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How You Lost a Customer

Level 3
I will never even consider our product again for two reasons: 1.) After spending 60 minutes on hold on your licensing phone support, I gave up. I know it is a Saturday, but I was never told you were closed, I just gave up. and 2.) Your licensing process is non-functional and stupid. I've tried every number on two different documents to try to get the numbers I need to install your product on my customers server and not a one of them worked, so I wasted my Saturday and caused my customer to waste theirs as well, opening their data center on a otherwise closed Saturday. I purchased an Anti Spam / Anti Spyware / Anti Virus product from one of your competitors and their backup software installed itself with no problems and actually worked better by default than your product did after 4 hours of wasted time. I'll file this under "Lessons Learned" and get on with my life. My only true regret is that this customer is stuck with your product for at least the next 12 months until the support package I foolishly sold them ends, at which time I'll activate the product CA and be done with it.

Level 3

What will you be switching to for your backups?

Level 3
I can also join this thread as a customer about to walk out of the door. I too have been with BackupExec since v7. I too switched the operation here from Arcserve to BE when I joined. I have stuck with BE despite numerous issues over the years, but the new licensing system has just about finished me off.

I fought with the wretched online system just like a previous poster. It would not accept ANY combination of numbers. Eventually Symantec sent me an Excel spreadsheet with all the correct numbers in and STILL it did not work. The only way I have managed to get the licensing site to recognise me was to re-register so I now have two accounts on it "mk_ellis" which cannot be made to work by anybody and "mkellis".

But... the farce is not over... Oh no... I have registered. My products are registered. My support contracts are current. My e-mail address has been verified by a thousand e-mails. But NO!!! What do I need now? An "Invitation ID". Will anybody send me one? I'll leave you to guess the answer to that.

Symantecs latest suggestion is that I contact my reseller. They're obviously bored with me now. How my reseller (with whom I do a lot of business) is going to generate this number when Symantec can't is beyond me.

In summary. Symantec - WAKE UP! Your customers are walking away because of your appalling licensing system...


Level 6
I recently bought BE v10 (before 11 was available). I reviewed the product page and it stated BE worked with all versions of Win2003. It didn't. x64 wasn't supported. I found out that 11d would be available as a Beta and it supported x64. I made a request and got the CD really quick. It wouldn't install. After days of frustration trying to access the Beta forum I finally found out it was closed. Why wasn't the link removed from the Beta main page? Why weren't the particpants notified?

Turns out (after a couple hours of support) the CD I received was 32 bit. By this time 11d was being released and I could download it if I had a license. I called licensing (the web site wasn't working) and my call was answered in a couple minutes. The person I talked to couldn't understand how to handle a non serial number upgrade and put me on hold for someone who could help me. After 2 hours on hold I gave up. The vendor I bought BE through got a nasty call and started writing up an RMA. I started evaluating other software.

A few days later I was able to download an eval copy. Eventually I was able to get my upgrade license (required opening a support case to get the invitation).

I'm now using BE for backups. Why? I evaluated several products and didn't find anything that was what I was looking for. Some were close but missed the cut. The reason I'm using BE is because the competition isn't quite there with the feature set. If they were, I wouldn't be using BE today.

The problem, as I see it, isn't with the individuals I talk to on the phone. They're all courteous and want to help. The problem is with management. Why would they release a highly anticipated product with minimal testing at the same time they're updating their licensing portal, requiring an license to download, and going to an invitation upgrade system? That is what I consider a bonehead move.

Level 4
WOW so many happy customers.... I spent 1 1/2 hrs on hold regarding my licence upgrade and finally i was able to get my new serial no. I so wish that i hadn't thou as now I am having so so so many errors with my backup and as yet Symantec cannot fix them.... My advice to anyone evaluating this product is.. look elsewhere first. and like others have said, avoid Symantec AV aswell..

I really hope that Symantec are taking notice of ALL the unhappy customers!! Do you actually test your products first or just release BETAs as final releases....??

