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McAfee on drugs? Customers shafted for Xmas

When we see the headline ‘McAfee on drugs’, it’s natural to assume that it relates to the security company’s founder – who seems to have picked up a talent for production in the meth lab now that his creation is well and truly in the clutches of Intel. But we’re talking about the company. Following a screen grab from a KitGuru reader at Xmas, we investigated and were duly shocked (by the story – there was no electrical fault).

Buy one of something and you pay a price. It’s normally on the shelf or on a label attached to the goods. The product costs £x and you pay £x. Nice and simple. Everyone with us so far?

Good, because it’s about to get dark.

Offer to buy (a) more than one of a product or (b) show your loyalty and faith in its creator by repeating your purchase – and you’re into the land of ‘special deals and offers’. For the purpose of this expose, we’re gonna focus on ‘b’.

One of our readers sent in a screen grab of a special offer that they have just received from McAfee (the security products company – now owned by Intel).

As an existing customer, they would be able to enjoy another whole year of McAfee’s ‘full suite of protection software’ for just £59.99 – a saving of £5.

But go to McAfee’s site ‘fresh’ and you will save £27.50 by purchasing the full suite for just £32.49.

The KitGuru team has evaluated McAfee’s offer and you can see what we think by clicking on the image below.

As a loyal customer, you get a whopping £5 off the full suite. But new users can tug McAfee's shorts down for just £32.49 - that's a HUGE penalty of 85% for being a loyal customer. Worst offer in customer loyalty history?

KitGuru says: This is very nasty. The idea that a company can shaft existing customers by playing on their loyalty and trust is very bad. We hope that Intel and McAfee’s marketing teams take note and vow never to repeat this unsavoury incident. Without the ‘£5 OFF’ incentive for existing customers, it’s bad – but WITH the special deal, it’s tantamount to outright cheating, because it’s designed to make a loyal customer think they’re being treated in a special way.

Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.

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  • Kyle

    Ouch. I never use or trust McAfee. From the start they have been a… funky software and I never used it since I heard about what the system was like. Once it is installed on your computer, you literally cannot get rid of it. It’s jammed with stuff, bad not good. This though is terrible…

  • papa

    Symantec have the same politics!!!!

  • Ben Soelberg

    Yup. More of that going on. EA is doing it with battlefield 3. I have limited edition. I preordered it 3 months before it came out. Now to get into battlefield 3 premium it will cost me $59.99. But if you don’t currently own battlefield 3 you can get battlefield 3 premium edition for $35. So if I didn’t already own it I could have all of it for $35, but I paid 59.99 for limited edition and will pay 59.99 for premium. So I will pay $120 compared to $35. What a sham!!!!

  • faith

    If their entire business model wasn’t built on TRUST, you could forgive them… But to shaft those who support you the most, is just wrong.