Monday, November 15, 2004

Just Another Reason Why People Hate Microsoft

I used to think Disney was the Evil Empire. I've decided to join the rapidly growing crowd who thinks this is actually Microsoft (with sincere apologies to my buddy Robert Scoble). I had another in a long line of fun experiences with the company tonight (sense the sarcasm?). After making my way through the maze that is their website, I finally came across the information I needed to cancel my subscription to MSN Premium Internet Software. Something I didn't realize was still billing my credit card until my wife asked me about it last night. At some point I must have gotten roped into some offer and Microsft has laughed to the bank everytime they've billed my card, I'm sure. Especially considering I've never even used this "software" I was supposedly subscribed to.

According to the website you can: Contact Accounts and Billing Support for help with your subscription, such as an explanation of your bill, general sales information, or how to cancel your account. IMPORTANT: Due to security reasons, we can not perform some account and billing support functions through chat or email. If you would like to reset your password or request a credit/refund/adjustment, please contact support by phone or chat. If you wish to update your credit card, please contact support by phone. For all other issues, you may contact support by any method below.

So I figure rather than wait on hold like in past Microsoft experiences I would just use the chat option. Surely this can't be a "security reason" they are talking about in the disclaimer. I mean all they have to do is access my account and hit the cancel button. So I click the internet chat button and easy as pie I am connected to "Sue" my internet chat robot/I mean person who talks like a robot. Here is a transcript of the conversation:

ME: I would like to Cancel my Subscription to MSN Premium Software
Sue: If I am understanding you correctly you said you would like to cancel your MSN premium software subscription
Sue: MAy I have the phone # this account is assigned to, the full name and the billing address
ME: Sure it is blah, blah blah
Sue: Thank you. Now all you need to do is call 800-494-2962 and let them know you would like to cancel your subscription. They are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
ME: You mean I gave you all this info and you basically can;t do anything for me?
Sue: For Security reasons cancellations must be handled by telephone only
ME: So why did you need me to give you this information about myself?
Sue: To give you access to the phone # you need to call to cancel your subscription
ME: The Damn phone # is posted on your website, I'm looking at it right now
Sue: Is there anything els eI can do for you today?
ME: You haven't done anything yet, why start now.
MSN CHAT: The adminitrator has ended the conversation

After this highly productive time with my MSN Robot I figured it's late at night, what better time to call Microsft than the present? Surprisingly I got an answer right away...

Thank you for calling Microsft support this is NICR (name I can't remember) how may I help you?
ME: I would like to cancel my account
NICR: Are you not enjoying your subscription?
ME: I don;t know when I signed up for it, but I know I haven;t used it even once yet.
NICR: You haven't used it yet? I don;t even have a button for than reason (I'm not lieing here, this is what she actually said).
ME: Well, I just need it to stop charging my card
NICR: OK, can I get your phone # associated with the account
ME: blah blah
NICR: Sorry, that number doesn;t come up, can I get the e-mail account and last 4 digits of the CC # you used?
ME: Sure it is and XXXX
NICR: Great, got it. OK, I just need to transfer you to the person who can cancel that for you...can you hold just two minutes?
ME: Sure (crappy hold music ensues)
NICR: Hello...I hate to do this to you, but the siftware dept is closed for the evening, they closed at 1 am, you just missed them by three minutes, haha. I can give you your ticket number so you can just call up and cancel it tomorrow.
ME: I just was told by tour online person they are open 24/7, how can they be closed?
NICR: Oh, they probably meant technical support...would you like your ticket number?
ME: Sure give me the ticket #
NICR: xxxxxxxxxx, can I be of any more assistance?
ME: You haven't been any yet, so why start now :(
NICR: Again I apologize sir. Thank You for Calling Microsoft.

The moral of the story is, if you EVER get any type of offer from the Evil Empire (AKA: Microsoft), immediately shut down your computer and walk away! Do not look into the light! They will suck you in. Run away!