AVG license auto renew

Posted at 12:36:24 PM in Vendors (35)

AVG is one of the better Anti-virus' out there, but recently, some fishy things have been happening. 

First we start seeing AVG search pages taking over our browser's search pages. I don't think that's AVG, but it's very fishy.

A new item just came to me in email today and after tracing the headers, it was a valid email from AVG.

Here's the email:

  AVG Technologies

AVG keeps you protected!

Your AVG Anti-Virus license will be automatically renewed for 24 months.

Dear Bob,

Your AVG Anti-Virus license expires on May 28th, 2013, but you don't need to do anything!

Because you activated AVG's Continuing Protection Service when purchasing your software, we'll automatically renew your license 15 days before expiration. We'll simply charge this renewal to the payment method you used for your original purchase and then email you a confirmation of this transaction. It doesn't get any easier than that!

Please note: If your payment card has changed or expired, or if you'd like to tweak your license settings (e.g., to protect more computers), please manually renew your license here.

Thank you for choosing AVG!

Best regards,
Your AVG Team

For more information about AVG's Continuing Protection Service, please see our Terms and Conditions or contact our Customer Support.

To cancel AVG's Continuing Protection Service, please

 

Some odd things about this email (at first I suspected it was spam). 1. It says I activated "AVG's Continuing Protection Service" which when I tried to log in, I could not verify this. In fact, I had no account at all that I could verify. I love how simple this next statement is: "We'll simply charge this renewal to the payment method you used for your original purchase..." Really, thanks soooo much for your helping me out. Btw, how much are you going to charge me??? (and how much am I saving?) Not really helpful is it?

The problem with auto renewal like this is that I can't tell if I'm being taken to the bank. Literally!!!

Then to top everything off, I noticed the last sentence... it just ends after "please" Well there is a little itty bitty underline or double dot or whatever it is, but it is a hyperlink. It just doesn't say what to do with it, but looking at the url, I could see it was to cancel the protection service. I was directed to a page where I could opt-out. I did so. The page said I would get an email indicating my selection, but the redirection page shows only this:

 

The AVG website is undergoing planned maintenance.

Our site is currently experiencing technical difficulties.

We are currently making improvements to our site. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and promise to be back up shortly. Rest assured that this website maintenance will not affect your AVG protection.

For those of you who've come to the site to download our software, you can still do so at ...


Thank you for your patience,

The AVG Team

 

 Here is a transcript of my conversation with Tech support at AVG. Most of my research took place after t his conversation. You'll notice I didn't discuss most of information I posted on this blog. I only contacted AVG to stop the automatic renewal.

  [Petra] Hello, my name is Petra, how may I help you?
[Bob] I got an email that you were going to auto renew my subscription, but I never set that up
[Petra] I understand your issue and i will certainly help you
[Petra] I am checking your details in our database please wait
[Bob] I can't get to my account to see if that is true, but everything in the headers says it's from you, so I
assume I should be able to get in and see
[Bob] the email came to axx@xxx.com, but that's not the username apparently
[Petra] Do you want to turn off the auto renewal ?
[Bob] I would like to be able to do that myself
[Bob] and find out how it got setup that way
[Bob] but, yes
[Bob] I do want to turn it off
[Petra] I have turned off the auto renewal option
[Bob] really? did u turn it on?
[Petra] No I turned OFF
[Bob] alright, but how do I get into my account to check the settings and ... update the credit card info?
[Bob] what username is on that account info
[Petra] Please wait
[Petra] Bob For the AVG Account information we don't know what you have given when you created first time
[Petra] Not to worry
[Bob] well, if that's the case, I didn't opt-in for auto renewal as you're email indicated.
[Bob] that's a problem
[Bob] and I'm worried.
[Petra] https://myaccount.avg.com/in-en/my-account-login Please use this link to create a new AVG Account
with this email address axx@xxx.com
[Bob] alright. I will. thanks
[Petra] Is there anything else you would like to know?
[Bob] I just set up an account, but it didn't ask for the license key
[Bob] will this email actually be associated with my license?
[Petra] Yes
[Bob] ok
[Petra] When you create a new account on AVG . It does not ask the license number
[Bob] yea. that doesn't help.
[Bob] ok. I think that's it
[Petra] Once you have created a new account on AVG . The account verification email will be send to your email address .
Please verify the email to complete the account creation
[Petra] Thanks for contacting AVG. Please do not hesitate to contact us again if we can be of further assistance.
[Bob] I already did that
[Bob] no confidence in that process
[Petra]
Thank you for contacting AVG Technical Support. You have a great day!
 

Alright, so I created the account and my license was there. I also could see where I could opt-in and opt-out for auto-renewal. The option is on the order history page. However, I didn't see anywhere where they kept my credit card info (meaning that I couldn't update my credit card info or see what credit card they were going to charge on the auto-renewal).

Moral of the story... read your emails, follow up, investigate and fix the problems. This was suspicious email. It smacked of spam, but I looked at the email headers and could see that the email actually came from AVG. I also looked at the source to ensure that the hyperlinks actually went to avg.com and NOT some alteration like buyavg.com. But I didn't follow (click) the links, I went to the AVG web site and found at the very bottom, in very little print, a link to login to "myaccount". Then when my email didn't work as the username, I tried the forgot password screen and that's when I found out that I didn't have an account at all. Then I looked for a support portal and prayed that the person in chat could really help and wasn't one of those farmed out chat persons that read a script and then pass along an email and are no help at all. Petra did help. When I logged in, I could see that the account was opted-out of auto-renew, but the process was scary and the fact that auto-renew was ever enabled was even more scary. 

Written by Leonard Rogers on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 | Comments (0)