I received this notice today, addressed to the email account I used when I enrolled in AVG.

Dear Ann,

This is just a quick note to let you know that your AVG protection subscription is due to expire in 45 days on August 26th, 2012. But there’s no need to worry – your AVG protection will continue to be updated automatically, as per AVG’s Continuing Protection Service agreement (formerly known as “On-Going Protection Service”) that you signed when you originally purchased your AVG software on August 17th, 2010.

Your AVG protection subscription will be automatically renewed on August 26th, 2012, for a period of 24 months. The payment method you used for the original purchase will be charged the regular renewal subscription price 15 days before your subscription expires. You can find a list of renewal prices here: http://www.avg.com/store/avg-rnw-price-list. … [blah blah blah]

Best Regards,

Customer Services
AVG Technologies

Now, I highlighted that statement about charging my credit card because I knew that what they had on file was not my business credit card, and that’s the account I wanted them to use.  So I immediately logged onto my account to update my credit card information, and found that my login didn’t work!  I tried everything, including clicking on the link to request that they send me my password.  No go.  No matter what I tried, the system did not recognize me.  They’d never heard of me, apparently, even though I was entering the very same address where they’d just sent the renewal notice!

“We Don’t Know You”

“We don’t know you,” their notice continued to say, no matter what I tried. Really?  This is the email address where they were happy to just now send a notice to me about their intent to take more of my money, yet for accessing my account information, the address was an unknown?

I called their help number. The person on their end could “see” my account, but he could not make it possible for me to log into my own account. Further, he could not share with me any information on the credit card that was on record for my account.

Was he kidding?

He suggested that I trust him to mark my account for non renewal, and that I then just open a new account.

Was he serious?

I declined.  He seemed perplexed. I explained that his suggested course of action would create a double billing; I would end up paying twice over for my service for the 45 days from the date of the call until August 26.

He said, “No, that is not true, because we won’t be charging a renewal to your original account on August 26.”

I said, “So then, you’ll refund to me a prorated portion of the fee I paid in 2010? You’ll refund the fee I’ve already paid for the period from now to August 26?”

He said no.

I said, “Then that means that I will be double-paying for service from now until August 26. I DO NOT WANT TO DOUBLE PAY FOR MY SERVICE.”

Using a tone that can only be described as haughty, He said, “No, you won’t.”

I tried valiantly to explain that I have already paid for service through August 26, and so if AVG does not refund me the prorated portion of this fee, and at the same time charges me for a new account starting today, then the result is that I will have double paid for the time period from today until August 26.

He claimed not to understand this concept.

Seriously? This is too hard to understand? This is confusing?

I asked for a supervisor.

He claimed that there was no supervisor.

Whoa, there, bucko.  According to the AVG website: “AVG Technologies (NYSE:AVG) is a global leader in security software, protecting more than 110 million consumers and small business computer users.”

So you have 110 million customers – yet you, Mr. Call-Center Man, have no supervisor? What, do you single-handedly own and run AVG Technologies?

I shared the above objection in slightly less sarcastic words. But not much less.  I mean, I didn’t shout, “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” but I really, really wanted to.

He then claimed that the supervisor (Singular? Really?) was very busy and taking a lot of calls.

I responded (OK, now I was using my haughty voice), “And mine shall be one of them.”  (Yes, I said “shall.”)  “Connect me,” I demanded, “I don’t care if I’m on hold. I’ll wait.”




“Are you there?”

“Ma’am,” he began, whiny-like.

All adult women know that “Ma’am” is the kiss of death – the signal that the customer service rep has drawn a line in the sand and is DAMNED if he’s going to help you.


I hung up.

And I logged onto this, my blog, to vent.

So thank you, AVG, for the hellish frustration of trying to deal with your customer disservice… I don’t ever want to talk to you or see you again.  Good-bye.  Forever.

P.S. I used the link provided in AVG’s email to cancel my service.  Miraculously, it recognized me as an existing customer – miracle upon miracles – and it asked, “Do you really want to cancel your service?”

Yes!  I clicked YES!

Did I get a confirmation email at the email address where they sent the notice that I would be billed, but that they didn’t recognize as an existing customer wanting to log into her account? Yes, I did.   It said: “AVG cancel success.”

My final word to AVG: Sweet!

There’s a golden take-away nugget here, I guess: Yes, you can be stupid and deliver poor service, and still make millions.  But not on my dime.

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