[Dshield] Firewalls again...

David Sentelle David.Sentelle at cnbcbank.com
Wed Jul 31 18:19:46 GMT 2002

We don't use E-Trust, but we DO use Arcserve/Brightstor and InnoculateIT/LAN, and I'll be happy to tell you about my specific experience with Computer Associates.  I won't specify how many PCs they're protecting here.  It isn't important.  What is important is that the vendor cares about the customer, regardless of size.  

Before I go on my customer service tangent, I'll say that once setup, their software runs well and reliably.  Its unfortunate that their documentation and support isn't better.

Oh well....

A few weeks ago we started getting a virus on a some of our workstations.  Not all at once.... it showed up randomly it seemed.  I expected it was a false alarm, but I had to look into it.  

Researching it, I couldn't find the virus on their site, or any other websites.  I called their support and they said it would be a per-incident charge if I wanted help.  I tried explaining that I just wanted to verify that their software was reporting an actual virus but that didn't matter to them, I had to give them a credit card number or I couldn't talk.

After the virus showed up on more workstations, my supervisor said it was OK to spend the money.  (I hate needing an OK to spend $100)  When I called they let me know that it was a bug in their virus definitions file.  Of course, they couldn't tell me that up front.  First they had to quiz me on which version of the software I was using, and what engine version, and what signature version, not to mention asking me what version of Windows I had.  It left me feeling like if I'd answered any of the questions wrong that I would have ended up paying for the call.

Once establishing it was a bug in their file, and promising to email revised signatures, they tried to quickly get me off the phone.  (They DID quickly email me the signatures)  I wouldn't take that though, and asked if I still had to pay for the incident, as it was their fault that we were getting the false virus notifications.  They asked if I wanted an 'incident credit'.  I asked if I could get a refund and they said they'd do that.  

Its funny though, because before I even got an actual support tech on the phone I'd gotten the billing notification in my email.  My suspicion is its a billing trick like the companies who bill people on order, but don't deliver for 6-8 weeks, during which time the $$$ from the sale build up a nice amount of interest, considering that its just an accounting trick.  I'd love to see how those charges show on their GL.

Another thing that bugged me about this whole incident is that they didn't put any notice to customers on their website.  Imagine that, a big company trying to sweep problems under the rug rather than deal with them.  Its one thing when I do it....  :)

My last gripe about their support is that they've got such thick accents its nearly impossible to understand them.  I think they've even stopped using their real names just so people calling in know how to spell their tech's name.  This is probably the most trivial of my gripes, as I've not done anything to learn THEIR language, whatever they speak in Islandia.

Well, that's my review of Computer Associates.  As I and the tech here who works with their backup software say, they put the Ass in Computer Associates.

David Sentelle
Network Operations Specialist
Commerce National Bank
614.334.6282 Voice    614.848.8830 Fax
There are only 10 types of people in this world: 
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

>>> list-request at dshield.org 07/31/02 12:00PM >>>
From: "Wayne Beckham" <wbeckham at yahoo.com>
To: <list at dshield.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 10:32:26 -0700
Subject: [Dshield] Firewalls again...
Reply-To: list at dshield.org 

Hash: SHA1

Any thoughts on Computer Associates E-Trust software?  A friend is
looking for a recommendation.

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