Level 2
I sympathize with everyone who has had issues with the new version of BE and with the licensing changes. I actually didn't have any licensing issues. I contacted Symantec Licensing by phone (got someone on in about 5 minutes) and by that afternoon I had my upgrade notification emailed to me. As far as the new version, I was switching servers at the time and ended up with some minor issues that had me uninstalling and reinstalling the CPS agents. I didn't make a note of what the original backup group was called and when I installed the new server I gave it a different name. A couple registry edits later and I was on my way. Since then I have had a couple support calls with Symantec to work through some issues with the new Exchange CPS feature and some errors I hadn't seen before. I would never install a new version of Windows until the first service pack comes out and I (and others) should probably follow the same logic with BE. Their support remains brutal. The folks at support don't understand what you are trying to convey to them and support calls often take double or triple the amount of time they should because of the language barrier. It is a fact of life and isn't just limited to Symantec. In the end, problems aside, there just isn't a better Windows backup package than BE. While I admit that some things have slipped since it was Veritas, I have used this product since version 7 and will continue to in the foreseeable future.

Best of luck!


Level 4
i am a symantec av customer, and we plan to buy Backup-exec this year.
however, after eval, backup exec 10d is too buggy to buy.
bugs we report never get fixed.
we want to use CPS feature(only for files backup) of backup-exec.
any other good product can do this?
thanks for your help!!

Level 4
u've also got to love this, sent from the tech support

"Hi Shane,

You may launch a product enhancement request using the following link:

You may also subscribe to our Email Notification Service for latest updates and new releases:

Do keep me posted on the status of the issue.

Will be awaiting your response."

Apparently if i want what worked in 10d and now doesn't i have to put in a 'product enhancement request' WTF...

Also, the link for 'email notification' doesnt have any products to select. I am jack of Symantec, bring back Veritas please...

Level 5
Are there any Symantec Employees that look at this forum? I am glad to see that I am not the only customer that is having major problems with Version 11 so far.

Level 5
Wow I'm glad I waited. I had no issues at all with both obtaining and downloading all of my pertinent 11(d) upgrade licensing yesterday. Utilizing the installation documentation for all of my pertinent BEX products, the upgrade ran flawlessly and our backups ran as usual, all successful, overnight last night. I even modified the processes to enable encryption of the backups.

Whereas I agree that the licensing issues were a bit frustrating at first (I tried earlier in November when I first got notification, and when the process bombed at Symantec's level I left it alone up until now since it wasn't critical for me to upgrade as of yet), it looks as though they have been resolved and things are running much smoother now.

My suggestion to some of you would be don't be the first to jump on ANYTHING in the IT world. You'll (quite obviously) pay the price. Technology is never 100%. Just my .02

Cheers, J

Level 4
someone has to be first to try a product, besides when a product from a big company is released you expect it to be properly tested, the errors that myself and others face should have been picked up in beta phase. I never expect 100% but is it too much to expect the product to achive maybe 95%.

BE 9 8/10
BE 10.1 6/10
BE 11.1 2/10


And yes if i sound pissed off it is cause i am.

Level 3
Didn't know if anyone (symantec employees included) would be interested in reading this review...

I'm assuming that Microsoft are rubbing there hands together thanks to the release of this up-grade (if you could call it that).

Below is a summary of the review...

Symantec tried to unite two different backup paradigms in one product using two separate tools. From my point of view, this unification is a complete failure. Continuous data protection and conventional backups don't fit together.

We've been using Backup Exec since the time it was still owned by Seagate. As things stand now, it is quite probable that we'll move to DPM v2 as soon as the final is out. It is really a pity!

Level 4
i never look at microsoft DPM. because i think veritas is expert in backup.
but i have spent 4 monthes in backup-exec 10d and now 11d and still can not
make CPS working correctly.
anyone try microsoft DPM? how about it?

