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Support is a JOKE! RRS feed

  • Question

  • In their zeal to avoid the cost of hiring people to provide anything approaching decent customer service, Microsoft has made it pretty nigh impossible to get problems resolved.
    Stephen Boots FAQ post about how to get support is a laughably convoluted description of how to throw yourself into a maze that appears to be designed to DENY customer support.
    Monday, December 10, 2007 10:36 AM

Answers

  • While I agree that the process to obtain support is not optimal in some cases, it is not designed to deny support, only to make sure that you are getting the appropriate level of support for your status. If you are a trial user, you can use online help or get email support. A paid subscriber can use these options or chat or phone, depending on time of day and locale.

    The problem that I see is that sometimes the authentication/validation that is supposed to take place, fails to recognize your subscription, meaning you get email support. Another issue, of course, is if you can't install to activate, you can't be validated, so you're stuck with email support only.

    I'm trying to get Microsoft to reconsider the removal of a web page that allows subscribers to sign in with the LiveID for their subscription to see all valid support options, no matter what PC they are using to access the web page. I don't know how successful I will be, but that page did exist before.

    Please keep in mind that the vast majority of support cases can be self-resolved by using Instant Help. It is the more serious cases that need interactive support. While I agree that support should be readily available when needed, some method needs to exist to prevent overload of support for issues that should be solved through Instant Help or kept to email for trial users.

    In my company, I was in support a number of years ago. Over a dozen years ago, a support call average cost for our company was about $10. Those costs has undoubtedly increased, despite being outsourced overseas in many cases. Considering that OneCare is a US $50 product, one support call can easily wipe out any earnings from that subscription.

    Thanks for your comments as I do believe that the support path needs to be improved for the cases I noted.

    -steve

     

    Monday, December 10, 2007 4:30 PM
    Moderator
  •  FuriousOne wrote:
    I don't envy you your position as apologist for Microsoft's OneCare product. I'm the OP of this thread and here are my thoughts:

    Thank you for admitting that Microsoft is handling this product badly and for your efforts to get them to rectify the problem.

    If Microsoft cared about the satisfaction (and blood pressure) of its customers they could have done two simple things:
    a)  Provide a telephone number in an EASILY FOUND place in the paper or online documentation that is set up to connect to a real person who is equipped to resolve the issue. b) Provide an email address in the same manner of (a) above.

    From a customer perspective, your comment about the loss of earnings that Microsoft would incur is specious and not at all empathetic. Do you really think that a customer who has paid Microsoft, in good faith, for a product cares one whit about Microsoft's revenue stream? We bought a product and we expect it to work, and to install properly. Please don't insult us by taking poor little Microsoft's side! We are the aggrieved, not Microsoft.

    It wasn't easy, but I did find an email address a couple of days ago. I chose the billing dept. because I had been billed but had not been graced with the product. Of course, they responded with a canned reply that it was not their problem and that I must contact the technical support dept. After digging to the bottom of the barrel once again, I found that email address and sent the tech people an email. The screen says they'll get back within 24 hrs. - it's been more than 24 hours. Not a surprise.

    Bottom line - Microsoft has botched this job badly. When an individual has been lied to and treated shabbily, do you think that he will be inclined to deal with giant, uncaring, incompetent Microsoft again! Not on your life!

    Bah!!!!

    I must clarify that I don't think that they have handled the support situation badly - I believe that they can do better. When 1.0 was released at retail the phone number was in the box. It was not in v1.5 - a mistake, in my opinion.

    When 1.0 was released, you had to go through the web validation in order to access support (unless you had saved the retail packaging and the support information). I complained loudly and a web site was created to let customer sign in with a subscription LiveID and immediately see their support options. That remained until the 2.0 release and I'm complaining once again.

    I appreciate your perspective and comments on the support issues and troubles in reaching support. However, I can also see the corporate side of things. I see your side as the customer as I am also a customer. However, I also know that the company needs to make money on the product. My experience with Support costs does not come from here, it comes from my day job, but I can relate that knowledge and experience to this situation. Providing a good support experience at a reasonable cost is a narrow band. You can spend a ton on support to provide excellent customer service and have a negative cash flow for a product, meaning you need to kill the product. Or you can provide lousy customer support and save lots of money, but totally annoy your customers and the product fails.

    -steve

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 1:31 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • While I agree that the process to obtain support is not optimal in some cases, it is not designed to deny support, only to make sure that you are getting the appropriate level of support for your status. If you are a trial user, you can use online help or get email support. A paid subscriber can use these options or chat or phone, depending on time of day and locale.

