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Renewing OneCare - Mismatched Country - Subscription Failure RRS feed

  • Question

  • Having purchased a retail CD version of OneCare here in the UK 11 months ago, I am now being bombarded with reminders to renew the subscription.

    When I attempt to do so, the system directs me to a Microsoft Billing account that incorrectly identifies my origin as being in the US - and thus demands a US credit card and US billing address - even though my original Live ID account has always been correctly located in the UK.

    Online Customer Support's only solution is to purchase instal a completely new retail package - not only inconvenient, but twice the price!

    Coincidentally, the UK retail packaging promises "Free unlimited phone, e-mail, and chat support included". Unfortunately, this, too is only offered to customers in the US!

    Why are non-US users being penalised in this way? Why does the original set-up incorrectly match the Live ID location?
    Monday, June 9, 2008 1:14 PM

Answers

  • The best solution, since the error on your billing account cannot be corrected, might be to bear with the renewal reminders until your subscription expires then create a new account with the correct information and use the retail CD product key to activate it. 

     

    Monday, June 9, 2008 3:02 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Try changing the language in Internet Explorer to English ( United Kingdom ).

     

    Monday, June 9, 2008 2:48 PM
    Moderator
  • Erm...of course my set-up already defaults to UK-English!

    This has already been suggested by Online customer Support.

    The issue remains that the Microsoft Billing Account, on associating my Live ID with the original OneCare installation, incorrectly identified the country of origin as being the US - which according to Customer Support, cannot ever be changed!

    So, although the original installation - using a UK retail CD and installed in the UK on a UK-registered pre-existing Live ID - microsoft wrongly identifies the user as being in the US!

    I am told by OneCare Customer Support that this is a known issue... However, no-one at Microsoft appears able to do anything about it!
    Monday, June 9, 2008 2:57 PM
  • The best solution, since the error on your billing account cannot be corrected, might be to bear with the renewal reminders until your subscription expires then create a new account with the correct information and use the retail CD product key to activate it. 

     

    Monday, June 9, 2008 3:02 PM
    Moderator
  • My One care was purchased along with Office at a Future Shop Store in Canada. At that time the store attendant installed the programs. Now I see that he Quickly registered with initials and did not change the country to Canada. Perhaps US was the only option last year. Changing to english does not make sense. The UK person and myself are already in english. We need to be able to change the country so that the Zip Code Field changes to in my case a Postal Code field. In canada for example the Postal Code is Alpha Numeric Alpha Space Numeric Alpha Numeric.

     

    Anyone have other ideas or do I have to setup a NEW One Care. For myself I can buy a new copy for the same or less than the renewal fee.

     

    I would rather just update so I do not lose my current system and have to backtrack.

     

    Monday, June 9, 2008 3:11 PM
  • I was able to update my information with my correct Full Name  and us a US address. Perhaps the only work around at this time. Now, before I acctually submit payment for renewal, will the renewal send a disc to that address or just allow the renewal to continue updating online?

     

    Monday, June 9, 2008 4:08 PM
  • You will not receive a CD, the subscription service will continue on your currently installed One Care software.

     

    Monday, June 9, 2008 4:19 PM
    Moderator
  •  Warren Hellyer wrote:
    I was able to update my information with my correct Full Name  and us a US address. Perhaps the only work around at this time. Now, before I acctually submit payment for renewal, will the renewal send a disc to that address or just allow the renewal to continue updating online?

     

     

    Actually I was able to use my Canadian street address and city by finding a state that had a city of the same name. Why It didn't boot out my street name & number I don't know. Actually glad it did not for now!

    Monday, June 9, 2008 4:24 PM
  • Thanks very much Jim. Have agreat day!

     

    Monday, June 9, 2008 4:29 PM
  • Well now that I try to make payment it keeps wanting me to keep entering my credit card info over and over or try a different card just so the chance of more credit card info is available to some hacker. Yes I'm frustrated, I give up. How it knows the credit card does not belong to someone in Illinois I don't know, It shouldn't matter anyways. I give up.

