Sunday, June 8, 2008

On Norton (Symantec) support

Most of you might not need disk imaging programs but the experience with Symantec’s support described below IMHO has relevance for all users of ANY of the Norton labeled products.

Here is a snippet from a web page on Tech Support Alert. The context is a comparison between disk imaging programs Norton Ghost from Symantec Corp. and True Image from Acronis. The comparison was for older versions but that is not the point here. The author reported serious technical issues that, if left unresolved, would have rendered the software packages useless and outright dangerous. Here now the quote:

However this problem proved to be a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to test out the support provided by Symantec and Acronis.

Symantec support for Ghost was abysmal; an odyssey of condescending replies, canned responses and the apparent inability of the Indian support staff to understand the English language. Eventually, I wrote a personal letter to the Chairman & CEO of Symantec, John W. Thompson, asking for his help and assistance.

My plea worked and I was put in contact with an “Executive Support” group. They seemed much more anxious to help and started off well by sending me the latest version of Ghost 10.

I was optimistic that with the receipt of this new version the problems I had been experiencing with corrupted Ghost image backups would disappear. Sadly, that was not to be. Even with the latest V10 release I had more invalid backup’s, completely baffling the “Executive Support” group.

After a number of emails back and forth, they adamantly pronounce that not one but BOTH of my U320 SCSI hard drives were broken and needed to be immediately replaced! After expressing my incredulity with this diagnosis, they decided to try blaming the problem on my CPU processor. Anything it seemed other than their product. Their last email to me was pure pathos:

“Do not bother responding to this email as there is nothing else I can help you with and it will not be responded to.”

So much for Symantec "executive" level support. I was clearly on my own.

The experience with Acronis’ support was much better.

The above quote is very similar to my own experience with Symantec’s support from about 2002-2003. That was when I dropped Norton products completely.

Can you imagine what could ensue if an inexperienced, normal home computer user needs to call Symantec’s technical support?

Feel free to post any comments you might want to make.

Thank you.

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