Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Computer Held Hostage!

The suns reflection on a cool afternoon.

 Strange title isn't it? It is however how I feel and have felt since Tuesday when my computer froze, and I mean froze. I blame Avast and their tactics for the loss of my computer. It is the direct result of how they handled my phone call to them that my computer has been frozen in time. Avast knows this and really doesn't care. They didn't do anything wrong or illegal, they just didn't do what was right. 
  Tuesday morning my screen turned blue with a error message informing me that if I had never seen that screen before just restart the computer and continue on with what I was doing. I shut down and re started the computer all good and then up pops a warning that I have no anti virus protection. This can't be I think to my self because in August I for the first time ever payed for my anti virus protection. Up in the right hand corner of my tool bar the Avast icon is saying I am in a safe sight as it has since August. I go to my control panel any way and look and sure enough I don't have any Avast in there anywhere. I go to my email and yes I was smart and earmarked the email with all my Avast info on it. So I call Avast and this is where my day goes from bad to worse.
  My first call goes to a young man named Roin(sp) and the call is all sunshine and smiles, sugar and spice everything is nice. And then the sales pitch happens. After verifying I do indeed have the protection program and that it is indeed not installed in my computer and never was the nice young man ask for control of my computer so he can install the program for me. After all he is a tech and can install it much faster. Mistake number 1 and lesson learned " Don't give control to anyone with some thing to sell." Now he goes into areas that I had never been and am not sure I could get to again if I tried. He brings up records that show how many critical errors the computer had had, he then explains that I was lucky my computer was still running. That the errors had been happening since 2012. The word "Critical Error" was used like a death sentence over my head and repeated over and over and over again. I was then told it wasn't really a problem that a special tech could clean this file bucket with all the critical errors in it out. But this service isn't part of what I paid for and was done by another company so it would cost. I was then told that the young man just happened to know how to contact these tech specialist and he would give them a call for me. I get put on hold for a good 5 minutes or more and my computer screen starts looking like the TV screen during Sunday football when the announcers want to show you a play with their magic pins. Back on the line he comes and tells me the tech specialist can clean it all up no problem just take about 2 hours and just shy of 200.00. I say no thank you just install my program so I don't get virus or other nastiness in my computer. The young man says okay fine, now the problem seems to be I have Windows defenders and something called MS Builder already in my computer.? How can that be I never installed the MS one have no idea what it is, and windows I uninstalled when I got Avast at the time I purchased the computer. No answer as to how only that some how they have ended up in the file bucket and can't be deleted with out the special tech. I asked what it meant to me and was told the program may not run with them in there. I was then told for a little over 100.00 they would do an emergency clean up and just remove those two unwanted virus fighters. I said I can't afford it at this time. I then directly asked " Since you can't install your program are you going to refund my money?" The answer came strong and swift " Oh no mam we are going to put a free program in and then force the program you purchased in on its back. It may be able to over ride the other programs or it may not install." I say okay go ahead after all the other 2 programs are not working and I need anti virus on the computer. He does it all down loads the free service installs it and then gets the license # for my service and does it all again down loads and then installs it. Up to this point it had been a long and leisurely phone call. Now it is at the re start time and as soon as he clicked the reboot icon he was gone off the phone leaving me looking at the phone with question marks in my eyes. 
  My computer re starts or at least it appears that way. It gets to my wallpaper screen with the icons to the internet and other such stuff. It is clear that the internet is working and my hard drive is working but they don't seem to know that and I get no farther it all freezes nothing moves. I cry and I mean real tears are running down my face as I am about to learn lesson 2 and that would be " Learn to back you stuff up." After a moment or two of self pity I call Avast back and I get some one named Morty I believe. He berates me for crying on more then one occasion  saying it is rude and aggressive behavior. He says I don't need to worry they are going to fix the problem right away. He puts me on hold and comes back less then 2 minutes later and says yes they can get this fixed no problem I just pay either 100.00 or 200.00 and they will clean the computer and it will be all better. I lost it right here I won't lie. I made a truck driver look like a nun with what spewed out of my mouth. I hate flipping on the phone it does no good and make you feel stupid afterwards. Not this time I hung up and felt good. 
 Call number 3 was no better but I at least kept my temper even when I was being told to watch my temper I didn't flare up. In call # 3 I heard things like You won't take our advice so how can we help you. The young mans name this time was Vaughan and he was very in control of this call. I asked 3 times for them to remove their product from my computer all three times I got a different answer. The first time I asked I was told in a condescending tone that it would be irresponsible to leave a computer with out anti virus protection. When I pointed out that it was the protection itself causing the problem. The response was as if he were talking to a child as he explained well that is whats going to happen when you put the number one best working protection system into a dirty computer. I asked at this point then why did your tech install it knowing my computer was as you say dirty? He told me to calm down and stop being argumentative or he wouldn't be able to help me. We went round and round like that my asking for the product to be removed and him refusing. I at one point said fine I will get a new computer then. He came right back with if you can afford a new computer you can afford to pay us to clean this one. Another favorite high light in this going no where conversation was when once again I asked to just remove the product and I will take my computer and have it cleaned. Vaughan challenged me rather rudely with " How are you going to that, who are you going to take it to?" When I said it is non of your business just take your product off my computer, he came back with a statement that has bothered me ever since he very slowly as if I were on the stupid side explained he couldn't take it off because my computer wasn't working and I couldn't get into it so how could they? The phone call ended shortly after that with me standing my ground that for all intent and purposes my computer had crashed and Avast was directly responsible for it, at no point was I ever informed that my computer may stop working if I allow them to install there protection program. Vaughan very much disagreed with me. It wasn't until I hung up that it dawned on me what Vaughan had said to me about if I can't get into the computer how can they, well how where they going to clean my computer up?
  I am on a new computer thanks to Target and their fair pricing. My old one is still in hostage state with all my beloved pictures locked in side. I called Acer and they helped me try a few things and when I once again broke down and cried the nice guy at Acer was sympathetic and understanding. Acer can restore my computer for me but it will be costly and everything will be erased. My brother even told me how to restore it my self not as costly and I still lose it all. So I wrapped her up in her original box and set her aside until I find someone I can afford to save my pictures for me, then I will try my hand at restoring her.
  From now until forever I will always think of my computer as a hostage and Avast the kidnapper. Even if it was the critical errors causing a problem Avast knew better then to install their program into my computer,knowing I would be forced to use their special tech to clean up any mess made, rather then lose a sale they installed it anyway. To quote the young man in the first call " I am after all tech support"
The sun setting with style!

