On Your Side: BitDefender Support Issues

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I purchased BitDefender Anti-Virus 2009 with a registration key for three PCs, but I've been unable to update my older version because the upgrade option on the main menu is grayed out. After I contacted support via e-mail, I received an automated reply and, later, instructions on running and returning a test on the program so that they could determine the problem. I sent in the test results, but never heard back (except for automatically generated responses to my two additional e-mail messages).

Priscilla A. Maine, Atoka, Oklahoma

OYS responds: Maine was one of several PC World readers who contacted us about problems with BitDefender's Anti-Virus software. Though their issues varied, they all complained about unresponsive customer service. Several company executives--Vince Hwang, global product management director; Vitor Souza, global communications director; and Vali Danielescu, global technical support director--responded to our inquiries.

Souza said that BitDefender is aware of the difficulties that customers are having with the Customer Care team, and is taking steps to improve its quality. He attributed the problem to an unexpectedly high surge in customers resulting in part from favorable reviews for BitDefender Anti-Virus 2009, and in part from the recent Conficker virus scare.

Though BitDefender was not prepared for that influx of users, shortly after the virus reemerged, the company launched a Knowledge Base to help consumers find answers to frequently asked questions and to provide access to Customer Care. And to increase the number of Customer Care representatives, BitDefender is teaming up with a third-party support company. Meanwhile, Hwang said, the company is working to fix some of the installation and activation issues (such as Maine's) that prompted people to contact support in the first place.

If you're having similar issues with BitDefender, OYS recommends using the Knowledge Base before opening a ticket. Additionally, browse the BitDefender Support Forum for a solution, or post a new topic there if your problem isn't covered. If you open a ticket and you don't receive an answer in a timely manner, reply to the confirmation e-mail you received and restate your problem; opening a new ticket only confuses matters for customer support. As for our readers, including Maine, BitDefender resolved all of their issues.

Recall: Lenovo ThinkVision Speaker AC Adapters

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Lenovo, announced a voluntary recall of ThinkVision speaker AC adapters due to a shock hazard. Though no injuries have been reported, the plastic shell of the AC adapter can crack, posing a risk of electric shock to consumers. The AC adapters were sold as part of the ThinkVision Soundbar option. Check the back of the adapter for the FRU part number 89P8571, with the date code 200810. Lenovo encourages customers to stop using the recalled adapters and to contact the company for a free replacement; call 800/426-7378 anytime, or visit Lenovo's recall page.

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