Why are TrustConnect and livePCsupport included in a "free" product?

During the installation of CIS 4, the user can select/deselect whether or not TrustConnect is included in the installation. Nowhere is the user warned that TrustConnect is NOT a free product or service. Since it appears to be a free product (TrustConnect) included in the install of a free product (CIS), users are misled. Not until the try to click on the TrustConnect shortcut, it loads and a tray icon appears. If you click on the tray icon, you get a login dialog which shows that you must setup an account to use it. Also in that dialog is a link for your free TRIAL. If you go to Comodo TrustConnect, you find out it is a 7-day trial which thereafter costs $7/month. So the user has to uninstall this adware.

Similarly, the user gets stuck installing livePCsupport. There is no option during the installation to NOT include that component. The dialog screens of Comodo’s UI are polluted with links to this PAID service. There are “Get Live Support” links in many dialogs. The Summary pane includes a section on “subscriptions” which is for their paid support service. So it looks like Comodo has reverted to the early days of their firewall product where you had to install a “selector” app to choose which one to open and that selector app had ads.

TrustConnect you can deselect during the install but users are not informed that it is payware. Users get no choice to deselect the install of livePCsupport (which really isn’t an install but a deposit of a wizard that guides users to signup for a TRIAL of their pay service). Looks like Softpedia got it right when they classified Comodo software as adware.

TrustConnect you can opt out during the install but this assumes the user has separately researched to find that it is a PAID service for which a TRIAL is included in the CIS4 installation. livePCsupport you’re stuck with during the install (no opt-out) and will have to uninstall afterward.

IMO,

A lot of misunderstandings come from, wrong perceptions.

Comodo builds and packages a paid for full blown, full service, full Security Suite.
Guaranteed even (if you choose).

They are gracious enough to allow people to use this same software, sans services
under a generous Free license.

Because they slap the word Free on it, I don’t feel obligates them to create a separate
software version, that meets everyone’s customary expectations of how Freeware is
laid out, packaged, distributed, self promoted.

Sure some minor annoyances, deselect this, or uninstall that “feature”.
But for me it’s a small price to… pay?
For using what is just about the best software out there, for free.

Bad

Deselect WHAT during the install? TrustConnect? Um, just how are users supposed to know what components are freeware and what are PAYWARE unless those same users are TOLD? Explain how users are supposed to deselect the install of livePCsupport since there is no such option to do so during the install.

Yes, freeware (and crippled or non-crippled version w/o support) have been around for a lot longer than Comodo has been giving away their software. Comodo isn’t blind to what they are doing. The same noise caused by Microsoft trying to foist MSN on Windows 95 users is the same noise Comodo deserves when they employ the same tactics. Apparently you don’t understand how very easy it is to set an attribute in the installer to disable the selection or installation of a bundled component.

Despite your argument (all about which discusses how great is the software) does NOT alter the definition of “adware” for which this product qualifies. We all know about author that foist software included in bundling of their products. It has become a long-time bane of software, especially freeware, so much so and for so long that users actually are no longer surprised at the tactic. They’ve become numb to the insult. If the default selection is not to install the foistware, the product itself would remain freeware. However, if the installer defaults to installing the foistware, regardless of how noble is the offer or great the product, then that product is adware. There are lots of adware that is very good … providing the user KNOWS what they are getting. Show me where during the installation the user is informed that TrustConnect is a trial version and a payware service. Show me during the install where the user even has a choice not to install livePCsupport or where they are informed that it is a payware service. You can’t. These components are foisted upon the unsuspecting users who only know that what they downloaded was told to them to be freeware.

I have many non-expert friends who end up with loads of ■■■■ on their hosts because they do “typical” installs instead of “custom” installs (where they can select just what NOT to include of the foistware that is bundled in the installer), or because they were never given a choice in the first place. The practice has become so rampant that it is now expected but that doesn’t change what is that practice.

Despite how delicious may be cactus juice, it doesn’t change the presence of the spines on the plant. Just because I enjoy part of the product doesn’t mean that I’ll be willfully blind to its negatives. Adware is a title deserved due to how Comodo configured their installer and/or not informing the user regarding the payware components bundled in with the freeware component(s). Being adware doesn’t change that the free portion of the installation is a very good product, but the goodness of the freeware product also doesn’t change that foistware is included by default or without choice during the install. I found it disappointing that Comodo would stoop to adware. Adware is an an appropriate categorization for Comodo’s product(s). Perhaps you would prefer the term foistware since it more accurately defines the practice being employed by their installer; however, the foisted components may themselves be freeware so it doesn’t accurately depict this situation in which the foisted components are payware.

