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Epic Scale offer on hold, Uninstall Instructions

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We understand the concerns that have been raised about our partner offer with Epic Scale. Amid user feedback, on Fridaymid-day we paused the offer to allow time for us to do an evaluation. 

 

This offer has been made to Windows client installs only, not Mac or Linux machines. It was released to about 6% of our global population between mid-January and March 6th 2015. If you are looking for information on how to remove Epic Scale conventionally or manually, please visit http://www.epicscale.com/how-to-uninstall-epic-scale  

 

There have been a lot of claims over the past few days, some of them fair and some pretty wild. We have always invited an open and constructive dialogue, particularly through our forums, and want that to continue. 

 

As we’ve discussed in the past, partner offers are one of the ways we generate revenue. Many of you already understand that this is a common model for software companies that provide products and technology for free. Our policy is that these offers are strictly optional and we have never done a silent install; in fact, we built our installer technology to make silent installs impossible. The offers we choose and how we present them are something we strive to get right, and we think we’ve been mostly successful over the last four years.  

 

That being said - from the feedback we’ve received, it is clear that we misjudged how users would react to this offer; this software is truly different from our previous offers and therefore deserves special attention.  For this, we unequivocally apologize to our affected users.

 

A quick word on Epic Scale. We do believe their charitable mission to be genuine and heartfelt, and their technology innovative.  We encourage you to learn more about them and to offer constructive feedback so they can improve on what they are doing.  We are working with them to take another close look at how their software works (and how we present it) and have shared the concerns that have been made here so that they can be addressed.

 

 

We hope this better clarifies the nature of our offers, and of our partnership with Epic Scale

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I may ask that for the next set of offers that full testing be done to ensure that zero threats of malware/adware/spyware is given free reign over the client's system.  Meaning, a system set up that a normal person would use with a normal AV program. Once the package is installed, an array of mal/spy/adware cleaners are put to work to see how deep these packages go and how they are treated by the cleaners.

 

This situation would pale in comparision if a genuine threat was unleashed by accident.

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Please consider keeping it out of the installer permanently, not just temporarily.

 

I know there's not much of a chance of this happening, but please consider removing bundled offers altogether and be content to make money off the Pro version. Even if you decided to get rid of ads completely in the free version people will still pay for Pro for the anti-virus and player. Consider returning to your roots of MICROtorrent - the one designed by ludde which was beloved by the community. And those who want the extra bells and whistles like AV or media player can pay for the Pro version. 

 

Perhaps further monetize things by charging for one-on-one technical support. This works for Linux distributions and would work for uTorrent. 

alex_d2w likes this

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The thing that bothers me most about Epic Scale is the way they answer the first question on their FAQ:

How did Epic Scale get on my computer?
 
Most likely, you recently downloaded or upgraded a BitTorrent client and agreed to run Epic Scale during that install process.  All of our installations are opt-in, but if you just clicked “Next, Next, Next…” in the torrent installer, then you may not have noticed our offer page.

 

 

 
This bothers me for two reasons:
 
1. They are clearly targeting bittorrent users. While I don't know the exact reasons for this, I do get the feeling that they have a certain apathy towards bittorrent users. I almost feel as though they think "hey, you are using bittorrent, you should expect malware on their computer." It bothers me because BitTorrent, Inc., which has done a lot to help build the torrent community, is accepting of this sort of discriminatory targeting by distributing Epic Scale with utorrent. Why isn't Epic Scale making distribution deals with any of the hundreds of other (often very good) adware software out there? Why are they targeting us?
 
I think BitTorrent, Inc. should be more sensitive about offering something like Epic Scale until it's clear there is no animus towards bittorrent users. Epic Scale should know that bittorrent users are some of the most vigilent watchers of what is and isn't on their computers. And for that reason, they should be sensitive about how their software gets installed on our computers. That brings me to my second point.
 
2. They are clearly aware users can be fooled (and it doesn't matter if you blame the unobservant user or the programmer of the installer) into installing Epic Scale. This isn't like installing a search toolbar that is obviously there, has next to no impact on you, and an be instantly disabled. This is something that will run in the background without a user knowing and increase a user's electricity bills as a result. The very idea that they can simply say "oh, it's your fault you didn't notice" is extremely careless given the level of liability they can face as a result of, what can easily be be perceived by a court as deliberate fraud.
 
