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Kaspersky: Great product, dreadful installation/upgrade process

Evan Schuman | Sept. 16, 2015
All companies need to pay more attention to the experience that ordinary users have when they try to install new products and upgrades.

But I stayed on the ride. There was a special Kaspersky uninstall key, which Kaspersky tech support told me to install. They emailed me instructions. The instructions told me to go to a Kaspersky FTP site and download the tool. I went to the site and followed their instructions and used the provided FTP username and password. That combo worked initially, but the server asked for the password again and, that time, it rejected the credentials provided.

That’s when I finally gave up and spoke with the senior support person arranged for by Kaspersky corporate. He said that there was no reason to use the FTP site and that I could get the uninstall tool on the public-facing Kaspersky site. (Thanks, regular tech support.) That original email had also told me that, after I downloaded the uninstall tool, I’d need to boot into safe mode. The senior tech support person seemed surprised by that and said that that advice refers to a much older version of the tool. *Sigh!*

With the senior tech support person on the phone, we got the uninstall tool working and did a new download of the software — he helped me figure out the name change — and all seemed fine. Until …

Until a few hours later, when we tried installing the software on a second machine. Remember that this license was for three seats. The software refused, saying that we had exceeded the number of machines. (Math challenge: Since when is “one” more than “three”?) I called regular tech support (you’d think I’d have learned by now) and was told I had indeed exceeded the number of machines. How? Well, go to the Kaspersky site, a colleague was told by Kaspersky tech support, and it will tell you the machines the software is on.

I needed to log on to find this list, but there was no place on the homepage or any linked page that offered a place to log in. We eventually found a link deep within an old email that eventually took us to a place where we could log in.

After logging in, I discovered that there was no link on the site to display a list of all devices where the software thinks it has been installed. If the site does have the ability to display the machines it’s installed on, we never found it — and no one in regular tech support could find it, either. But tech support did confirm that we did pay for a three-device license for two years. Somehow, the system was displaying that it was a three-device license for one month. (That doesn’t explain anything, given that this all happened on the same day, so the “one-month” limit wasn’t a factor. But it’s a continuation of a pattern of conflicting messages.)


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