Posted by , . Filed under Sneak into Basket.

Below you can see a screengrab of the Norton online store. Online Store


Let’s say we want to purchase “Norton 360″. If we click on that item, a lightbox appears, encouraging us to take an upsell, shown below:

Upsell lightbox


If we click either item, then we are taken to the shopping cart page, shown below. Note that “Download insurance” has been sneaked into the user’s basket. According to the “What’s this?” pop-up, this “…extends the time you can access your downloadable software by providing you the freedom and flexibility to download or re-download your software for one year.” As such it’s not really insurance and it’s a service that most software providers give away for free.

Insurance sneaked into basket


If we then proceed to the Billing & Payment page, Forced Continuity is also sneaked in – this means the user will have regular payments being taken from their credit card. The user can opt out of forced continuity before the purchase by clicking “Manage your preferences”, but since it is small and hard to notice, users are unlikely to notice it. As such, if the user realises what’s happened, after the purchase they have to log-in to their Norton Account and locate the relevant controls.

Forced continuity sneaked into basket (two dark patterns on one page)

The Automatic Renewal Service text reads as follows:

Automatic Renewal Service Your subscription purchase today includes enrollment in the Norton Automatic Renewal Service, allowing you to conveniently maintain your product subscription and critical protection. By enrolling in Norton Automatic Renewal Service, you authorize Symantec to automatically charge the then-current renewal subscription fee (plus applicable taxes) to your credit or debit card without any additional action by you prior to the expiration of your product subscription. You may cancel the Norton Automatic Renewal Service at any time by visiting your Norton Account at and turning off the auto-renewal feature, or by contacting Norton Customer Service.