Level 6
When there was a minorchange in our company name, Symantec tried to force us to fill multi page form with lots of data which are just not Symantec's business.
My boss told me at this time to just leave it alone. Actually it was a brashness to ask some of these data.
Besides that I got the order to focus in MS DPM and only use BE as a supplement....

Level 4
can you share the experience about DPM 2006? dpm v2 looks promise,
but it won't release in a year. we already bought large disk arrays to replace our
tape, we now need a solid software to use the disks..

Not applicable
Symantec understands that some Backup Exec customers may have experienced issues in getting their license keys.

The numerous positive reviews of Backup Exec 11d have driven significant demand from both existing as well as new customers. That demand, combined with the ongoing integration of systems to provide better customer service in the long term, have resulted in some delays and some customer service issues.

Please know that we have already improved the online licensing portal, and we are working on additional improvements we expect just after the New Year. Symantec has also increased the number of resources in our Customer Care organization in our ongoing goal of providing faster turnaround of customer inquiries and needs.

We have posted new information to walk customers through accessing their new licenses.

▪ For new product license keys, follow this URL:

▪ For product upgrades and license keys, use this URL:

We have heard our customers' concerns, and we are actively addressing the issues. We appreciate your support of Backup Exec, and your patience during this high demand time.


Brian Greene
Director, Backup Exec product management

Level 6
Hi Brian,

I won't comment on the "positive reviews", as the only positive comment I have ever located is in the advertising material from your own company.

You seem to be interested in convincing us something is changing.
Would you care to comment on:

"Symantec has also increased the number of resources in our Customer Care organization"

Whether one single new employee speaks English?

It's not meant to be a smart question, it's a serious one. At present, I have a preconceived view of the answer, it negates the statement you have made into pointlessness.

Level 5
Brian, let me begin by thanking you for at least having the courage, class and ethics to address our issues with your product. I do applaud the way you solved the licensing issues with the portal. But that's about all the good news you're going to get from me.

Having spent a great deal of my clients budget for disaster recovery and data protection on the 11d upgrade, I'm TOTALLY dissatisfied with this release and product. The support is comical at best. I encouraged a number of my clients to upgrade to 11d from good working version of 9.1 and 10d simply based on the new, great features touted in 11d. The Exchange GRT backup and continuous protection along with the encryption sold us all and THEY DON'T WORK. My credibility as a consultant for over 15 years in this industry has been completely questioned because of your lousy product and I don't like my hard-earned credibility to be challenged by garbage code.

Get if fixed and please don't betray us all by keeping us completely in the dark as Symantec support has done for the past 2 months.

Ken Sheppard

Level 4
Well, I had no problem to get the new license codes (except the relative complicated process of upgrading the old ones).

My problem is with the program itself. When we started using BE 9.1 it had some issues, but was fixed soon. Version 10 was even better for a while. 10.1, aka 10D did not work well: it made the archiving process only if I restarted the BE services each day! However at least once a week the backup failed. Now I installed 11D to a completely new, clean server. It makes the backup very rarely. My favourite error is that the job gets active, loads the tape into the drive, and then becomes queued, because the drive is busy!!! It never happened before, so I don't think that this is the error of the library...

Earlier I tried to get support (we have a contract), but there were no real possibility to get support in Hungary.

I try to get help once more in my country, but if it fails, I think we will migrate to someting else... I'm sorry about it, because if this product would work well, it would be a good product! :(

Level 6
Can you enlighten us on when you expect to release a fix to some of the reported problems with 11d?

Level 4
Thanks for the post, at least we know that someone from Symantec is looking at these forums. Please also take a look at this thread

As you can see from the above thread alot of ur customers are *having to* go back to the previous version due to the fact that 11d just does not work and ur so called expert tech support cannot fix the problems within a _reasonable_ amount of time.

What Symantec seems to be forgotten is that these issues are putting companies at risk.. Good backups are MISSION CRITICAL and not an option extra.

Regards - Shane