Tuesday, June 14, 2016

When Good Companies Stop Listening

AVG was a great anti-malware utility that I recommended to others for years. They're not out of business, yet, but that may only be a quirk of timing. I was not only a user of their freeware product, I went the extra mile and paid for a two year subscription. I installed it on all of my home systems and all of my family tablets.

And then ...

The first sign that malware has infected your system is the appearance of popup windws, usually telling you to install "protection" which is itself, more infection. So ... to be clear, ... the appearance of popup windows pitching products for you to install is generally the sign that your system is infected with malware - which you fix by installing products like AVG.

And then ...

One day, a few months ago I noticed a popup window from ... wait for it ... AVG. It was a simple advertisement for a performance tool. You know, the classic, "Install this new product and AVG will boost the performance of your PC." I politely clicked, No Thanks, and forgot about it. Until the next time.

After a week of AVG popups, I went into their Options Menu and unchecked the box that allows Notifications. All Notifications.

I basically configured AVG such that if my system were infected with a nuclear bomb, I didn't want to know.

And then ...

I received a popup advertising for more protection. I ALREADY PAY FOR THEIR TWO YEAR PLAN!!!

Obviously, I missed something in the options menu. So I did the what us NOOBS do (I've only been using PCs daily since 1978 /snark), I consulted the AVG support site. To their credit, AVG let the complaints about the popups remain available for viewing. And there were a lot.

Here's the bottom line - AVG distinguishes between "Notifications" and ... wait for it ... "Campaigns". It seems they have instituted a campaign to sell additional products and they don't much care if you are a paid subscriber or not.

But wait ... there's more.

THE REASON I installed AVG was to guard against malware; you know, those nefarious code farts that interrupt your attention with popup windows advertising SOLUTIONS YOU DON'T NEED!!!!!

What's the difference AVG? What is the difference between malware that interrupts my work with popup windows, and your program that pops up windows that interrupt my work?

I canceled my subscription, have purchased a competing / leading product, and am happily not seeing popups. At this point, even if AVG fixed their product, I would not go back.

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