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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Symantec keeping quiet at customer complaints

Last week, Symantec officially announced its latest utilities suite, Norton 360. This product purports to be the latest, greatest, and most optimised Norton product ever released. Clearly, Symantec hopes that its upgraded line of utilities will bring in new customers who are looking for that sweet spot between protection and performance.

So it doesn't bode well when Symantec is apparently refusing to respond to customer complaints. The built-in defensive agent, Norton Internet Protection, constantly pops up a warning that PIFTS.EXE is trying to access the Internet. However, users are unable to find this file in the folder that NIP refers to.

It turns out that PIFTS.EXE is a file in Symantec's Live Update. So it looks like this component in a Symantec product is prompting another Symantec product to issue an alert to the user. That's not a good sign of how things are working.

The worst part, apparently, is that Symantec is remaining quiet about this. This is to the point where support messages are seemingly deleted! I won't go into possible "conspiracy theories" behind this move. But if this goes on for too long and if enough people notice, then this might become a major PR disaster for Symantec, especially so soon after its much-heralded utilities announcement.

Assuming that the problems reported are correct, then Symantec needs to take action to remedy the problem AND inform its customers appropriately and in a timely manner. Ignoring its customers would go against what the company is trying to do in employing so-called "crowd sourcing" to improve its products.

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