I use Bitdefender antivirus and have recommended it to others. It is a great great product tainted by one event: their annual subscription renewal process. Every year, at the moment of spending more money with them, I get to re-experience this hinky process.
By default, annual auto-renewal is enabled. About a week before the renewal date, I received a courtesy notification email. My subscription will be renewed automatically. At the full retail price (image above).
I went to their website. The same 1-year 3-PC renewal was available, as expected, for almost 50% less full retail.
I went to disable auto-renewal, as I did last year. I was immediately offered a “one-time offer” of 50% off; If I remained on auto-renewal. Ah, I must have chosen this option last year. I opted out this time.
They clearly wanted me to stay on their auto-renewal system. The one that will charge me full retail the next time I forget to update manually.
A few days after opting out of their auto-renewal system. I received a warning email reminding me to renew, at the full retail price.
Every year at this time, I feel like I just missed being ripped off. One year, I was.
What they are operating is, in effect, a maintenance/service plan that is (a) not called as a maintenance/service plan, and (b) not sold as a maintenance/service plan. The “plan” simply came with the purchase of their product.
Auto-renewal should not penalise the customer, and if anything, should reward the customer for ongoing loyalty. This method of selling just ends up giving me a bad taste in my mouth every year. It really taints an otherwise great product.
Perhaps what they earn from this practice justifies the deliberately poor customer experience.