My computer went walkabout in early July, when I downloaded StopZilla anti malware software. To ensure there were no conflicts when downloading, I disabled my remaining spytracker programme. I like to have two available, as what one doesn't think might be an intruder, the other one might. Dealing with stopZilla was a wracking experience. I commented elsewhere, as follows
While I was recently on the hunt for another spyware killer, I checked out StopZilla.
The reports appeared okay;
It seemed to be supported by Microsoft;
I started to download the programme.
Before the download was complete, there were software behaviour problems appearing. StopZilla was jumping in and out all over the place. This was definitely Stop loading Zilla time.
Getting this insidious programme off my machine was another story. It had plugged itself in and was intent on staying. I started a manual uninstall. SZ would not, however, relinquish the add/remove programmes listings. I was even locked out of the internet at one stage. Seeking out guidance on how to 'delete StopZilla' was not going to be open to me.
A restore to a previous point seems to have done the trick. However, for belt and braces, I shall check the registry. It would not surprise me to find a few branches of StopZilla there.
STOPZILLA IS SPYWARE - DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS PROGRAMME.
On the 29th July, 2009, a reply to this criticism was posted, see below.
My name is Mike Becker and I am with STOPzilla. I saw your post and wanted to take the time address some of the issues you experienced with STOPzilla.
STOPzilla is an award winning solution that successfully scans, blocks, and removes Spyware, Adware and Malware. We are one of four anti-spyware programs that have been given the West Coast Labs Checkmark Certification for Anti-Spyware Installed. We’ve also been awarded Cnet Editor’s Choice Award, Laptop Magazine Editor’s Choice Award, five stars from Tucows, TopTenREVIEWS Excellence Award and many more.
We offer free technical support to both trial users and registered users. Users can reach us by calling our toll free phone number (1.877.877.9944), or via live chat and email. Offering this level of support is unheard of in our industry. Any STOPzilla related problem or question can be resolved free of charge by our Customer Support department. For machine configurations that do not allow for the manual uninstall of STOPzilla, or if an infection on your machine before STOPzilla was downloaded interferes with our program, we have a clean up tool that insures STOPzilla will be removed. Had you chosen to utilize the free support we provide, we would’ve been able to help you remove it from the machine. Most likely in a matter of minutes and most likely without having to do a system restore.
We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience, but if we can be of service to you in the future, please feel free to call us at 1-877-877-9944 or send us an email at email@example.com.
Once again, we apologize for the confusion, and hope this response will allow you, and any other readers here, to try STOPzilla in the future.
Customer Relations Associate, iS3, Inc.
As you would expect, I responded as follows. I copied, cut and pasted to the customer support email address given in the text :
My experience with the trial version of StopZilla was diabolical...no amount of awards would have altered that experience. I am not prepared to have my system hijacked by anything, and that is precisely what StopZilla did.
I downloaded the programme, having checked its provenance first. When problems arose I found there were an enormous number of complainants with similar situations to mine. And by the way, I had to access the internet via another machine, as I was locked out of the internet (and some other facilities), till I got StopZilla software off my system.
The whole dreadful process started up again about a week after I did a system restore. I found so much of StopZilla still embedded in my system at that point, I went through a very careful manual clear out and clean up of my system. Now, so far, so good.
Your suggestion that my machine may have already been infected before download, is a typical way of defending yourselves. It is a shabby tactic.
I now have malware software on my machine that I am secure with, and everything is running sweetly. It will stay that way and without your 'award-winning' product.
I assure you, following my experience, I will not be using StopZilla in the future or any related product.
I accept your apology.
For all the bluster and self promotion in the defence of the product and the pride in customer service, MY EMAIL, SENT TO THE EXACT ADDRESS FOR THE CUSTOMER SERVICE 'WITHOUT EQUAL', WAS RETURNED AS UNDELIVERABLE. So much for Mike Becker and Customer Relations.
I would expect a reputable company, to provide suitable and acceptable uninstall facilities with its software, and not expect customers to seek out methods of removal from elsewhere. Before I download anything else in the future I have no personal knowledge of, I shall check out the help sections of the internet in relation to the product. If I had done it before downloading StopZilla, I would have stopped before I started!