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Kaspersky double dealing!




I've been a user of Kaspersky since 2012. I like it that it isn't interfering much and seems to be doing a good job - although I probably don't really know. I've got a license for three computers. My home computer and two laptops. Not sure how it happened, but somehow Kaspersky got me on an automatic renewal this year, and who knows, maybe there was a little box that was ticked by default when I renewed the last time and that I didn't untick, but I sure as cookies never consented to the auto-renewal.

So this is what happened. And I'm wondering how many other people this has happened to as well. I got my first renewal notice at end of June for subscription expiry at end of July. I'm quite a conscientious payer, like I hate procrastinating on anything, so when I checked the renewal notice I couldn't find a link to make my payment. So I then navigated to the Kaspersky Website for where to pay. It then asked me for my subscription number and subscription e-mail address and I was then able to renew it for a special renewal rate of 30 US$ for two years. I was quite happy with that as the previous renewal rate had been 45 US$ for one year.

Not in my wildest imagination did I think that Kaspersky didn't know I had renewed by subscription. How could it not. There is only one subscription number and one e-mail address. Surely it would have been flagged as being paid.

But this is what happened. Yesterday I received a notification from my bank that 60 US$ had been approved for Kaspersky. In spite of having renewed my subscription it still went ahead with the auto-renewal.

I was livid of course. And then discovered that Kaspersky has two "partners". One is digitalriver.com who were doing the initial subscriptions. Then there is also Avangate.com. The support and renewal links of Kasperksy Website are resolving to the other partner avangate.com. There doesn't seem to be a tie up between the two. Digital river with its auto-renewal was able to use the same subscription number and e-mail address without being stopped that it has already been renewed.

Then when after a detailed complaint to Digital River Digital River is now referring to it as I had made two subscriptions!!!! Digital River sees itself as different from Kaspersky and different from Avangate and the other way round. In the meanwhile the user gets duped as in essence Kaspersky allowed my subscription with a unique number and unique e-mail address to be double dealt and paid twice.

Not only did I pay twice, but the subscription was 15 US $ more than a year before for one year, whereas the renewal I got at end of June was only for 30 US $ for two years. So they have two partners dealing in the name of Kaspersky, one charging 60 US$ for a renewal of one year and the other 30 US$ for renewal of two years!

Hopefully others who have Kaspersky will be careful with their subscriptions. Check whether you're on auto-renewal and make sure if you are to remove it, otherwise even if you're not subscribing you will be hit with a charge that you never expected to happen.



13 blog comments below

At least you keep your eyes on your accounts unlike others that probably just got 'dinged' as well. I would contact Kaspersky immediately. Surely they will straighten out this mess for a valued customer.
standready on Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:12 pm
Thanks Stand. I've just had a first round and the response was along the lines I made two subscriptions. It's going to take more than one round to sort this out.
deanhills on Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:24 pm
Wow! If Kaspersky wishes to be considered a candidate for providing services in the future, they had better do a good job of clearing up this snafu. In many cases, special offers like the two years for $30 are introductory offers, for new customers only. Apparently in this case, it was for renewals as well. The fact that they accepted your existing subscription n umber seems to confirm that. Did you get anything like 'your subscription is now paid through ...' that would determine the period of time covered by the new payment?

At this point, what you surely want is for them to cancel the auto-renewal and honor the two year renewal you did manually. If they don't give you some kind of satisfaction you can dispute the charge and they're stuck with it. I would prefer not to do that to a company; actually it could reflect badly on both you and the company as there is uncertainty who is at fault. From their point of view, they would probably prefer that both payments be honored and your subscription extended for three years.

