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IMRSH

MWB = Disingenuous

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Don't make the mistake I did.  I purchased a lifetime license for MWB Pro from Amazon in 2014 - the last year they were offered by MWB.  I registered and activated the program on their site and signed up in the user forums.  I even received assistance via email from MWB support on multiple occasions.  Fast forward 5 years.  While upgrading to a new computer, MWB would not activate.  I thought this was strange because I had done the same thing a few years earlier with another new computer, and had no problem with the activation.

Now, MWB says my license is no good and that the seller I bought from was not authorized.  It was Amazon!  On Amazon's site it says, "sold through Amazon Digital Services", not some 4th party!!!  I understand there may be pirates out there, but a HUGE retailer like Amazon?  If it's pirated, how can MWB not know about this, let alone not do anything about it?

Am i pissed?  Yeah, I'm pissed.  MWB abandoned me!  They ignored the email copies I sent them of messages I'd received from their support department and claimed no such account existed.  But I have the emails and I have the account info saved in my password manager!  I even had them check my other email addresses.  NADA!  Bottom line?  All they would do is offer me a 1 year license, which I'd have to pay to renew.  I could be wrong, but I think it's just as likely that MWB realized offering lifetime licenses was a dumb idea and now they're falsely claiming the licenses are illegitimate, just to get rid of them.

SHAME on MWB for this and SHAME on them for not doing more to ferret out bad sellers and for not working with large vendors like Amazon to prevent this sort of thing from happening.  Shame on them also for not stepping up and doing the right thing.  They had the opportunity to convert an angry customer into a customer for life, but they didn't think it was worth their time.  In the past, many, many friends/colleagues have purchased MWB based on my recommendation as a former technology professional for over 20 years.  I'll contact ALL of them and tell them of my experience.  As good as MWB the software is, I'll also recommend they look elsewhere for anti malware protection.  After all ... what good is software if the company behind it is no good?

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1 hour ago, IMRSH said:

It was Amazon!  On Amazon's site it says, "sold through Amazon Digital Services", not some 4th party!!! 

Unfortunately, 3rd party sellers can sell software keys and be distributed by  Amazon Digital Services. That is why I will not buy downloadable software from Amazon.

 

1 hour ago, IMRSH said:

While upgrading to a new computer, MWB would not activate. 

Did you Deactivate the software on the old computer in the Malwarebytes dashboard before trying to activate on the new computer? Just asking.

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4 minutes ago, Porthos said:

Did you Deactivate the software on the old computer in the Malwarebytes dashboard before trying to activate on the new computer? Just asking.

TBH - I don't recall.  I think not though, because I still had to work on the old laptop before switching over completely.  You'd think MWB would err on the sire of caution for a customers sake and provide a grace period of a week or so.  they claim to be customer focused, but they're not.  Their tagline is, "Imagine a world without malware."  They should imagine a world without customers.

Regarding 3rd/4th party sellers - yes, Amazon is at fault, but so is MWB for not doing more to stop these dirt bags who operate right out in the open - on major retail websites like Amazon and eBay.  It's literally impossible for them not to have know about this.

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And you know this how?  Do you work for them?  If not, I contend your comment is mere supposition.

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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately, while Malwarebytes and other vendors do their best to report these sellers to have their products removed, large sites/companies like ebay and Amazon are often slow to act and the scammers doing these things create multiple accounts and are back up and running under a new name/seller ID as soon as the original/reported one has been taken down (we have threads full of such sellers being reported on the forums here and more that get reported through Support, but it never ends as with any scam that profits those perpetrating it, just like sellers of fake goods on ebay and the like).  I've seen countless scam sellers and sites taken down thanks to Malwarebytes after they were reported.  Unfortunately it's a never ending battle because the scammers have nothing to lose if they get caught since the worst they'll face is having their account terminated at which point they just go and create another (or activate/start using one of the many backup/duplicate accounts they often already have prepared for just such an occasion) and since physically tracking them down/identifying them is virtually impossible, it's difficult to get law enforcement to do anything, especially since they are often operating out of countries where software piracy and selling counterfeit goods is not against the law.

That said, if you haven't done so already, I'd suggest trying to create an account at My.Malwarebytes.com using the same email you used when you purchased the license if you still have access to that email address.  You'll find instructions on doing so in this support article.  If you no longer have access to that original email address then follow the instructions in this support article and try adding your license to your account by following the instructions in this support article.

If you are successful, deactivate the license from all previous devices/installations by following the instructions in this support article using the Deactivate all function documented there.

Edited by exile360

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I hear what you're saying, but it's obvious Amazon doesn't want to solve the problem - my guess is because they profit from it.  If they did, they'd implement a "verified seller" program where prospective sellers would have to provide verifiable contact info along with authorization from the software publisher before they can sell any product on Amazon.com.  MWB should be pushing for such programs and working with Amazon to prevent the sale of their products - which could easily be automated once such a program is put in place - anyone who isn't verified doesn't even get to add their wares.  This would enable buyers to instantly recognize authorized reseller - something they can't do now - and it would eliminate illegitimate/pirated products.  MWB forces customers to do everything in this regard.

