Symantec, you’re doing it wrong…

At work we had an SSL certificate that is no longer required, so we want to quietly let it expire and get on with our lives. Unfortunately Symantec is doing their best to trick us into renewing it. It mentions an “order number” even though we haven’t ordered anything (perhaps their system persistently uses the original order reference instead of generating a new one for the renewal?) and that “payment has failed” even though there was no attempt to renew it. There is also no way to explicitly indicate to them that you want to let the certificate lapse and stop hassling you about it. This is the kind of scam email I would expect from dodgier companies but it seems Symantec can stoop this low too:

Sehr geehrter Kunde,

Ihr Zertifikat wurde widerrufen, weil Ihre Zahlung nicht akzeptiert wurde. Diese Benachrichtigung bezieht sich auf die folgende Bestellung:

Bestellnummer: xxxxxxxxx
Name des Zertifikats: xxxxxxxxxx

Vergessen Sie nicht, dass SSL-Lösungen von Symantec™ dazu beitragen, Vertrauen bei Kunden im Hinblick auf Interaktionsschnittstellen aufzubauen – angefangen bei der Suche, über das Browsen und bis hin zum Kauf. Wenn Sie Ihre Meinung ändern, können Sie selbstverständlich ein neues Symantec™ SSL-Zertifikat erwerben. Loggen Sie sich einfach bei Ihrem Symantec™ Trust Center-Konto ein:

Chatten Sie mit dem Kundensupport, wenn Sie Fragen haben oder Hilfe benötigen:

Vielen Dank!
Abteilung Kundensupport von

So what is their suggestion to stop these scammy emails? Change the associated email address to /dev/null of course!

Jackson : Good day, how may I help you today?
Martin Barry: We had an SSL certificate that is no longer required. Why do you keeping sending scam like emails “your certificate was revoked because your payment was not accepted”?
Martin Barry: It includes an “order number” like it was an invoice that was not paid correctly, seems designed to trick someone into renewing it.
Martin Barry: It’s slimey and not the kind of thing I would expect from a company like Symantec
Jackson : Hi Martin, what I can do is, if you give me the order number and you agree, I will change the email address to an invalid email so you will not receive it.
Martin Barry: No, that is not acceptable.
Martin Barry: These emails misrepresent the situation and you should stop sending them
Jackson : Unfortunately I cannot stop the system from sending them. One of the solution is what I have suggested which is changing the listed email in the order.
Martin Barry: But it’s not “an order”
Jackson : I was referring to the SSL certificate order issued and you no longer require.
Martin Barry: Can you please file a bug against your “system”? Emails should explicitly state it’s expired, not “revoked”, and there should be no mention of “payment failure” if there was never any attempt to renew it. There should also be a way to explicitly indicate that the certificate is no longer required and all communication about it to be ceased.
Jackson : I see Martin, I will escalate this to my supervisor and liaise with Marketing.
Jackson : For the meantime, would you like to proceed with what I propose so you will stop receiving those email?
Martin Barry: No, I want to see how long you persist in sending them.
Jackson : May I have an order number so when I escalate this I could have an example to reference to?
Martin Barry: xxxxxxxx
Jackson : Thank you Martin, I will escalate this.

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