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Ronan's complaint against Microsoft
MICROSOFT SELS PROGRAM (Win 8.1) TAKE MONEY THEN DENY THE TRANSCATION TOOK PLACE
Complaint against Microsoft
On January 14th 2015, I decided to upgrade my computer with the Microsoft Office Windows 8.1 program. I visited the Microsoft.com website. By following the relevant links on that site, I went to their online purchasing section and bought the program. The charge – including local taxes (VAT) and currency conversion from US Dollars to Sterling, my debit card was charged ₤ 127.07 The program was then made available for me to download and I was provided with a product verification key to validate it. The transaction was confirmed in a number of emails from Microsoft. Their supply contract for ownership includes updates and validity for the life of the product, which ALSO offers the ability to download the program AGAIN for re-installation of needed. On 2nd September 2015, my computer suffered a catastrophic failure. I lost EVERYTHING, apart from a few important working documents that are backed up on a separate hard disk. None of my emails is thus saved, so those were lost as well. However, I was able to load on my computer a VERY OLD AND OUT OF DATE Windows program. Windows XP. Whilst this has been validated and works to a very limited degree, it is no longer supported and is not compatible with many windows programs like Office, as they now are. Nor is it fully compatible with the internet – and e-mail. There is however just enough function for me to connect to a limited number of websites that will allow access to old programs and this includes my BT Mail account. Hence my ability to have basic e-mail connectivity and contact you. The issue on which my complaint is based, came apparent when I contacted Microsoft on their we channels, talking to a variety of individuals in different departments both by telephone and online chat. I asked for the means to obtain a new copy of Windows 8 and of course the validation key, without which it will not work. Despite giving my full details, Name, e-mail address, and later Visa Debit card number (not verification code or the like!) I was repeatedly told that as they could find NO record of this deal, nor my name or my e-mail address. For the reason described above, I am unable to provide any order reference numbers or email communications from them at the time of the original purchase as these were lost when my computer failed. Therefore, they concluded, I had NEVER purchased any item from them. I then spoke to my bank who confirmed not only that the transaction had taken place, but they also provided me with the TRANSACTION number – a detail that would inevitably figure on the recipient’s bank account. My bank (HSBC) were also able to confirm that the recipient WAS MICROSOFT CORPORATION, DUBLIN. They also gave me that card authorization for that transaction. All in all, TOTAL proof that I had bought, at that time, from Microsoft. Armed with this information it was back to the phone, first to speak with the Accounts and Billings department for Microsoft Store, who eventually and reluctantly put me through to the Accounts and Billing OVERALL department for Microsoft. Guess what? Once again TOTAL denial and an insistence that even with the BANK SUPPLIED DETAILS, they would not, in any case, be able to find the “alleged” transaction. I even asked, how it was therefore, that whilst using the program, I received regular updates (which would NOT happen with an illegal version of the program). As well as this I was told that as they were aware of my PC and its details, I would be able to benefit from a “FREE UPGRADE”. I registered by interest and consent and waited for this to happen. It has not yet! I did not get a direct answer to this! In all I have spoken to or “chatted online” with 17 different people at Microsoft, over a total of 13 hours and 22 minutes! Finally I established that under their code of practice, each call to ANY are of Microsoft “support” SHOULD be given an “incident” number. This was NEVER offered, and for that reason, on each occasion, I had to repeat my tale from the start. The last person I spoke to was so upset by my (admittedly) anger fuelled reaction, that she terminated the call and I STILL have no incident number! On each of my last 7 calls, I asked – then demanded that I be given a SPECIFIC and VALID e-mail OR telephone number for Microsoft Complaints department either in UK, Europe or USA. I am told that such contact details are UNAVAILABLE. This has been confirmed to me by independent Microsoft re-sellers and from things that I have seen on the Web and in such arenas as Twitter. I have seen numerous posts from people who have similar problems not only in the time it takes to resolve “easy” problems but also in accessing REAL decision makers in the customer service area. This in itself flouts ALL consumer protection compliance, individual country trading laws. Additionally it is bad commercial practice. Is it misappropriation of customer funds? Or, Blatant THEFT? It seems that Microsoft considers itself to be too large to worry about compliance issues and certainly has no interest in keeping the good-will of us customers.
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Ronan Cheffins-Barnard | | VERIFIED
Ronan Cheffins-Barnard | | VERIFIED