The Microsoft Update Update

No one ever called me back from Microsoft.  On Tuesday, I called them again.  I actually stopped writing down their names because, really, what was the point?  So the person I spoke with on Tuesday wouldn’t let me talk to a senior engineer.  Apparently, that sort of thing needs to be scheduled.  Right.  And apparently someone had been trying to contact me by email and I wasn’t responding.  Could that be because you people at the Microsoft call center couldn’t write down my email address correctly?  And that whomever was supposedly contacting me by email was not actually contacting me?  Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s the reason.  So, still on Tuesday here, I requested the email address of the senior technician.  After all, if I send her/him an email, then s/he will have my email address.  That makes sense.  I repeated the email address back to the call center employee twice, so I knew I had the right email address.

Oh, except that I didn’t.  When I sent the email off, it bounced back with a message saying that the email address didn’t exist.  WTF?  So, yet again on Tuesday, I called the call center.  I don’t know why they want to go through all the gory details of the ticket each and every time I call.  This conversation went something like this:

“I just need the senior technician’s email address.”

“But, ma’am, I don’t have that information.”

“Ok, just transfer me to the technical team so they can give me that information.”

“But I need to know why you are calling tonight.”

“You have my case number, and I’m calling to get an email address.”

“But, ma’am, I need to know which team that is.”

“Well, you have my case number.  I’ll wait a moment while you read the file.”

I don’t think he actually read the file, but he did transfer me to the technical team.  I finally got a technician who read my file and gave me the correct email address for the senior technician.  (And this is why I should be talking to customer support people who speak the same dialect as I do: when you say VEE and I hear THREE, then I repeat back THREE to you twice and you hear VEE, this does not make for a very happy customer service experience.)  I resent the email (which never bounced back), requesting that the senior engineer call me at 6pm the following evening.

Now, despite the fact that I was feeling extremely unwell on Wednesday, I sat by my phone and computer from 6pm until 7pm without a call from anyone.  Since I was pretty sure any further sitting up would cause me to vomit, I headed back to sleep for another 12 hours.  On Thursday, I sent another email to the senior engineer requesting a call for Friday at 6pm.

Now, on Friday, I received an email asking me to rate the service I had received from Microsoft… seeing as they had closed my ticket.  Again… WTF??  So, yes, I filled out that survey.  I gave Microsoft the lowest possible rating in every category.  Ah, if only I could have used negative numbers!  They wanted to know how they could make Microsoft support better.  Well, gee.  How about if you hire people who can actually help?  That would be swell.

Instead of any kind of fun on Friday night, I gave Microsoft yet another call.  I bullied my way past the gatekeeper.  I refused to speak to the technical support person.  I only wanted to speak to a manager.  From this point, in all fairness, my association with Microsoft improved ever so slightly.  Rochelle was very accommodating.  Since I’d been waiting for a call back from a senior engineer since Sunday, I told her I really didn’t want to have to wait another two or three days for a senior engineer to get around to contacting me.  In fact, I’d really prefer if she would get one on the line right away.  It wasn’t right away, but she did call me back in about 15 minutes.

I then proceeded to spend the next three hours on the phone with Anthony.  After about two hours, the phone lost its charge and cut us off, but he called me right back.  He tried all manner of things — again, in a spirit of full disclosure, some things I would not have thought to try.  Finally, he decided to conference in a technician from Dell Support.  After about 15 minutes, Mark at Dell found one of their knowledge base articles that stated that there’s some peculiarity with the Vista installation on my specific model of laptop and that the only way to install Windows 7 is to perform a custom (i.e., clean) install.

As disappointing as this was, Anthony was good enough to provide me with the phone number for Microsoft’s “Money Back Guarantee Team” who, according to him, would be happy to assist me in getting a full refund for the software.  Of course, I have to wait until Monday for that.

Microsoft, I Really Hate You

As you know, Microsoft, I’ve never really been a fan of your Vista operating system.  So I decided up upgrade to Windows 7.  But you don’t want me to do that, do you?  I spent two hours on Saturday trying to get Vista to upgrade to Windows 7.  My computer passed with flying colors when I ran the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, but the upgrade wouldn’t get past the download of files phase.  It didn’t matter, Microsoft, whether I was online or offline, whether I had peripherals plugged into the laptop or every darn thing unplugged.  So I made the further mistake of trying to contact your “Customer Support” center.

