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Avast Drops iYogi Support Over Pushy Scare Tactics 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the smarter-than-the-average-ibear dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Antivirus maker Avast is suspending its relationship with iYogi, a company it has relied upon for the past two years to provide live customer support for its products. The move comes just one day after an investigation into iYogi showed the company was using the relationship to push expensive and unnecessary support contracts onto Avast users. In a blog post, Avast's CEO wrote, 'We had initial reports of this behavior a few weeks ago and met with iYogi's senior executives to ensure the behavior was being corrected. Thus, we were shocked to find out about Mr. Krebs' experience. As a consequence, we have removed the iYogi support service from our website and shortly it will be removed from our products.'"
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Avast Drops iYogi Support Over Pushy Scare Tactics

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  • I just finished the article, and it sounds like the CEO canceled the contract based-upon just that one call with a bad technician.

    Interesting tactics though... saying that Avast Free is basically junk (takes a week to download latest updates) and the customer should buy the program instead. Also running PC Diagnosis from a website. Like a scammer.

    • by msheekhah (903443)
      but Avast Free is AMAZING... *blink* *blink*
      • Avast 7! is my favorite.

        Avast 7 did have some issues I do admit when it was introduced, but the latest fix corrected them.

        Other than that is it the fast and best able to detect and remove rootkits of any antivirus product except Norton 2012(Hell froze over it is the best out there and is no longer a POS).

        It is lightweight and has live updates on the minute. I prefer it much more over MSE.

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Yes Avast is great, updates quickly and does not slow down my older IBM laptop :) Works fine with Steam and runs without any problems in the background.
      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Well I'd say for free AV both it and Comodo IS are very very good, although Comodo IS is free for BOTH home and business use so if you are installing on a business machine and don't want to run afoul of the license use Comodo, otherwise its a taste thing. Both have excellent sandboxing which REALLY helps with the clueless users and combined with win 7 and Comodo Dragon makes for a pretty damned hard to infect system.

        Now watch those that have convinced themselves i must be an "M$ Ninja!" have their heads com

    • by Arker (91948) on Friday March 16, 2012 @05:46PM (#39383555) Homepage Journal

      No, it's not just based on this one incident.

      Let me explain that where I work I speak fairly often with customers who have dealt with these guys. As a result I did a little research a few weeks back. You can do the same, use the google.

      Anyhow there's a quite long-running and very interesting thread on the Avast user forums about these guys. It has both some very good and some very bad experiences, which matches what I have heard personally. At any rate it's been an ongoing issue for some time and this appears to be the last straw - it certainly wasnt the first case like this though.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm a spam cop over at reddit.com & we chased iyogi off the site LONG ago, they're spam, pure & simple, & we found links between iyogi & these "support staff" that phone you AT HOME to advise you your system is compromised

        • I'm a spam cop over at reddit.com & we chased iyogi off the site LONG ago, they're spam, pure & simple, & we found links between iyogi & these "support staff" that phone you AT HOME to advise you your system is compromised

          Can you substantiate this, please? I'm interested.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      They don't seem to care. QUOTE: "Larry Gordon, iYogiâ(TM)s president of global channel sales, sent me a formal letter that was unapologetic, but which promised that the company would endeavor to do better. Gordon called the incident, a 'Tylenol moment for iYogi and the leadership team.'"

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So, you claim you RTFA, but somehow still think that Avast acted solely based on this one guy? First off, Krebs installed Avast on a VM specifically trying to find out if iYogi would try these types of tactics, as several people had reported to him that they would. Second, right in TFS, it states that Avast had "initial reports of this behavior a few weeks ago and met with iYogi's senior executives to ensure the behavior was being corrected", a quote taken directly from TFA. The CEO cancelled the contrac

    • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Friday March 16, 2012 @06:15PM (#39383877) Homepage

      Not at all. That was just the "mystery customer" call to confirm the shenanigans, after several users complained about it to Avast.

      After RTFA (*gasp*), my interpretation is that iYogi is pretty much attempting customer fraud, by running bogus diagnostics and selling expensive solutions the customer does not need - and dare I say, probably won't fix anything besides the fake alerts. Over here in Canada/U.S., that's a serious offense that can land you in jail. I don't know how India's criminal code relates, but even from a purely business perspective, iYogi is still defrauding its client, Avast, as they are spending their client's time and money to convince users to fall for a fake diagnostic scam. That's a very good reason to terminate the contract, and then sue the company.

      Now I guess the question becomes: how hard is it to sue an Indian company into the ground ?

      • by Arker (91948)
        Sure, but you will never prove intent. I am sure they arent silly enough to formally train their people to do this. There is no need. You take a moderately bright young person, put them in a job where they have to make sales to get paid, give them a stream of incoming calls from relatively clueless people (who can be extraordinarily difficult to deal with, and are often stereotypical ugly americans with ridiculous expectations and rude, demanding demeanor) and finally the ability to take remote control over
    • by sjames (1099)

      Based on one call that happened a few weeks after they had a talk about the issue and were assured that it wouldn't happen again. It DID happen again after fair warning.

  • An anti-virus company has ended a relationship with a vendor that will waste your money.

