How Bad Is Microsoft Support?

Incompetence in the Support System and Staff at Microsoft

September 22, 2008

In general, Microsoft's support is extremely poor. So poor that I can only imagine it being the bar against other customer service organizations measure themselves - as in asking themselves: "are we at least still better than Microsoft support?" in the case of a catastrophic customer service failure.

In my most recent interaction with Microsoft customer support, it took three emails before I could actually get a response from a person, rather than an automated system sending back a "we don't care, so go screw yourself" response.

Of course, if you just chase everyone off with incorrect, invalid, and potentially offensive canned or automated responses, your customer support numbers look really good. Of course, this fails to address the antagonism you are generating in the market nd the possible customer attrition as customers realize you don't, won't, or can't help them and start looking for a service or company that will.

This is contrary to this statement:

Microsoft takes Internet, Network, and e-mail forgeries very seriously. Our goal is to ensure that online services are safe and friendly for our users.

Which was part of the response I received when I finally got a response. If Microsoft support takes spam or phishing at all seriously, why does it take three emails before a person will look at the message? Why can't Microsoft properly process the complaint the first - or even second - time it comes in?

Also, the incompetence of and lack of training provided to Microsoft support staff becomes evident when, rather than taking action against the spammer Microsoft is supporting and protecting, Microsoft support instead forwards the complaint to the wrong place.

In this case, the complaint was forwarded on to abuse@hotmail.com, an address that anyone who has worked with Hotmail at all knows is not (in violation of the relevant RFCs) an address to send spam complaints to, but only for use to report threats or violence within the Hotmail system.

The Microsoft support staff requires basic training, and the entire Microsoft support system needs to be evaluated to get it above the bottom of the barrel, worst of the worst status it currently holds.