ED Magedson – Founder
Microsoft Bait and Switch and Strong Arm Sales San Francisco Internet
First of all I must tell you I am no fan of off shore support. I don't let that cloud my judgement, I just know as a sales analyst dollar-wise you can make that work here in the United States and put Americans to work - but that's a subject for another time. Yesterday (Tuesday July 29) I called into Microsoft after exhausting all attempts to re-establish by 2010 Office Home Edition using my product key from 2 years ago. My computer crashed and the hard drive failed which meant I had to re-install all of my software. All I had for Microsoft was my product key because I had downloaded the software online over two years prior. The key did not work. This is where I started my odyssey or nightmare. I called your support and the first department to answer said "Hello" proceeded to give me their Indian name which I could barely make out and then asked me "What's your name?" - I provided this. Next "What is your problem? (or depending on the department) Why are you calling?" I started this call at about 8 AM PST and after being bumped around to five different departments I landed in what I think was technical support group. Each time a new person from a new department answered the phone they asked me the same questions..."What's your name?" and then "What is your problem? (or depending on the department) Why are you calling?"
So each time in the five times I was transferred I had to repeat my entire reason for calling including, providing and spelling my name. It is now a little after 9 AM PST and I am due to be in a meeting and the person I am speaking with finally gets me to a Credit Card screen and tells me "We can offer you a one time $40 purchase price for 2010 Home Edition" just enter your CC information and I will charge you $40 from this end." We tried twice but the system had a "connecting" error. Finally I told him that I was late for a meeting and I needed to call back. He assured me that would be no problem. I asked for his name and phone but he told me "We don't provide phone numbers or direct lines you just have to call in and someone will help you!" I made sure that he understood how important this was and he assured me it was not going to be a problem. Later that day after I finished my work I placed a call to Microsoft at 5 PM PST. I started by going directly to Technical Services and then the nightmare really began. I wasn't on the phone two minutes before the new voice said "What is your case number?" - Well, I never heard of such a thing and the guy that morning hadn't mentioned anything about case numbers. My first reaction was to have him check my account "Surely', I said to him, 'there must be notes from my conversation this morning after all it lasted over an hour" There were no notes. He then began to act very confused and said that his department had no such special programming but that he knew the sales department did so he transferred me back. I got back to sales and what happens? You guessed it, starting from spell your name and tell me your problem I had to start the process all over again. This continued for another 47 minutes before one representative in the middle of the conversation (I was frustrated by then and he was equally frustrated) just disconnected the call. The line went dead. Well, I still needed my software so at 17 minutes before 6 PM PST your deadline for support here in the US on the West Coast, I called back in. Now mind you I have been in 9 count them NINE departments and spoken to two managers repeating my name, the spelling and my problem - 9 different times - Not one of these people even jotted down a note so that the next person didn't have to ask me the same questions over and over again.
So here I am going from department to department many times back to the same departments and all of them acting as if I'm speaking Martian. Most admit they have this $40 program but all say they (meaning their department) can't initiate this elusive $40 deal and they keep hammering me for a $99 deal (bait and switch- sounds like it). Finally I get a manager in sales and I can tell from hello this person means to end this call. She starts by asking "What is it you want?" Once again I tell my story of the hard drive, product key not working, man earlier in the day actually bringing me to a credit card screen and offering me a $40 fix for my 2010 home edition and she stops me cold... "Yes', she says 'we do have a $40 program but it's part of a warranty or service protection program for 149 a year - so if you buy the protection against problems (sounds like the mafia by now) we can offer you this $40 deal." I said -"That's not what transpired this morning (now wishing I had just been late for the morning meeting and had finished with the call at 11 AM PST - because clearly I was not going to get any help from this crew) It is now 6:47 PM PST. I have been on the phone since 5 PM PST - 1 hour and 47 minutes to end up with person who has determined that I am to be flushed from the system. She offers me a deal totally different from the one I was offered in the morning and says, essentially, "This is it, take it or leave it." I left it.
Big companies tend to mess up on the little things. They get out maneuvered in technology because they are too big to have an "Active Listening" program internally. They purchase tons of little companies with barely proven technologies and scratch their heads wondering how they will integrate and assimilate this new contaminate technology into their very structured system, rather than fixing what they already own which almost certainly resides in the minds of the people who work for you They are so big that the voices of those using their products and services are a distressing cacophony of sounds that blur into one big nothingness. Instead of having a system in place to selectively hear "what is being said" so you can reduce your costs and improve the ROI, you simply put a "one size fits all" program in place and when that program fails and it will regularly fail, you just end up eating the wasted production time. I get all that - but the way I was treated and the fundamental flaws in that system are horrendous. No notes on any calls Making me repeat everything every time Bouncing me from department to department Becoming so frustrated that they even disconnected from me Bait and Switch, strong arm protection warranties Hard to understand accents These are fundamental issues that constitute "Customer Service 101". If you can't do so much as to remember who is calling and why, not only are you frustrating the person calling in (and I estimated) you spent somewhere around 30 minutes of production time having me repeat my story with each new department over that 1 hour and 47 minutes between 9 departments and 2 managers. Let's look at that number. Let's say only one in a thousand calls fall outside your "one size fits all" service approach and they cost you thirty minutes each call. And let's say your handling 20,000 calls a day. That ends up costing you 10 hours a day in real production time. Let's say that you are paying (including all aspects of an employee position from salary to phones., computers, rented space, etc.) somewhere around $50 an hour (I would have to know more to be precise). That means at the end of the day you are wasting $500 a day in wasted production time for simple customer service fixes. That's over $182,000 a year wasted because you don't have a basic system in place to take notes on each caller so that the next person receiving the call knows who you are and what you are calling about. Your service was abysmal - the worst customer service I have ever experienced made significantly more painful because it's Microsoft and we all know as your consumers for nearly 30 years - you guys just don't care.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/30/2014 03:10 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/microsoft/internet/microsoft-bait-and-switch-and-strong-arm-sales-san-francisco-internet-1166214. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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