 Happy Wednesday! Thank you for stopping by.  


  1. Joey I'm so sorry to say you were scammed, I don't even think it was Avast you were calling. The same thing happened to my mom and dad and a few other people I know. Once you let them take control of your keyboard they had access to all your passwords and locked you out. If you don't pay they don't unlock your computer. But even if you pay they don't get you back in so you did the right thing. With my mom they said they were with Microsoft, and had Indian accents. See this link....

    1. Sherri I thought that at first as well but, they didn't contact me and I got the number from the email I was sent with my license # after I purchased the protection program. So I researched the # I called and it is Avast Customer support?

    To bad I didn't see this Tuesday.

  3. Whatever happened to "real" customer service?! Mauigirl

    1. Really that wasn't even customer service that was customer bulling and abuse.

  4. I hear you. What happened Tuesday was devastating to say the least.

  5. Good grief! I forgot - they did the same thing to me last winter, but my son intervened and in essence, called the tech on his BS. He knew enough to tell specifics when he was lying. I had a lot of family photos I was afraid I'd lose. My son convinced me that since I'm working with a 10 yr old Sony it was worth taking a chance on resetting to factory specs. I did lose passwords etc, but my photos were ok so you may want to call Acer again. The only thing I didn't get back that I miss is the wi-fi driver. I have to be attached to the modem. I am typing this from that 'puter. After I read this I did a web search and seems as if a lot of people have been burned. I'm so sorry, Joey you had every right to get upset.

  6. Thanks Big Shot. I am happy to hear you didn't lose your photos. I would have to send them the computer because other then push the button to turn it on I can do nothing. My Brother is going to fix it for me. He loves playing with computers taking them apart and putting them back together again. I just have to mail the computer to him. I am still upset but alittle happier knowing I won't lose my photos.

  7. Hello,
    I am sorry to hear about your bad experience.
    I am responsible for external avast support. Just to make sure you were calling our support, could you please share with me your email address and number you have been calling?
    If you prefer not to share it here publicly please feel free to create a ticket in our CRM on then let me please know your ticket number. I will look up.

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation

    Best Regards

    Vojtech Nekvapil
    Partner Sales and Support Manager
    Avast Software

    1. In the comments above you will see a link that is where I was. I checked the number and it is listed to Avast customer service. 866 951 7679. The young man Vaughan sent me a ticket to get the product removed from my computer. Since the phone calls are recorded and all my info is in those phone calls you will find what you need. The phone calls took place Nov 11 th the first at 9 16 am the last 10:11 am. I am sure you will understand my reluctance to give any more info then that.
      I already had to change passwords and even email carriers thanks to the mishandling I received during those phone calls. I had to buy a new computer and arrange for a costly extraction of my photos and other documents from the computer that is being held hostage. I just can't afford any more damage. I hope I gave you enough info to look into this. I personally think the link above in the comments will give you a good insight into what is going on. I would think Avast would at least read the reviews on that page.