I told you all in a previous post that my experience with Microsoft support on what turned out to be a font problem with Office 2010 was abysmal. I promised to spare you details then, and I won’t rehash that call now. However, yesterday I received a signoff e-mail from the support tech. The critical section read as follows:
“Agreement of Issue: to use outlook 2010
Resolution/Recommendations: case was resolved by performing office upgrade”
I had sent the tech a detailed message describing what I went through to troubleshoot the problem and how I eventually fixed it. From the resolution section, it looks like the tech either didn’t read or didn’t understand what I sent him. This is frustrating for me on two levels.
First, it demonstrates what I have noted before: that communications with Microsoft’s support tends to be unidirectional. They’re very happy to tell you what to do, but they’re not willing or able (I’m not sure which) to understand a detailed explanation of the problem. This means that the solutions suggested are often demonstrably inappropriate based on information already given to them. I go to a great deal of effort to pin down the problem before a call support about it. Often, it seems like the effort is wasted.
Second, the fact that the tech did not understand what I did to solve the problem means that that solution will not be available to other people who call Microsoft about similar problems. When I solve a problem, it makes me feel better if I believe that my solution can help others. It looks like that’s not going to happen this time, at least through Microsoft.
Over the last 10 or 20 years, I found that Microsoft’s tech support is usually pretty good. However, I’ve had two recent experiences which are causing me to change my opinion. In both cases, I wasted a lot of time and energy, got minimal help from tech support, and ended up having to solve the problem on my own.