     

    Don't waste your time. Go out and buy a new CD!!!

     

    Monday, June 9, 2008 5:02 PM
  • All very well, I suppose...except that the UK retail version in the UK of OneCare 2.0 is more than four times the cost of the US CD retail version ($19.99 at Amazon.com) - which I assume is coded to only allow registration in the US!! Microsoft want £37.99 ($74.50) just to renew online!

    As this is a "known issue" at Microsoft, why isn't anyone fixing it? It really doesn't inspire confidence in OneCare overall if no-one can solve the billing account error created by its own installation!
    Monday, June 9, 2008 5:22 PM
  • Good idea, Warren...but in the case of those of us stranded in the UK, I'd still need a US credit card with an associated US billing address!
    Monday, June 9, 2008 5:28 PM
  •  Malc150 wrote:
    All very well, I suppose...except that the UK retail version in the UK of OneCare 2.0 is more than four times the cost of the US CD retail version ($19.99 at Amazon.com) - which I assume is coded to only allow registration in the US!! Microsoft want £37.99 ($74.50) just to renew online!

    As this is a "known issue" at Microsoft, why isn't anyone fixing it? It really doesn't inspire confidence in OneCare overall if no-one can solve the billing account error created by its own installation!

    The CD is not region specific. The key on a retail cd can be used to renew or activate a subscription anywhere that OneCare is validly sold.

     

    As for the known issue - the issue is apparently that your Billing information in the profile at http://billing.microsoft.com may not allow you to change your country. This Billing account is tied to all Microsoft services. If support acknowledged that you can't change the profile country, then using a new LiveID and creating a new Billing account is the way to go. Then reinstall OneCare and activate with the new LiveID and a retail key or provide payment information.

    -steve

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008 6:46 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    I'm having a very similar problem. I'm Australian and originally installed OneCare in Holland (at the time it accepted my Australian MasterCard). The sub has run out now I'm home and they've asked me to renew. Well, my credit card was stolen so the number is now different. I was hit with the same problem as above...it wouldn't accept the change without a Dutch adddress. With instructions from OneCare Billing Support I paid up for a new sub in AU$ (equivalent of US$94 - boy, it's really galling how MS screws foreigners). So...I now sign in and go to "view or update your account and billing information" and I'm taken to a Dutch site that tells me my account is "geannuleerd" (annulled). Well, the Dutch one might be but on my computer screen OneCare tells me I have a sub valid for a year. OK, I'll just wait for the year I suppose and see what happens when the next renewal comes up but it's crazy that I can't get to the correct billing site related to my current Australian subscription to check on it.

     

    What's even crazier is that each time I send off a reply to the Microsoft OneCare help people they don't read the whole story - they completely misunderstand me and tell me to start over by signing up in Australia. I get a reply from Demien, I reply, then someone totally else (say Peter) comes back to tell me "Thank you for contacting Windows Live One Care Accounts and Billing Support. My name is Peter and I will be glad to help you." but he/she totally fails to read the whole story. This has happened about 5 times - I've had Demian, Peter, Santiago, and a couple of others - never the same person twice. it's really like beating my head against a wall. It seems you just can't get there from here!

     
    Sorb
    Saturday, June 14, 2008 11:35 PM
  • You've absolutely hit the nail on the head! The system is crazy and broken, but no-one at Microsoft will admit it.

    I love your account of dealing with OneCare Support online - that's so true! No-one ever reads the issue string - each time a new operative makes silly and irrelevant suggestions.

    Oh, and where is the "free unlimited phone...support included" that OneCare promises on the packaging? That's right - only available if you're in the USA! That's what Microsoft thinks about the rest of the world!
    Monday, June 16, 2008 10:21 AM
  •  Malc150 wrote:
    You've absolutely hit the nail on the head! The system is crazy and broken, but no-one at Microsoft will admit it.

