 version.

    It's things like this that really build long-term customer loyalty. My wife had always had good feelings about Quicken itself and the company that publishes it. Now she still has good feelings about Quicken but she's quite pissed off at Intuit. (And she holds grudges. Believe me.)
    • ...yeah, I know it isn't security software, but an upgrade that costs 2.5 times as much as buying new seems on topicl

      And, no, we didn't buy the Mac version and run it on our PC. I just used the Mac browser to navigate by hand to the PC products page. Once I knew where the $19.95 Basic version was offered, I went back to my wife's PC and located the same page by browsing manually. What was happening was that the Quicken software preloaded on the hard drive takes you automatically to an "upgrade" page which f
      • May I humbly suggest you try Moneydance [moneydance.com]? It will import Quicken files, isn't loaded with bloatware, adware, and spyware, and the developer listens to his customers. It only costs $30. Not only that, but he hasn't charged an upgrade fee since 2004, through three different full-version upgrades! It also runs on almost any platform, including OS/2(!).

        I switched from Quicken in 2005 when I dumped Winders for good. It's really very good, even if it is written in Java...
    • I have Quickbooks 99'

      Intuit had a Quickbooks Starter Edition 2007 but it doesn't import my old stuff.
      Sounds familliar?
      I endded up buy Quickbooks Pro 2007 for $200 instead of $40 just for the import feature.

      BTW: I didn't upgrade until this year because at some point in the product's life,
      Intuit sends an updates that *KILLS* functionality like the ability to reconscile your bank account online. Nothing changed on the bank's side, Intuit just disabled the code at my end.
      Now that's customer service!
      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        take them to court, they maliciously damaged the functionality of your computer in order to extort money from you.
    • by Sax Maniac (88550)
      I can see that. I've been using Quicken forever, since the DOS days. They have my address and occasionally send me special offers to upgrade to Quicken 200x for only $10 off the "MSRP" of $40 or $50 or whatever they think it really is. But, it turns out it's just cheaper to go to Whalemart and buy it fresh for $20.

      I learned to simply dump all correspondance from them long ago.
    • Hmm, the good news is that Quicken and older versions of Quickbooks, work perfectly well on CxOffice on Linux. I was the first person to get Quickbooks to run on Wine, way back in 2002. It is now 5 years later and getting better all the time.
    • Quickbooks is pretty bad too. The first year of payroll is supported by one payroll table download, and I think it's $150 for the next year. The third year gets to be more expensive than buying the latest copy of the appropriate version of Quickbooks for the business. Instead, we just buy the latest version and it starts again, even years buy new, odd years update.
    • by Sloppy (14984)

      [Quicken story]

      Or, to put it more generally: "Help, my data is trapped in a proprietary format! The 'owner' of the format says that if I don't pay, he'll kill the hostages!"

      I wish I could tell you that we decided not to buy any version of Quicken, but in the end of course we bought the $19.95 version.

      Ah, so you paid the kidnappers to not kill the hostages, and so far, they are keeping their word. Well, I'm sure that will work out Just Fine for you.

      • You both need to go use KMyMoney2 or Gnucash, or something similar -- web based, even. Pay some 13-year-old $50 to set her old computer up as a Linux desktop, or webserver, depending on which is easier for your financial data. Then, whenever Intuit nags you with a new version, take their asking price and offer it as a bounty for whatever killer feature you miss from Quicken.

        You NEED open formats, and you've just demonstrated why.
  • Moo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chacham (981) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:41PM (#18209486) Homepage Journal
    Why is this specific to software?

    I wanted to by soup from a deli. I asked them why a quart cost more than two pints.

    I wanted to buy pizza (that is cut into eight slices). I asked for eight slices. They asked "you mean a full pie?" I said "no, eight slices is cheaper." The idiot told me that he'll give me the eight smallest slices. At which point i threated to publicize his scam. Needless to say, i got it for the cheaper price.

    In the supermarket i many times look to see the difference in prices when buying bulk. Many times the smaller amount is cheaper. Not usually, but many times.

