I recently updated to Kaspersky Internet Security 2011. Last month my Kaspersky license was set to expire. I’d made the decision that even though Zone Labs now supports Windows 7 64 bit that I wouldn’t be heading back to their security suite. There were several factors that played into my choice to stay with Kaspersky. Unfortunately I may now end up regretting that decision.
Installing Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 went smoothly. I used my 2009 license which was still valid to activate the software. There were no problems with this process. I knew my 3 PC license was going to expire a little after I installed KIS 2011. Years ago you could purchase a new license and add it to the current one. Your total valid time would be calculated using both. Kaspersky has now designed the software so that you can no longer do this. They have basically taken away a very customer friendly feature. According to their website graphics the merge feature still exist in the 2011 version. I had no luck finding it within the software or getting the licenses to merge.
I had to wait until my previous license expired before activating the new 3 PC license. When it was time I input the new activation code and had no problems with the online activation process. I figured I was good to go for another year. I wasn’t aware of how wrong I was. One month later I’m now in a Kaspersky support nightmare. Since the license is for 3 PC’s and I’ve only used the code on 2 machines I’m not in violation of any license terms.
After a recent database update I get this warning message – activation error Number of activations using this code exceeded. Keep in mind that I have only installed Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 on my main machine. Our laptop is still running an older build. I did input my purchased license code on both of these machines during the activation process.
When I looked on the Kaspersky website support FAQ there was a heading with this exact error. It stated to contact support for help. This is where the real disaster starts.
If this is listed as a known issue then you would think it would a simple matter of determining if I have a valid license and then reissuing a new activation code. Obviously that isn’t the case. I should note that the error message states my license is activated and isn’t supposed to expire until June 2011.
Before contacting support I had a look around the Kaspersky support forum. I didn’t come across anyone with my exact problem. This unfortunately meant I was going to have to contact support. I hate dealing with companies support staff. It almost always ends up being a frustrating experience making the customer jump through hoops. That is exactly what happened in this case.
Just now I did see one thread that related to my issue. But all the replies in that topic have the user jumping through hoops with support staff not offering any help. Just passing the responsibility to resolve the issue to someone else.
The Kaspersky website has a ton of various options for contacting support. Figuring out which one to use can be an adventure. The website in almost all cases uses geolocation or ask you to choose your region. This then sends you to the supposed Kaspersky support for your part of the world. You run into problems when you try and obtain support from USA staff if you purchased your license on the global site. Lets not even get into what a nightmare you face if you purchased a CD from an offline retailer.
So I end up on the Kaspersky USA website. I fill out all the information asked of me to report my issue. I even hassle with the stupid useless anti-spam Captcha. I then wait for an email reply. The first email sent to me was a canned copy & paste support email. It was obvious no one had even bothered to read the information I had taken the time to provide in regards to my issue. I quickly sent a very nasty reply. One of the many things I can’t stand is lazy support staff that just auto send copy & paste instructions.
Kaspersky USA Joshua Izzi contacts me after I sent my less than pleasant email. His reply is that I purchased my license at the global site and he can’t help me because he is part of US support. What he could do is issue a refund then allow me to purchase a license key from the Kaspersky United States website. He claimed that my current license had been activated over 10 times. Which I find interesting considering I’ve only used the code on the 2 machines we own. This person also stated the United States website had not been updated to the latest build of Kaspersky Internet Security. Something I had mentioned in regards to their support questions on the contact page. Only much older builds of KIS were listed as selection options.
From reading the Kaspersky support forum. It looks as if a few things got missed during beta testing. A few known issues are still needing to be resolved with code updates. My thought is this activation error is most likely one fix needing added to the list.
All I know is this hassle has turned a long time Kaspersky user into a very unhappy customer. I was one of the very early cheerleaders of this software long before the company became well known. The same can be said in regards to ZoneAlarm. If you check one popular online security forum you would see I was promoting Kaspersky years before anyone else. We now see what I’m getting in return for loyalty.
No customer should have to figure out which support channel to contact. All support staff should be able to resolve any issue no matter where the product was purchased, which website or part of the world. Every effort should be made to make the support process hassle free and seamless. Unfortunately very few companies value their customers anymore. Few realize that emptying support tickets with copy & paste answers only aggravates the end user and normally leads to a longer period of time before resolution of the problem. During this time a back and forth game is played between support staff and the customer.
In the end all this accomplishes is a customer who is left with a bad experience. This leads to bad word of mouth for your product brand. The current Kaspersky support process needs streamlined. They aren’t the only company needing to restructure how customer support is handled.
I’ve made an attempt to contact support using another support email address. If that fails to resolve the problem I’m going to have to hunt my email archives for an email address of those higher up in the Kaspersky corporation. No matter how much I believe their product offers superior protection. I will take my business to another vendor even after all these years if a resolution to my problem is not given ASAP.