I don’t normally do ranting but yesterdays phone call with Microsoft left such a bitter taste that I felt it necessary to shout into a big empty room where no one was listening and now feel compelled to share my experience for the greater good
And so my rant begins:
I needed to access a Microsoft account to reinstall a copy of Office 2013 on a new computer for a client. Straight forward enough you would think.
On trying to login I’m greeted with lovely urgent red text saying the account doesn’t exist, but having created the account personally I know full well it does.
This prompts a call back from one of Bill’s call centres and the subsequent rant that ensued.
Having explained my situation to the representative at the other end she takes the product key assigned to the account and comes back to me a minute or two later.
I am informed that the account was deleted by the backend team some time ago due to account inactivity.
I’m also told there is no way to recover the account or to separate the requisite product key from that account.
Basically the upshot is I am holding a £200, twenty five digit product code that can never be used for its sole intention again.
Now I am no stranger to how licensing works, I know each license is supposed to live and die with a new purchase.
Here, I admit, I was being cheeky and trying to transfer the installation to a new computer, we all do it, or have done it at some time or another, however it was the offhanded way that I was informed that I had no choice but to buy another copy that really irritated me.
I relayed to the representative that having your account deleted, without warning, without any way of recovering said account and no way of separating that code from the account was absolutely unacceptable!
The representative then markedly changed her tone and said in a condescending and petulant manner “What do you want me to do about it?”.
I maintained a calm exterior but inwardly I was furious. Under no circumstances should you talk to your customers, your clients, your suppliers, your mum or anyone else in that sarcastic tone.
At that point I requested to speak to someone in the backend team to try a different approach.
I was then dutifully told that this seemingly innocuous request was impossible because the backend team doesn’t have a phone.
That was the proverbial straw that broke this camel’s back and I respectfully told her that she had been of no help to me whatsoever and promptly hung up.
They don’t have a phone…. They have a phone, and without being able to see it or know its number, I know they have a phone!
In mitigation I know it can’t be easy working for such a gigantic corporation with all their targets and demands etc.
I likewise know being on the front line and having to speak with angry, disgruntled people all day long isn’t easy and is demoralising, trust me I’ve fought in that war so I know.
However to be spoken to in such a fashion with the clear intent of being obstructive really got to me.
I do hope for her sake that whomever was listening in on that call, pulls her aside and politely lets her know that she f@£%ing failed.
As unprofessional as profanity is, especially on a first post, I feel it was entire essential to relay the emotion I felt at the time.