I don’t usually like to blog about my everyday experiences – but I just had a case of utter frustration and I thought I would put this out as a warning to all of you who are trying to call MSFT support. And hey, I am not new to the US support call center scene – as a student I once spent 3 hrs on the phone with MCI explaining to them why my bill was wrong. I once paid my phone bill online and it got sent to the wrong part of the company and I tried to get that fixed – I gave up after I knew the names of the phone copmpany’s call center ladies just by the “Hello, this is….”. But this is better.
I had an issue with Entourage connecting to an Exchange server – I keep getting an error regarding an incorrectly installed root certificate, and even after trying out all kinds of things such as described here it didn’t work. So I decided to call support – even though I knew it was unlikely I’d get a competent answer. Here’s about how the call went:
- First hop: Calling MSFT Entourage support. Some call center guy with a voice as clear as a cell phone in a desert storm takes my info. After roughly 10mins I learn that my Entourage Product ID doesn’t qualify for the two free support calls, but I have to pay $35. Well, here we go…still motivated, I pull out my credit card and off we go.
- Second hop: I get a friendly voice on the phone. She asks me to again confirm name, phone number and email. “Ohh, your issue has to do with Entourage and Exchange….to be honest, I know very little about this…” We quickly find that she has no solution for my issue. She contacts her higher level engineer. He has no clue either, so they decide to bump me to professional support. I am thinking: Yeah, made it to the next level…
- Third hop: The friendly lady from consumer support has again connected me to a guy with a poor VoIP connection in one of the outsource-my-callcenter places. After a few sentences, he says:” By the way, I am with Microsoft support and I will handle your issue with you today. Thank you for calling”…oh well, that’s just what I needed to hear. I am again giving all my information. Explaining what the issue is about. Painful.
- Fourth hop: I am connected to someone at technical support. She confirms my information (just to be sure) and the tells me that I’ll get a call back within 24hrs. Well great – probably when I am on the bus on my way home. That doesn’t help me, guys. I do the usual trick: Ask for the supervisor.
- Fifth hop: I get to the supervisor. I tell him the story. He offers to get me a call back within 1hr, and no, there is absolutely no way he can connect me to someone right now. I agree…1hr seems reasonable. He then asks me if I have a professional support plan or want to pay $245 for this support request. I guess he doesn’t know I was bumped over here because consumer support wasn’t able to help me. I explain. He says: “Yes Sir, but connecting Exchange and Entourage is a professional support issue, it’s NEVER covered by consumer support..” Woooow: After more than an hour I am told that the general problem area (Entourage and Exchange – that broad) I described in minute 5 of my call is not covered by consumer support, and will cost me $245 to address.
I give up. I ask for another supervisor – turns out the guy I am talking to is the supervisor, and there is no super-supervisor (or at least I don’t know teh trick to get to that guy). I ask for the complaint phone number – he doesn’t flinch and seems to know it by heart – I wonder why (in case you need it: 425-882-8080). I forget to ask for a refund of my $35 that was promised if my issue wouldn’t be addressed. I realize why my initial instinct that support calls never help was right. I decide to go back to Google for this and hope that some friendly people have had the same problem and posted the resolution. And thanks for reading this far, you helped me vent my anger…