United Kingdom – Following CMA action, McAfee, a leading supplier of anti-virus software, has extended its refund rights for all customers whose contracts have auto-renewed.
The changes secured by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as part of its investigation into the anti-virus software sector include:
McAfee ensuring that customers whose contract auto-renews for another year will be able to end their contract and seek a refund for the remaining months. In addition, this new refund right will be backdated for people who were previously refused a refund in 2020.
The process for turning off auto-renewal will be made more straightforward for customers in the future.
Providing clearer information upfront on pricing, for example by making clear that the auto-renewal price in the second year is higher than the price paid when the anti-virus product was first purchased.
Locating important information about how to turn off automatic renewal and obtain a refund more prominently on its website and in emails sent to customers.
The investigation into the sector was launched in response to the loyalty penalty ‘super-complaint’ from Citizens Advice about long term customers overpaying for key services. This raised concerns that some anti-virus software companies’ terms and practices may be unfair and could result in UK customers paying for services they no longer want or need.
Andrea Coscelli, CMA Chief Executive, said:
“People should not be tied into auto-renewing contracts for products they no longer want or need. Because of our investigation, it will be easier for McAfee’s customers to get money back if a contract renews when they didn’t want it to.
“Subscriptions should be clearly described, easy to exit and customers should not be tied into ongoing auto-renewals without adequate refund rights. Companies who use auto-renewals unfairly risk action from the CMA.”