It appears that Symantec is ready to offer compensation — five whole weeks after knocking out 50,000 Chinese PCs in error. But Chinese users eligible for the offer have to act fast, as it’s only good for a couple of weeks.

In case you missed the news, a bad software update on May 18 resulted in its flagship Norton anti-virus software to wrongly identify two system files in the Simplified Chinese version of Windows XP as malware. This caused the software to quarantine them, with far-reaching and disastrous consequences.

Initially criticized as being slow to respond, Symantec is offering amends, according to PC World:

The company is offering affected Chinese consumers a 12-month Norton license extension and a copy of Norton Save & Restore 2.0. Corporate customers are being offered Symantec Ghost Solution Suite licenses, depending on the number of PCs affected. Symantec is not offering to extend Norton licenses for corporate customers affected by the bad update.

However, the uproar is far from over yet. In fact, it has quickly spilled over into the mainstream news coverage, in which criticism is aplenty over Symantec’s deliberate avoiding of the word “compensation.”

Says Alamus, the deputy director of the China Electronic Commerce Association’s committee on legal and policy issues:

“Symantec’s response to its Chinese consumers lacks seriousness and sincerity. It’s obvious that Symantec is trying to avoid mentioning compensation. They are watching the reaction from users. They are attempting to get away from their responsibility.”

The Register puts it across best when it wrote:

“Cockroach in your salad, sir? Have some free salad.”

So what do you think? What kind of compensation should Symantec be paying out? Join the discussion.


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