Trend Micro to pay for PC repair costs in Japan

Trend Micro will pay some costs incurred by its Japan-based customers to check and repair PCs affected by the company's faulty antivirus update, it said.

Trend Micro will compensate customers in Japan for the cost of repairing PCs after it delivered a faulty antivirus update to them over the weekend, the company said Thursday. The company will not offer reparation for any loss of business incurred and the fate of overseas customers remains unclear.

A fault in the update file, released Saturday morning local time, sucked up processing power and severely degraded PC performance for thousands of users worldwide who received the update. It affected PC's running Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) with either Trend Micro's OfficeScan or VirusBuster software.

Trend Micro admitted earlier this week that it had not checked some code in the update prior to its release or tested it fully on PCs running SP2. By mid-Tuesday, the company had fielded over 370,000 calls about the issue from customers, and admitted that more than 650 companies had been affected.

All of the company's 3.5 million consumer customers in Japan who purchased VirusBuster will get an additional month of support for free, said Naomi Ikenomoto, a company spokeswoman. Corporate customers who bought one of Trend Micro's enterprise products will also get an extra month's support, she said.

In addition, consumers who called out engineers to repair their PCs and who have receipts for that work will be able to claim costs up to a maximum of YEN 8,500 (AUD$104), the company said. Consumers who do not have receipts but say they were affected will receive an additional three months of free support, for a total of four extra months, Ikenomoto said.

Enterprise customers in Japan will also be compensated for the cost of getting their PCs up and running again. The amounts will be judged on a case-by-case basis after negotiations between Trend Micro and each corporate customer, Ikenomoto said. However, Trend Micro will not compensate companies for any loss of business as a result of the faulty update, she said.

However, Trend Micro in Japan did not say Thursday how it planned to compensate customers overseas.

Dealing with the issue had already cost Trend Micro about YEN 300 million as of Monday, according to Mahendra Negi, the company's chief financial officer.

Trend Micro is not aware of any lawsuits being filed against it as a result of the faulty download, Ikenomoto said.

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Paul Kallender

IDG News Service
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