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34 minutes ago, IMRSH said:

It's literally impossible for them not to have know about this.

Before the recent piracy protections were put in place,  Key generated keys would work. Malwarebytes Lifetime was sold legitimately 3 ways. The main website direct, Boxed retail copy's and from authorized resellers.  Authorized resellers were and are not permitted to sell their keys on any websites like Amazon or eBay for example.

Lifetime keys have always been a one computer license.  Before Malwarebytes had the self service portal to manage licenses, It would allow a set amount of uninstall and reinstall/transfers before it prompted to contact support. NOW there is no leeway and if one forgets or can not deactivate the license FIRST, It will not allow reactivation without using the portal or contacting support.  This allows strict adherence to the license terms and weeds out the pirated keys. I would guess support is going insane with requests since the new systm was implemented.

On a personal note, Malwarebytes is the only security product I would ever purchase as a subscription because it has kept me clean for 10 years now. 

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I grant you, it's a good product.  The support is another issue.

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21 minutes ago, IMRSH said:

I hear what you're saying, but it's obvious Amazon doesn't want to solve the problem - my guess is because they profit from it.  If they did, they'd implement a "verified seller" program where prospective sellers would have to provide verifiable contact info along with authorization from the software publisher before they can sell any product on Amazon.com.  MWB should be pushing for such programs and working with Amazon to prevent the sale of their products - which could easily be automated once such a program is put in place - anyone who isn't verified doesn't even get to add their wares.  This would enable buyers to instantly recognize authorized reseller - something they can't do now - and it would eliminate illegitimate/pirated products.  MWB forces customers to do everything in this regard.

That would be nice, but unfortunately Amazon doesn't do anything like that.  They don't even verify physical products.  There are tons of sellers on there selling fake goods such as clothing, electronics and pretty much everything else.  It's one reason I'm cautious about who I buy from and prefer to purchase from Amazon directly if possible, or at least from sellers where Amazon is the one actually shipping the product (i.e. 'FULFILLMENT BY AMAZON' listings) because then at least Amazon takes full responsibility and will make it right if anything about the product or transaction is messed up or inaccurate.  Ebay and Amazon both are generally pretty good about protecting buyers, but unfortunately if the issue isn't caught pretty early during their return period then they won't do anything about it most of the time.

I agree with your idea and I wish all these sites would do this sort of thing to verify goods, however it would be just as easy for a seller of the fake stuff (for software downloads at least) to start out initially selling a few legit copies just to pass validation and then start using keygens etc. for profit.  With software, pre-validating every license key sold is a lot more difficult than verifying a physical copy of something, especially when we're talking about something like the old lifetime licenses for Malwarebytes, because back when they were created the online license validation system didn't exist yet so there were a LOT of keygens and pirated keys going around, but eventually Malwarebytes grew as a company thanks to their success and finally developed and rolled out a much more robust online license validation system that the pirates and scammers could no longer exploit (this is also the reason pretty much any time you see such today trying to sell them, they're either pushing long obsolete 2.x builds of Malwarebytes or they are using cracked copies of the software itself with modified binaries since they know the keys they are using won't activate/pass online validation, but it makes it pretty much impossible for users of those copies to receive updates so it has done a lot to curb this sort of thing).  Basically, with the system in place as it is now these types of scams are far more difficult to pull off, so if anyone tried to sell me a 'valid' lifetime key for Malwarebytes, I'd only accept it if they were willing to send me one of the older physical boxed retail copies still sealed in the package with the license key, because anything else is very likely to be junk/a scam.

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I think you're oversimplifying the validation process to make it sound easy to bypass.  There are numerous things that can be done to make it harder to game the system - regular re-authorization for example and a significant financial penalty for any participant who violates the terms.  Also, if MWB and other publishes don't band together to demand/force Amazon, eBay and others to require verified seller programs, then they're not really working in the cusomer's best interest.

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28 minutes ago, IMRSH said:

The support is another issue.

But you also said...

3 hours ago, IMRSH said:

I even received assistance via email from MWB support on multiple occasions. 

Seems the only issue is now that they wont honor a key that was not sold by them or an authorized seller. Just like Adobe or MS  not giving free copy's of Office etc to those who received pirated copy's from non official sources.

Since you were not willing to accept the offer of a one year free license. Use the anti-exploit free beta and the free browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox and run manual scans to check the system on a regular basis. Malwarebytes will still clean whatever it finds at no cost. 

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Never said I didn't accept the free year.

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23 minutes ago, IMRSH said:

I think you're oversimplifying the validation process to make it sound easy to bypass.  There are numerous things that can be done to make it harder to game the system - regular re-authorization for example and a significant financial penalty for any participant who violates the terms.  Also, if MWB and other publishes don't band together to demand/force Amazon, eBay and others to require verified seller programs, then they're not really working in the cusomer's best interest.

