Software glitch proves costly

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by JESSE JONES / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @getjesse

KING5.com

Posted on May 6, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Updated Thursday, May 6 at 10:06 PM

Philomena Coyle is busy lady. When she's not spending time with her daughter and grandson, she is on her computer taking online courses to earn a degree in human resources.

So on April 21, when her computer locked up, she freaked out.

"You know, we've got to have this back, I need it today because I've got one class that's ending in another week," she said.

But Philomena wasn't the only one with computer problems that day. Her anti-virus software McAfee sent out the wrong message to Windows XP users, telling them a good part of the system was actually "bad."

"It just absolutely went completely down, I couldn't use anything," she said.

Users all over complained online about similar issues. Hospitals in Rhode Island had to reschedule elective surgeries and a jail in Kentucky had to cancel visitation because their system was down.

To get her computer back up, Philomena paid $227 to get it fixed the same day, but getting McAfee to pay for it, wasn't as fast. 

"First of all, I was on the phone for 2 hours on hold, that was unbelievable!" she recalled.

The company's CEO posted a video apologizing to customers. He even promised to make it right to people like Philomena.

"For a limited number of home users who were impacted, we're giving you a free two-year subscription and will reimburse you reasonable costs you've incurred," he stated.

But with no luck talking to customer service, Philomena called me and I got in touch with McAfee. They're still working out the bugs on how to pay people back. Shortly after they got Philomena's info from us they e-mailed her and promised a check right away.

If you had to pay for repairs because of the McAfee problem, hold on to your receipts. McAfee says they will put out a form on their website for you to fill out, in about a week.

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