Then remember that it isn’t just the install of the foistware that classifies CIS4 as adware. It is also all the links in their dialog screens trying to get users to subscribe to their livePCsupport service. Yes, CIS4 is a good product. I didn’t say it wasn’t. The free version of Avast is also adware due to the presence of an “upgrade” (to payware) shown in their Summary panel. I still use Avast; however, the install of Avast does not include any foistware as is afflicted in the Comodo offerings.

For CIS4 not to be adware would be very simple:

  • Do NOT enable the foistware by default.
  • DO explain to the users what are the bundled foistware products.

Then both freeware and payware users can use the exact same installer and make informed decisions as to what they want to include but without having to opt out of anything because the default is already to opt out. So, yes, Comodo wouldn’t even have to provide a different installer for the freeware version. They would just have to change the default behavior of their installer. They won’t because they know exactly why they setup their installer as they did.

Adware is NOT a perception. It is a fact in the behavior exhibited by the product.

Well the short answer is…

The Live Support is an integral part of the program for “paying” customers.
Oh I tried to see it from the sinister side, but they say here is our Paid Suite.
Including Live Support etc.

During install at various stages you can deselect all of the “optional” stuff. Right?

Hypothetical…
After install something has gone awry, well from almost anywhere in the GUI they have
a link they paid for, tada Live Support.
How many hoops do they have to go through to get and set up Live Support.
Because someone thought it was an extra option…during install, and now their in a bind.
If they didn’t have it there all ready to go.
Again a safe convenience aimed at paying or potential customers.

If including the easy to remove Live Support Module in a fail safe install of, again a meant
to be paid for product.
Means the Free Licensed version has to wear the label of Adware then,
May she bear the name proudly,
The best dang Adware/Free (not Freeware) Full Security Suite out there.

Do you think I just lost users?

I agree totally with VanguardLH.

I really hate the bla bla bla in an answer. The free product is not something we have to get on our knees for and thank Comodo. It’s nothing more than a way to get paying customers through giving first a free product, and most of all an add for building the Comodo name cheap worldwide. It’s a fine product don’t get me wrong but there is a lot of misleading stuff in it.

You don’t realize how easy it would be to provide a user configurable option to disable the “option” of the payware support service. User selects an option, each object (which is one being replicated in each dialog) gets its attribute set to visible=disabled. The user has no such configurable option during the install or afterward.

Wrong. There is no install-time option where the user can NOT include the install of livePCsupport. Perhaps you missed it but the install adds another separate folder for live support which runs a separate program outside of the Comodo UI. It is NOT inside the Comodo freeware product.

You really are so naive to believe the purpose of all the payware suport links in all those dialog screens in the Comodo UI were to make it easy for a user to click on a link to go to support? That, god forbid, they had to use a Help link in the main UI screen? Come on, don’t try to pretend to be foolish in that you don’t understand the point of all those links.

One, TrustConnect is presented during the install as an option, yes, but WITHOUT informing the user that it is a payware service. Two, there is NO option to the user to exclude the livePCsupport program during the install (remember that besides the adware links in the Comodo program there is a separate livePCsupport program). There is nothing in the livePCsupport program that could not be implemented by sending the user to a web page with the same “wizard” set of questions. There is no reason that this foistware must be installed on the user’s host.

Which proves my point that users have been incrementally trained through several years of this ever growing abuse to get accustomed to fluffware and foistware during the installs of both payware and freeware. Install Comodo, then uninstall foistware. Install Microsoft Live Essential but just the Windows Live Mail client, then go uninstall the SignOn Assistant and other fluffware the user had no choice during the install to exclude. Install and get the Google, Yahoo, or Ask toolbar and then have to separately uninstall the fluffware that was foisted upon the user … assuming the user is even cognizant of the covert tactic. Install Adobe Flash and get stuck with their download manager, then after the install go uninstall their download manager. Incrementalism has proven to work very well.

But Comodo tries hard to disprove that they are proliferating adware. They don’t want that badge as it has negative connotations. Some adware has its nuisances quietly tucked away or are unobtrusive. If livePCsupport’s only intrusion were the links to “Get support” in the UI screens (which took the user to a web page with the same wizards) then I would not have bothered mentioning it, but instead a separate program for it gets installed. That users are not informed TrustConnect is a payware service isn’t just by accident but deliberate to the point of lying to Comodo’s users.

