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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Microsoft's Lack of Customer Service

     Microsoft's customer service is worse than a used car dealership. I recently inherited a fairly new laptop from a relative, but there was an issue with Windows 10 on startup, so I took it to the local Best Buy and had a technician look at it. He advised me that he was unable to fix it because he couldn't get past Microsoft's security and that I should contact them direct, but the phone number he gave me turned out not to be Microsoft, but the laptop's manufacturer. No problem, I thought; I will just Google Microsoft for a phone number, and thus began a journey into Hades.
     One of the first places that popped up was not a Microsoft site at all, but a site designed to look like it was and they advertised they specialized in “Microsoft problems.”   Of course, this is not a Microsoft problem, but you have to be careful.
     Unable to locate a phone number for technical service, I called the number listed for Microsoft's corporate office in a nearby large city. The guy answering the phone could barely speak English and after I explained my problem and asked for a phone number I could call for technical assistance, he began asking for personal information which I refused to give, explaining all I wanted is a phone number. He got snotty and I hung up. 
     The next step was to call a Microsoft store. Again, the person answering the phone could barely speak English and could not understand my problem...hung up on him, too. 
     A third call to a different number connected me with another person for whom English was a second language and he was totally unable to comprehend the nature of the issue with the laptop. When I kept telling the guy that he was trying to address an issue that was not part of the problem, he got belligerent and kept interrupting me, prompting another hang up on my part. 
     A fourth call resulted in someone who spoke fairly decent English and listened politely and asked a few questions before having me try a couple of fixes which didn't work. At that point he told me he did not know how to fix the problem and his advice was to “take it some place and have Windows 10 reinstalled.” For a fee, of course. 
     When I first got my new laptop it was very frustrating being repeatedly nagged with upgrade prompts to get the free Windows 10 which had just come out and I had to fix my laptop so that it would not automatically upgrade. Apparently, at some point Microsoft finally ended the “Get Windows 10” nag. 
     In Microsoft’s 2016 State of Global Customer Service Report, 44 per cent of the 5,000 respondents across Brazil, Germany, Japan, the UK and the United States said they had customer service issues with Microsoft. 
     Almost one-third complained about not being able to talk to a live person. Twenty-eight percent complained that representatives were unable to resolve issues because they didn't know how. Three-fourths of the respondents used a search engine to try and find the answer to their customer service question and one-fourth complained about the difficulty and/or inability to find information they were searching for online. Having to repeat or provide personal information to the agent was also a problem for many. 
     I would add that speaking to someone outside the United States who can barely speak English and who is poorly trained in customer service are problems.

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