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.

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