I regularly sell stuff on ebay.. recently a friend gave me their BullGuard Internet Security 1 year card. They ordered a new laptop and got it in with the deal with no ability to opt-out. They didn’t want it so they gave it to me.
I also didn’t want it as I already have anti-virus for my system provided by my company.
I put the card on ebay as a buy it now. Within a 2 days I got a snotty message from what appears to be a personal ebay account saying…
New message from: eddir2121 (455 )
My name is Rob and I’m the sales manager for BullGuard here in the UK. Please remove this listing as you are breaking the rules on this product. Product is for attach only and not to be sold on it’s own. This is even listed on the card. If you fail to remove this listing I will switch off the key and inform Ebay with a VERO document.
Please remove this listing
There are many things that I dislike about this message and this kind of tactic.
Firstly, as a friend commented, they should actually be thanking me for a potential recurring subscription! If I sell the card the chances are that the person who buys it will re-subscribe at the end of the first year.
If I throw the card away without selling it they get no such income.
Secondly I take issue with several things that Rob said in his message. Apart from the fact it seems to come from a randomly named ebay account.
“Product is for attach only and not to be sold on it’s own. This is even listed on the card.”
Almost fair enough but tbh I have no contract with them or the original retailers of the card. If they didn’t want this to happen then it would be prudent to offer an opt-out so people were not sent products they do not require.
“If you fail to remove this listing I will switch off the key”
Good luck with that.. I would love to know what magical method Rob has to identify the key in question. I wasn’t stupid enough to just put it right on the ebay listing.
“and inform Ebay with a VERO document”
I also think he will have a hard time with this too. BullGuard do not appear in ebay’s list of VERO partners. Even if they are; the reason codes for takedown don’t match. The closest one I can find is “Software offered for sale in violation of an enforceable license agreement which constitutes copyright infringement”.
The original owner of the BullGuard card did not sign any agreement with BullGuard or the original retailer over use of the card.
I did not sign any agreement with the person who gifted it to me. I don’t see how there is any enforceable agreement between any party involved.
With a bitter taste left by the message I was then pointed to even more reason to dislike BullGuard. It isn’t very good!
According to the AV-Comparatives report for March 2015 BullGuard only blocked 90.5% of malicious files in the “Real-World Protection Test”. That is only ~5% more than the built in Windows Defender blocks! Only two more products score worse, Lavasoft and Vipre.
A year before they were doing slightly better with 94.6% detection rate and 7 products were worse.
They should be spending more time on detection rates and less time hassling one off sales of their supposedly “for attach only” license cards on ebay.
Update: 21st September 2015 – I’ve been told they are also sending messages, from the same account, with the following wording:
New message from: eddir2121 (461 )
Hi I work for BullGuard here in the UK. You are miss selling our OEM attach card. It states on the card it’s not for resale. I have made contact with Ebay and have sent a screen shot to my legal team.