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Tech support follies

04/16/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Recently Microsoft ran a pretty good promotion: buy their current version of Microsoft Office for OSX and get the new one free when it's released. So, I bit, and bought the old version and dutifully sent in the form with the original UPC barcode and receipt.

On not hearing from them after the new version shipped, I contacted them to find out what had happened. The response?

We have been unable to find your order. If you could please respond back with more information, such as your full name, telephone number, and full billing address, we would be happy to look into this issue further.

Fair enough. I sent in the appropriate information and then got the following:

We would be happy to assist you with this issue, however we will require additional information. Please let us know if you have a tracking number from when you mailed in your information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

As I'd not sent the letter registered mail (who does for this sort of thing?) I had no tracking number to give them. So I replied, letting them know that. It elicited this response:

Unfortunately, we are unable to locate an order with the information you have provided. Please provide us with the order number in question so we may look into the matter further for you.

To which, having never had an order number as I'd not actually received any sort of a notification from Microsoft, I responded with an explanation (again) of the problem. Keep in mind that as these emails are flying back and forth, the entire conversation is being appended to the bottom of the replies and a unique tracking number is being maintained in the subject line. Anyway, the reply this time was:

We would be happy to assist you with this issue, however we will require additional information. Please respond with the name, the telephone number, and the address on the order so that we may investigate this further on your behalf. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

At which point I suggested to the support person that we were going in circles and that perhaps he should read a few lines further down where all that information had been supplied earlier. I was tempted to question as to why they bothered with a unique tracking number for support issues if they didn't use it to, um, track support issues but felt that was just a bit too snarky. The response:

Please be advised that we could not locate an order in the system. If you can send an attachment with your required proof of purchase (copy of dated sales receipt and original product box top), we would be happy to look into placing an order for you.

At this point I was getting a bit annoyed. Having already established that I'd sent in the form with the original UPC barcode (which was the product box top) I just didn't have it to send in again. So, I replied, politely, making that statement. The response:

We have several alternatives to the original box top. Along with a copy of the dated sales receipt, you may send a copy of the front of your Office 2004 for Mac disc with the Microsoft and Mac logos clearly shown or a photocopy of the box top with the barcode clearly shown. Also please include the letter you received, along with your order number, billing and shipping address.

And this is about as far as I've managed to get. I don't have an order number and I can't make a photocopy of a barcode I've not had since I sent in the original SuperSuite Deal form. I'm going to try faxing in the various details to see if anything comes to fruition but I'm not exactly holding out hope at this point.

Gaaaaaaah. It's enough to make you switch back to OpenOffice.


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