Secure Anywhere / A Complete and Utter Nightmare

1 United States


I was so excited to get this anti-virus software. I did all my research, read all the reviews, including the one on PCMag which gave Webroot its Editor's Choice Award. Then, the minute I downloaded this software, the nightmare began.

Let me begin by saying that I wish I could crawl into a time machine and set the dial for the exact moment in time prior to my purchase of Webroot. Barring this, no other way exists for me to ever retrieve the wasted hours of my life I spent dealing with this program -- not to mention the time I am now spending writing this magnum opus painstakingly detailing my nightmarish journey. That time is gone forever. The only thing I can do is warn others of my experience. Hopefully someone will benefit from my pain.
I strongly caution anyone against purchasing this program unless you have an extremely strong constitution coupled with the patience of Mother Theresa. If that is you, I wish you Godspeed. Just don’t neglect to gird your loins in preparation for the uphill battle that awaits you.

COMPUTER SLOWDOWNS AND FREQUENT CRASHES: Not long after downloading this program, my computer slowed down, and I noticed delays between my keyboard and mouse and my computer. My computer kept freezing up and I could not unfreeze it via the task manager because the cursor was frozen, as well, so I had to perform hard shutdowns. Then I would reboot my computer and the same thing would happen again. Although my computer (six years old) would occasionally freeze or stop responding, after downloading Webroot, the change was profound. It was happening so often I could get nothing done.

WEBROOT’S RESPONSE: I called Webroot and spoke to an extremely surly tech who sounded like I had just awoken him from a nap. I had to ask him to speak up because he spoke in a barely audible mumble that clearly conveyed I was inconveniencing him by my call. My questions would be met by absolute silence -- not just the brief pause one would expect from someone preparing to deliver a thoughtful response -- but more like the Silence of the Lambs – silences so profound and prolonged that I was forced to ask him if he were still on the line. He told me Webroot wasn’t the cause and that it must be my computer. Following my conversation with him, I did some online research and found lots of reviews by people who reported the same issue, so it couldn’t have just been my computer out of millions. Too bad I hadn’t done that beforehand, instead of relying on the “experts.”

FAILED TO BLOCK MALICIOUS PROGRAM FROM DOWNLOADING ONTO MY COMPUTER: I went to a website that had free software and accidentally downloaded a program that turned out to be malware. I didn’t intend to download this program. I may have inadvertently clicked on something. I don’t know. But somehow it began downloading and running on my computer and I couldn’t stop it. I went to the control panel and attempted to delete the program, but it would not let me do so. Instead, it would ask me if I would allow it to make changes to my computer. I was forced to say yes hoping the “changes” it intended to make were to uninstall it, but of course that wasn’t the case. It probably just downloaded more crap and poured more and more malicious code onto my system. Now, mind you, all this it did WITHOUT SO MUCH AS A MURMUR OF PROTEST FROM WEBROOT!! Contrary to its own documentation (available online) which states that in the event Webroot encounters a suspicious program, it will prompt the user and warn against downloading anything from that site. Barring that, if Webroot fails to block the virus or malicious program from breaching its security, it is supposed to recognize and quarantine the program so that it doesn’t then go on a rampage, raping and pillaging everything in its path. In my case, none of the above occurred. On the contrary, the program downloaded without a hitch. Afterwards, my system began freezing and crashing like crazy. And if I thought things had been bad before, I was grossly mistaken. Finally, the problem was resolved by my operating system and not by Webroot. My operating system intervened when I had booted it up for the umpteenth time and ran Check Disk. I watched as Check Disk ran and read what it was doing. It was deleting corrupt files, and checking security descriptors. At one point through all of this, Webroot flashed a notice that it had “removed a threat.” Really Webroot? Not a moment too soon. Like some fat, lazy security guard who ambles onto the scene of a crime after a civilian bystander has taken down the thug. Thanks a lot.

WEBROOTS’S RESPONSE: Webroot said that it cannot block all programs from downloading because people call them and complain that programs they specifically want to download are blocked.
PASSWORD MANAGER PROBLEMS FROM HERE TO DOOMSDAY: First, the password manager extension didn't appear on my toolbar. Spoke to someone in tech support who was very nice and helped me to fix it. Called again because I was trying to use the password manager and it wouldn't work with a lot of the websites I tried to save. Initially I thought it was me because I'm not very computer-savvy. So I went over everything with the tech (who was also very nice) and he walked me through everything until I was sure I understood how to use it. Then, when I tried working with it on my own, I found out what a horrendous, buggy program it is. I saved dozens of sites to the password manager that seemed to be working fine. Then when I would later go and click on them, Webroot would react strangely, sometimes taking me to the site and not filling in the login and password, sometimes only filling in part of the password, etc. I tried re-saving the login/password info for these sites numerous times. I literally spent hours doing this. The password manager would say it detected a change in the password and when I clicked on confirm, it would either just capture the first character of the new password, or run okay but continue to prompt me that it detected a change in the password every time I logged onto that site. There were at also numerous sites that I couldn't even get the password manager to work with at all, despite trying again and again, ad nauseam.

WEBROOT’S RESPONSE: I was told by one person in sales/customer support that he used the password manager on his own computer all the time and that it worked great. He referred me to the online documentation, which I assured him I had already read. By that point, I was all too familiar with the ins and outs of the password manager feature. He still found this difficult to believe. Next I spoke to tech support and was told basically the same thing, that it could not be Webroot that was at fault, but that I must be doing something wrong. He said that Webroot is the number one software on the market, so I guess then it couldn’t be them. I invited him to remotely access my computer and check it out for himself. When he did so, he was surprised that, indeed, things weren’t working so great. He then proceeded to tell me it must be my computer that wasn’t working well. I asked him what could possibly be happening on my computer that would cause an internet toolbar extension to malfunction? He threw out a few ideas, like maybe I had hardware issues, or another program was interfering with the password manager. I invited him to look at my programs and see if he could find something that might be conflicting with Webroot and he could not. NOTE: Afterwards, I read reviews by others who were treated in like manner. Apparently Webroot has the attitude that it’s product is perfect and that if the user encounters problems with its software, it must be their fault.
ATTEMPT TO GET A REFUND: Since I purchased this product on Amazon, I was unable to get a refund because of Amazon’s policy. I told Webroot that I wanted a refund from them and was told they couldn’t do so because I hadn’t purchased the product from them. But surely they had sold the product to Amazon who then sold it to me, right? So in essence they did sell me the program. At any rate, I was so disgusted I just wanted to get rid of the damn thing.

MY LAST CONTACT WITH WEBROOT: I grew finally frustrated with one tech and asked to be connected to a supervisor. I waited and waited. The line rang, and I thought the supervisor was going to pick up. Instead, I HAD BEEN TRANSFERRED TO SOMEBODY’S VOICEMAIL!! I was livid. I talked to yet another tech and was again told I couldn’t get a refund. After he had been dealing with me for awhile which, granted, could not have been pleasant by that point, he threw out that I could just get a refund. When I said that I had been told that was not possible, he insisted that it was. So conflicting information on top of everything else. At that point, it was just the icing on the cake. He told me the my issues about the password manager would be “escalated” to another tech support department who would check on things “from the back end.” They were supposed to email me the results of their findings by today. As of this writing, I have heard nothing from them except an email telling me they were going to look into it. Great. I was told over the phone that they would have already looked into it by today and gotten back to me. Buyer beware.

Jul 9, 2015

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