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Product Identification Service - A Query RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • URL: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/licensing/homeuser/product-identification-service.mspx

    The UK Microsoft 'Product identification service' (URL above), also mentioned in a sticky in this group advises:

    Sending in your software to our product identification experts can be a good option:

        * if you have activated your software without any problems, and
        * have never had a pop-up notice telling you your software might be fake

    So clearly intended if you have installed the software and have no reported issues with it, but "you’re worried your software isn’t genuine".

    It goes on to state "if you have unwittingly bought a sophisticated fake, you will get a free replacement."

    Seems simple enough.

    However once you email them (ukpiracy@microsoft.com ) a report or a query you get an auto-responder that states:
    "If you have purchased (but not yet installed) Microsoft software which you suspect to be counterfeit, you can use our Product Identification Service".
    Then:
    “(Please note: this service is only for individual consumers with UNINSTALLED software.  If you have already installed the software, please use our validation check tool.)”

    Now this seems to be a contradiction to what is written on the above mentioned URL.
    Because you cannot have “activated your software without any problems “, if you have not installed it.

    Now the web page at the above URL is a little old (as it talks of XP, Vista and Office 2007) but it is still a valid URL that can be browsed to by following links within other Microsoft pages.

    I have emailed them asking for some clarification (I will post any reply here) but am wondering if anyone here has any more knowledge on this.
    • Changed type flakie99 Wednesday, September 22, 2010 5:11 AM
    Sunday, September 19, 2010 11:09 AM

All replies

  • Hello flakie99,

    You bring up a valid point about the "logic" of the procedure---hopefully those in charge of the UK site can get it straightened out.

    In my perusals of many of the WGA/OGA pages, I have noticed that the information presented is becoming stale, as in FAQs not being updated or conflicting info such as what you posted about.

    IMHO it's also very disappointing that MS has not implemented a Complimentary Replacement other than in the UK for Windows 7 MSDN counterfeits, and that the mgadiag report and Validate Office pages STILL cannot even recognize the existence of Office 2010.


    Buy Office 2007 Now, Get Office 2010 Free http://office2010.microsoft.com/en-us/tech-guarantee/microsoft-office-2010-technology-guarantee-FX101825695.aspx?CTT=97
    Monday, September 20, 2010 4:06 PM
  • Thanks Dan, I have had a response today from the UK piracy team but it never really addressed my query. The main part was:
    "We have recently started running a Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) and Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) program which allows customers to check their software. To use this service, visit http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/"

    It then advises what to do if it fails validation but not what to do if it passes, but you still suspect it is counterfeit.
    This is my biggest concern as we all know it can take many months before it passes validation and people then end up directing their blame and grievance toward Microsoft then rather than the original seller or the counterfeiters.

    I have sent them another one requesting clarification on a few points.

    One was asking if they know of plans to update the web pages.
    I also asked if the free replacement program is still running in the UK.
    If the free replacement program is still running, will a failed validation then direct them to returning the software for a free replacement (if it is high quality counterfeit) or to buying a Genuine Advantage Kit.
    If just a Genuine Advantage Kit, I have asked what the limitations of the kit are.

    I guess we are lucky to have (or had) the replacement program in the UK.
    Maybe it is because there are more counterfeits here?
    Monday, September 20, 2010 7:29 PM
  • I have found another discrepancy between the details on the Microsoft UK Piracy web site and information they send in emails:

     

    Web Site:

    -------

    "You don’t have to send us the witness statement form, but it gives us very useful background which can help us to work out more quickly whether your software is genuine".

    ------------------------------

    Email:

    -----

    "We are unable to conduct our assessment without this Witness Statement".

    ------------------------------

     

    I am still waiting for a reply to my original queries.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 4:53 PM
  • So a reply to my query about the contradiction with sending a witness statement or not:

    "In order for you to qualify for the replacement product service, you need to submit a witness statement to us.
    Without one we cannot process your product submission".

    This is not mentioned anywhere on their website. In fact it states quite the opposite!

    They really are completely disorganised.

    I have persuaded many people to file piracy reports with them.

