Friday, January 3, 2014

Microsoft - a response.

Today, I got asked this by Microsoft:

Never being one to pass up giving my opinion when asked, here's my response:

I have a 100% rate of failure with Microsoft in the past year where I've tried to give my money and have been told that this is not possible.  The excuses have included the following:

  • You can't order a Microsoft Windows Kinect sensor for delivery to your home without a Live account.
  • If a bricks-and-mortar Microsoft Store does not have the Microsoft hardware you wish to purchase, you can't ask the store to order it so you can come in later and pay for it.  (This was documented in some length here)
  • A Microsoft help chat representative told me in November I can't order a copy of Windows 8 to run under Parallels on a Mac (this was reported immediately to Microsoft as that's just really bad advice).

It doesn't take a genius to realize that this isn't me being awkward...  This is the proverbial "Order Prevention Desk" at work.

Here's a test that demonstrates the problem:  I'm going to give you a link to a page that says it's for purchasing Windows.  See if you can find the "Buy" button in 20 seconds or less.

Not easy, right?  OK, how about taking 5 minutes on that page, and see if you can find it!

You have to question at this point what the reason is for trying to aggravate a customer...  However, I was determined to hand over my money and I eventually found a way to do so...

That was in November.

On New Years eve, I got this email.  

Just look at it!  Was this tested?  (I checked on three email clients [Apple Mail, Outlook on Windows and Thunderbird on Windows], and Gmail in three browsers [Safari, IE and Chrome] and it's consistently broken).

It also implies that they're only now charging your credit card, but I know that was charged in November.

Clicking the last line of that link to the tracking number gives you this:

Again, it's not in the least helpful because the tracking number is full of messed up html.

Now, what ended up happening is the UPS truck arrived last night (2nd of January), and the day after that, Microsoft asks if they can help.  So, the answer is yes, you can help even though this particular horse has bolted, and here's how... 

Can you please take a look at how obstructive the purchasing process is? If someone is trying to give you their money in exchange for your goods, this shouldn't be an endurance exercise.