Update: See the blog post Score One for the Little Guy and Kudos to Microsoft for the latest news.
A few weeks ago I posted a story of how Microsoft turned me over to a collection agency for a past due invoice that 1) I never originally received, 2) for an account canceled a year before the said invoice was issued, and 3) no one from Microsoft is willing to talk with me about to answer my questions. As a final straw and an attempt to put the matter behind me, I paid the invoice even though I still feel the invoice is the result of an accounting error made by Microsoft.
The blog post got the attention of a large number of people. People were tweeting about my story and some popular web sites picked up the story. The increased traffic to my web site brought down my server for 4 hours and I scrambled to get the site up and running again as quickly as possible. But more importantly the blog post caught the attention of some Microsoft employees.
Two employees contacted me regarding the matter and offered to help. This was great news. I had hopes that I would finally have my questions answered. After all, that’s all I really want at this time, is to have my questions answered.
One of the Microsoft employees made some progress in finding a person to help figure out the mess. It looked like I would finally have some answered. Then the collection agency called again. Yep, instead of Microsoft following up with me directly they asked the collection agency to call me.
The agent I spoke with was the same person I spoke with last month. He said Microsoft ask him to call me to see what can be done to “smooth things over”. I told the agent the same thing I told him last month. All I want is to talk with someone from Microsoft who can explain to me what happened. All I want is answered to my questions.
It is not about the money. Paying Microsoft $134 is not going to bankrupt White Peak Software. But what I really want is to speak with someone who can answer my questions regarding the matter. It’s doubtful that will ever happen since Microsoft seems to prefer hiding behind contractors and collection agencies with limited information then to talk with me directly.
The fact that Microsoft will not talk with me directly makes me trust Microsoft less. Because I do not like doing business with companies I do not trust, it is likely the $134 I paid last month will be the last dollar Microsoft ever receives from me. The ironic part in all of this mess is Microsoft could have saved my trust in them as a consumer with a simple phone call.
At the end of the day it is about providing great customer service and this is something that Microsoft has failed to do.