Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Monday, May 11, 2009

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.

Click here for previous article.

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.

Norton says that WinPatrol is a virus

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 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



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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had some problems with Bitdefender Internet Security 2009 and was told by them to uninstall WinPatrol as a solution.

The problem had stemmed from a BD update and was not from WinPatrol at all.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Andrew Badera said...

Hey Bill,

That's crazy, and crazy rude!

Good luck fighting the good fight!

3:16 PM  
Blogger MysteryFCM said...

This truly is beyond belief, and completely unacceptable behaviour for an alledged security company.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Sandy Brown, Big Pine Key, FL said...

After being a confirmed Norton Utilities user since the 80's, I gave up on Symantec over five years ago after their bloated software brought my computer to its knees, with frequent, otherwise unexplained, crashes. Their customer support even then was a joke, being worse than none, if that's even possible!

I switched to ZoneAlarm and AVG and WinPatrol and haven't looked back!

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill i've used WinPatrol
as long as i remember & first thing i load on new
machine had a few since 95
keep-up the good work had Norton but long gone years ago but never though of getting rid of WinPatrol!
also Steve Bass gave you a great write-up in his last
Weekly Newsletter

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Basil said...

Symantec must be now employing utter morons.

Keep up the good work Bill
Basil (aka gr277)

12:43 PM  
Anonymous AndyAtHull said...

This is unacceptable by Symantec. Even if it was humen error on the support individual, it reflects on Symantec. With their recent partnership, will matters improve? Doubtful.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was a Norton Utilities fan when it was a DOS application. Once Symantec bought it, they killed it. Every time I've tried to return to Symantec, I've been VERY sorry. My most recent stupidity was Norton Internet Security Suite. I got it, free, after a rebate. You get what you pay for! I had to re-install the OS after installing. I absolutely HATE Symantec products. I would rather risk no firewall or antivirus then to install ANY Symantec products. Shame on Symantec!!!

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

win patrol is GFREAT---it has saved me several times---would not be with out it and know what pro patrol is even better

KEEP it download and be HAPPY--

a virus really give me a break NO WAY 111

keep up the great job you do BILL
nanabert from Illinois

7:27 PM  
Blogger Artellos said...

Wow.. I never expectec companies to go this low.
As said before me, this is truly outrageous!


1:05 AM  
Anonymous Sparsha said...

Symantec has gone way too crazy.

They are afraid of Scotty! :-)

7:24 AM  
Blogger Cort said...

This may not be the way you want to go, but although I am not a lawyer, their comment about winpatrol being a virus strikes me as both libelous and defamatory. It strikes me that even if you didn't want to sue them, it does give you leverage to tell them to cease the practice.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Paul W -from Scotia said...

I put Norton 360 on my desktop PC (running XP). Shortly thereafter, I noticed that Windows Explorer began always CRASHING whenever I tried to some some complex task like MOVE a file...or RENAME a file. Y'know, really complex stuff (haha). I was on the phone with Dell for a couple of hours trying to figure out what happened to Explorer, and Dell could not figure it out at all. They finally said I may need to wipe my C: drive, re-install the operating system, and go from there. Then I told the tech, y'know, the first time I had this happen was shorly after installing NORTON 360. So we uninstalled the NORTON program...WOW!!! WINDOWS WA FIXED!!! Then we re-installed Nortin 360... EXPLORER FROZE AGAIN!!
I tried to get my money back fro Norton. NO DEAL. (You know who will NEVER AGAIN ever buy a NORTON product!

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Rebeca said...

I have used in my dell laptop for 6 months that time i noticed my system is running slow. Now i am using Avast anti virus now i think avast is better than Norton.

3:33 AM  

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