Cuomo, software companies reach settlement

Ashley Stinnett Jun. 10, 2009, 10:51pm

Andrew Cuomo (D)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Legal Newsline)-New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has reached an agreement with two of the nation's largest computer security software vendors over claims they overcharged customers.

Complaints were made to the Attorney General's office after customers learned that Symantec and McAfee were renewing software subscriptions without their prior knowledge or approval.

Under the agreement, both companies will disclose information about subscription renewals and contracts to customers, and will each pay $375,000 in damages.

According to Cuomo, an investigation revealed that Symantec and McAfee failed to inform customers their subscriptions would automatically be renewed and charges would be applied.

"Companies cannot play hide the ball when it comes to the fees consumers are being charged. Consumers have a right to know what they are paying, especially when they are unwittingly agreeing to renewal fees that will not appear on their credit card bill for months," Cuomo said.

The agreement also requires both companies to disclose any renewal information in advance to customers and provide refunds to anyone who requests within 60 days of being charged.

Symantec and McAfee provide computer security software to individuals and businesses, as well as, provide updates on existing products aimed at protecting computers from viruses.

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