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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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