Just because someone was fooled by clicking "Next, Next, Next..." does not mean that person should suffer hidden financial consequences in perpetuity as a result. The whole idea is tantamount to plugging a power cord into a socket on your neighbors house in a place he won't notice and saying it's okay because he didn't realize it when you fooled him into agreeing to you stealing from him.
 
---
 
It's certainly fair for utorrent to include offers. Perhaps it's even necessary.
 
I wish things were more clearly offered, without tricks like switching button positions, graying out do-not-accept options, and making it seem like junk software EULA is the utorrent EULA.
 
It would also be nice if utorrent could show ads that are relevant to its users and not offensively hinting at pornography or linking to scam dating services.
 
There is just such a mix of deception and carelessness in how utorrent is put together. And it's unfortunate because it's otherwise a great client.
alex_d2w likes this

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The main way users are getting infected is the automatic silent upgrade, which isn't addressed anywhere. The user doesn't have control of this and if they leave it as default, then there's a chance that something like this could happen again.

 

I think that utorrent should let users update themselves as they wish so that it's not silently installed during the automatic update.

Deefoocarman likes this

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@Amosqu Thanks for raising the point. We'll have the team investigate this again, but as of Friday night it had been reconfirmed that this was not possible. If you have had a specific incident, we want to know about it in as much detail as you can share. 

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1. Please reevaluate the install process for your "partner" applications, it is too easy for people to be fooled into installing them. I was looking over filehippo's popular files list and uTorrent is one of the few applications that have installers like this. Other free software has much more respect for its userbase, so this is unacceptable. Silent installs, rather this was misreported or not, should never even be possible.

 

2. Please consider bumping the uTorrent version number ASAP once you have made the appropriate changes (3.4.2 -> 3.4.3), many trackers are permanently banning 3.4.2 and are not reevaluating it until there is a version bump, regardless of build number.

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I have permanently switched torrent programs.  Clearly the decision to add Epic Scale was based on money and obviously either not enough or most likely no consideration was made concerning the end user.  I will not support a company that puts profits before people.

bloatwarebgone likes this

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Dear uTorrent ...

I cant trust a company that claims for noble reasons, but installs software like this to uninstall it from my computer. More so there are posts online that claim the uninstall doesn't do much. So i will re-install my Windows, and will be permanently switching torrent software providers even though I've been with you for many years. 

Even though i clicked not to install any of the **** you try to push on me during the installation process i can never be sure that you didn't install that epicbull**** on me.

 

What is more, you don't have the rights on how i use my unused resources on my PC. If i wanted to have constantly red and hot CPU and GPU I'd be mining my own bitcoins myself. I tried once, just like they do it, on idle process but decided it's too much for my machine to handle.  I personally decide what runs when, and when i leave my PC i'd like to know that it's resting, lowering the temp and so on. Should my computer and my parts overheat and break ('ve been there, lost a perfectly good laptop because GPU overheated and broke) because of your sneaky actions would you or epicCrap reimburse me or buy me new parts ... i doubt it.

 

Even if its to cure cancer or aids or to create the philosopher's stone, no one but me decide how i manage my resources. AND similarly to how i can't trust them to completely remove their income from my PC, i cant trust what tier reasons are. For all i know they are a pyramid just like the ones that stop me every day in city center begging me for "Charity money" 

 

I honestly can't express how furious i am with you while maintaining calm tongue so anyone would take my post seriously and read it. Good day and good luck...

bloatwarebgone likes this

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I just noticed earlier today, AntiVirus & Malware interceptors are beginning to BLOCK uTorrent from even being downloaded.  A few has even flagged utorrent.com & bittorrent.com as well as the EpicScale domains as DANGEROUS....  I think this in the long run Bittorrent, Inc is going to regret teaming up with EpicScale... :(

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The thing that bothers me most about Epic Scale is the way they answer the first question on their FAQ:

 

 
This bothers me for two reasons:
 
1. They are clearly targeting bittorrent users. While I don't know the exact reasons for this, I do get the feeling that they have a certain apathy towards bittorrent users. I almost feel as though they think "hey, you are using bittorrent, you should expect malware on their computer." It bothers me because BitTorrent, Inc., which has done a lot to help build the torrent community, is accepting of this sort of discriminatory targeting by distributing Epic Scale with utorrent. Why isn't Epic Scale making distribution deals with any of the hundreds of other (often very good) adware software out there? Why are they targeting us?
 
