Monthly Archives: December 2013

Online Support and other Horror Stories Part II

As described in Part 1 (read that one first – that’s why it’s called “Part 1”), like everyone who has ever owned a Microsoft product, I have a problem.

And, like everyone who has ever owned a Microsoft product, my problem requires me to use online support (aka “Limbo” or “The First Circle of Hell”).

Because I should be able to fix my problem with Mr. Fix-It (who says Bill Gates lacks a sense of irony?) but when I try, the Microsoft Fix-it program tell me it’s not available because it’s not the current version and to go to the Microsoft website to run the current version which, when I do run it, tells me it’s not the current version and is unavailable.

So first I tried the free Microsoft Customer Service Chat, which tried to send me to the pay-per-view Premium Software support and when that didn’t work, hung up on me after sending me to “Sheldon C” at the “Answer Desk.”

(Sheldon is not his real name. None of the people that Microsoft hires in third world nations have real names that we could pronounce. They each pick a work name out of a jar at the beginning of their shift: Xena Warrior Princess, The Green Hornet, and Monk are all popular).

Can you guess what happened next? (Hint – it sounds like Premium Software support.)

Sheldon C: Hi, thanks for visiting Answer Desk. I’m Sheldon C.

Me: This doesn’t work: I get an error message: “This troubleshooter is not available.”

Sheldon C: Hello and welcome to Microsoft Answer Desk! How may I help you today?

Me: I already typed the problem.

Sheldon C: Are we having problems with the sound?

Me: Yes.

[“We”?? What the hell is this “we” nonsense???? Does this guy think he’s Queen Victoria?]

And I tried to run the fixit (which has worked before) but this time it isn’t working and sent me that error message – it’s a problem on your end.

Sheldon C: Then would you like to avail our Premium Software support then to better assist you on this issue Wiswit?

Me: What???? The problem is on your end – why should I do that????? Microsoft needs to fix the glitch on the website!

Sheldon C: If you have problems when running the automatic fix it on your end then there would be some issues perhaps on the computer maybe preventing it to work.

Me: You are missing the point! I go to your website. I click on run (on the current version on your website). I get an error message telling me the troubleshooter is invalid or expired and to go to the website to get the current version (which I already got!).

Sheldon C: there is No other version of the website Wiswit.

Me: That’s not what I said. I said the current version of the FIXIT. Which I was already using.

Sheldon C: Thats why I’m offering you our Premium Software support to assist you on this issue you are encountering. If your not intereseted then its fine as well. You can get assistance as well from your local technician near your area or your original equipment manufacturer as well.

Me: Do they pay you to not help me and just send me to somewhere that charges me???

Sheldon C: the only option we could go through is just going to the premium software support option. Wiswit you dont have problems on sound at all on your computer.

Me: Yes I do. And I fixed it before with the fixit. But today you have a website glitch. Are you not listening to me? You have a website glitch that needs to be fixed.

Sheldon C:  If i fix it by just correcting the sound control within the video, would you get the premium software support if i fix it that way?

Me: You’re not listening. Your website is having the problem. the glitch is on the website and needs to be fixed there. Which is why I contacted you so you could get someone to fix the website glitch.

Sheldon C: there is not problem on the website

Me: Yes there is – it’s not recognizing the current version as the current version.

Sheldon C: now could we stop lingering on this issue for now and fix your problem?

Me: Actually – the only way to fix my problem is to fix the website glitch so I (and everyone else) can run the fixit. The Microsoft website is not recognizing the current version of the fixit as the current version.

Sheldon C: there is no issue on the website by the way Wiswit there is no audio issue as well on the your computer its just the sound controller on the video that you need to adjust

Me: Nope. It’s not.

Sheldon C: so would like to get the premium software support then?

Me: You aren’t listening.

Sheldon C: its not from the microsoft website

Me: the file I got was off the website.Yes – the microsoft website.

Sheldon C: you are not at the website

Me: If you don’t want to accept that there is a problem with your website then at least put someone on the line who is not an idiot.

Sheldon C:  there is no problem on the website. if wish to continue from here we would need to offer our premium support service to better assist you.

Me: There is a problem but all you want to do is charge me money. Who do I contact about the glitch on the website?