Probably not. I think the freeware portion of the product is very good (as to being “best” I would argue but we don’t need to get into that now). But the badges of dishonor from lying to users about TrustConnect and livePCsupport being payware, defaulting to installing them, not providing a choice regarding livePCsupport (and making them later perform an uninstall) is like looking at a bright and shiny suit of armor that is very impressive until you see the rusty chain mail skirt and stained codpiece which tarnish the image of the product. The reaction is, “Oh that looks marvel… what the hell?”.

Confirm. livePCsupport is installed silently without ability to opt out (true for web installer, NOT for offline installer which is fine).
Further interesting detail is that livePCsupport and CIS are SEPARATE MSI packages.

:slight_smile:

:-TU
Nothing personal, just business. Comodo isn’t 2 kids in mom’s basement codin fer freedom.

It's a fine product don't get me wrong but there is a lot of misleading stuff in it.
If you view from some altruistic Freeware purist perspective, I totally get it all. I Love Free and Open Sauce ;)

Yes I do. And I even gave 1 possible rational they could use to justify not giving the option on initial install.
Whether the rational holds water or if it would be easily done are irrelevant after all.
Where in the EULA, which I’m sure you carefully read. Does it say they Comodo, agree to adhere to what you expect from clean Freeware installer, in their Free to use Commercial installer.

The user has no such configurable option during the install or afterward.
Unless, you consider the option to safely and easily Uninstall the component that offends you so.
There is no install-time option where the user can NOT include the install of livePCsupport. Perhaps you missed it but the install adds another separate folder for live support which runs a separate program outside of the Comodo UI. It is NOT inside the Comodo freeware product.
:-TU Never meant it was inside it, It is however part of the package you agreed to install.
You really are so naive
Woe is me.
to believe the purpose of all the payware suport links in all those dialog screens in the Comodo UI were to make it easy for a user to click on a link to go to support? That, god forbid, they had to use a Help link in the main UI screen? Come on, don't try to pretend to be foolish in that you don't understand the point of all those links.
Whether I agree with you, or I believe it is some sweet luxury for paying customers to get Live relevant help with the issue at hand without leaving that current window or dialogue, or something else entirely. Is again, probably irrelevant in the boardroom.

The rest of the post I didn’t quote pretty much stands as evidence, you never read the EULA before you agreed to it. For shame :wink:

I think the freeware portion of the product is very good (as to being "best" I would argue but we don't need to get into that now).
:-TU Agreed, actually I meant one of the best. And no I won't argue over who's best, better, bestest ;D
But the badges of dishonor from lying to users about TrustConnect and livePCsupport being payware, defaulting to installing them, not providing a choice regarding livePCsupport (and making them later perform an uninstall) is like looking at a bright and shiny suit of armor that is very impressive until you see the rusty chain mail skirt and stained codpiece which tarnish the image of the product. The reaction is, "Oh that looks marvel... what the hell?".
Have you read the actual products web pages and the EULA.

Confirmation Confirmed.

Later
Bad

The real Bottom Line for me, and I feel others could avoid unneeded stress by doing the same is.
I take what I want and leave/uninstall the rest, it’s free, and legit to do so.
If they do something that so offends my righteousness that I can no longer bear to, Take what I want and leave/uninstall the rest.
Then I’ll feel free to move on.

Have you read the EULA? Did you notice Comodo’s guarantee that they will repair your computer (but only if you can connect over the Internet so they can help)? Um, considering that their EULA has them guaranteeing to repair your computer due to the effects of malware, just why are they shoving out their paid livePCsupport service? Why would Comodo users pay for something that the EULA gives them for free?

Read section 3 of the EULA. “Some versions of the Products” is not defined. This is a big loop-hole that any 1st-year lawyer could step on to force Comodo to repair any host using ANY version of Comodo’s products. “Some” without any restrictions means 1 to all. It’s been 12 years since I’ve been infected so it’s not likely that I’ll be the first one to challenge their EULA.

Then go read section 10.2. You know this part already. You’ve seen it in every EULA that you have ever read. This is where the author/owner of the software covers their legal butts by denying any responsibility for the behavior of their product. I won’t go into the legalese. We’ve all seen that legal disentanglement clause that basically says they don’t guarantee or even promise anything about the usability, reliability, quality of their product or that it will do what they claim it does. In other words, when taken in converse, their product is ■■■■ because they won’t guarantee it works. Well, we know that Comodo isn’t ■■■■ but the disclaimer to cover their legal butts says otherwise.

You know very well what is the point of a EULA. It is to protect Comodo, not to inform the user as to what Comodo overtly or covertly installs on their host or to explain which of “some” products are free and which are paid.

