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March 15th, 2012

iYogi support service removed

For nearly the past two years Avast has used iYogi to provide free phone support to our users, primarily our free users. With over 150 million users around the world, we naturally have some users that desire phone support. Delivering free phone support to the users of free products is obviously a challenge. As such, the freemium support model used by iYogi and others was very useful. With this support, Avast users received free phone support for any issue to do with Avast. Then, after helping the user, the user would be offered an opportunity to upgrade to an annual iYogi remote support package for any issue with their computer.

In general this model worked very well and provided free phone support to 20,000 – 30,000 Avast users a month. Customer satisfaction levels were also very high with just sporadic complaints. However, as Krebsonsecurity.com, a well-known blog on cybercrime and security issues, highlighted yesterday, at times this model did not work correctly. Instead, iYogi service representatives appear to have attempted to increase sales of iYogi’s premium support packages by representing that user computers had issues that they did not have.

Avast is a very non-traditional company in that positive referrals and recommendations from our user base drive our product usage. We do not distribute our products in retail, via computer manufacturers, or other similar channels. This model has served us well and has made us the most popular antivirus product in the world. Last year we added over 30M new users on top of almost 30M new users in the previous year. As such, any behavior that erodes the confidence our users have with Avast is unacceptable. In particular, we find the behavior that Mr. Krebs describes as unacceptable.

We had initial reports of this behavior a few weeks ago and met with iYogi’s senior executives to ensure the behavior was being corrected. Thus, we were shocked to find out about Mr. Krebs’ experience. As a consequence, we have removed the iYogi support service from our website and shortly it will be removed from our products. We believe that this type of service, when performed in a correct manner, provides immense value to users. As such, over the next weeks, we will work with iYogi to determine whether the service can be re-launched.

In the meantime, users can receive support via the other support options provided on our website. We will also work to ensure that any users that feel they have been misled into purchasing a premium support receive a full refund. We ask that users send any complaints or concerns to support@avast.com or even to myself, the CEO, if desired, vince.steckler@avast.com.

 

Sincerely,

Vince Steckler

Categories: CEO's corner Tags:
  1. HAN
    March 15th, 2012 at 23:29 | #1

    As a user at both where I work and at home, I am glad to see that you are taking these steps. Maybe an occasional “test” from Avast employees would be a good way to police this in the future? Being proactive rather than reactive might catch things earlier??

  2. March 16th, 2012 at 00:00 | #2

    And now, you can direct more users to the forums, where the help is free, quick and friendly :)

    Thanks avast for thinking of their users.

  3. Lukáš Rypáček
    March 16th, 2012 at 01:13 | #3

    @HAN similar tests are being done continuously. Avast guys are testing iYogi’s quality over time as well as the satisfaction rate of the callers. They’ve already visited them in India several times to train them and evaluate the problems. They are well aware of similar issues mentioned here, but the number of satisfied callers is surprisingly high (its thousands a day as I was told). I personally welcome this move, to suspend the iYogi service – but I bet it is not a result of only this one blog post, even a popular one.

  4. Colonel062012
    March 16th, 2012 at 03:42 | #4

    Two days ago I contacted iYogi for technical help. After over two hours of attempts to recover my Avast password I went to the support link and did it myself. The Tech Rep was insistant I provide remote access which I refused. I also talked to his supervisor who wanted my phone number(Incase the session was interrupted). It was interupted but I did not get a phone call from the supervisor. Several hours later, I got a phone call from a person with an Indian accent soliciting a donation. I told him I was NOT donating to anyone and hung up.
    I contacted iYogi and complained that somehow my phone number was passed on to someone else. The Tech said they do not do that and I asked to speak to a supervisor. He also said they have security in place and my number could not be passed on. (DUH) the tech may not have had it on his computer, but a pencil and a pad could easily be used. I am also unable to access my AVAST settings. I get a pop-up asking for a password that I don’t have. I have Avast on two different computers by separate purchases. One is due renewal but I am having second thoughts about it. I have used AVAST for several years and this is the first real problem I have had.

  5. Petr Bucek
    March 16th, 2012 at 10:14 | #5

    @Colonel062012
    You can always write to support@avast.com, avast! support will deal with your password problem. Any other comments or complains referring to iYogi support are also welcome, we are currently discussing all these issues.

  6. March 16th, 2012 at 17:37 | #6

    Hi Colonel062012,

    1. Your issues with the phone service.
    As discussed above, you can take this up with avast by email, I’m sure that they will be happy to discuss this with you, and hopefully help calm your concerns.

    2. Your issue with avast.
    The settings issue is unfortunately one that will require a re-install of avast. (Possibly with the use of the avast! Uninstall Utility)
    That is the only way to remove the password.

    If you need any help with the process of reinstalling, I would suggest visiting the avast! forums where you will be able to get help. (for free ;))

    Hope this helps :)

    Scott

  7. yh84ja
    March 16th, 2012 at 23:54 | #7

    “As such, over the next weeks, we will work with iYogi to determine whether the service can be re-launched.”

    Translated: “Hey Jeff, stay safe and don’t renew your companies Avast licenses.”

  8. Tech
    March 18th, 2012 at 00:33 | #8

    Well, I think the confidence is the greater value. The complains were quite such in all these years of partnership. It’s a pity, but I think it is the best to do now, drop it changing for better support on forum (and by email). Thanks Vince.

  9. Nikki
    April 12th, 2012 at 01:09 | #9

    After literally full days on the phone with iyogi, and being told that they wouldn’t help me unless I paid them (“you paid Avast! not us. You have to pay us or we won’t help you.”) I finally got someone to uninstall the software AND the old license, and reinstall it with the NEW license, and it finally worked. I have 2 years and 9 months left on the two computers, and the only way I would renew is if the support is NOT iyogi. I can see by Vince’s last comment he has heard our voices. Thank you for listening and being pro-active.

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