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JamesMan

Getting tired of Malwarebytes installing a "free trial" without asking!

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I am starting to find this program a bit of a nuisance - it's almost acting like malware itself!

On more than one occasion now, when I've installed the latest version, it's installed a free trial of software, without even asking me!

To me, this is exactly the kind of behavior I use anti-malware software to PREVENT!

Yes, I found out how to disable it, but it's REALLY hard to find (Settings > Account Details > "Deactivate" button at the bottom). Most people are simply never going to find that unless they come on here and ask for help (as I did).

If this kind of behavior keeps up, I will be permanently uninstalling the software, because it's making me very nervous about whether I can trust the developers.

I have no objection to the developers wanting to make a bit of money, or upsell products. I don't even mind if the program (discreetly) invites me to upgrade to the premium version. But installing it onto my computer without permission and saying "You're HAVING this"... that just stinks!

While I'm here, there's a VERY confusing button on this page. It says "Notify me of replies" and next to it is some kind of sliding switch control, with an "X"on,  but when you click the "X", it turns into a check. So does the x mean "click to deactivate" or does it mean "currently deactivated"? It's totally confusing. I think this is someone's idea of trying to be clever and re-invent the wheel. Why not just have a standard checkbox?

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Thanks for your feedback about the trial. We do reset trials occasionally for users as many of our users find it beneficial and appreciate it. I'll pass your feedback along to our project managers.

As for the "Notify me of replies" option, that checkbox is actually from our forum host, not something we've done ourselves. By default that option is disabled, and when you slide it, you get a green box with a checkmark in it. When the slider is green, that means the notifications are enabled. This is another piece of feedback we can relay to the proper teams as well. Thanks

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I downloaded free version free 2 days ago . All it is showing is 14 day free trial. What happens when 14 days are up? Is there still a free edition that will be working or does it just stop. A con to get you to use it and automatically graduate to premium. I used a different system before and got charged for the trial. Dont want anything to happen like that!!

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1 hour ago, WendyJ said:

I downloaded free version free 2 days ago . All it is showing is 14 day free trial. What happens when 14 days are up? Is there still a free edition that will be working or does it just stop. A con to get you to use it and automatically graduate to premium. I used a different system before and got charged for the trial. Dont want anything to happen like that!!

After the 14 day trial is over, the Premium version will convert to the Free version.  You will no longer have active protections, however you can still perform manual scans and remove any malware that Malwarebytes finds.  There will always be a Free version available.

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My approach to this is to disable all the premium features as soon as the update is completed and the trial premium version is foisted upon me unasked.

Call it ineffectual, call it shooting myself in the foot -- whatever. I'm contrarian by nature.

I am not sitting on a sidewalk, there's no cardboard sign in my lap, my palm is not up in the air for a handout. So if you push a banknote in my hand and then have the gall to say I have to return it in 13 days, I'm going to crumple it up, drop it on the floor and go about my day.

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If you really don't want the trial then instead of going through and disabling all of the Premium features, you may instead simply deactivate the trial which will completely eliminate all of those features via a single control.  Instructions on how to do so can be found in this support article.

With that said, the idea of the free trial is simply to allow free users to take the Premium version for a test drive to see how they like it in the hopes that they might decide that it is worth purchasing, which many of them do (though not all of course, which is why an option to deactivate the trial exists in the first place as it was deliberately put there by Malwarebytes' Developers to allow users the choice to terminate the trial if they prefer to remain using just the free version/features).  The decision of whether or not to use the trial or to purchase a license/subscription is entirely up to the individual.  The trial simply allows everyone to see first-hand what the Premium version has to offer so that they may make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase the product.  The reason trials are periodically reset is due to the fact that as new versions are released and new features are added, much can change with regards to what the Premium version has to offer, so users who perhaps have continued to use the free version for a long time may reassess that decision in light of the changes that have been made in the most recent release.  This is especially true when a new major component to protection is added for example or when the UI has undergone a large scale change.

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2 hours ago, exile360 said:

If you really don't want the trial then instead of going through and disabling all of the Premium features, you may instead simply deactivate the trial which will completely eliminate all of those features via a single control.  Instructions on how to do so can be found in this support article.

That is a perfectly good explanation, and in full disclosure I can now recall that I've used the deactivation setting in the past - after looking it up online, because it wasn't clearly offered on the dashboard.  I suppose today I just didn't have the patience to look it up again, so I went Neanderthal instead and just stomped all over the real-time protection features. Which, and this is not a minor detail, were indeed clearly shown and highlighted on the dashboard, probably as they are the primary point of the trial version.

I am offering this report of my own admittedly ridiculous actions as a voluntary set of user behavior data, for Malwarebytes to maybe take into account in future marketing decisions. I don't intend to turn this into some entitleder-than-thou crusade as I'm fully aware that the free version is, well, free. Duh. I am deeply thankful for living in an era when highly useful tools are offered by people far smarter than myself, either for free or in exchange for frankly hairthin inconveniences like some advertising here and there.

However (you knew the "however" was coming, it always comes after the dude goes on a tirade on what a happy camper he is), I am also a stickler for offering users clear options and respecting their decisions.  Failing to ask if I want the trial version before installing the update is a breach of that.  Failing to offer a one-click option to deactivate the trial version once installed is another breach. 

I plan to continue using the free version of Malwarebytes as I'm a perfectly satisfied, er... customer, if I even qualify as a free rider. I'm even open to the possibility of purchasing the premium version, if it ever becomes necessary. Which hasn't been the case so far (and I'm kind of ancient, so my "so far" is getting pretty long). But these occasional marketing gimmicks, I can't help seeing them as gimmicks.  So when someone pushes me, however mildly, I push back. Miiiildly.