    The cable Internet company offers connections for very cheap for six months, but then charges astromically after that. When i challenged i would cancel and re-sign up, they told me that there had to be a five-month break in between the two to get the discount. So, i threatened to go DSL, and got a nice discount.

    While in some cases the discrepency is by malicious intent, in most cases its because the price of software is what people are willing to pay, not what it is worth. (No, they are not the same. The latter can be calculated based on what it does and how cost incurred by not having it. The former is just perception.) Being it is harder to get a new customer than to retain a customer, breaks are given.

    Had the business gone in to help the customer, and the customer in full-faith accepts this, he would accept the discount and then pay the "normal" amount during the retention period. However, in todays cut-throat society, where short-term financial goals are everything, there really is no such thing as a long-term relationship. There is no retention period. The person is in the system, unless they try to leave, it which case that triggers offers of cheaper prices.

    I see no fault in all of this. It may be an example of a sad state of affairs, but its just business as usual.

    • by Deagol (323173)
      The person is in the system, unless they try to leave, it which case that triggers offers of cheaper prices.

      No kidding.

      The last time I had a cable TV subscription, I called to cancel. I tell ya, it was like pulling teeth. They couldn't grasp that I simply didn't *like* broadcast TV. "I had no problems with the service. It's just that there's simply not enough value in the programming for my $x/month." First they suggested the Basic, non-digital plan. Then they broke out the super-cheap, non-advert

    • The former is just perception

      Worth is perception.
    • Usually for food, getting twice as much doesn't cost more than 25% more, it's very rare do I see getting twice as much costs more than twice as much. At the local Chinese place, it's like $3 for a pt of a dish, $4 for a quart. It's a lot to do with incremental costs. Compared to the labor, materials and other expenses for cooking the first pt, the second pt of same dish is very, very tiny, so the extra $1 may be more profitable than the first $3. It's the same at other restraunts, a pt of beer might be
    • by Sj0 (472011)
      If you knew the deal before you signed up, why the hell are you making a stink when the cheap period finally ends?
  • by dknj (441802) on Friday March 02, 2007 @02:47PM (#18209578) Journal
    Costs $25 for a brand new Lexmark printer complete with ink cartridges. Costs $35+ for new ink cartridges. Cheaper just to buy a new printer.

    i don't know if its changed, but ink refill kits in the mid 90s sucked and has ruined any positive perception I may have for them now.

    • by paeanblack (191171) on Friday March 02, 2007 @03:10PM (#18209978)
      Costs $25 for a brand new Lexmark printer complete with ink cartridges. Costs $35+ for new ink cartridges. Cheaper just to buy a new printer.

      The manufacturers wised up to that one a while ago. New printers in the $0-$100 range don't come with full ink cartriges. Usually they are only 1/4th to 1/3rd full.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Shut up! If they discover that we're wise to them being wise to us, they'll start putting 1/3 to 1/4 ink in the refills, too.
    • Color Laser printers are the way to go. If you need to print pictures, it's pretty cost effective to get them done at wal-mart, or any other online photo processing shop instead. But for everything else, you're going to pay a heck of a lot more for ink (which doesn't last very long in storage in the printer either).

      I recently bought a Laserjet 2605dn for $400 and am very happy. Built in networking, duplexing, postscript, and a perfectly working ppd file for cups. Oh yeah. No ink smearing or special pap
  • No such thing as a loyal customer these days. I bet you dont change your telephone provider or Bank because you feel that sense of loyalty. Wise up and shop around fool.
  • by sheldon (2322) on Friday March 02, 2007 @03:11PM (#18209990)
    A few years ago, say back in like 2000 Norton went to this subscription model. After a year, it popped up saying your subscription had expired, do you want to renew? It was only like $6/year.

    But as I upgraded to XP, I needed Norton 2002 so I bought that for $10.

    Ok, so then after a year, they wanted $30. I figured out if I rebuilt my machine and reinstalled Norton, I'd get another year. But I ended up getting Norton 2003 to fix a bug in their bloody email scanner. Another $10.

