Dear Microsoft Store:

I’ve been a geek and customer since my first DOS game, Eliza in 1986. One of my favorite things about being a tech nerd has been experiencing the evolution of technology since then. When something goes this wrong, I feel the need to fix it or at least make the breakage known. My experience with customer service and tech help have been comically nightmarish so far on this incident I’ve been working on since August of 2009. The quick and dirty version is when I ordered my laptop in August, I bought Microsoft Office Home & Student 2007 along with it. I assumed it had Outlook and was dismayed that it would be an additional $100 to add it. Turns out, you don’t sell Microsoft Outlook 2007 as a stand-alone product and finding a sales rep to figure out how to make that happen took many phone calls (only to be double-charged two different prices which only worries me about their internal accounting practices). I was finally successful last month and now almost every program I have crashes a few minutes into it. So I again am on the phone. I try not to lose my temper when talking with customer service people over the phone. Their world is just as frustrating.

This is how today went:

1st call: 4:30 PM: (877) 696-7786 (MS Store): Hold for a 3 minutes. Disconnected
2nd call: redial: Got refunded for the double charge of MS Outlook 2007 and explained that since download, all programs freeze and crash. Transferred to Tech Help Case no. 1234567890. Explained entire problem again, gave MS Outlook Key#, what actions have been done to remedy it and the woman told me she thinks she knows how to fix it if I will just please hold for a moment. Disconnected while on hold.
3rd call: redial: 5:30 PM: Retold problem for the third time, given the number to tech help.
4th call: (800) 668-7975: Above case number not found. Transferred to reception to generate new case number. Placed on hold. When reception answers, too much static is on the line and communication impossible. Hung up.
5th call: redial: 5:44 PM: Remember to press 6 for “All Other Issues”. Spoke to new receptionist. Told story again. Gave Key again. New case # 1234567890. Please hold. 6:00 PM: “The Microsoft Support Line is now closed… the hours are M-F 5-9 and S&S 6-3 PST.”

Tomorrow is another day…

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