    The problem that I see is that sometimes the authentication/validation that is supposed to take place, fails to recognize your subscription, meaning you get email support. Another issue, of course, is if you can't install to activate, you can't be validated, so you're stuck with email support only.

    I'm trying to get Microsoft to reconsider the removal of a web page that allows subscribers to sign in with the LiveID for their subscription to see all valid support options, no matter what PC they are using to access the web page. I don't know how successful I will be, but that page did exist before.

    Please keep in mind that the vast majority of support cases can be self-resolved by using Instant Help. It is the more serious cases that need interactive support. While I agree that support should be readily available when needed, some method needs to exist to prevent overload of support for issues that should be solved through Instant Help or kept to email for trial users.

    In my company, I was in support a number of years ago. Over a dozen years ago, a support call average cost for our company was about $10. Those costs has undoubtedly increased, despite being outsourced overseas in many cases. Considering that OneCare is a US $50 product, one support call can easily wipe out any earnings from that subscription.

    Thanks for your comments as I do believe that the support path needs to be improved for the cases I noted.

    -steve

     

    Monday, December 10, 2007 4:30 PM
    Moderator
  • I cannot even get them to reply to the alternate email.  I am in a black hole of Microsoft with no options.  I am trying to load my final (3rd) subscription to my new laptop.  I know my OneCare ID but have forgotten my password and it will not send it to my alternate email adress.  I can either keep uninstalling and reinstalling to keep the 15 day trial version going every 15 days or I can uninstall forever and go back to Norton and get some support. 

     

    I agree Support is a JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

    Monday, December 10, 2007 10:45 PM
  • Your password problem is a LiveID issue. To request a password reset and/or report a problem with your LiveID alternate email address, go to http://support.live.com and select LiveID from the list. They appear to respond within 24 to 48 hours. In order to recover your account via support, you may need to provide a significant amount if information to support.

    Alternatively, create a new LiveID, open an email support case for OneCare support indicating you are a trial/beta user in the form process and describe your issue to OneCare support. They may be able to perform the password reset for you based on your account information and OneCare product ID.

    -steve

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007 1:53 PM
    Moderator
  • I completely agree. I run onecare at home on my three systems and it's been fine. However I bought it for my father since he was having issues with macafee licensing and we just plain don't like Norton. He tried to install onecare and kept getting to the screen where it asks for a live account. We created an account and used that but it kept saying incorrect username or password. We uninstalled onecare, ran the cleanup tool, reinstalled and kept getting the same message. Now that's all, I'm sure fixable but trying to get a quick answer for what is most likely a small issue was damn near impossible. Microsoft directs you to FAQ, or forums, or the livecare with it's 'intelligent engine' Anything but a person on the other end of the line that has the knowledge of these types of resources and has run into this before.

     

    I eventually told my father to use Avast for antivirus and defender for antispyware and now I've got a three system onecare pack I'll most likely never use. (Let's hope someone on ebay is willing to buy it for a few bucks.

     

    This type of support, and the assumption from Microsoft that it is acceptable, is exactly why Apple is slowly gaining home marketshare a little at a time. You are alienating the very people who support you. Either you're aiming at being number one in anti-virus protection or you're not, there is no middle ground. Support your customers correctly, take on the mentality of a small startup even if you're part of the whole you're still a startup division and can shine.

     

    There, I'm climbing down off my soapbox and getting on with work, I think I'll visit the apple store at lunch and see what all the fuss is about. (You always have to throw that one in, it's good for the soul)

     

     

     

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007 2:31 PM
  • Thanks for your comments, Kevin. Sorry to read about the problems you faced. This highlights why I believe it was a mistake to remove the phone number for support from the retail packaging.

    -steve

     

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007 4:27 PM
    Moderator
  • I don't envy you your position as apologist for Microsoft's OneCare product. I'm the OP of this thread and here are my thoughts:

    Thank you for admitting that Microsoft is handling this product badly and for your efforts to get them to rectify the problem.

    If Microsoft cared about the satisfaction (and blood pressure) of its customers they could have done two simple things:
    a)  Provide a telephone number in an EASILY FOUND place in the paper or online documentation that is set up to connect to a real person who is equipped to resolve the issue. b) Provide an email address in the same manner of (a) above.

