McAfee promises to reimburse consumers for bad update

Vendor says it will pay reasonable expenses for PC repairs; no word on compensation for business customers

McAfee will reimburse its consumer customers for "reasonable expenses" they have incurred dealing with last week's faulty antivirus update, the company said.

In a message on its Web site aimed at consumers, McAfee promised to pay for repairs. "If you have already incurred costs to repair your PC as a result of this issue, we're committed to reimbursing reasonable expenses," the company said. "Steps to process your reimbursement request will be posted in the next few days."

There is no similar message on the flawed update help pages dedicated to businesses.

Since last Wednesday, when a McAfee antivirus signature update wrongly identified a critical Windows system file as a low-threat virus, the company has stressed that few consumers were affected. Most of the PCs crippled by the flawed update, McAfee has said, were in corporations.

Some businesses reported that thousands of systems refused to boot properly, had lost their network connections, or both. According to comments added to a blog post by CEO David DeWalt , many were still trying to resuscitate PCs three days into the incident.

"We are now going on day three of fixing YOUR issue," wrote someone identified only as Amanda in a comment Friday. "Four people working much overtime, sending out disks to our satellite employees, and just plain dealing with junk that we shouldn't have to. I am personally three days behind on my work, and every time I get an angry phone call, I want to patch it through to your office."

Although McAfee apologized to customers last week -- which DeWalt repeated Friday in letter to customers -- it has revealed few details about how the defective update slipped through testing.

McAfee wouldn't be the first antivirus vendor to pay for its mistakes.

In 2005, Trend Micro spent more than $8 million compensating customers, most of them in Japan, for a similar update fiasco. In 2007, Symantec gave free backup software and extended Norton AntiVirus licenses by 12 months to compensate Chinese users when a buggy updated knocked out their computers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags spywaremcafee

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?