I’d better take a deep breath. And before I go into my experience, suffice it to say that I did fill out a feedback form on the company web site, so I am at least trying to do due diligence in giving them an opportunity to improve. But some of these opportunities for improvement seem so obvious, I can’t believe I have to write about them.

Yesterday, I went to renew my McAfee product. I’m going to bullet this to try to keep myself brief:

  • Initial renewal screen offers me new products, but no comparison to my existing product
  • “Comparison” chart is two links deep, and only offered in a small link that you have to search for on the right side of the screen called “Product Comparison”
  • “Product Comparison” screen provides me zero detail, or even a link to detail, about the individual components of the products (what is “Improves PC Health” exactly? and what is “Site Advisor Plus” and why does it not even show that some of the products come with “Site Advisor” and what’s the difference between the two?)
  • I had to call sales to get a description of the detail
  • Finally, I decided on my product, and conveniently in my shopping cart for me was a $12.95 recovery CD, even though I’m pretty sure I could always download the product if I needed it.
  • Made my purchase, and then viewed my products available for downloading (see pic below).


  • Clicked the “Download/Install” button and the installation process would begin.
  • Installation would be about 95% complete when I would receive a cryptic “Download error: 12002”
  • Spent 40 minutes in two separate online chat conversations with tech support, and at least an extra hour on my own fiddling with stuff trying to get it to install
  • Finally found out from tech support that since my new product subscription doesn’t start until 5/2/2008, that the installation won’t work until then…well why even have a download button!? Why even get me 95% through the installation and then provide a message that amounts to “something’s broken”!? How about a message that says, “This won’t work until your start date.”

And how about actually talking to someone, rather than on online chat. Which reminds me of an interesting thing I learned from Fast Company’s Bill Taylor a couple weeks ago at the Advance conference (put on by Maximum Impact). There’s a web site with “codes” for many companies to get past the phone menus and talk to a real live person! Wow! The site is www.gethuman.com.