    I love your account of dealing with OneCare Support online - that's so true! No-one ever reads the issue string - each time a new operative makes silly and irrelevant suggestions.

    Oh, and where is the "free unlimited phone...support included" that OneCare promises on the packaging? That's right - only available if you're in the USA! That's what Microsoft thinks about the rest of the world!

    Free and unlimited support is available in all markets where OneCare is sold, including the UK. Getting to phone support is the problem if you are a subscriber and the subscription can't be validate.

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

     

    -steve

    Monday, June 16, 2008 5:19 PM
    Moderator
  • And as if to completely prove my point, your reply is completely incorrect as applies to subscribers in the UK. There is NO "free" phone support - you are eventually directed to a "0870" number, which as anyone in the UK will tell you is chargeable at the highest national telephone rate available in the UK! Microsoft's definition of "free" support is a bizarre distortion of the English language.

    There IS NO "FREE" SUPPORT. FACT.
    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 3:39 PM
  •  Stephen Boots wrote:

    Free and unlimited support is available in all markets where OneCare is sold, including the UK.



    Sadly, not true!
    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 3:56 PM
  •  Malc150 wrote:
    And as if to completely prove my point, your reply is completely incorrect as applies to subscribers in the UK. There is NO "free" phone support - you are eventually directed to a "0870" number, which as anyone in the UK will tell you is chargeable at the highest national telephone rate available in the UK! Microsoft's definition of "free" support is a bizarre distortion of the English language.

    There IS NO "FREE" SUPPORT. FACT.

    Fact:

    Microsoft does not charge for support provided to subscribers via phone in the UK.

    I'm sorry if the phone number is a toll call for you. I would recommend complaining to the Microsoft UK office about this.

    -steve

     

     

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 5:00 PM
    Moderator
  •  Stephen Boots wrote:

    Fact:

    Microsoft does not charge for support provided to subscribers via phone in the UK.

    I'm sorry if the phone number is a toll call for you. I would recommend complaining to the Microsoft UK office about this.

    -steve
     



    Unfortunately, you have again, proved my point! The 0870 number that Microsoft provide - following the route you yourself suggested - is indeed always a "toll" number of the highest kind in the UK. (A system that has been highly criticised by the telecommunications regulator in the UK). An 0870 number in the UK actually pays a significant proportion of the call charges to the owner/operator of that number - in this case: Microsoft UK! So, Microsoft DOES charge for support in the UK - regardless of the number of times you repeat the denial. Microsoft benefits financially from each and every support call made by UK subscribers.

    Therefore, there is nothing "Free" about the "Support" that Microsoft offer in the UK! The retail packaging of Microsoft OneCare promises: "Free, unlimited phone...support included." However, as I have now pointed out on at least FIVE prior occasions, there is nothing "free" about the service in the UK! [This erroneous promise happens to be an offence under UK/EU consumer law - and has been reported to the appropriate Trading Standards authority in the UK.]

    Most ironic of all is your bizarre recommendation that I complain to Microsoft UK about your persistent charging for a "free" service... Given that you don't proffer any contact/support details, I assume you're actually recommending calling the same disgraceful 0870 number chargeable at up to 14p/min that I am complaining about?! Priceless!
    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 6:08 PM
  • I don't work for Microsoft, nor do I have experience with the UK phone system other than having used a pay phone from London with a US calling card 15 years ago while on vacation.

     

    I searched the Microsoft UK information via the support link I provided above:

    UK Headquarters

    • Address
      Microsoft
      Microsoft Campus
      Thames Valley Park
      Reading Berkshire RG6 1WG

      Click here for more information about Microsoft UK.
              Telephone
      0870 60 10 100*
             
      Fax
      Please include the recipient's first and last name.
      0870 60 20 100

    They do include the following note for the asterisk:

    *Numbers prefixed 0870 will be charged at national call rates.

    Please note the numbers and tariffs above apply to BT landlines. Call charges from landlines may vary depending on your service provider. Calls from mobile phones may cost more and differ depending on your service provider.