Microsoft, I don’t like telephones.  I have a hard time understanding people when I’m on the phone.  I especially have a hard time understanding your outsourced customer service people.  Still, I gave Komal a chance to try to fix the problem.  Sadly, after two hours on the phone with him, the only thing that was accomplished was a complete deterioration of my patience and a growing desire to reach through the phone and strangle him.  Oh, and then he hung up on me.  (What is it with customer service people hanging up on me?)

Not long after Komal hung up on me, I started getting calls from Cincinnati,  OH.  Since I don’t know anyone in Cincinnati, I ignored them.  (Did I mention I don’t like phones, Microsoft?)  But whoever that was in Cincinnati was pretty damn persistent.  Finally, the Offspring answered the phone, but thought it was a sales call and hung up.  Ah.  Turns out it was somebody at Microsoft calling back.  So the next time the call came in from Cincinnati (and I don’t believe for a second that the call actually originated in Cincinnati), I picked up.  It was Ahmed, a manager at Microsoft.  Or a manager at the call center.  Ahmed assured me that his only wish was to make me happy, and that he would have another engineer give me a call back on Sunday.  He seemed so sincere, but it turns out he was not.  We agreed that the engineer would call me back at 2:00pm on Sunday.

Apparently, they don’t have Daylight Saving Time wherever Ahmed and his merry band of engineers are, because Kapil did not call until nearly 3:00pm.  Kapil did all the same things Komal had done on Saturday.  Except this time, when we got to the part where the error popped up, Kapil had disappeared.  He hadn’t hung up on me… I was still connected.  But all the yelling into the phone did not bring him back.  So I had to hang up on him, and disconnect the remote session so I could reinstall my anti-virus software.

Around 5:15pm, I tried calling Microsoft again.  This time, I spoke to Sari, who said a senior engineer would call me back within an hour.  Guess what, Microsoft?  Right.  No one called me back.  And when I tried calling the support line again, it seems that everyone had gone home for the day.

Now I just want Ahmed to call me back so I can get a refund for this software.  I’ve invested entirely too much of my life, Microsoft, in trying to get your stupid software installed.  I’ll suffer with Vista.  Rest assured, Microsoft, I will take every opportunity to tell people how much your customer support sucks.  It’s really awful.  Quite possibly the worst customer service except for Sears.

Yep, Microsoft… I really understand why so many people like Linux.

Why I Would Join a Unitarian Church If I Was a Joiner

I found a fantastic article by Jon Carroll of the San Francisco Chronicle.  It made me smile and it almost made me want to run down to the local Unitarian Universalist church to join up.  Since I went to UU churches in Chicago (a shout out to Second Unitarian in New Town!) and Denver (went to all of the UU churches in Denver, Jefferson and Boulder counties, and never could decide which was my favorite), the article brought back some great memories.  I’d reprint the whole thing here, except, you know, that’s wrong.  So quick, go read the article, and come back.

Was that great, or what?  I really think I’m going to go join the Unitarian Jihad.  In fact, my new Jihadist name is Sister Flaming Shuriken of Acceptance. If you’d like to join us, you can get your own Unitarian Jihadist name from the Naming Committee.  I have to go make some flower arrangements now.  And then I will probably bake some cookies.

Just Another Reason To Hate Spammers

Every now and again, I check the spam comments that spammy spammers leave on this here site.  Gotta say I really hate these “people.”  A couple of them recently left comments similar to “Loved your post, I’m going to copy it to my blog.”

What the fuck?  You think it’s ok to copy stuff that *I* write to your crap shithole of a blog?  I call down the curse of ages on you!  May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your genital region and crawl up your ass.  May you always have watery diarrhea.  May all your hair fall out, except for that in your nose and ears.  May your eyes cross, and stay that way until you’re dead.  No, they should stay that way even after you’re dead.  May you have hangnails on every finger… every day.  May you have paper cuts galore, and always manage to spill lemon juice on them.  May your toenails continue to grow, and resist all efforts at trimming.  And may a tattoo saying “Loser” suddenly appear on your forehead.

Ah.  I feel better now.