I have been a loyal Norton (now SYMANTEC) customer for about 20 years. They originally started out supporting Apple products, but slowly moved into the PC market where the bulk of the opportunities were for making money. Still I persisted by protecting my Mac with Norton Antivirus, Norton Personal Firewall, and Norton Utilities. A couple of years ago Norton stopped supporting Norton Utilities for the Mac, so I switched to DiskWarrior for that feature. 

Once a week my Norton Live Update automatically goes out and checks for updates to my Norton products. This past spring, Live Update reported that my subscription to Norton AntiVirus was expiring and I could renew it. I clicked on the link, where I was encouraged to upgrade to Norton Internet Security. I gave them my credit card number and downloaded the product. It wouldn't install correctly and caused lots of problems, so I contacted their tech support.  Their response was, "Norton Internet Security is not compatible with your Mac."  Well, hello! Why did Live Update take me to a link that recommended I upgrade to it?

I did the uninstall, but evidently it left behind troublesome files that were interfering with my Norton Personal Firewall. A few more emails to tech support and they had me download a utility that would remove all Norton products from my computer. I did that. Then I reinstalled Norton Personal Firewall and it worked fine.  However the utility also deleted my Norton AntiVirus program. My original was on my Norton Systems Disk which they told me not to use because it is incompatible.  So how could I get back Norton AntiVirus? 

Four e-mails and a phone call with their Tech support were no help. They told me to contact customer service at the Symantec Store. That was like contacting FEMA or the IRS. None of the "canned" responses I got had anything to do with my problem. First I was told that I could re-download my antivirus subscription, which I'd renewed a few weeks earlier. Idiots. You don't "download" a subscription. That just allows me to keep getting the latest virus definitions for another year. Their next email said they would refund my $15 for the subscription, but this had nothing to do with getting the software back on my computer. The third email informed me that it had been 60 days since my original download of Norton Antivirus, so I could not red-download it.  However I could purchase the extended download service.

Their fourth email contradicted their first email by telling me I didn't qualify for a refund on my antivirus subscription. Never mind the fact that I never asked for a refund in the first place. Evidently what you ask for is irrelevant in Symantec's world. It took them two pages to tell me all of the exceptions and rules for the subscription rebate that I'd never requested or even mentioned.

My last email to them was not nice. I told them they were bureaucratic idiots who have lost touch with their customers, and that I was switching to Intego's VirusBarrier X4 program – which got better reviews and a higher rating by Macworld.

Symantec may sell antivirus software, but somewhere a virus has infiltrated their corporate culture. The Idiot Worm Virus has taken over their customer service and their technical support. Their programmers may be putting out good products, but don't expect any help from the rest of their organization. They only produce canned responses to problems you don't have.