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Where do I even begin
So, I have been a Norton customer for many many many years. Going back to the 1990's, I have purchased your products, renewed subscriptions, and have even highly recommended Norton Antivirus to friends, colleagues, random people I meet, pretty much if I run into someone looking for a antivirus software I recommend Norton. Or at least I did... I don't know anymore however. If my experience with your customer service is the "normal" experience I would tell people to avoid this company like the plague. In the past your product has been very good at keeping virus's and other malicious software off of my computers. In the rare occasion that I did get a virus, I was able to get it removed with Norton on most occasions. A few required that I just reinstall my OS and go from there.
We all know malware writers are creating more sophisticated malware every day, but when something happens it is within reason to believe that the company I have been purchasing antivirus protection from for almost 30 years would be well equipped to at least assist in removing or recovering from an incident. Well, apparently that is not the case as your "support" is nothing more than someone sitting in India, reading from a "script book" who can't think beyond that and make any sort of rational thought or reasoning beyond the limited scope of the script he/she is reading from. Give them a real problem and they can't handle it, they just default to the script and if it falls outside the script they are completely inept.
So, I have no idea what is actually wrong with my system. I suspect Windows Defender is the actual culprit, but of course proving that is near impossible. Microsoft does everything they can to prevent the user from disabling that fake attempt at "security". After a recent "update" from Microsoft I noticed that Norton was no longer showing in my task bar and when I try to open it, it either never opens or an error message pops up on the screen after several minutes of absolutely nothing. When the error message pops up, it gives an error code of 8504 101. It suggests that it has installed a fix and needs to restart, which does absolutely nothing.
This is actually the second computer I have had this happen on and the only similarity between them was that they were both at the same version of Windows 10. So, thinking that Norton has legitimate support I contacted the chat support. It is obvious to me now why Norton does not have phone support, I would be surprised if Norton employ's anyone who speaks English as a first language.
So, being forced to either use twitter... really, you call that a support option?, that should have been a red flag right away, or the chat I opted for the chat. I can surmise that either route would have ended the same. The person I was speaking with in chat immediately suggested that I give them remote access to my computer, 2nd mistake I made. I already had a fairly good idea what was going on and wanted to see if they came to the same solution. So, I figured sure, let me see what they do. Well, this moron takes over my computer, ends the chat session, and begins to attempt to install something to my computer. Uh... really??? Who gave that A-hole even the slightest inclining that they were supposed to be doing anything of the sort. He didn't even do any F'ing troubleshooting, he just started to remove the version of Norton that was installed and began to download something else. Thankfully the window for the remote access was still open and I promptly killed their connection.
I mean, seriously? Are you guys nothing but a bunch of hackers pretending to be a security company? What absolute BS, I should probably pursue legal action on that alone. So, this a-hole tried multiple times to request access to my computer, which I obviously denied every single time. He also tried to convince me that he was "fixing" my problem. How the hell are you fixing anything if you didn't even check to see what the problem was? If he was a legitimate representative of Norton this asshat should be fired asap. If what this incompetent jerk was going to do was uninstall and reinstall Norton and call it "fixed", he obviously don't know a damn thing and should, again, be fired. He obviously thought I was a moron as he tried on multiple occasions to re-establish his remote control of my computer. It wasn't until the error message popped up on my screen again, as he had accomplished absolutely nothing and was only trying to convince me that he was "trying to help"... yeah... I believe that.... sure.
Before I get to that, this retard was trying to tell me that my graphics card was possibly causing problems with Norton starting. He then insisted that I probably have either McAfee or some other antivirus software installed. So, this moron doesn't know what he is doing and is either trying to point to something else as the problem, to which he can then say "not my problem anymore", or he really thought I was an absolute moron. Either way, this person is the incompetent idiot who shouldn't even be allowed near a computer.
When the error code popped up again, I told him what it was. He then gave me a link to download software to supposedly "fix" the issue. Well, the link he gave me came back as "does not exists" in both Chrome and Firefox. Probably for the best as he was probably trying to get me to install whatever crap (probably a virus) he was trying to install earlier. So, he suggested that I install Norton Power Eraser. I have used that before, so I did not follow the link he gave me because I wouldn't trust this guy with anything at this point. I also had tried this already and it didn't work. But, I figured what the heck, why not. So, I downloaded NPE again, ran it again, and..... nothing. It found literally nothing. He then suggested that I go and remove some registry entries and possible "rouge" devices in device manager. Again, taking this guys suggestions with less than a grain of salt, I still looked into it. Again, I found absolutely nothing regarding what he told me to look for. So, his next suggestion... which would supposedly fix everything.... was to fun a disk check...... really? A disk check is going to remove a possible virus from my computer... this guy must really be an absolute total idiot. Maybe he was dropped too many times on his head as a child? Obviously, this did absolutely nothing.
So, I have gone through and manually removed from my registry all traces of Norton. Any entry that even remotely referenced Norton was deleted from the Windows registry. I did this after running a normal uninstall process on Norton first. So, here I am now, with no Antivirus, a possible virus on my computer, a lot of money spent on Norton software, and Windows Defender trying to tell me that it is the only thing I need. As a security researcher myself, I know how bad Windows Defender actually is. It has been used as the point of entry for numerous hacks in the past, what reason do I have to believe that it is any better now than it was previously.
Are there any real security people who use this forum who have had any experience with Windows Defender completely preventing a "competing" antivirus software from running and know how to get around that? I have done all that I can to try to 100% disable Windows Defender and will attempt to reinstall Norton one more time, but if this fails, I will never use anything from this company again.