It turns out McAfee isn’t the only anti-virus company that wants to charge you big bucks whenever you have a problem. A reader alerted us that this happened with Avast, the free anti-virus we have often recommended.
The reader wrote that his adult daughter bought a two-year support contract from Avast. They asked her to pay an extra $120 for an emergency remote cleaning service, which she did. Unfortunately, her laptop kept crashing and freezing anyway. She talked to three people in customer support but they said it was past the five-day support window, so forget it. We sent our reader’s note to our Avast contact and were told that our reader’s daughter would get a full refund. (Bob cautioned Joy about this story, because we can’t promise that the power of the press will work in all cases.) We still think the free Avast is fine, just don’t pay for support contracts or servicing. We have a long-standing rule that we never pay for an extended service contract.