If that's true, then why haven't larger companies like Adobe and Microsoft already done it?  I think you may be overestimating the influence a company like Malwarebytes has.  They can't just call up the anti-malware Justice League to have a meeting and get every other AV/AM vendor all in on something like this, and more than likely it would really have to come from Amazon's and ebay's side, otherwise they'd just ignore it because they are plenty large enough to get by just fine without carrying Malwarebytes (or any AV/AM software at all, or even any software period) so pressure from even a large number of vendors would likely have no effect, and that's assuming Malwarebytes even could somehow organize such a 'coming together' of all the AV/AM vendors; something I highly doubt they could accomplish (even a larger vendor like Symantec or Kaspersky would likely fail if they tried to do so).

The other issue is the fact that you can't verify that every key the seller is going to provide in the future is valid.  License keys just don't work that way.  They either are or are not valid, and no one can tell until the customer actually receives it and tries to activate the software with it, at which point if it does not work, they contact the seller or Amazon or Malwarebytes support, then it gets taken care of based on what the situation is and the responsible party.  Again, this is why sites like ebay and Amazon have such strong buyer protection policies and flexible refund policies; it's just not feasible for them to provide such a thing for a purchase that took place 5+ years ago, which I'm sure you can understand.  It's not like this is happening constantly today; it isn't.  Virtually all of the sellers pushing scam lifetime keys now are pretty obvious about it, at least as soon as the software is provided to the user, because it comes with the crack, special instructions on how to try and bypass validation etc., otherwise it won't even work, in which case Amazon/ebay would get tons of reports about the seller, the negative feedback would pile up and they'd be gone in short order anyway.

The bottom line is, we can speculate on what Amazon/ebay etc. could or could not do, but it's a matter of what they are willing to do, and a relatively small company like Malwarebytes isn't likely going to be able to change their policies and practices, otherwise all the sellers that they've already reported and had taken down would have spurred them into action by now, but it hasn't.  It all still works pretty much the same way, and I doubt Amazon/ebay are anxious to change it considering the relatively small number of bogus transactions weighed against the number of perfectly valid transactions they're able to profit from.

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Also, just because technical support was provided in the past doesn't mean they don't deserve criticism now or for other aspects of customer support.

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It's not the influence of one a/v or a/m company.  It's a group of many different software publishers banding together to force the hand(s) of larger companies.  And they can't call the anti-malware Justice League because no one bothers to form one.  Also, your conclusion about a larger group having no effect makes no sense.  Just because one small company would have no effect doesn't mean the same would be true of a larger group.  Regarding verification ... you don't need to verify every single key - just the bona fides of the sellers.  If they are verified and identified as such, and non-verified sellers are not allowed, illegitimate software will disappear - at least from large retailers.  People need to stop throwing up excuses for why something can't be done and start talking about why something can/should be done.

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But then the problem becomes pre-validating the sellers.  How do you accomplish this?

Regarding all the software vendors working together, that's a great idea, but how is Malwarebytes, a relatively small fish in a very vast ocean, supposed to make that happen?

Amazon and ebay are fully aware that Malwarebytes no longer sells/provides lifetime license keys and that they haven't for years, so if they are allowing sellers to try and sell them, supposedly with seemingly limitless supplies of them, they are either knowingly ignoring scams or they are just too busy/uninterested to do any kind of validation at all/do anything to prevent it, and they are likely just relying on their existing system to work where customers complain, and when enough incidents occur, they then take action against the seller, and I bet this is exactly what Amazon would say if any coalition of software vendors came to them with something like this.  But who knows?  Maybe Microsoft will decide they've had enough of these vendors selling fake/pirated copies of MS Office products and they will do something/get vendors together (or just apply the pressure on their own by throwing their own considerable weight around) to try and make a change somehow.  It would be nice, but either way it is not something that Malwarebytes is influential enough to make happen.

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Wow, are you always so negative?  Like I said ... stop coming up with reasons why something can't be done and start thinking about how it might be done.

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If all you see are roadblocks, you'll never get anywhere.

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We do have a dedicated team that reviews and submits take down requests. I'm sorry you were scammed as that's a bad feeling for anyone. Unfortunately the World is much more complex and difficult than many would think. In a Utopian World we wouldn't need security software period. Take a look at our own Government not being able to agree or even work together on just about anything the past few years. There are billions and billions of connections of devices on the Internet as well as millions and millions of websites. There is no way for anyone to manage and control it to allow only the good. Facebook spends billions trying to control their platform and they're not doing so well either.

As for Support, having access to both email, chat, phone, forum is pretty available compared to many companies out there. Again, I'm sorry you were scammed but we have no way to make everything perfect in this World. Just because you don't like the answer does not make the support bad.

 

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Thank you for your feedback. If there is something specific I can assist you with please let me know. Otherwise, I believe your issue has been answered.

Ron

 

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Sorry, I have others to assist with real issues. If you just with to chat and not obtain assistance I'll move your topic to the general forum and you can continue there.

Thank you again

Ron

 

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I don't need your assistance.  I need the company as a whole to be more customer-centric and not just talk about it.  Read the entire thread, then move on.

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