I’ve been using Norton security products since the time of the flood. It works, I have protection for the kids devices as well as mine. Every year close to the end of my subscription I get an email that goes like this.

Hi! Your Norton Premium Security subscription is about to expire! Please authorize this payment of $109. Oh, and your credit card on record isn’t valid anymore. We would have just charged you for the full amount but the number isn’t working.

Have you met our Personal Savior Lifelockā„¢? Have you? HAVE YOU MET LIFELOCK? LIFELOCK! LIIIFFEELOOCCCKK!!!! PRAISE TO THE LIFELOCK!!!!

I may be paraphrasing it and/or exaggerating just a little. Not that much.

Last year I called them on the phone and got a very professional person and here’s how the conversation went.

Me: Why would I pay over $100 for that when for $50 I can get the same thing from Costco?

Norton Rep: It’s not the same thing and you do want to renew, right?

Narrator’s Voice: It was the same code, same product and same protection. From the same company.

I ended up getting a discount that matched Costco’s price. It’s been another year and my subscription is due again.

This week I had a repeat of that but instead of a phone call it was an online support chat. That’s cool, I prefer that as there’s not really a he said/she said possibility. We both kept a copy of the chat log.

Amazon had a deal for the same package except for 15 months of coverage and only for $35. With tax it came out to $38.01.

After some back and forth, the polite person inform me that if I did buy that, come back to the chat and reference the still open case. They could add that 15 months once I gave them the code and that’s exactly what I did. I’m good till April 2020.

Here’s where it gets weird. After I validated that my coverage for updates, A/V signatures, etc. was good I received an email from Norton complaining that my credit card info wasn’t good (the card was long cancelled) and that I risked not getting coverage. I went online and disabled automatic renewals.

I’m still protected but only until April, 2020. I can deal with that.

This is how Companies Lose Their Customer’s Trust

In the past I would have cheerfully left on automatic renewals. I think that Software as a Service (SaaS) is a good, sustainable business model. I just don’t like it when companies try to take advantage of me. I no longer trust Norton or their business practices.

Two years in a row I have had to contact Norton just to get the price that they should have offered me in the first place for renewal. They opted to try and get me to renew for $109 automatically. I saved $71 and got another 3 months of coverage thrown in by purchasing the same product from Amazon.

I feel like Norton would rather slip in that expensive renewal than give their customer a discount that I can get just by purchasing the exact same product from their retail channel.

Renewals are a big Part of a SaaS Business

It’s not just the initial sale that gets companies revenue. The renewals are just as important as the initial sale.

I use Cisco Umbrella (I am employed by them) as my main protection on the Internet. It’s the enterprise version of the free OpenDNS and it’s good. For protection I recommend everyone sign up at OpenDNS, install the IP Updater so your settings keep for your household and go. It’s amazingly effective.

I use Norton as a supplement to that protection. I use it out of habit in case there’s something that Umbrella missed. Umbrella has missed a thing, I review my Umbrella logs and Norton logs as well. The Bad Stuff is caught by Umbrella and that means my local copy of Norton never has to deal with it. Life is good.

Norton’s renewal process and pricing is making me re-consider that relationship. I won’t have to deal with this till 2020 but my memories are long and this process was tiresome last year.

If there’s something comparable that crosses platforms I use then I don’t see why I would consider renewing Norton any longer.