I think BitTorrent, Inc. should be more sensitive about offering something like Epic Scale until it's clear there is no animus towards bittorrent users. Epic Scale should know that bittorrent users are some of the most vigilent watchers of what is and isn't on their computers. And for that reason, they should be sensitive about how their software gets installed on our computers. That brings me to my second point.
 
2. They are clearly aware users can be fooled (and it doesn't matter if you blame the unobservant user or the programmer of the installer) into installing Epic Scale. This isn't like installing a search toolbar that is obviously there, has next to no impact on you, and an be instantly disabled. This is something that will run in the background without a user knowing and increase a user's electricity bills as a result. The very idea that they can simply say "oh, it's your fault you didn't notice" is extremely careless given the level of liability they can face as a result of, what can easily be be perceived by a court as deliberate fraud.
 
Just because someone was fooled by clicking "Next, Next, Next..." does not mean that person should suffer hidden financial consequences in perpetuity as a result. The whole idea is tantamount to plugging a power cord into a socket on your neighbors house in a place he won't notice and saying it's okay because he didn't realize it when you fooled him into agreeing to you stealing from him.
 
---
 
It's certainly fair for utorrent to include offers. Perhaps it's even necessary.
 
I wish things were more clearly offered, without tricks like switching button positions, graying out do-not-accept options, and making it seem like junk software EULA is the utorrent EULA.
 
It would also be nice if utorrent could show ads that are relevant to its users and not offensively hinting at pornography or linking to scam dating services.
 
There is just such a mix of deception and carelessness in how utorrent is put together. And it's unfortunate because it's otherwise a great client.

 

 

As to why bittorrent users are targeted; people that install a torrent client are generally more likely to have a computer running 24/7. As a previous crypto miner myself this is how you run your system(s), chucking away on the crypto data all day long and make tax free money.

 

Some people go the shandy way and design botnet installers (this is what i relate this entire thing to). If you look online for say zyx crack or steamkey generator, these are all single exe files that will install something malicious into your system, typically something to do with a botnet.

Once they are hooked into your system, they can send updates, data, mine, ddos, act as a cloud file server, etc, and mine on both your gpu and cpu, making them a ridiculous amount of free money.

I say that, to drive this portion home. While you might install one thing and get a kick back from it. that company then has full access, if they so choose, to further update their software to add in more crap, do more things, take information from you, keylog, etc.. Your greed shouldn't affect my life!

This method, regardless of how many lollipops and sweet kisses you give to people, it's scamish. you get unsuspecting people to start chipping away at making you money while boasting of giving to charity to look like a good guy. there's no track log of what amount of money is made/given. Not to mention, mining severely degrades your hardware, uses a ton of electricity, generates more heat, and opens a entire slew of ethical issues.

 

kicking in other software, when you and the rest of us know the majority of people just mash that next button, is completely wrong!

If you don't agree that the majority of people just mash next because they "think" they can trust a publisher not to do morally wrong acts, then make all of the extra crap unchecked by default! if we want to opt in, then so be it, if not, i and others shouldn't have to double, triple check to make sure my system stays clean.

 

The ads here are ridiculous, i can't even look at my torrents or stats while my children are around because some hooker is on my application, penis pills, etc.. why do i need to see any of that? why do i have to hide my applications from my son and daughter? i'm waiting for 3 torrents to get done and then i'm heading to deluge for all my torrent needs.

 

personally i wasn't affected by this issue, but i also can't support a company that performs this way. If you can't conduct a profitable business without acting like respectable business men, then maybe you shouldn't be in this line of work. if you want to have hooker/penis pill adds, just start a porn tube site, you can also get away with making a porn browser comes preinstalled with all your crappy toolbars/widgets/zomg much money making, junk that nobody needs or wants.

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