Symantec ready to offer Chinese users compensation

Symantec ready to offer Chinese users compensation
Symantec ready to offer Chinese users compensation 

By Sumner Lemon
IDG News Service
25 June 2007

Symantec is to offer Chinese users compensation for a faulty update that 
knocked out 50,000 PCs. The company hasn't acted fast, it's taken more 
than a month to make the offer, which is only good for a couple of 

Symantec's problems in China began on 18 May, when it released a bad 
software update that caused its Norton anti-virus software to wrongly 
identify two system files in the Simplified Chinese version of Windows 
XP as malware and quarantine them. That mistake, which Symantec blamed 
on "an automated process," left tens of thousands of PCs crippled and 
Internet bulletin boards full of angry posts.

Chinese users who lost data because of Symantec's faulty update demanded 
compensation, and at least two lawsuits were filed against the company. 
But Symantec has been slow to respond, saying earlier this month it was 
considering requests for compensation.

After five weeks, Symantec is ready to make amends. The company is 
offering affected Chinese consumers a 12-month Norton licence extension 
and a copy of Norton Save & Restore 2.0. Corporate customers are being 
offered Symantec Ghost Solution Suite licences, depending on the number 
of PCs affected. Symantec is not offering to extend Norton licences for 
corporate customers affected by the bad update.

Symantec described its offer as "a gesture of our goodwill."

Chinese users will have to move fast if they want to take Symantec up on 
the deal. The company is only accepting applications for compensation 
during a brief window of time: from 27 June 27 to 15 July. The company 
didn't say why the period is so short, but said it was a sufficient span 
of time.

"We are offering more than two weeks for the registration period which 
we believe is a reasonable period of time for customers to register," 
said Catriona Turner, a Symantec spokeswoman. "If there are legitimate 
reasons why a particular customer is unable to register by 15 July, we 
will give consideration to extending the date for that customer."

Turner said the terms and conditions of the compensation offer did not 
require users to forego the right to legal action over damage caused to 
their systems by Symantec's update. "We hope that our customers will 
recognise that we are offering this goodwill gesture in recognition of 
any inconvenience caused by this incident," she said.

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