    Customers should contact their service provider for more information on specific charges and check the latest available tariff list. The price that customers pay per call may also be determined by the call plan designated by their service provider.

     

    Obviously, that doesn't help, since it is another 0870 number. So I found this:

    http://www.microsoft.com/uk/about/map-london.mspx

     

    That would be the London office (with another 0870 number).

    The Manchester office doesn't have an 0870 number:

    http://www.microsoft.com/uk/about/map-manchester.mspx

     

    I know you want to keep arguing the use of "free" for support, but I believe that the phone charge vs. a paid support incident on top of the phone charge is quite a difference. As an example, XP phone support in the UK (to an 0870 number) is as follows:

    Cost:£46.00 VAT inclusive per support request during business hours after all no-charge support is used.

    So, "Free" refers to no charge for the incident, but does not mean no charge for the call to your provider. I did poke around and found that not all providers charge the same rate for 0870 calls and not all providers provide credit back to the holder of the 0870 number, though I would expect that Microsoft is getting credit for usage against the cost of providing the inbound service.

     

    -steve

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 6:28 PM
    Moderator
  • Steve, I appreciate the inordinate length of your reply, but the use of the term "Free..." on the packaging has a very clear implication in consumer law.

     

    Your own research has just reiterated and laboured the point, Microsoft persist in using 0870 support numbers that DO always subsidise the holder/operator. If Microsoft seriously wanted to semantically argue the philosophic meaning of the word "Free", they could, at least operate a regular geographic telephone number - which is generally included in any UK phone subscriber's inclusive calling package. However, Microsoft's persistent use of 0870 numbers (which are never available under calling packages) ensures that - regardless of phone operator - the caller has to pay an excessive premium, which is ultimately paid back to Microsoft!

     

    That is NOT, under any preposterous interpretation "Free". Microsoft profit from support calls, resulting from problems with their proprietory software - something the consumer has already paid for!

     

    ALL 0870 operators benefit from calls made - regardless of the originating network

     

    You can dissemble as much as you like, but the use of the term "Free" in the OneCare packaging is deliberately misleading and consumers get a much better deal in the US.

     

    When is Microsoft going to stop discriminating against consumers in the EU?

     

    Are you seriously suggesting I should be grateful I am not charged £46 to make a call to Microsoft regarding faults that have originated with a faulty product?

     

     

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 7:06 PM
  • No, I didn't mean to insinuate that you should be grateful about not being charged for a support incident. I simply highlighted the "free" part of support. Please don't take my comments as meaning that.

    I can't argue with your points, either. I don't know that I'd call it discriminating against EU consumers, as I believe that pricing and support availability is indeed Regional. Some of the product pricing I've seen for other countries is pretty steep compared to the US, too. And, I don't know what other regions also have truly free support via a non-toll phone number.

    Basically, I am in agreement that paying for the support call toll charges is unfortunate. I'll have to assume that you are correct in the fact that part of the toll charge goes back to the 0870 holder. I find it odd that the main contact numbers for Microsoft in the UK are also 0870 numbers...

    -steve

     

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 7:23 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    Microsoft Unauthorized billing to my credit card account for OneCare update. I did not authorize any such billing and as such, your unauthorized use of my credit card is fraudulent. Reverse charges immediately

     

    RogelioPessoa

    Monday, July 28, 2008 10:23 PM
  •  Rogelio Pessoa wrote:

     

    Microsoft Unauthorized billing to my credit card account for OneCare update. I did not authorize any such billing and as such, your unauthorized use of my credit card is fraudulent. Reverse charges immediately

     

    RogelioPessoa

    When you subscribed to OneCare with a credit card, you accepted the subscription agreement that indicates that the subscription will be automatically renewed annually.

    If you wish to cancel the subscription and obtain a credit for the renewal charge, you will need to contact customer service/support.

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

     

    -steve

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 12:52 PM
    Moderator