Same rationale a soldier could use to excuse “friendly fire” after digging the schrapnel out of his ■■■■. Well, he removed the schrapnel so what’s he complaining about? Having to undo the damage, that’s what.

Bad

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Are you serious? honestly who reads the EULA… (:LGH)

This is a simple fix… At the end of the opt in (It’s not included in the Web installer? thats not good…) Add the following “(This is a trial for x days, After that it is an Paid for service)” Or something simmiliar along those lines. Everyone would be happy. It is disheartening when a vendor gives you something you did not know about \ ask for.

So in Bad Frogger’s example of section 1.1 from the EULA, none of us non-paying users can use any Comodo product. There is no freeware from Comodo. Unless we PAID for the Product, we can’t use it. Hands up in a vote: How many users have /paid/ for Comodo’s “freeware”? Guess we should go informing download.com and all other download sites that Comodo has yanked the distribution of their freeware and now it is all payware because Comodo’s EULA says so.

But wait, section 2.1 says CIS is royalty-free. How could that be unless CIS is not a “Product” of Comodo covered under section 1.1.

An example of a poorly written catch-all EULA to cover many separate products. It can’t even agree with its own terms.

The point is and has always been, That a big deal has always been made that the Pro and Free software
are exactly the same.

Why can’t you get your head around the idea they are letting you use the commercial package for free.
And allow you to remove what you don’t like, No Damage, No Harm No Foul.

Bad

Only if I violate the EULA as included with the software can I use it for free as presented by you. The EULA conflicts with itself, like noting that I get guaranteed support but then noting a separate component of “Products” that I would have to pay for. There is also the problem of having to wade through the EULA to ferret out the details if you can decipher them and somehow convolute the EULA into a definition that you believe is a correct interpretation. The test is real simple and has been proven in court: show the installation process to a judge and have the judge decide at that time and within a very short time, like 10 minutes, just what the EULA means and what is getting installed. If the judge cannot understand it, the plaintiff loses. Remember that you are not the typical user. You think this EULA would really stand up to be judged in court? Look at all the arguing we’ve done over it while spending far more time analyzing it than would be reasonably expected of any typical user.

I figure, at this point, we’ll just end up arguing the same points over and over and it’ll just get stale and waste both our time.

[at]VanguardLH

Even though I have played the >:-D’s advocate in this discussion.
I do agree with most points you have raised.

I was one of the very first to note the “What do these settings do” buttons turning into “Live…” ones.

I wanted to highlight somewhat the futility of these discourses.
By attempting to explain the rational of the other sides viewpoint,
with what logic tells me would be the supportive references.

Even if you and I agreed, which honestly we do on most points.
And our voices were multiplied tenfold, do you believe we would change corporate decisions,
and planning to any real degree.

In the end, I got mine, I would assume you’ve got yours :wink:
Other free users will get over it and use it, or they won’t.
People who need help or full service and pay, will continue to do so.

Thanks for staying calm and rational, it’s been a slice. :slight_smile:
Who knows, it’s early, these issues could yet turn into a ■■■■ storm.

I’ve got no more time for this one, seriously thanks.
Made me think, a lot.

Bad

Actually, besides trying to read the product pages and finding there that TrustConnect and livePCsupport are payware services (assuming the payware is the same as included in the freeware installation), I also came here to search around. I figure users will come here, too, and perhaps a few will do a search to find this thread. More likely when more common download sites list Comodo as adware that they might reconsider their negative publicity due to their behavior. They got Softpedia to withdraw the Comodo products so they wouldn’t be seen there as adware (which many users avoid the moment they see the word). I realized CIS is adware but it’s still good enough to trial for longer and possibly keep (but only after having to do cleanup afterward). I doubt they’re going to get all download sites to kowtow (by delisting Comodo) – but if they do then they lose a big venue of free advertising.

I was actually surprised that this thread survived the moderators/admins figuring such negativity regarding their products would’ve suffered an Iron Claw policy and that this thread would have suddenly just disappeared.

:P0l Ganda get over here!!!.. Quick… bring the Iron Claw!!!

ROFL (:NRD) I can’t find that policy.

Kudos to softpedia for realizing that they if they wanted to create they own criteria they should not refer to those as “adware” but create a new term to use for they awards campaign (though they still list Firefox as freeware)…

Most likely many download sites would be already aware of shareware definition and use it accordingly for CIS PRO packaging currently available for download.

What this meant to mean after such phrase-mongering message?

@SS26,

The first quote.
I was agreeing with you, 100% same behavior observed.

The second quote. ???

Bad