The attorney general for the state of New York has won a settlement from both Symantec and McAfee associated from their policies on automatic renewals. It seems that the anti virus companies were charging users for renewing subscriptions without the direct knowledge of the consumers. Each of the companies will pay $375,000 in penalties and costs associated with the settlement.
According to the press release by the Office Of The Attorney General for the state of New York it also states:
“Companies cannot play hide the ball when it comes to the fees consumers are being charged. Consumers have a right to know what they are paying, especially when they are unwittingly agreeing to renewal fees that will not appear on their credit card bill for months. Symantec and McAfee – two of the nation’s largest vendors of computer security software – will now have to be clear and up-front with their customers when it comes to renewal fees. In other words, no more hide the ball with renewal fees.”
The Attorney General’s office received complaints from customers who had bought Symantec and McAfee software over the internet and whose credit cards were later charged for “renewal subscriptions” without their knowledge or consent. In addition, the investigation also revealed that both Symantec and McAfee made it difficult for consumers to contact the companies to opt out of automatic renewal or to request refunds for unauthorized credit card charges.
Under the terms of the Attorney General’s settlement, Symantec and McAfee will clearly disclose to consumers any automatic renewal program and provide an easy, transparent, and automated means to opt out of renewal. The companies will provide electronic notification to consumers before and after renewal of the subscription and will provide refunds to consumers who request them within 60 days of being charged. The companies will clearly disclose the length of time that they will continue to support and provide updates to any purchased software. Symantec and McAfee will also pay a combined $750,000 to the Attorney General’s office to settle all claims.
It makes one wonder why other states have not followed the example of New York in also filing charges against the companies. Have you been the victim of being charged for a renewal subscription behind your back? Let us know.