Monday, November 29, 2010

Who Won the Internet Security Cyber Monday Price Battle?

The winners in the internet security Cyber Monday price battle were……………………… Trend Micro and Kaspersky,free after mail-in rebates, with Norton in 3rd, when purchased at (some) retail stores in the US.

In an admittedly quick online audit, below were the discounts found on consumer internet security vendors’ web sites on Cyber Monday.

• Avast - 33% off Internet Security on their website (2 years)
• Avira - - Nothing off their suite! Free copy of Tune-Up Utilities, however.
• AVG Technologies – 10% off the suite on website (50% if using the Facebook Fan Page special)
• Kaspersky – 50% off the suite on their web site
• McAfee – 50% off Identity Protection, $55, normally $109.95 (from their Fan Page). However, this 16 hour sale expired shortly after 5PM Pacific Time. 30% and up for consumer internet security suites.
• Panda Security – 30% (up to)
• Symantec - 50% off Norton 360
• Trend Micro – 50% off storewide

Undoubtedly there were other deals on the web.

Nonetheless, due to the wonders of discounting and rebates (within a set time limit) consumers in the United States could obtain Kaspersky’s and Trend Micro’s home internet security suites for free after rebates and Norton 360 for less than $10. Staples was one of the US retail outlets where this was available. AVG Technologies, Avast, and Avira often offer deals to home users during the download process of their free anti-virus product.

How this works in the retail outlet: it’s a combination of the store, the channel, rebates, and renewals. Stores want customers to come in. A number of customers miss the rebate deadline, fill out forms incorrect, etc. and end up paying full price.

Online: it’s to a large extent about auto-renewal. Vendors will often have the “yes” box checked off for auto-renewal when customers provide their credit card number. Slightly less than a year from purchase, they’ll then receive a notice that their credit card will be charged for auto renewal unless they opt out (there are variations of this).

In June, 2009, Symantec and McAfee settled with the New York State Attorney General’s office regarding not providing adequate disclosure over how customers were being auto-renewed. They were penalized and changed their procedures.

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