Friday, May 21, 2010

Microsoft Makes Me Feel Macro-Small

Hey, friends!

Most of you probably know I've been having problems with my Hotmail account. Granted it is free, but that doesn't mean I should have 0 technical support, should it?

I can't give you the exact details, because my account has been hijacked and now, apparently, shut down in a pre-emptive strike by Microsoft.

(I suppose they are taking a page from Dubya's book, but I digress.)

A friend suggested that I blog about it, in the hopes that Google Alerts or something will bring Microsoft to act to help us.

Yes, us. Because I don't kid myself that I'm the only one to whom this has happened.

Briefly: About May 6th, I noticed that I got two "returned as undeliverable" e-mails in my Hotmail account. I hadn't sent anything from Hotmail on May 6th or thereabouts. Upon investigating further, I discovered that some phantom person or other mechanical menace had sent out e-mails (spam, phishing, whatever) in my name to several colleagues and friends and family, in my name. It advised them to visit some likely squatter/sham site.

I wrote people to apologize. I contacted Live Support--still waiting for their response on that first trouble ticket from a couple weeks ago. I posted in their forum and read of others' similar, if not exactly the same, plights. In the Microsoft forums there were even--help me, for I lack the language to describe it correctly--spam bots out in all their full, foul force.

Not only have I never heard back from Microsoft, but after changing my password to one that Microsoft deemed strong; telling those in my address book to beware and that I apologized for any inconvenience to them; and contacting Microsoft for help, practically throwing myself on their mercy, noting that the false e-mails sent out in my name were also besmirching Microsoft's integrity as a business, for it had all the hallmarks of a normal Hotmail message (even advising people to use Hotmail, with a link at the bottom of the message), I get a message yesterday that I had violated Microsoft's such-and-such policy. My guess is that they think it is I who is spamming everyone, but it's really not. So, instead of helping me, what are they doing ... blocking me from my e-mail account.

An account I've had since December 2000, I might add. How's that for customer loyalty.

Well, no more. I'm sick of Microsoft.

Had I the power, as a little guy, I'd start my own company e-mail provider (purely as a joke and as a wake-up call to MS), and call it ... oh, one could call it so many funny permutations. Snotmail: E-mail for those with colds or runny noses. Notmail: Just when you think you have an e-mail provider, you really don't. Much like its sister Hotmail. Potmail: E-mail for when you be trippin (which I don't do, just for the record). Plotmail: Receive an e-mail from your favorite dead celebrity, straight out of the plot. ... Rotmail: E-mail for when you want to be a jerk (think "rotten") and, last but not least, Gotmail, for those times when you'd love to use your e-mail account to send and receive completely legitimate communiques but are barred from doing so. No, you've definitely NOT got mail, A-H-OL.{Got any suggestions for funny e-mail providers?}

Hmmm, I think I'll go switch to another provider--Gmail or Yahoo!, anyone?--while I wait for the response to my now 3 trouble tickets submitted to Live Support (Dead Support is more like it) in the last 2 weeks. E-mails that I know will never come.

Don't they say the postman always rings twice? Dang, if I could only get once, some kind of a response, even if only a "p155 off" from Microsoft, I might be happier.

Well, I'm going to pick up the pieces of my shattered Internet experience and go sulk on the couch with some cereal.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Greened Submarine

We all live in a green submarine, green submarine, green submarine.


But, seriously, did you know that Quizno's is greening their food packaging in an effort to reduce waste (not to mention that it helps their bottom line; I wish more restaurants & companies would catch onto that fact, then they'll be sold on green)? You would not believe how much of our landfills are stuffed to the brim with fast-food detritus.

That "dead zone" of plastic in the Pacific, too. So, anything toward reducing waste (part of the ever-important 3 "R's") is great in my green book.

As part of getting the word out about Quizno's efforts, they are awarding $5 gift cards to five readers in a "Choose 2" giveaway via the excellent blog called Melinda Joy here.

Melinda's blog also features everything from travel getaway/reviews to sandals (reviewed) to book, jewelry, and food giveaways.

And Quizno's? Mmmmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.

(That's me munching on their green foods--the lettuce in my toasty sub, that is!)

Friday, May 7, 2010