Saturday, January 7, 2012

Total Defense, Anti-Virus, Etc.

The experience I have with Total Defense and the Total Defense anti-virus product is worth warning others about.  If you're thinking about buying something from Total Defense, read on.

I gave up paid computer consulting a year or so ago when the last company I was working with was sold.   I still do some unpaid consulting, including for a doctor who gives away more medical care than he charges for.  Some years ago I bought, with his money, a Computer Associates (CA) perpetual license for their anti-virus product.  All was well for five years.  Yesterday I uninstalled one license from one of the practice's three computers to move it to a new one.  When I installed it on the new computer, it immediately reported that it was expired!

Well, I'm careful when I spend other people's money, so I had the order number, license keys, etc. all at hand. "This won't be a problem," says I, "I'll just call customer service and they'll tell me how to fix it."

Didn't work. I reached a woman with a barely-understandable Indian accent who pretended not to understand the meaning of "perpetual." When I insisted that they look up the original order using the order number I had right in front of me, I was told that technical support could not do that, but they'd transfer me to customer service. OK. There was an interminable wait, then a man with Yet Another thick Indian accent insisted over and over that I "just have to pay the renewal fee." This man also pretended not to understand "perpetual," even after looking up the order. He also completely ignored my many requests to talk with a supervisor. I finally, after 23 minutes of this, hung up in frustration rather than saying what I thought of this treatment, which, of course, is exactly what they wanted me to do. (Yes, I am tough enough to be polite even in circumstances like this one.)

Bottom line: the people at Total Defense, "a former division of CA" will not help you when things go wrong.

The good news is that Microsoft Security Essentials seems, from all reviews, to be an effective AV product. It has had time to mature. (It was introduced in fall of 2009.) And it's free for home and small business use! It works with 32 bit XP and both 32 and 64 bit Windows 7. 

Bye, Total Defense! See you around!


  1. Bob - Did you ever get the issued resolved by Total Defense? I am have a similar problem right now. The Tech Support just want me to give them control of my Computer and that ain't going to happen.

    Torquil MacLeod

    1. Sorry to be slow in replying. No, I never did get it fixed; I simply uninstalled their product and put MS Security Essentials on the systems.

  2. Here is my email to Total Defense Anti Virus:

    Hello Customer Service

    My renewal of this 6 licensed total defense was 10 August 2012. All worked well until 17 October 2012. when Failure to update has continued to occur on .... O2-PC runs Vista and on ..... TABLET runs Windows 7. All Microsoft hardware and software updates are most recent.

    I have phone the Tech Support who gave conflicting information when I could actual understand their accents. They wanted to take control of my machine - I was not giving these clods any such permission as I did not trust them. I was on the phone for 90 mins and achieved not one thing - a complete waste of time. Eventually they numb nut supervisor in Tech Support transferred me to Total Defense Customer Care - but they seem not to care enough to even answer my call after 30 mins of hanging on the phone listening to a recorded voice over and over was enough to send a sane person to the mental asylum. I rang Customer Care again today and the same thing happened a hang up from customer care after 30 mins - just by the by does Customer Care really Care? or is it just a made up name to give your prospective customers a warm and fuzzy feeling?

    I have tried logging into my account with success but most links went in a circular motion just ending up where I started from. I am wondering if total defense is just a con? defiantly the service that total defense provides is not as good as when I dealt with CA.

    I thought I could go to and link and down load Total Defense Anti Virus again to my 2 Computers but alas that could not be found with only circular links leading me back to where I started.

    If I had the link in my account somewhere but know it is nowhere to be found. I want to delete Total Defense anti Virus from my system then download it again to see if that makes it work correctly once more. So please give me a link that I can download the program from ASAP.

    All my details are below please make it happen.