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Have any of you guys actually *tried* to use the Microsoft phone activation service? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • My Windows Home Server machine crashed so I replaced the hard drives and reinstalled... everything worked great until I tried to re-activate, and the software said it was already activated past the maximum times and that it needed to get fixed.  The web site URL the activator punts you to doesn't work so next I tried the phone activation service...  oh my god what a horrific experience!

    First, the software says to call 888 571 2048. The voice recognition software doesn't work well, and you end up at an activator call center - clearly overseas. Look, I am not racist and I have nothing against India or Indians, but you cannot staff a call center with people who cannot understand or clearly speak English. Second, nobody knew what to do and kept routing my call from one person to another. One person only did Windows XP. The other one needed customer service to start a case. The customer service assigned the case number but had no authority to do anything, and then forwarded it to someone else. Overall I was probably on the phone more than hour, spoke to 10 different people, and I'm *still* on hold as I'm writing this because I'm absolutely shocked how bad the service is.

    I understand Microsoft needs to protect its IP and needs licensing schemes and there's a lot of software piracy out there - esp. outside the U.S. But to have such an absolutely *AWFUL* activation scheme when things go bad is absolutely unacceptable. The call center is one of the worst I have ever experienced, and presumably this is one of the types of service *real* customers to bought real service need quite frequently.

    Think about it - we're reading 25 alpha-numeric product keys back and forth, huge installation IDs, and other ridiculous things to a totally incompetent overseas call center.

    I don't know if anyone of authority at Microsoft reads these forums, but this is really just awful. I have always supported Microsoft and have used its products, but I tell you what... this experience has really left a bad taste and will cause me to look elsewhere for software and solutions. I just got my first MacBook Air and I must say, that overall experience has been outstanding. Microsoft, I hope you get your act together.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011 1:08 AM

All replies

  • Hello msung330,

    "Overseas" call centers are a fixture in the software support realm, I don't think Microsoft is any different in that regard.  And like anything else, the more often you call, the more familiar you get with the particular inflections and accents of the typical places these centers are located.

    You are more likely to get a local call center rather than an overseas center if you call during normal business hours for you particlar location.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011 2:56 PM
  • "msung330" wrote in message news:c28f5d1e-f844-489b-8700-4c2aae345a9a...

    My Windows Home Server machine crashed so I replaced the hard drives and reinstalled... everything worked great until I tried to re-activate, and the software said it was already activated past the maximum times and that it needed to get fixed.  The web site URL the activator punts you to doesn't work so next I tried the phone activation service...  oh my god what a horrific experience!

    First, the software says to call 888 571 2048. The voice recognition software doesn't work well, and you end up at an activator call center - clearly overseas. Look, I am not racist and I have nothing against India or Indians, but you cannot staff a call center with people who cannot understand or clearly speak English. Second, nobody knew what to do and kept routing my call from one person to another. One person only did Windows XP. The other one needed customer service to start a case. The customer service assigned the case number but had no authority to do anything, and then forwarded it to someone else. Overall I was probably on the phone more than hour, spoke to 10 different people, and I'm *still* on hold as I'm writing this because I'm absolutely shocked how bad the service is.

    I understand Microsoft needs to protect its IP and needs licensing schemes and there's a lot of software piracy out there - esp. outside the U.S. But to have such an absolutely *AWFUL* activation scheme when things go bad is absolutely unacceptable. The call center is one of the worst I have ever experienced, and presumably this is one of the types of service *real* customers to bought real service need quite frequently.

    Think about it - we're reading 25 alpha-numeric product keys back and forth, huge installation IDs, and other ridiculous things to a totally incompetent overseas call center.

    I don't know if anyone of authority at Microsoft reads these forums, but this is really just awful. I have always supported Microsoft and have used its products, but I tell you what... this experience has really left a bad taste and will cause me to look elsewhere for software and solutions. I just got my first MacBook Air and I must say, that overall experience has been outstanding. Microsoft, I hope you get your act together.


    I've regularly used automatic phone activation with no problems - but I've never had to speak to an operator yet.
    Voice recognition can be difficult - especially if you have an accent the computer has problems with. It's improved immensely over the past few years and will continue to do so.
    Very few people (relatively speaking) actually need to use phone activation, but I agree that if you get an experience like yours, it can colour your impressions of the OS and MS for years, and that it's a terrible way to treat people.
     
    You will probably be getting a 'satisfaction survey' by email soon - I hope that you take the opportunity to raise your concerns and frustration at that point.
     
    --


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Tuesday, February 22, 2011 3:03 PM
    Moderator