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Office 2007 - Invalid VLK RRS feed

  • Question

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    I have spent many hours on this problem and I’m sure I have got the bottom of it but I’m very unhappy.  I bought one of the many new & genuine copies of Office Professional 2007 on ebay (my mistake).  Inexplicably they are about half the usual retail price but still more expensive than the ‘Student’ or ‘Educational’ copies.

    My copy was shrink-wrapped and complete in the correct curved plastic packaging, security sticker, hologram etc.  It is indeed, entirely legitimate. It installed fine and I activated it using the product key on the inside sleeve of the packaging.

    A month later when I used the Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) software it identified that I had error ‘108 - Invalid VLK’.   I spent hours and hours on support lines in the UK.  I eventually got someone who was very helpful and took time to get to the bottom of it. Although there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on the package to warn me or the seller (the packaging and installation process is identical in every way to a normal Retail version), the copy I have is not legitimate for a single computer use. It should have been sold with a Software Assurance Agreement that apparently would have given me a different product key to use. This agreement allows multiple installations of the software in a corporate environment.  The product key I have IS a real one, the software IS genuine but without a different product key that comes with a Software Assurance Agreement I can’t download updates.

    The seller has responded to my emails but says he has never come across the problem before. He won’t want to take it back because I have unwrapped it and installed it and used the product key. Anyhow I don’t really feel I can blame him, he was probably tricked too, as NOTHING on the packaging would indicate that it was non-retail. I was told that they usually have a sticker on the spine or something like that but there was not one in my case.  Maybe there had been a sticker on the outer shrink-wrap and someone took it off.  In tiny letters on the back of the packaging it says ‘Licensed for non-commercial use on up to three personal computers’, this sure does not sound like a multi-user version for corporate use only. It is clearly the retail packaging.

    The bottom line seems to be that I and many other people will have been fooled into buying software with the wrong licence simply because Microsoft uses normal retail packaging on corporate versions of their software.

    Any suggested solutions OTHER THAN ‘get your money back from the guy that sold it to you’ would be very welcome.

    Tuesday, January 6, 2009 12:54 PM

Answers

  • underthumb,

    Thanks for visiting the OGA forums. I want to give you generic information about Blocked VLK's then respond to your second piece after it.

    I understand that in most cases, customers have no idea their copies of MS Office Suites were not legitimately provided.   This is because some resellers try to cut costs by providing unauthorized copies, but still charge the customer for a copy of Windows and MS Office Suite.  This may not have happened in your case, but it does happen.  Also, we appreciate your concern that you’ve been using your copy of Windows for a long time. People often wonder, how is it that all of a sudden my copy turns out to be counterfeit.  This is because Microsoft is continually investigating piracy reports, and identifying Product Keys that are being used improperly.  It is possible for a Product Key to be used over a course of time, which may or may not be your case, but is then found to be a source of counterfeit software and therefore blocked from validating.

    Now my second piece.

    Volume license keys are normally assigned to government entities, companies, and schools. The public should not have these. You can fill out a anti piracy report here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/reporting/out.aspx

    Next, I usually purchase through Paypal. You may or may not want to try it out. They normally insure against stuff like this if you go through their process.

    I believe the only sure fire way to protect yourself is to purchase Microsoft software through reputable websites/major retailers. You do run the risk purchasing through websites without confirmed addresses / phone numbers listed that work. If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. We cannot recommend specific retailers her.

    To learn more about WGA, the piracy problem, what Microsoft is doing, and how you can help, please visit this site: 

    http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/downloads/WhyValidate.aspx 

    Thank you again for visiting.

    Rick

    • Marked as answer by RickImAPC Wednesday, January 7, 2009 4:10 PM
    Wednesday, January 7, 2009 4:10 PM