    From a customer perspective, your comment about the loss of earnings that Microsoft would incur is specious and not at all empathetic. Do you really think that a customer who has paid Microsoft, in good faith, for a product cares one whit about Microsoft's revenue stream? We bought a product and we expect it to work, and to install properly. Please don't insult us by taking poor little Microsoft's side! We are the aggrieved, not Microsoft.

    It wasn't easy, but I did find an email address a couple of days ago. I chose the billing dept. because I had been billed but had not been graced with the product. Of course, they responded with a canned reply that it was not their problem and that I must contact the technical support dept. After digging to the bottom of the barrel once again, I found that email address and sent the tech people an email. The screen says they'll get back within 24 hrs. - it's been more than 24 hours. Not a surprise.

    Bottom line - Microsoft has botched this job badly. When an individual has been lied to and treated shabbily, do you think that he will be inclined to deal with giant, uncaring, incompetent Microsoft again! Not on your life!

    Bah!!!!

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007 9:17 PM
  •  FuriousOne wrote:
    I don't envy you your position as apologist for Microsoft's OneCare product. I'm the OP of this thread and here are my thoughts:

    Thank you for admitting that Microsoft is handling this product badly and for your efforts to get them to rectify the problem.

    If Microsoft cared about the satisfaction (and blood pressure) of its customers they could have done two simple things:
    a)  Provide a telephone number in an EASILY FOUND place in the paper or online documentation that is set up to connect to a real person who is equipped to resolve the issue. b) Provide an email address in the same manner of (a) above.

    From a customer perspective, your comment about the loss of earnings that Microsoft would incur is specious and not at all empathetic. Do you really think that a customer who has paid Microsoft, in good faith, for a product cares one whit about Microsoft's revenue stream? We bought a product and we expect it to work, and to install properly. Please don't insult us by taking poor little Microsoft's side! We are the aggrieved, not Microsoft.

    It wasn't easy, but I did find an email address a couple of days ago. I chose the billing dept. because I had been billed but had not been graced with the product. Of course, they responded with a canned reply that it was not their problem and that I must contact the technical support dept. After digging to the bottom of the barrel once again, I found that email address and sent the tech people an email. The screen says they'll get back within 24 hrs. - it's been more than 24 hours. Not a surprise.

    Bottom line - Microsoft has botched this job badly. When an individual has been lied to and treated shabbily, do you think that he will be inclined to deal with giant, uncaring, incompetent Microsoft again! Not on your life!

    Bah!!!!

    I must clarify that I don't think that they have handled the support situation badly - I believe that they can do better. When 1.0 was released at retail the phone number was in the box. It was not in v1.5 - a mistake, in my opinion.

    When 1.0 was released, you had to go through the web validation in order to access support (unless you had saved the retail packaging and the support information). I complained loudly and a web site was created to let customer sign in with a subscription LiveID and immediately see their support options. That remained until the 2.0 release and I'm complaining once again.

    I appreciate your perspective and comments on the support issues and troubles in reaching support. However, I can also see the corporate side of things. I see your side as the customer as I am also a customer. However, I also know that the company needs to make money on the product. My experience with Support costs does not come from here, it comes from my day job, but I can relate that knowledge and experience to this situation. Providing a good support experience at a reasonable cost is a narrow band. You can spend a ton on support to provide excellent customer service and have a negative cash flow for a product, meaning you need to kill the product. Or you can provide lousy customer support and save lots of money, but totally annoy your customers and the product fails.

    -steve

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 1:31 AM
    Moderator
  • Steve, the last sentence in your reply is certainly the operative one from my perspective and experience.

    It's with a great deal of relief that I can report that I called Microsoft and canceled my OneCare subscription. They were happy to accommodate me and credited back the amount that I had paid for a product that I had never received.

    By the way, there IS a telephone number that one call both the billing AND technical support functions of the OneCare disaster. It is:  [removed]. Try to have some pity on the battered customers and provide it instead of that awful "support process" FAQ that you've posted.

    I'm truly sorry that you are the object of the "shoot the messenger" syndrome.
    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 1:36 PM
  • Steve,

    I have been using OneCare since it was released and it has been great, but recently it quit working. I have done all I can with the helps provided including unstalling and reinstalling. It does not start up automatically any more and when I manually start it all I get is the Windows Live OnceCare cannot continue box. The details tell me OneCare is not working and has been stopped and to try restart. If the problem persists to contact suport. I have looked everywhere for a way to contact support with no luck. What is the contact point: email, phone????

     

    Thanks, Ron

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 12:47 AM
  • Hello, Ron. Sorry to read that you've been hit with problems.