I hope this succeeds in being taken in the same spirit as it was written. Taking tongue out of cheek now.

Peace out errbody.

 

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Correct, as it is it typically takes 3 clicks to disable the trial, however just to play devil's advocate here, I'd argue that its placement is quite logical since, technically speaking, a trial 14 day license is still technically a license, so the same page where the function to activate/deactivate a full license is where the function to activate/deactivate the free trial belongs (especially if one were seeking to avoid users who do not intend to deactivate the free trial accidentally doing so by placing it on the primary Dashboard tab where the software's primary functions and information reside, including the main "Scan Now" button as well as the protection options, which themselves are collapsed beneath an expandable menu by default just to avoid accidental deactivation; although the user receives immediate feedback in the form of notifications and alert status were they to disable protection accidentally even if disabled from the Dashboard, so that's slightly less risky of a proposition).

Now, with all of that said, I do agree that there should be an option to opt-out of the free trial during installation, and I have requested this very thing multiple times in the past and will pass on your feedback here once more to reiterate that suggestion in the hopes that this will be changed back (at one time it did offer the option, however I believe that because most users fail to read any of the options during install and just quick-click "Next" etc. all the way through, it was removed for the sake of efficiency to reduce the number of clicks/steps to get the software installed, but I still think it should remain present for those who do read and choose such as yourself).

Edited by exile360

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27 minutes ago, exile360 said:

...because most users fail to read any of the options during install and just quick-click "Next" etc. all the way through...

Ah, yes. I can totally see how that can become an issue for designers.  You've got me crying "Too many clicks after the update, boo-hoo!" and somebody else whining "Too many clicks before the update, waa-haa!", with the Clicks of Contention amounting to roughly three in each case.

"How dare you people make me click three* times! I shall frown in your general direction!" -- Yeap, see, this is why I never take my own battles seriously.

(*Also, disabling all four real-time features one by one took me eight clicks. Which is still a hysterically low number of clicks if compared to a standard browsing session, but is definitely more than three. In my defense, I did bring up shooting myself in the foot in my first comment up there, didn't I.)

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Hehe, no worries.  I definitely hear where you're coming from, and I do believe that the better choice is to give users the option up front, during installation.  It makes sense to me, especially for any free users who might be running some other application known to have compatibility issues with Malwarebytes (quite rare, especially these days, but it does happen), so I will be recommending that this change be made.  It's more convenient for you and a minor inconvenience at best for the "quick-click" crowd (if they click through without reading I doubt one more page of the install would make much difference anyway, and they could probably put it on the same page as the option where you choose where to install it and whether or not to create a desktop shortcut, thus eliminating the extra page/click).

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fwiw - I hope the powers that be listen and go back to offering a totally free install with an OPT-IN for any trials. The recent 3.x update uninstalled my bitdefender free completely, so when I went to disable the trial version, I ended up with nothing. Then re-installing Bitdefender free removed malwarebytes - its frankly no longer worth the hassle to have this as a "second opinion" manual scan option. I used to really appreciate having the free version to double check on downloads and whatnot. Now being forced to accept the trial, go through the hassles for trying to get the free only option and resultant snafus, it simply is not worth the effort. Let me know when a free only version comes back and I'll give it a try. This is really sad. From trying Avira, Avast, AVG, Panda, Bitdefender, etc - none have offered a free product as difficult as this one.

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On ‎12‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 5:45 PM, cheme75 said:

go back to offering a totally free install with an OPT-IN for any trials. The recent 3.x update uninstalled my bitdefender free completely, so when I went to disable the trial version, I ended up with nothing.

Like you, I would also like to see the OPT-IN option.  As for the recent 3.x update uninstalling your Bitdefender, that can not be as Malwarebytes does not uninstall any Antivirus programs, not sure what happened there.

That being said, if you do install the latest version and it installs with the Trial, you can always go to the Settings -> Account Details tab and end the trial there.

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Posted (edited)

I don't run MB3 real time, just have the free version for a weekly manual scan.

But I do run the MBAE Beta real time and everytime a MB3 update comes with a trial it uninstalls/removes MBAE (as it's meant to do in favour of it's own MB3 AE component).

It's easy enough to cancel the trial and put MBAE back again but an opt-in for the trial would prevent having to do that.

Edited by nukecad

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no offense to any here moaning about the free trial period but, 1st: nothing extra is being installed when on a trial it's all in the software already it's just active during the trial and off on free DUH!!! 2nd: i love MBAM it's the best software ever and i wish i could get more free trial time. the software works great. 3rd: you get to use all the power of MBAM free and you complain if they try to sell premium so they can also make a living. I love how people thing software just magically appears, there are actual people creating the software and keeping it up to date and your getting most of it free while they still have to make a living, they have families too, people are just selfish and want everything free.  

 

On 12/28/2018 at 6:45 PM, cheme75 said:

fwiw - I hope the powers that be listen and go back to offering a totally free install with an OPT-IN for any trials. The recent 3.x update uninstalled my bitdefender free completely, so when I went to disable the trial version, I ended up with nothing. Then re-installing Bitdefender free removed malwarebytes - its frankly no longer worth the hassle to have this as a "second opinion" manual scan option. I used to really appreciate having the free version to double check on downloads and whatnot. Now being forced to accept the trial, go through the hassles for trying to get the free only option and resultant snafus, it simply is not worth the effort. Let me know when a free only version comes back and I'll give it a try. This is really sad. From trying Avira, Avast, AVG, Panda, Bitdefender, etc - none have offered a free product as difficult as this one.

you want totally free software probably with all the features too but you probably doesn't work for free do you? so ungrateful

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