    Now if only software companies would fix their products we could then end our relationship with these anti-virus vendors that are wastes of money.

  • by Chrutil (732561) on Friday March 16, 2012 @05:28PM (#39383301)
    Or "It's like deja-vu, all over again. " as iYogi Berra would have said...
  • So here's the deal. iYogi is offering flat-rate subscription based technical support services. PC tech support al-carte. Nothing wrong with this business model in principal. The problem is that iYogi took advantage of a business partnership by acting as pushers off the backs of Avast's customer base. Not good. Not good at all.

    I'll keep an eye for further developments. It could be a one-off issue or it could get a lot more interesting.

  • Hand in glove (Score:3, Informative)

    by sstamps (39313) on Friday March 16, 2012 @05:47PM (#39383569) Homepage

    I uninstalled the Avast trial a couple months ago with extreme prejudice as the piece of shite CONSTANTLY interrupted everything I was doing every goddamned hour to tell me that the trial was going to expire in a couple WEEKS. It would minimize other apps (including games, full-screen videos, etc) so its little warning box could be seen. Yes, I turned off every notification option I could find in it, and it STILL harassed me, so into the refuse pile it went. Yet another idiot company I will never do business with ever again.

    So, it comes as no surprise to me that they would hire such an aggressive "support" company. The glove fits the hand.

    They both need to die in a fire and then rot in hell together.

    • Re:Hand in glove (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday March 16, 2012 @05:54PM (#39383653) Homepage

      MS Security Essentials is licensed for home use only. I would go with that if you own this PC. Otherwise, Trend Micro and VIPRE anti-virus are not bad alternatives either.

      Norton does a good job. But OMG is it bloated like a dead fat cow waiting to burst. McAfee is the binary reincarnate of Satan himself. Avoid at all cost unless you love watching servers being eaten and never booting up again.

      • Norton 2012 is the lightest AV out there according to PCMag. It is rewritten and no longer sucks.

        I however like Avast because you can put it in game mode and it wont interrupt you in MMOs not to mention registration is free and it wont nag you. I do not understand the fuss as it only does this once after 30 days

      • "Norton does a good job. But OMG is it bloated like a dead fat cow waiting to burst." As much as I hate defending Norton I would suggest you take the time to actually review the newer versions, 2012 is indeed lite as hell and even the older versions while being bloated were always on par with the best defense on the market. That said If you are on /. there is a good chance you have more then one computer which means it might be more beneficial for you to try something like Symantec Endpoint Protection for
      • by antdude (79039)

        Bloated? What version are you using? 2009 and higher weren't bloated.

        • Bloated? What version are you using? 2009 and higher weren't bloated.

          Whether or not it's bloated anymore, the damage is done.

          It's been bloatware for so long people just take it for granted myself included, and want nothing to do with it.

      • Or you could use Microsoft forefront for business computers it is essentially security essentials but gets updates faster. Norton and macrapy are the evil basturd spawn of the devil.

      • Re:Hand in glove (Score:4, Informative)

        by Orphaze (243436) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @03:29AM (#39387405) Homepage

        MS Security Essentials is licensed for home use only.

        That is wholly incorrect, and has been for some time now. From http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials [microsoft.com]: Microsoft Security Essentials is available for small businesses with up to 10 PCs.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      That's odd. I've been using Avast free version for a few years now and it rarely interrupts me. Maybe once a year it wants me to upgrade to paid version, which I may actually do. It has never minimized any other apps, and it does have a "gaming mode" option to prevent it from even having a popup if there are full screen apps.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Baloroth (2370816)

      Uhh, dude, Avast is free for non-commercial use. All you have to do is register it once a year, which takes about ~30 seconds. I've used it for ~2 years now. And you can set it so the box doesn't pop-up when you have a full-screen app running (don't recall how, I haven't touched the settings on it in over a year now).

      I've also found it to be the most lightweight unobtrusive AV out there. I tried Avira once: never again. Practically hosed my friend's system and ran like shit on my netbook (that one did pop-u

      • I've also found it to be the most lightweight unobtrusive AV out there.

        Until it starts shouting "VIRUS DATABASE HAS BEEN UPDATED!" at you randomly throughout the night at high volume. Yes, I know that can be turned off, but it shouldn't be on by default.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sstamps (39313)

        I am aware of what options there are with the program, thanks. You (and the others here) seem to be missing the point: the NAGGING is UNNECESSARILY intrusive and, no, you can't set it so the nag popup won't popup; it ignores that setting for that particular notification.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      AVG.

      I installed it last summer and other than the first scan to remove existing viruses, has not bothered me one bit.

      Also have NoScript on Firefox which I suspect has stopped a lot of adware from sneaking on-board.

    • err lemme check for you open the console click settings then silent/gaming mode check both boxes

      btw "trial"?? you do know that the FREE version just requires you to register it every year (for free)

      i think you may have not actually installed the REAL avast

      • btw "trial"?? you do know that the FREE version just requires you to register it every year (for free)

        They do offer a "trial" version of the paid-for version of Avast. I've never felt inclined to try it, but I suppose it *could* remind you that you're on a short-term trial and should really consider paying for it on a periodic basis.