    How to reach support - http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2421771&SiteID=2

    If it fails to validate your subscription, select the option that you are using a trial or beta copy and you can proceed to email support without validation once you've signed in.

     

    -steve

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 1:30 AM
    Moderator
  • i had to reinstall and i used the cleaner and i reinstalled my version was bought in store it claims is trial when i create a support log . and it will not accept my password for finishing the install.do you think i could get help from support with this

    nope . i even changed my password in live. and in net passport and in hotmail it still will not accept my password gives me error code 80048265. and claims my password is not correct. but i can log into any of my sites with it and works fine just not with this junk program and support is no help ..... you got it right  support is a HUGE JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 8:56 PM
  • YES I AGREE!!! Support is a JOKE. I had a problem with OneCare and I contacted support. I did get a email response from them telling me to try a few things to see if it would correct the problem. I did the things they suggested and NOTHING. I sent the email back telling them this, they sent 1 back telling me to try some other things. This went back and forth for 3 days and still NOTHING was working right. I sent them everything they requested and I did everything they requested. I ended up looking for answers on the microsoft web site and after 10 minutes of looking I found the solution to my problems. It ended up being a custom boot screen I was running that kept OneCare from running right. After dealing with the so called "support" for 3 days I ended up finding the solution myself.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 10:31 PM
  •  Daryl R wrote:

    i had to reinstall and i used the cleaner and i reinstalled my version was bought in store it claims is trial when i create a support log . and it will not accept my password for finishing the install.do you think i could get help from support with this

    nope . i even changed my password in live. and in net passport and in hotmail it still will not accept my password gives me error code 80048265. and claims my password is not correct. but i can log into any of my sites with it and works fine just not with this junk program and support is no help ..... you got it right  support is a HUGE JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

    Are you saying that you cannot log in at http://www.hotmail.com with your changed password, giving you the same 80048625 error or are you saying that this is the error you get when trying to activate OneCare?

    If it is the latter, make sure you are not copying and pasting the password.

    Also, some people have reported that complex passwords - those longer than 8 characters or containing characters other than letters and numbers are a problem for activating OneCare sometimes. I suspect that it depends on the server you are reaching. Change your password to a simple one to activate and then change it back afterwards if this is the case.

    Any time you install OneCare - either via download or from a retail CD it is in trial mode until you activate it with your LiveID.

    How to reach support - http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2421771&SiteID=2

    If it fails to validate your subscription, select the option that you are using a trial or beta copy and you can proceed to email support without validation once you've signed in.

    -steve
    Thursday, January 17, 2008 1:57 AM
    Moderator
  •  Dave674 wrote:

    YES I AGREE!!! Support is a JOKE. I had a problem with OneCare and I contacted support. I did get a email response from them telling me to try a few things to see if it would correct the problem. I did the things they suggested and NOTHING. I sent the email back telling them this, they sent 1 back telling me to try some other things. This went back and forth for 3 days and still NOTHING was working right. I sent them everything they requested and I did everything they requested. I ended up looking for answers on the microsoft web site and after 10 minutes of looking I found the solution to my problems. It ended up being a custom boot screen I was running that kept OneCare from running right. After dealing with the so called "support" for 3 days I ended up finding the solution myself.

    Support is not perfect, but I'm sorry that you were frustrated by your experience. They provide information that is most common to resolve the problem being reported. A custom boot screen is not common and I'm sure that I would have overlooked that, too. If after several exchanges with support, it was still not resolved, it would probably have been escalated to an engineer that would be looking for the more esoteric reasons that are known to cause problems. And even then, there are elusive problems that can take longer to resolve.

    -steve

    Thursday, January 17, 2008 2:00 AM
    Moderator
  • Steve,

    I was able to send an email to tech support. It took them almost 24 hours, but I received a lengthy email with three sets of steps to follow, beginning with restarting multiple services. The instructions were easy to follow and the first option seems to have fixed the problem. I will save the email and follow the balance of the problems if any issues return after I reboot. Currently I am running a tune up and all seems to be going well. I know others have had bad experiences and I think MS did a disservice to OneCare by releasing a problem patch, but they made the issue easy to resolve at least for me.

     

    Thanks,

    crpaulk

     

     

    Thursday, January 17, 2008 3:18 AM
  • Thanks for the update, crpaulk. I'm glad that the first response appears to have resolved it.

