Microsoft And The $1,632 Copy Of Vista

Microsoft charged Bill $1,632 for a single Windows Vista Ultimate upgrade license. Each time Bill, an IT Manager, tried to his enter his payment details through Windows Live Marketplace he was told that Microsoft could not be contacted, and to “please try again later.” What Microsoft really meant was, “Ha! Got your money! How ’bout some more?!”

Bill ultimately entered his payment information 7 times. Each attempt cost him $233.15. Now his account is out $1,632, and Microsoft is refusing to help.

He writes:

My name is Bill. I work at a large University and deal with Microsoft quite frequently as an IT Manager. Recently I went to purchase the new Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate operating system from their online store, Windows Live Marketplace for my personal use on my home computer. I filled out all the appropriate documentation and submitted my order to them with my debit card information and the nightmare began….

Upon selecting “submit” from their site I was immediately taken to a page stating “Microsoft cannot be contacted at this time” or similar, “Please try again later.” So needing a license for Vista right away I resubmitted it and, again, got the same thing “Microsoft cannot be contacted at this time, please try again.” After 6 attempts, finally, the 7th attempt was successful and I was able to purchase a copy of Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Upgrade (which turns out was not what I wanted in the first place). I thought all was well until the following morning… I received a call from the fraud prevention department at my bank stating I had been charged by Microsoft 7 times at $233.15!!!!!!

This was completely unacceptable and I immediately phoned Microsoft when I got to work. Microsoft stated to me that the problem was with the bank and that the charges hadn’t actually posted to my account and I just need to wait for the bank to update their info so this is what I did. After a couple days nothing had changed in my bank account. I was still in the hole roughly -$500.00 thanks to Microsoft.

I called Microsoft again and was told my issue would be “escalated”. Ok I thought. No problem they recognize the problem and are working to address it and get this taken care of. WRONG. They did in fact remove a couple of the charges (4 of them) but what about the other 3???? I contacted Microsoft Windows Live Marketplace and stated it has been about 2 weeks and I have still seen no change in my bank account. I then told them I would now like to get a refund as well for the one copy I did actually receive. That return was processed in the same phone call the way I would expect the others to be credited back to my bank account. WRONG again. So by this time I have spent almost all month without any money and being late on all of my bills and now, almost a month later, am STILL waiting on Microsoft to refund the other 2 charges that were posted to my account at $233.15. This is almost $500.00 and for someone who gets paid monthly is completely unacceptable. I have been calling Microsoft now for 2 weeks straight and all the Microsoft Windows Live Marketplace keeps telling me is “I am sorry sir your issue has been escalated to our product delevopment team and you should get a call back today or tomorrow.” WRONG yet again…. Everytime I call its the same story “… it has been escalated sir sorry” “we will call you tomorrow” ….. No call.

I am really irritated and have asked numerous times for a number or email address to “Product Development” and they keep telling me they don’t even have that information and that the system they use doesn’t even tell the support person I am speaking with that contact information. WHAT KIND OF SYSTEM IS THIS?

I now have overdue bills and am going hungry for what would appear to be the rest of the month…. I suppose this is what I get for trying to do things legitimately with Microsoft… A big smack in the face.

I give Microsoft a lot of business being and IT manager at a large University but am extremely dissatisfied with this whole experience. I will be seeking Unix/Linux alternatives.

Please Help!!!!

The charges posting:
The charges clearing:
Bill could have protected himself by charging Vista to his credit card. Since Microsoft is unwilling to reverse the clearly erroneous charges, it’s time to ask the bank to stand up and fight for its customer. If conversations don’t help, leap over the hurdles of incompetence and fire an Executive Email Carpet Bomb at both Microsoft and the bank.

(Photo: johnsu01)
RELATED: Contact Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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