Veritas Support Plus Symantec Support Adds Up to What?

Veritas Support Plus Symantec Support Adds Up to What?.

been a lot of talk in the financial press about Symantec investors
being unhappy with the way the Veritas acquisition is working out, but
how are Veritas customers faring under the merged entity? It's a
question I find interesting, since separately both companies have been
rich sources of gripe fodder, particularly on support issues. From the
feedback I've had from readers so far, it would appear that things show
no signs of improvement.

Some readers believe we're already seeing signs of Symantec's
influence. “This sounds much like Symantec's current customer support
system,” a reader wrote in response to my recent story”
about Veritas Backup Exec 10 issues. “The last time I called Symantec
corporate tech support — supposedly 'Gold' level — about an issue
with their corporate version of Symantec Anti Virus I got laughed at
and given a bunch of nonsense by the tech my call was routed to. I
tried to explain to the tech I was an IT support person, not an average
user, and I knew better than the nonsense he was trying to give me. So
he abruptly finds an excuse to end the call. This call was right after
upgrading only one workstation to Version 9 as a test. Everyone in the
office was e-mailed a semi-current virus of that time … every
computer that was running the Symantec Corporate Anti-Virus 8.2x
stopped the virus or removed the infected mail message, but the one
computer that was running Version 9 allowed the virus to be saved.”

But other old Veritas customers say such problems were all too
common long before Symantec over. “Similar to your frustrated Veritas
user, I had an open incident for nearly eight months, and up until the
last month, had to do my own troubleshooting,” another reader wrote.
“For a small enterprise this was daunting, and frankly downright
dangerous to the business and to my own welfare to go without known,
solid backups for months. It was more than a small headache to do CYA
when that's what I paid Veritas for. Turns out in the end that there
was a versioning problem with their Novell version as they prepared
their disk-to-disk spinoff product. Eventually my former technician
discovered that if one creates the jobs in just the right order the
problem completely disappears, even in the old version. Thanks for the
help, Veritas.”

Veritas customers who are ex-Symantec customers don't like the
position they now find themselves in. “We had to show Symantec the door
several years ago,” wrote one reader. “Getting rid of them was an
expensive and painful process, but we had to do it because they simply
would not and could not provide acceptable support for their products.
So I'm telling my people we must start planning to get rid of Veritas
now, because the quality of their support is going to deteriorate

Veritas tech support doesn't win much praise either, though. “We
have found tech support from Veritas to be so bad we no longer
recommend them to any of our customers,” wrote a network consultant.
“There are a lot of other products out there, and the companies are not
as arrogant as they are. I am not the only VAR that has had this
problem and most of my peers that I deal with do not use them anymore.
When companies start believing that everyone needs their product and
they don't have to do anything to deal with their customers, the
handwriting is on the wall.”

And months into the completion of the acquisition, the same issues
remain. “Problems with Veritas Backup Exec v10 continue,” wrote a
reader just recently. “Even recent product releases of v10 can't
reliably catalog tapes — either earlier versions or the current
version. Plus many users experience regular failures of the Backup Exec
Job Engine, which causes all running or queued jobs to fail. You often
lose an entire night's backups. Not to mention massive security holes
which require you to upgrade all your servers in between one night's
backups and the next. First level tech support is in India and work
from a script, suggesting stupid remedies, like rebuild your entire
setup or recatalog all your tapes, and nothing you can say will cause
them to escalate your call to someone intelligent. Hard to believe this
is a market leading product.”

So what do you get when you put two support organizations of dubious
repute together? I guess we'll soon know, because the now former
customers of Veritas certainly seem to be involuntarily invested in
finding out the answer to that question. Post your comments and
experiences on my website or write me directly at

Read and post comments about this story here.  [Ed Foster's Radio Weblog]

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