Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Norton Antivirus Upgrade Path

Today's Dilbert just about sums up my user experience with Norton Antivirus. I take it Scott Adams is a Norton user as well.

Flash back to the heady days of 2005:

Again, after some severe procrastination, I decided to update my virus definitions. Norton's site wanted to charge as much for a year's worth of virus updates as it did for the new version. Guess which choice I took? That's right. The new version. Great. After about 24 hours of frustration, pain and agony, resulting in some bizarre steps that could have been construed as ritualistic, I finally got the upgrade on, but not without seriously ripping apart the program to the point where it was no longer operational. A distant memory, now, but it was a horrible user experience. Software installation shouldn't be painful.

Fast forward to last weekend:

After much procrastination, I decide to purchase another year of virus definitions. Click the purchase button, expecting it to helpfully take me to a website where I can purchase the update, but instead I get a nasty dialog demanding that I give it a code. So, figuring I cannot go on without the code, I go digging. I find 3 candidate numbers and dutifully punch them into the little white box. None work. What the hell? All I want to do is get another year of definitions. Why won't it let me continue with the purchase? So, I click on a button it recommends if I don't have the code. It lists about 2 dozen different phone numbers, depending on which part of the world you live on. I ask my wife to grab a phone for me, and proceed to dial, only to find out their number has changed! Gah! It took me a while to notice the hyperlink. Well, well. That link takes you to the purchase site.

I could have saved half an hour and some pain and agony if the program had directed me to the purchase site first, then asked for the code.

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