    As I've said before, I think that there were more issues with this upgrade than anyone, including Microsoft, would have liked, but it is a pretty major upgrade, so some problems are to be expected with the infinite variety of hardware and software in use out there. We read about the problems here and I'm sure that support is dealing with loads of cases, too, but the vast majority of people didn't have problems with the upgrade. I've got OneCare running on 6 computers, for example, and none experienced any problems with 2.0. That's little consolation for those who did have troubles, though.

    -steve

     

    Thursday, January 17, 2008 12:18 PM
    Moderator
  • yes that is what i am saying i can sign into my mail account and into live to check on my account have reset password on all and it works to sign in but when i try to reinstall my one care it claims my password is invalid and gives me that error code and support claims it does not understand my question

    Friday, January 18, 2008 6:33 PM
  •  Daryl R wrote:

    yes that is what i am saying i can sign into my mail account and into live to check on my account have reset password on all and it works to sign in but when i try to reinstall my one care it claims my password is invalid and gives me that error code and support claims it does not understand my question

    Is your password longer than 8 characters and/or does it contain anything other than letters and numbers?

    -steve

    Saturday, January 19, 2008 2:17 AM
    Moderator
  • I bought onecare to take care of our home computers. I installed it on one computer and the malware and invasives became worse than prior to installation. After a month I can't get any support and am scared to install it into my other two computers and mess them up.

    Thursday, February 7, 2008 2:54 PM
  •  JerryR.1 wrote:

    I bought onecare to take care of our home computers. I installed it on one computer and the malware and invasives became worse than prior to installation. After a month I can't get any support and am scared to install it into my other two computers and mess them up.

    Jerry, you posted to one thread already - http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2807963&SiteID=2 - and I've replied. Stop duplicating your complaint throughout the forum, please.

    -steve

    Thursday, February 7, 2008 3:06 PM
    Moderator
  • If your replies would actually try to help instead of sending me to generic web addresses that confuse and don't help, you wouldn't hear from me anymore.

    Jerry

    Thursday, February 7, 2008 3:42 PM
  •  JerryR.1 wrote:

    If your replies would actually try to help instead of sending me to generic web addresses that confuse and don't help, you wouldn't hear from me anymore.

    Jerry

    My reply to your original problem at the link above is to contact support. I explained in my reply that I dislike the support flow which requires you to go through multiple steps and have your subscription validated before your options of phone, chat and email are provided, but that's the path to support.

    -steve

    Thursday, February 7, 2008 5:10 PM
    Moderator
  • I agree.

    I purchased one care because I wanted an answer to a reoccuring problem. The experence has been lack luster at best. After 30 Emails with a so called Tech he wrote me and said he was going on vacation and would email me in a couple weeks when he returned to work. I guess he never returned.

    Sunday, June 28, 2009 3:33 PM
  • I agree.

    I purchased one care because I wanted an answer to a reoccuring problem. The experence has been lack luster at best. After 30 Emails with a so called Tech he wrote me and said he was going on vacation and would email me in a couple weeks when he returned to work. I guess he never returned.


    What is the problem you were trying to resolve with OneCare support? And do you have the case ID? I'd like to escalate your case for review as I don't think that the case should have been left to languish while the tech was on vacation. In fact, 30 days of back and forth emails should have led to escalation to the next level of support at the very least, in my opinion.
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare, Live Mesh, & MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator
    Sunday, June 28, 2009 11:58 PM
    Moderator
  • I have 5 computers at home (PC'S) that all stopped working the day my OneCare subscription ended, I was in the third world and not home.  They are all backed up, yet I cannot run OneCare to fix them.  I am typing this out on a free version of Linux called Ubuntu which I had to load to get my laptop working while I was on a business trip traveling outside the US for 30 days.  I am home now and unable to resolve the problem.

    Unix (Apple Mac OS) and Linux for ever more!  Good Luck Microsoft.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 1:12 AM
  • I have 5 computers at home (PC'S) that all stopped working the day my OneCare subscription ended, I was in the third world and not home.  They are all backed up, yet I cannot run OneCare to fix them.  I am typing this out on a free version of Linux called Ubuntu which I had to load to get my laptop working while I was on a business trip traveling outside the US for 30 days.  I am home now and unable to resolve the problem.

    Unix (Apple Mac OS) and Linux for ever more!  Good Luck Microsoft.


    See this post, SteveC7474F: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/onecaregeneral/thread/531bbf4f-6f1a-4f44-afba-de263196269d

    -steve


    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Monday, August 16, 2010 12:29 PM
    Moderator