December 12, 2016 by phicks2012
Has anyone else tried to call Microsoft regarding support for older software and hit a figurative brick wall (as opposed to a firewall)? It’s happened repeatedly with me, and on November 3rd — yes, it happened again!!
I’d been having some minor issues with MSPublisher, and also with gaming graphics and transitions, so that day I called my favorite Go-To Brick-and-Mortar Computer Store (PC Afterdark) and chatted with my guy about my options. My old desktop system is 4-years old, and that’s like 28 dog-years 20 human-years, so the time was coming when I was going to have to think about a new system anyway — but not the $1.7k custom system my on-line gaming friend figured was such a bargain! Okay, so his parents got it for him, but I no longer had that option. Sucks, but there it is!!
My computer guy and I discussed options, and while I could get a better graphics card my current card was a good one. Also, my existing system would not be able to take full advantage of an upgraded card, so that probably was not the best option.
I could get a new system, which would handle the better card, but I had (and still have) peripherals networked that I thought might not reconnect to a new system — or drivers compatible with Windows 10. My copier got connected (finally) by a tech geek friend who got it to work, but who is no longer around, and I have no clue in the world what he did to make it communicate in the first place. I do know that he spent considerable time trying to find compatible drivers, and then getting them to work, and HE actually knew what he was doing!! Because the manual loader on the copier for the originals does not work, the only way I can use it is to have my computer networked to tell it what to print, and I need that copier to print out my newsletters!!! Hence, if I could not get it to communicate, I would be SCREWED! Just imagine the expense of having to print out multiple copies of newsletters on a printer using INK rather than TONER. OMG!
Also, I had programs on my OS-Drive for which I did not necessarily have the software (in a physical form). Some of it I could download again for free because I already paid for it or because it’s free (like Adobe Reader), but that’s not necessarily the case. Therefore, after my conversation about a new system, I started looking for my physical software just in case I did decide to go for a new system.
I found some of it — my fairly recent copy of Corel Paintshop Pro 6, my scanner software, my printer software, and a few other useful things. However, I could not locate my Windows 7 installation disks or my physical copy of MSOffice 2010. NOT good.
Windows 7 was not really a major problem, because when you get a new computer it comes with an operating system, but a new copy of MSOffice (now up to Office 2016) is $400. So, I looked on-line at the Microsoft site, where it said I could order replacement disks, and MSOffice 2010 Professional was on their list of “available” replacement disks, so I called to order one.
Silly me! I actually believed their website!
First I got a rep who was probably Pakistani and could not understand me, but who said he could download replacement software to me if I would supply the product key — which is, of course, to be found on the disk I could not locate. Since I bought and registered the original software I somehow imagined that they could look it up and help me with that, but who was I kidding? I was told my only option was to buy MSOffice again, and (since naturally 2010 was no longer available) I needed to spend $400 to get MSOffice 2016 — or spend $100 a year to lease it. Right!!
They were supposed to send me a customer service survey after my Pointless call, but of course they didn’t — probably because they knew my responses were unlikely to be at all positive. Fancy that!!
I finally found MSOffice 2010 Professional online for $99 as a download, but I was assured that I could save it to a flash drive or burn it to a disk and have a physical backup, so I gritted my teeth and reordered software I had already paid for and registered.
Funny thing about that. I’d spent HOURS looking for that software prior to starting this ordeal, but within minutes of placing that order I opened another drawer (in which I do not ordinarily store software), picked up a notebook, and VOILA! There it was, along with my Windows 7 disks.
Luckily, I was able to cancel the software order and save the $99, but there was, of course, no getting back the wasted time!
So thank you, Bill Gates, for the life lesson in what “Tech Support” should never be: Out-sourced, lost in translation, unhelpful, and infuriating!!!! There!! THAT should make up for missing the survey!