    Then I got a laptop and wanted another copy of Norton, so I found a deal to get Norton 2005 3-user edition for $15. Installed that. But now they got smarter, and the subscription was hard wired to a key that was on their servers. So after a year, I had no choice... couldn't reinstall, had to buy an upgrade. They wanted $39 to upgrade my 3-user edition.

    But I found 2006 3-user edition for $15., so I bought that.

    Well, a year passed again, and this time I went to see what the upgrade rate was. It was $80 for the 3-users!

    Well, at the time I was also planning to upgrade to Vista, and I needed something that supported it. I found Norton 2007 3-user for $15 again, through buy.com after rebate.

    But after the $80 thing, I'd had enough. I looked around and I ended up installing the AVG free edition on all three of my computers.

    So Norton lost another customer, because of their playing games. The $6 subscription upgrade from the 2000 version was acceptable, but charging me twice or more the new product price is not.
  • But as i recall i would have been cheaper to get 50 single user versions than a 50 pack...however 25 2-packs would have been higher or some stupid combo that made no sense at all :(

    ZA pricing is bizarre, as are some of the others. But i stuck with it cause i know the workaround(bug?) to make it work with (ignore) our software ;)
  • Just renewed and got a discount on NOD32 over new customers.

    And the price was much less than McAfee. Oh, and it doesn't get in your way like that crap.

  • I use neither Mcafee or Norton. It's actually cheaper (25%) to renew my antivirus. I tried those free antivirus software. They look and feel like crap to me. I prefer Bitdefender. They also have basic Linux version for free.
    • by Sj0 (472011)
      I know I worry about viruses on linux.

      "Oh! My....erm...home directory with no executables in it to speak of........."
  • My mom, who runs Windows, called me because she was having a problem with "Norton Virus." I was going to correct her that it's "Norton Antivirus," then I realized she was right.

    I don't run Windows, but everyone I know who does (mostly extended family members) is always asking about issues they're having. Watching the set up and operation of these programs, it's no wonder. The whole thing is a sick joke.

    The "cure" is probably worse than the disease.
    • The "cure" is probably worse than the disease.

      Well, no, it's not. Luckily the disease is quite rare and avoiding exposure is usually sufficient protection.

      I only run AntiVirus on one of my Windows PCs, and that's the only one that I do anything "unsafe" with (online shopping, P2P, chat, e-mail, etc.). I've found AVG to be sufficient for my needs in this case, and would probably suffice for any home user.

      For corporate installations, using the free alternatives as a negotiating point will likely drive the price down. I definitely prefer the Norton AV I

      • by nostriluu (138310)
        Well, you're describing a dedicated geek scenario. Ordinary people (what I was talking about) are induced into installing all manner of software, which rarely directly works in their favour. And you're still describing a reality where people have to spend a considerable amount of effort on something that has nothing to do with their main goals. Maybe for them the general purpose operating system, particularly Windows, may have outlived its usefulness.
  • Why pay for updates? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kopo (890010) on Friday March 02, 2007 @04:54PM (#18211396)
    Symantec lets you legally download their updates, for free, from their FTP servers. ftp://ftp.symantec.com/AVDEFS/norton_antivirus/ [symantec.com]. Extract the files from the .exe to NAV's Incoming directory using WinRAR and you're good to go. (One minor problem is that the newest version of Norton's security bloatware seem to "protect" their program directories by default, so you have to disable that setting in order to install updates manually.

    And if you look around online, there's actually a Windows batch file that will do it for you automatically. You can even schedule it with Windows Task Scheduler.
  • I worked in the circulation department of a very large magazine for about 4 years, and learned a lot about the industry by being working closely with our data carrier that managed the majority of America's publishing data.

    "Renewals are your profit engine" was industry-wide strategy. In fact, the vast majority of magazines expect to be money losing propositions for publishers for the first 3 years someone is subscribed. The job of the Circulation department was to figure out the best way to gradually raise t

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