Connoisseurs of Businesswank may appreciate this.
We’re running Symantec Client Security on the network here. It’s pretty good. The server checks for new virus information every couple of hours and pushes out any new information to the rest of the computers. All virus warnings are dealt with in the background, which is very convenient. I can also configure firewall rules on the server and push them out to the network, which comes in handy. In short, I quite like it. I bought it via mail-order from a standard internet store a year ago, and yesterday the maintainence agreement expired. Fair enough, I thought, I’ll just pay the fee and continue.
For Symantec, in its terribly advanced businesswank wisdom, has decreed that maintainence agreements for ‘enterprise products’ such as Client Security may not be purchased directly from them, but must be done through a reseller. The problem is that all reseller websites couldn’t care less about continuing existing agreements – they want to sell you new products. Even more bizarrely, it’s possible to download a 30-day trial of Client Security from the Symantec website, but you can’t actually buy it when the 30 days are up!
Then, though, I got a phone call from a reseller in Kent somewhere (I think). They said that my agreement was about to expire, and would I mind if they emailed me a quote through. No problem at all, I said. It came to £150 for another year, which seemed perfectly reasonable to me. So I bought it.
This morning, this turned up:
When I saw this letter, obviously from Symantec themselves, I thought to myself ‘This is going to be cheaper, isn’t it’. I thought I may have made a large mistake. My fears were, however, groundless. For this is businesswank of the highest order.
The above letter on the left says, in the second paragraph:
To ensure uninterrupted protection from your investment, please contact your preferred reseller to renew your Symantec Maintainance Agreement immediately…
Yep, this entire letter has been posted to me to say ‘talk to someone else’. There’s an order form on the back to fax to this other reseller, and to be fair it does say ‘if you do not have a reseller [fax it to us]’. Presumably they’ll then put a reseller in touch with me. This from a computer firm who are aware of the concept of email. That’s not all, though. I also received the leaflet on the right – a handy guide to the advantages of upgrading to Symantec Client Security.
Trees died for this.