You can argue that the subscription was already renewed, therefore wasn't due and shouldn't be autorenewed. If they accept that, you can make sure autorenewal is disabled for the future and accept that they have corrected the mistake. I think it is important that you deal specifically with Kaspersky. If you need to deal with one of the other companies do so, but pass on the information to Kaspersky. If they won't come up with a solution you're willing to accept, then I think it's best to warn Kaspersky that you will dispute the charge, then file the dispute against their partner, possibly after giving them a last chance to cancel the charge on their own.
SonLight on Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:50 pm
Thanks SonLight. What you suggest is the absolute right path to follow. Right at the beginning just after I received the pay alert on my phone, I found a phone number in the UAE. I got through to tech support who obviously has nothing to do with sales support, but he was really nice and I could sense he understood exactly what had happened without me even needing to explain this to him. He suggested that I try and get my money back from the automatic renewal payment that had been taken by digitalriver.com. He also provided a link and guidelines to cancel the auto-renewal. It was a detailed e-mail with detailed instructions that he sent instantly which to me suggested that there must be plenty of customers in my category who have been complaining to Kaspersky about the same thing.

I immediately used the e-mail to cancel the automatic renewal however of course that only applied for the 2017 renewal, the 2016 renewal was still there. It's set to manual now. But trying to get a reimbursement from Digitalriver didn't go as smoothly as they tried to make it that I'd subscribed with someone else instead. Whereas that wasn't true. I'd renewed the subscription from the links provided by Kaspersky on its renewal page on the Kaspersky Website. And I could only renew it with a bona fide subscription number and subscription e-mail address. If anyone is to blame, it is Kaspersky for being so messy in its partner dealings.

Anyway, this morning found an e-mail FINALLY from Digitalriver asking me to use a link to cancel the subscription. Could mean that I now have to load the Kaspersky anti-virus from scratch as it is cancelling the whole product. Cancellation will come into effect in a few days time. I'll check whether I can use my new license activation code provided from the June renewal in the meanwhile. So hopefully that will secure the Kaspersky I already have.
deanhills on Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:22 am
Wow Dean what a mes. Sounds like DigitalRiver sent you up the river.Sounds like Kaspersky is fully aware of this problem and I hope that Kaspersky will help their valued customers before someone decides on a class action lawsuit.
standready on Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:13 pm
Thanks Stand. Think I figured the problem out finally. Sort of makes sense. At the time when I signed up in 2012 there weren't regional settings. Like places like Google, Kaspersky, all your big corporations these days have different regional settings for IPs. So when I went into Kaspersky in June 2016 to renew my subscription it defaulted to the Kaspersky Middle East Region with a different "partner" who deals with the subscriptions and renewals for the Middle East only. In 2012 I was dealing with the US partner. It's of course still Kaspersky's fault, as it should have picked up on me renewing the subscription as the subscription has a unique number and unique subscription e-mail address, but this is in essence what happened. The explanation didn't come from Kaspersky though. I figured it out myself. This morning I did receive an e-mail from Kaspersky that offered to cancel the 2012 subscription for 2016 as a precursor to a refund. I had to click on something to start the process this morning so am crossing fingers that it will happen.

In the meanwhile I went into my desktop at home and one of my laptops to delete the old Kaspersky activation code and replace it with the Middle East one, to find that it won't take the new activation code - wouldn't even allow me to type in the boxes. I had to basically completely delete the Kaspersky installations in both devices and reload the last version of Kaspersky from the Middle East region, before it would accept the reactivation code for the Middle East subscription. I had no issues with my Toshiba laptop, that went like a charm. But did have some issues with my home computer and it took much longer to install. Which is strange as both have Windows 7 Professional. The first problem on my home desktop was during the uninstall my internet service went under. Also when I installed it. Then next Firefox all of a sudden blocked Google - my default home page. Then when I Googled it in Maxthon, it was suggested to go into Mozilla Firefox Advanced setting and delete all the cache in the Mini Network tab. It had to do with Firefox misreading the Google certificate. That thankfully helped. Next issue Firefox came up with an add on for Kaspersky to check my Internet Security, and I decided not to enable it. I reckon with Firefox already being a dictator security wise, they're probably going to conflict one another. I also have a paid subscription of malwarebytes so should be covered hopefully.

Anyway, hope there aren't going to be more surprises after the Kaspersky installation and new activation. The new license is now good for 730 days. I still have a third installation spare, but will wait to see how my laptop and home computer behave with the new Kaspersky installation before I load it on a third device.