Sheldon C: no glitch or problem on the website again and its a fact

Me: Who do I contact about the glitch on the website?

Sheldon C: So again if you are not interested on getting the premium software support. Please contact your local technician or your original equipment manufacturer to get assistance for the website again there is no glitch or problem

Me:  Who do I contact about the glitch on the website?

Sheldon C: that would be us Wiswit

Me: Then I need your supervisor.

Sheldon C: and like im informing you there is no problem with it

Me: Your supervisor.

Sheldon C:  Since you declined on our premium software support its best to contact your local technician or original equipment manufacturer instead.

Me: Your supervisor.

Your Answer Tech has ended your chat session. Thanks for visiting Answer Desk.

Online Support and other Horror Stories Part I

Microsoft exists to redistribute your money to Bill and Melinda Gates (who don’t have nearly enough) so they can take a tax write-off when they give part of it away to someone they think deserves it (which obviously isn’t you).

Microsoft has devised a fast and easy way to facilitate this process.

1. Create things that don’t work, requiring you to contact their free support team.

2. Create a free support team (none of whom speak fluent English) whose sole purpose is to send you to Microsoft’s “premium support service” (composed of a group of people whose real names we can’t pronounce but none of whom speak fluent English) which costs you money.

How do I know? I am one of the several billion people sending money to Bill and Melinda.

Today was another fine example.

I can’t play any internet videos. Or rather, I can play them, but with no sound. Yes, the sound is turned up, I’m not an idiot. I checked that first because I’ve often been an idiot in the past. Internet video watching is the primary duty of a work-at-home writer. It’s called research. Because you never know when you might want to write about electric sheep.

But the point is that it’s important. And I need to fix it. So I go to Microsoft online support which offers a handy Mr. Fix-it (complete with a Professional Handy Man cap and wrench to throw into your hard drive). Which works one time. Then won’t work the second time the sound goes off.

Instead of working to automatically find and correct the problem, I get an error message: “troubleshooter is invalid or expired” and I must to go to the website to get the current version. Which I do. Only to get the same message. Which means the website has a glitch that keeps it from recognizing the current version as the current version. Which means I am forced to try chatting with the dread on-line support tech.

With these results …

info: Please wait for an agent to respond. You are currently ‘8’ in the queue.

[Crap. “Queue.” That means they don’t speak English.]

info: All agents are currently assisting others. Thank you for your patience. An agent will be with you shortly. You are currently ‘2’ in the queue.

info: You are now chatting with ‘Lewis’.

Lewis: Hello, Wiswit.

Welcome to Microsoft Customer Service Chat.

Thank you for your waiting.

Sorry to know that the Microsoft Fixit is not working.

Let me try my best to help you.

May I know the specific Program or Software you are referring to?


Could you please elaborate the exact task you want to accomplish?

[What? Does this person not speak English? And you already KNOW what program isn’t working: Microsoft Fixit!]

Lewis: We have not heard from you. Do you wish to continue the chat?

Wiswit: yes

Lewis: Please respond to me as delay in respond may lead to session expiry and leads to disconnection in the chat session.

[Now I understand! It’s a robot!]

Lewis: Are we still connected?

Wiswit: I get no wound and ran the fixit from your website – which previously worked – but now I get an error message that fixit is unavailable to get the current version from the website But it IS the current version

Wiswit: no sound

Lewis: This seems to be a Technical issue, Wiswit.

Well, Microsoft has a dedicated Online Techncial Chat support to help you with perfect guidance or even possibly would take your device or computer on Remote to resolve the issues online. I hope this should be the right options for your Technical issues that you may not be able to handle.

So, Please click here to reach Premium Software Support – Resolve issues with Windows and Start an online chat with a Microsoft Answer Tech and resolve this issue.

I hope this helps you to resolve your issue, Wiswit.

I wish I could help.

As I have limited scope of support to help you on your concern, being a technical or a billing issue else may be out of my support knowledge; request you to please contact the dedicated support team.

Wiswit: You aren’t speaking English. Is someone there who can speak English?

Lewis: I hope you understand and cooperate.

Thank you for using Microsoft Customer Service Chat.

Please feel free to come back again.

info: Chat session has been terminated by the agent.