Symantec Support says WinPatrol is a Virus
Over the years I’ve had the pleasure to meet many other professionals who spend their time helping consumers protect their computers. Most of the time, my new friends work for companies which might be considered competitors. In consumer security there isn’t the same competition as other industry's. There’s mostly cooperation and friendship with others who came into the profession because of a sincere interest in helping.
Some of the bigger companies don’t have the same philosophy and have been known to pick on the little guys like me. In October 2006, WinPatrol users were letting me know that Symantec was telling them they had to remove WinPatrol to install Norton Internet Security. It turns out if you read the screen, it was only a recommendation but it was confusing and rude. I wasn’t the only victim, they recommended folks remove SpyBot Search & Destroy and others.
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This week I was surprised to hear that a Symantec support rep actually told a customer that WinPatrol was a virus and during a remote assistance phone call they deleted WinPatrol from their system.
It appears WinPatrol had detected and removed a questionable file for the user and logged the action in our history file. Apparently, the mere mention of the filename in our history text file was enough for the Symantec rep to wipe out anything associated with WinPatrol. This wasn’t a false-positive caused by a new signature file. It was quick attempt by a support rep to dip into the pocket of an uneducated customer.
For their assistance Symantec charges its victim $99. Apparently Symantec is having tough economic times. They’ve even dishonored themselves by partnering with Ask.com to generate additional revenue at the expense of their customers.
Needless to say, this is unacceptable. The customer deserves a refund and an apology. I welcome appropriate action by anyone at Symantec interested in doing the right thing.
Security Garden: Symantec What are you doing?
PC Mag: Symantec Support Gone Rogue