This is the third, and I promise, the last post on this autorenewals saga. I’m posting it because I received some new information from Kaspersky tech support today and I decided to check it out. According to Kaspersky, you can disable autorenewals from your shopping cart, before you buy:
Sure enough, there it is: ‘Auto-Renewal: ON – Details’. Believe me when I say that I did not see that at all when I bought Kaspersky Anti-Virus back in November 2021. My guess is that the design of the interface, including the size of the font was the result of advice from an industrial psychologist familiar with human behaviour: once you reach the shopping cart, you have already made up your mind to buy so checking for the fine print is very unlikely.
Okay, not super impressed, but let’s see if BitDefender used the same tactic:
The answer is…yes and no. As you can see from the screenshot, there is a link to ‘Auto renewal’, and it’s in the same position in the same small font, but there’s no mention of whether it is on or off. Assuming that I even saw that link, I would assume it lead to a window where I could choose to turn autorenewal on.
Autorenewals are on and you can turn them off by logging into your Bitdefender Account [if you have one] or by contacting Customer Support. Unfortunately, you have to buy the product before you can do either of those things.
By contrast, this is what you get with Kaspersky:
That screenshot is telling. With Kaspersky, you are told that autorenewals are on and you are given the opportunity to turn them off before you buy. I still HATE the fact that autorenewals are turned on by default, and I also HATE that the opt-out is not presented in great big letters that you can’t miss, but at least you can turn it off before you buy. With Bitdefender you don’t even get that.
I wonder if the difference between these two companies has something to do with the fact that Kaspersky is a Russian company, so by definition it has to meet the expectations of the EU rather than the US?
I’m going to put that theory into practice when I start research for a new anti-virus. What I’ll be looking for is an EU based company that not only provides a way to turn autorenewals off but maybe never turns them on in the first place.
To the Bitdefender sales team, if they deign to read this post: ‘I will never buy a Bitdefender product again, and I will do my best to dissuade others from buying from you as well. If and when you stop making autorenewal opt-out, I may consider buying from you again.’
Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences about autorenewals-by-default. Let’s hope we can make enough of a stink to put a dent into some sales. 😀