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Archive for January, 2017

Symantec: World’s Worst Customer Service?

Posted by Bob Warfield on January 9, 2017

Recently, I needed to purchase an SSL Certificate to get a Norton Seal on my web site.  Such seals signify the site has been swept for malware and generally give visitors a sense of confidence that the site is legit and safe.

Originally, the seal could be purchased separately (and more cheaply) from the SSL Certificate, but Symantec changed all that about a year ago.  If you run an e-commerce site like my CNCCookbook, such seals are a tax–you can’t live without them as they can significantly affect your conversion rates.  I ran a test a few years ago where the seal swung conversion by 30%!

So, when my old seal ran out at the end of 2016, it was time to renew with an SSL Certificate.  Seems like a tried and true enough sort of thing, so I signed up.  The site assured me all would be operation within 2 business days.  Here we are business day 5 into the process, and still no seal.

The notes said they’d be in touch to confirm I was really associated with the site, but I could find no evidence of either email or a phone call.  I figured I’d better get onto their Customer Service system and ask whether they needed anything from me.

That’s where the trouble started.

I didn’t have an account on their support portal.  Like so many companies, this requires a separate sign up from being a customer.  Talk about not having a 360 degree view of the customer.  Seems inexcusable for a company the size of Symantec, but unfortunately, they’re probably also at that size where they start thinking customers are just a burden to be minimized once they’ve got your money.

Anyway, I signed up for the account so I could submit a ticket and my first challenge was that submitting a ticket requires me to speak some Asian language–Chinese or Japanese, I presume:


Apparently Symantec expects me to speak an unknown language to file a ticket…

Notice there is no obvious way to change the language on this page, and there’s no way to tell what the prompt is even asking for.  Some number, I’d guess.  Perhaps it is a support ticket ID?  I’ll probably never know.

And why ask in whatever language this is?  Are they trying to guess the language based on my IP?  If so, everyone else seems to think I’m in Oakland, California.  So far, I am seriously not impressed with Symantec’s Customer Service chops, unless, of course, their goal is to prevent me filing the ticket.

I’m not so easily deterred though.  They did screw up their evil plan by providing a “Submit Case” link.  So I clicked that.  Things are a little better on the new page:


Let’s re-enter all the information they already have!

Well this is awesome, they want me to re-enter all the information they already have because I’m a customer.  Nice job, guys!  I see you’re still trying to understand the whole CRM thing.  Maybe you should get some help with that?

Of course, you have little choice but to comply.  So I entered mass amounts of information, and eventually I’m down to telling it what product and version I have.  Well, the product is “SSL Certificate” and they have no version number so far as I know.

Guess what you get back from that?


Say what?

Say what, fools?  SSL Certificates don’t have a version number?!??

Eventually, I discovered you can circumvent this if you submit a “Non-Technical Support Issue.”  But, Heaven help you if you can’t produce your order # or customer serial # if you go down that path.

Now I wait to see if any meaningful help comes back from this black box.

Symantec: world’s worst support?

They’re definitely on my list for it at this time.  I will be contacting the reseller too in order to see if they can expedite.  I’ll report back on that as a postscript to this article.

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