I recently received what appeared to be a reminder from McAfee to renew my subscription to their antivirus software. On the surface this seems like a useful reminder service for an existing customer who wants to maintain continuous security coverage for my PC, but all is not what it seems.
A curious omission from the McAfee email was any mention of when my subscription expires. After some digging for an old password, I was able to log in to my McAfee account to discover that my subscription will last another 20 months! Why would I want to extend my subscription for another year or two now? There’s half a chance that my PC won’t even be working by then.
Another annoyance is that McAfee renewed an old subscription on a PC that I had scrapped. I thought I had been careful to check the “never automatically renew” box, but either I missed it or this box got reset somehow. Fortunately, renewal attempts by McAfee don’t work if I have an updated credit card with a new expiry date and 3-digit code, but this time they managed to renew me on a junked PC before my credit card had expired.
Getting my money back took some effort. After calling the 800-number and waiting for quite a while, the first person on the phone tried to put me off by saying they couldn’t refund my money. After I got a manager on the phone, he promised to return my money, but only after he found out that I have another McAfee subscription on my current PC. I’m not sure how cooperative he would have been if I was leaving McAfee altogether.
It bothers me that it takes such diligence to keep from overpaying. McAfee is entitled to run their business as they please, but this has left a bad taste in my mouth and makes me wonder about trying their competition.