        For personal use though, there's really no reason to go for the paid version of Avast. I'm considering buying it for one year, just to give them money, because I've been using their software for years. They're just plain better than any of the other free options.

      • by sstamps (39313)

        No, like I said elsewhere, it WAS the "FREE" version. It just considers itself Trialware until you purchase/register it.

    • I've never had that experience and I've installed it on several computers over the past few years. I installed the free version, not a trial.

    • If you don't like popups, don't use the "trial" version. Use the free version, which only sends a popup for update notifications, and can be disabled.
    • by towermac (752159)

      Ignorant disinformation. I don't know what you trialed from Avast, but the free version is the bomb.

      Once a year, you have to register. They want to know it's for a home, not a business PC; they want your email name and state even. I may have given them my phone number. When you do that, they will try to upsell you a fancy firewall spyware package. It's not a bad deal as granny internet packages go; but I don't feel the need for all that on my WoW and Chrome appliance. So I click the "No Thanks" button, and

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I was using Avira and it began to shit all over me. So I switched to Avast and haven't had a problem since. I stopped using Avast in the first place because they switched to a shit interface, which they have long since abandoned apparently. I switched away from Avira because it became super nagware.

    • I uninstalled the Avast trial a couple months ago with extreme prejudice

      No prejudice here, Avast just wouldn't work with me. I installed Avast recently and went to test it
      at http://vx.netlux.org/ [netlux.org] (Be aware this is a malware collection site).
      I was blocked from the entire site, so just uninstalled it. I like to test a malware checker
      but being blocked from doing so (and for good reason if I was my Mom) I couldn't really
      rate it (for myself).

      Went back to my fav which has around an 80% detection rate (5 downloads one got by)
      which is good.

      So I'm neutral on Avast but hear man

    • by Mabhatter (126906)

      I call BS. I have had the personal free version on my machines for years with none of that behavior.

  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Friday March 16, 2012 @06:23PM (#39383953)
    ...that outsourcing has benefited our corporations, and our economy. Joy.
  • ...they're going with iBoo-Boo!

  • I thought it was great when I was having problems with Avast a few months ago and found that there was 24/7 free telephone support for a product that I hadn't paid for. Guess the alarm bells should have been ringing sooner than they had.

    For reasons unknown to this day the background protection process reported itself to be disabled and refused to turn on. I thought there might be some advanced diagnostics that would explain why it was behaving like that without any UI feedback. Instead, I was asked when I h

    • by Arker (91948)

      Yeah, you definitely had unrealistic expectations. Try to remember which planet you are on ;)

      For reasons unknown to this day the background protection process reported itself to be disabled and refused to turn on. I thought there might be some advanced diagnostics that would explain why it was behaving like that without any UI feedback. Instead, I was asked when I had "last had my machine serviced" and how long my computer takes to boot.

      In context, this is perfectly reasonable. You have to remember these p

      • Uninstalling an antivirus package when some unknown problem is causing it to shut itself off seems like a Bad Idea if you can avoid it. It's been long enough to reassure me that it was a software malfunction as opposed to some aggressive self-defence strategy by some malware, but I'm sure there are attacks out there which would have left me locked out if I responded in the same way.

        Ultimately, the only practical advice I got was the most generic possible, which also happens to require the least effort from

        • by Arker (91948)

          Uninstalling an antivirus package when some unknown problem is causing it to shut itself off seems like a Bad Idea if you can avoid it.

          Unfortunately you cannot, because in the windows world the first step to troubleshooting a malfunction is to reboot, and the second is to re-install.

          If you are worried that uninstalling will amount to yielding the battle to the malware, forget about that. There is no battle. If malware shuts your AV down once, the battle is over, the malware won.

          It's been long enough to re

          • Those attacks have already succeeded by the time you notice the symptom, so in large part you are right, but it really doesnt matter.

            It matters whether I'm still feeding my credentials to a keylogger or not. It's just progressively less likely that I am the longer it goes without any holes appearing in my bank balance.

  • Firsthand account (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pranadevil2k (687232) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @05:06AM (#39387689)

    I dealt with these guys once, and I definitely understand what they mean by 'aggressive tactics.' I bought a new Linksys router several months back and was having trouble getting the wi-fi working, so I looked on Google for the Linksys support and the iYogi site was the first thing to pop up. Since I couldn't find a support number to call at Linksys's website I didn't really have any choice but to call the one number I could find.
    So I describe the problem to the guy and he has me download some java program to screen-share with me, then has me run through the various troubleshooting steps... So far no real problems. But when he couldn't find a solvable issue (ie: hardware problem) he asked me to open regedit and open a couple random keys, then told me my registry was corrupt but they could sell me their service which would fix my registry so the router would work.
    I'm decent enough at fixing computers myself to know that was a load of crap, but Average Joe Consumer would be pretty far in the dark. Not only was my registry fine, but the router was defective, so their service would have been completely worthless.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you knew what you were doing, why would you need to call in support in the first place for a fucking home router?!

      • by sjames (1099)

        He knew what he was doing with his PC (enough to know it wasn't the problem), not necessarily with the router he had no experience with.

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