Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Things That Drive Me Nuts - Aggressive Marketing

I am a big fan of open source software (mostly because it’s free ;) and I also really hate purchasing something that I really don’t need or in a perfect world shouldn’t exist. An example of this is antivirus software. The super paranoid part of me believes that it is the antivirus software companies themselves that is behind computer viruses... I’m 99% sure that isn’t true. There is no doubt that a whole underworld industry exists creating viruses that can intercept passwords install malware or recruit your computer into a botnet that can then be used to send, spam emails, phishing and denial of service attacks.

Unfortunately, anti-virus software is necessary - that doesn’t stop me from getting the free version of whatever antivirus program I choose. The problem is the free version is really just a marketing exercise designed to push, trick or harass you into buying the full product. The last software I had, Avast, was a real bitch from the instant I installed it did not stop. Multiple, times a day it would spring up to remind me to upgrade.

Then at about two months ago it started saying that time about run out and that it was critical that I update it. So I clicked to update it and I could not find the free version and when I did work out where to click to get the free version it tricked me and tried to make me buy it anyway. I lost it and installed Avira antivirus which hasn’t bitched once so far. Then I uninstalled Avast. Non-ironically it was really sad that I uninstalled it and gave me a chance to continue using the free version - arseholes*.

This is just one example of marketing gone crazy. Yes I guess I was trying to take advantage a bit but I think of all the products out there, from cars to funeral insurance, created by companies with hyper aggressive marketing departments. They use harassment, fear, envy, guilt and greed - taking advantage of our most vile emotions to make a buck. It makes me sick.

If you have your own story about the evils of marketing I would like to read about it in the comments.

*Wikipedia has a page called Arsehole! I'm such a child, sometimes.

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