    I am now going to advise them not to bother until they can get their information correct and not full of contradictions.
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 5:45 PM
  • Flakie, I think it would be best to continue to advise them to fill out the reports, just advise them of the inconsistencies if they ask. I am glad you pointed these problems out. Discussing it here is probably one of the best ways to get attention to the problems.
    Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:20 PM
  • Flakie, I think it would be best to continue to advise them to fill out the reports, just advise them of the inconsistencies if they ask. I am glad you pointed these problems out. Discussing it here is probably one of the best ways to get attention to the problems.


    Sorry but:

     

    <rant>

    I never sent them a witness statement originally.

    Then they demand one before they will even examine the counterfeit software I sent in.

    So under protest I completed one, signed it, scanned it (as pdf) it and emailed it to them.

    Now they have demanded I post it to them in Dublin, Ireland.

    No not, Earley, England where I originally sent them the software and where they originally wanted any *optional* (but now mandatory) witness statement sent.

    This has annoyed me so much I am no longer interested in helping them stop the counterfeits.

    I have emailed them back and told them not to bother proceeding as I will not be posting a witness statement to Ireland or anywhere else and I no longer want the free copy of Windows 7. The amount of time I have now spent on this I could have earned enough to pay for it 3 times over!

    <\rant>

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010 3:50 PM
  • Sorry to hear that, but if you communicate it effectivly here, in my experience it tends to draw attention to the problems. Darin always communicates in both directions and if he says he will follow up on it he always does. I think what you have said will have an impact, but as you said, you would at this point rather buy the software, I respect that.
    Wednesday, September 22, 2010 5:18 PM
  • Sorry to hear that, but if you communicate it effectivly here, in my experience it tends to draw attention to the problems. Darin always communicates in both directions and if he says he will follow up on it he always does. I think what you have said will have an impact, but as you said, you would at this point rather buy the software, I respect that.

    Thank you again.

    I have calmed a little now. Following a complaint I raised I have had email contact from Joanna Gray (Customer and Partner Advocacy) and telephone contact directly from Michala Wardell, the head of anti-piracy at Microsoft UK. This does seem to indicate they are taking this seriously, though maybe because my comments were stronger than they should have been.

    I was unable to talk to them both on the telephone as arranged on Friday afternoon (due to my work commitments) but have emailed them all the details. When I do manage to speak to them (or get another email reply) I will post here if it looks to be useful information.

    Hopefully this will result in the information on the web pages being made more up-to-date.

    I continue to advise the eBayers that contact me (as a result of me originally contacting them). Though as of this weekend I will, for the time being, not be making any more aware of their recent unfortunate purchases.

    Saturday, September 25, 2010 11:07 AM
  • I have discussions with Microsoft staff (especially Joanna Gray) which have been very helpful.

    I have been assured the owner of the UK Piracy web pages have been consulted and they will be updating the pages to amend the wording but "don't have any timescales as yet as the process can be quite lengthy".

    It *seems* you do not have to send in the witness statement but I recommend anyone that wants the free copy does so for the moment as it seems some of the staff are confused about the rules.

    I have also been informed that the free copy will only be the Professional version even if you send in a counterfeit of Ultimate, but at least it is free. I am unsure what will be sent if you send in a Home version but I assume you will then receive like for like. Also it "is a full retail copy but this does not have any plastic casing as you have had you bought bought from a shop.  The reason behind not providing any casing is down environmental issues with shipping and posting, also the disc confirms that this is a "not for resale copy".

    I will not be able to confirm the free software (to replace my counterfeit Ultimate) is the Professional version as they have promised me a copy of Ultimate as my experience has been a little lengthy and frustrating. I expect it to arrive tomorrow or Friday.

    I have since contacted more eBay buyers who appear to have purchased counterfeit ultimate Windows 7. Two of these have already confirmed to me this is the case. I have directed them to the stickies here for more information.

    Hopefully they will be able to do what I did. Demand (and receive) the money back from the seller, eBay or PayPal without sending back the software. This took a few emails and complaints but I had the money back in my account the same day by not accepting no for an answer. They could then also send in the software to Microsoft to receive a fee copy.