Part that is interesting of course is that Kaspersky has a different price region wise for the US and for the Middle East. The US renewal price for Kaspersky Anti-Virus is 60 US $ and 15 US more than the year before. Last year was 45 US$. The Middle East is 30 US $ for two years.

I'm also curious. Is Kaspersky really that good? I mean after all of this hazzle. Like I have Microsoft Security Essentials loaded on a second ThinkPad laptop with Windows 7 Professional and it seems to be doing fine with much less intrusions and is also completely free. Windows 8.1 seems to have its own built in anti-virus protection, so my third laptop has been looked after Microsoft without loading any anti-virus.
deanhills on Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:11 pm
What is fine mess you had there, Dean. Hopefully it is straighten out. What happens now if you leave the Middle East?
As for anti-virus, I don't know. My internet provider included Norton in my service. I also have Malwarebytes and Spybot on the computers as well.
standready on Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:00 pm
Good point Stand. Hopefully the anti-virus will still be good. Let's see what happens.
deanhills on Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:17 pm
Interesting about the different regions, different prices policy. I just logged on to Kaspersky with a vpn that should have reported my location as Egypt. My impression is that they offered me the same price as if the location was US. They wanted $39.95 for the basic edition, and said they were giving me a $20 discount at that price. So if I had bought it and it later auto-renewed, I would expect to be billed $59.95 next year.

I wonder what it would take to get offered the $15 per year price?
SonLight on Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:07 am
True. That would be interesting. Maybe it was a one-off marketing price to bump up sales in the Middle East. Kaspersky isn't as popular here as it is in North America. So maybe the pricing is connected up with sales.

Most interesting part will be if I should move back to Canada during the two year of my Middle East Kasperksy license, and whether it will authenticate my licenses with a Canadian IP. If and when that happens I think I'll change my anti-virus to something else. I've done some searches and Panda looks interesting. I'm worried that Kaspersky is making war on my Firefox and on Google and the other way round. The first hickup after I'd loaded it at home was my Firefox home page, that is Google. It's my home page as it is my preferred search engine as well. Kaspersky threw something in the works so that Firefox thought Google was a bad site. After that I've had further similar incidences, like my forums that are regularly visited. I'm getting the feeling there's a cacophony of security voices on my computer and some of them are not in sync with one another. Kaspersky being the one who is creating problems, possibly because it is better than Firefox. Firefox is overly on the security side but supposed to be a browser. It's doing neither perfectly these days.
deanhills on Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:10 am
Before my internet provider added Norton to my service, I was using AVG free version and it worked well. Of course Norton did not like AVG on my system so it was deleted but would go back to AVG if lost Norton.
standready on Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:59 pm
Agreed Stand. I've heard really good things about AVG. When I did research on anti-virus alternatives though Kaspersky came out tops. Like I was hoping it wouldn't. Particularly since it seems to be at loggerheads with Firefox and creating certificate problems for me with Mozilla Firefox. I'll see how long I'll stick it out with them. I'll definitely look into AVG as well. Norton is also a possibility of course.
deanhills on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:17 pm
Good news Stand. I didn't expect that I would receive my refund but I did. It was already refunded on 31 July except I didn't know about it as apparently this is a transaction the bank doesn't send an alert to my phone for. This morning I received an email from Kaspersky that the refund has been paid. I then checked with the Bank, and indeed it was. So end of story.

I guess there is probably going to be a twist in the tail when I get back to Canada: I expect a reverse of the problem to happen. The Kaspersky Certificate won't work. And the anti-virus will not authenticate the Kaspersky code. Unless I use a proxy of course. Only time will tell though. For now at least Kaspersky has vindicated itself somewhat. I at least know how to deal with it if I should get to Canada, except I may try out another anti-virus instead. Probably a free one as the cost of living in Canada will be very expensive, I'll in all probably be unemployed for a while, and a paid anti-virus would be a luxury I can do without. Smile
deanhills on Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:16 am



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