This week a Swedish news outlet published an article about a lady who successfully made a claim with the ARN that her antivirus had failed her and the computer had become infected and had to be repaired, as a result the Swedish ARN has found in the ladies favor that the antivirus company should foot the bill for this mishap.
The ARN (The National Board for consumer Disputes) is a public authority that functions roughly like a court. Its main task is to go between consumers and business operators to resolve an issue with products or services and all claims are filled by the consumers. Before a claim is made to the ARN it needs to be put forward to the business operator who has to formally reject it in whole or part, these services are free of charge.
According to information obtained by CWN the Anti Virus in question is Panda, which is owned by Panda Security who was founded in 1990 and in 2012 was in the top ten antivirus company world wide according to Wikipedia, and the lady who has made this claim is of older age (60+). The amount the lady had claimed for was 3340 SEK (368.46 USD) and appears that she had an subscription to panda for Panda Antivirus Pro 2015 suite which is 217 SEK (23.93 USD) a year for subscriptions with options up to 3 years for 469 SEK (51.74 USD), and looking into some pricing for virus removal and PC repairs in Sweden shows that it costs upwards 800 SEK (88.23 USD) for virus repairs and some private commercial company's appear to be at around a 500 SEK (55.14 USD) per hour rate for all computer repairs.
According the news published by vk.se the lady first discovered she had issues on December 19th when she could not get two stream services working and was required to install flash, when this failed, it prompted her to contact a repair company who from there discovered that the computer was infected and it had a history of updates, meaning that the anti virus had claimed to be updated with the latest detection's, one question that could be raised is the ability to disable these types of programs and then making these claims.
The ARN has made a decision that favors the lady but the amount suggested to be paid out was only 1900 SEK (209.57 USD), 1440 SEK (158.88 USD) going to repair shop bills and 460 SEK (50.75 USD) going to the panda subscriptions, but this suggestion is not legally binding, however most company choose to follow through and make payment because it can damage the name if they are seen to ignore it. According to the documents the reason for the lower suggested amount is that according to the ARN the repairing company took more steps then was needed to clean and repair the infected system. The lady paid 566 SEK (62.42 USD) for the 2 year extension of the Panda Antivirus Pro 2015 in July 2015 and the computer was sent for repair around December 19th 2015, due to this the ARN has counted off the amount between July and the repair date near the new year.
Even though as stated above this is not legally binding, meaning panda does not have to make the payment, however this does in a way set the way for other cases to be opened against other anti virus and internet security company's which could leave a big mess and a lot headaches right around the world but it could also serve as a way to make sure that these sorts of company's are not ripping people off and selling a product that does not do what it claims as we have seen many times in the passed, such as one uncovered by Risk Based Security.
note: currency conversions done at time of publishing, they may differ from the exact.
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