    Also maybe some will be able to add comments to their feedback (do eBay allow this?) stating the software is counterfeit. Currently all the Buyers I have uncovered only have positive feedback from their sales (which is how I identify the buyers). Although this will not be negative feedback, it may serve as a warning to potential buyers, while waiting for these sellers to be shut down.

    I will update more if I receive any more information that may be useful.

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010 6:44 PM
  • Hi Flakie99,

      In addition to the people you have talked to about this issue, I have forwarded this thread to my supportability management, on this side of the pond. While I/we don't have any direct control over regional WGA programs, this should give the problem more visibility and a better chance of a faster fix.

    Thank you for the feedback,


    Darin MS
    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 6:29 PM
  • Hi Flakie99,

      In addition to the people you have talked to about this issue, I have forwarded this thread to my supportability management, on this side of the pond. While I/we don't have any direct control over regional WGA programs, this should give the problem more visibility and a better chance of a faster fix.

    Thank you for the feedback,


    Darin MS

    Thanks for doing that Darin. It is very much appreciated.

    Heres hoping they MS manage to put a stop to the low life's selling these counterfeits.

    On the plus side I did receive my copy of Windows 7 Ultimate. It is as described. Basic paper packaging and marked as a promotional disk, not for resale. I am happy.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 5:36 PM
  • I came across this thread  and thought I’d let people know my own experience.  Microsoft no longer seems to offer the replacement service.  I stupidly purchase a very good counterfeit version of Windows 7 Ultimate from eBay.  The seller would only refund my money if I sent back the discs.  I simply would not do that as it became clear they’d sold numerous copies and I felt it would therefore just be sold on to someone else.  Unfortunately making this stand costs you money.  If you refuse to send the goods back on counterfeit grounds, PayPal require you get the disc authenticated as counterfeit within 10 days.  I contacted Microsoft’s UK Anti-Piracy Team by email to ask how long it would take to authenticate the product using their service.  I was informed it would take two weeks.  Due to PayPal’s timescales, this left me no option but to pay a local company to perform this service.  After this I did use the Microsoft authentication service.  It took three weeks to receive my letter confirming the product was indeed counterfeit.  The letter had been sent by 2nd class post, and wouldn’t have conformed to PayPal’s requirements anyway.

    I contacted numerous other buyers who’d purchased from the same seller I purchased my counterfeit from.  All of them who investigated further, realised they’d also been sold counterfeits (some refused to believe they were counterfeits as discs had holograms and product had been successfully registered with Microsoft).  Virtually all of them felt it was just easier to return the product for a refund as no one seemed to care or take the issue seriously. 

    I’d like it make it very clear that in no way do I blame Microsoft for any of this, but I simply think they are missing an opportunity to help people like myself remove illegal copies of their products from circulation.  Therefore my advice to anyone else caught in this situation is simple.  It’s alright having principles, but unfortunately, as I found out, it’s going to cost you money and a lot of inconvenience to stick to them.



    Monday, May 16, 2011 12:50 PM
  • If you don't return the item and get your refund the crook gets to keep your money.  What principle does that violate?  Your priniciples are misplaced.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Monday, May 16, 2011 2:56 PM
    Answerer
  • Cbarnhorst: The payment was reversed by PayPal, but only after I proved the item was counterfeit.  It’s the process of going down that route, for a refund/reversal, that I’m trying to highlight the issue with i.e. having no option but to pay a company to perform the authentication service, thereby costing me money to stick to my principles.  I didn’t want to send the product back to the seller, as they could simply sell it to someone else.  Passing my misery on to someone else would have been a very hollow victory. 

    I wanted to post here as it was a forum I found helpful when having my issue.  I simply wanted to highlight there are options other than simply returning the item for a refund, but felt it only fair to warn of the downside of trying to comply with PayPal’s timescales .  If I’d came across the post with your comments, which appear to advocate returning illegal software, I’d have been very disappointed.  Perhaps you should re-evaluate your own principles.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011 11:03 AM