A new study says antivirus companies are not offering adequate customer service, making consumers feel betrayed.
The study, published Tuesday by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT), found that the industry is failing to educate consumers about their antivirus products, even as it is selling the most popular products.ICIT’s study of nearly 2,000 consumers in the U.S. found that antivirus sales have dropped by 18 percent over the past six months, while average consumer ratings for the industry have plummeted.
“The consumer is not really getting the benefit of a true, comprehensive and honest experience with the products,” ICIT’s Robert McDonough said.
“We’re seeing consumers not really get the benefit and that has an effect on them in the long term.”
McDonough is director of the ICIT Center for Strategic Innovation.
The institute, which is funded by the government, is responsible for testing and developing antivirus software.
The ICIT study found that consumer loyalty is also on the decline.
It found that only 18 percent of respondents said they have bought an antivirus in the past 12 months, down from 35 percent in 2013.ICITT said consumers are frustrated by a lack of information and are being misled by companies that sell antivirus for less than what they need.
“We have a lot of frustration that consumers are not getting the full value that they’re paying for,” McDonochesaid.
“They’re paying more for a service that doesn’t deliver on its promises.”
According to the ICITT study, the average customer is spending $20 more per year for antivirus than the average consumer.
ICIT said that in the 12 months ending in October, the industry’s share of the market increased from 17.5 percent to 22.7 percent.