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Microsoft "Technical Support"

Is there any other recourse than a <<class action>> protest to convince Microsoft that outsourcing their tech support to India is counter productive.

After downloading IE7, I was plagued with their regular new software problems but which proved to be a serious "cash-sustaining" issue for me. The first tech. support was willing but unable to resolve all issues. The second time, today, was another MS failure.

I sent a fax to HQ as I had to do last year, but I wish they would stop that charade and allow customers to choose their tech support location. Indians will choose India, I prefer to stay in CONUS to be able to speak and work constructively.

To all of you who agree with my statement, do email/fax/ write or whatever como suits you, to Microsoft. Perhaps peer pressure will yield results?

Enclosed if a copy of my fax content:

To Whom It May Concern:

I had several issues following a recent IE7 download, the major one being not accessing my online banking. Since my bank is in another state, it was critical.

This has now been resolved but two others remain which are affecting Outlook Express.

The person who called me this morning tried to help but could not. During the process I explained that I had a severe problem with MS tech. support coming from India. One such ?tech support? person crashed my OS last year [8/27/2005] and it took two months to repair it in order to salvage my home-office server set up. I specifically requested not to be transferred to India again. The silence that followed told me volumes and, sure enough, I was back in India again a minute later.

I tried to work with the person, [Unaiza] but she obviously had difficulties understanding me and we were always at loggerhead in the process. After struggling for 20 minutes, I asked her to transfer me to someone who might understand me better; she became angry then hanged up on me.

Is it too much to ask of Microsoft to refer customers to a technical support that they can actually work with? My last OE issue remains unsolved.

Thank you in anticipation,


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In reply to: Microsoft "Technical Support"

It's not only MS, it's almost EVERYONE. So far my ISP is still in the U.S., but I wonder how long that will be? I think we're all in the same boat when it comes to tech support, and it will probably only get worse....Maggie

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Given the posts about IE7, why go there?

In reply to: Microsoft "Technical Support"

I see a few issues here. But rather than waste your time with such a post why not make a new post detailing the issue for members to take a crack at?

-> What part of their agreement did they break? i.e. read the contract and see where they broke it.

Also I see recurring themes here.

1. Today's owners are treating the PC (and OS) as an appliance. Sorry, we're not there yet.

2. Many owners don't backup. So if they need to reload the OS they are not ready. (not a Microsoft issue.)

3. Since today's PCs are not "appliances" what classes, books have you taken or read to run this machine? It's sad that much has been lost as we see more owners and no message that these are not appliances.

Feel free to rant in this thread, but if you want help, post a rant free new post.


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It's all about the money

In reply to: Microsoft "Technical Support"

Tech support is a costly venture to be done right. You have to spend a lot of time and money training people, and you tend to get nothing in return. In the US, people expect things like a living wage, health benefits, and other such perks.

The whole outsourcing/globalization issue is a very complex one, but in almost every case it comes back to money. Most American companies are publicly traded, meaning they are responsible to the shareholders, and are obligated to try and increase the value of those shares. Most investors are looking for short-term profit. They want to buy some stock, and then sell it within 6 months for a profit. This puts the pressure on business managers to try and increase quarterly profits each and every quarter by making a number of short-term strategic decisions. The problem is, these short term decisions almost always lead to long term problems, since they destroy any efforts of building company equity.

Put into less theoretical terms, consider your average blue collar worker. These people work hard and don't tend to earn a lot of money. So to save a few bucks they might go shop at Wal-Mart because it's cheaper. It's cheaper because Wal-Mart brow beats its suppliers on price. All the stuff they claim about buying in bulk and having an efficient distribution system are true, but they don't come anywhere near accounting for everything. Since the supplier can't not afford to do business with Wal-Mart, they have to either lower their production costs or simply absorb the losses. As you might imagine, there's only so long you can sustain a business without at least breaking even, and most people are in business to make money. So that leaves lowering production costs. In China or Vietnam or some of the other less developed Pacific Rim countries, you can get things produced for considerably less than the US because there aren't as many labor laws to protect laborers. This allows suppliers to lower their prices the next time Wal-Mart comes along saying they want a price break, which the blue collar worker thinks is great because now they have a little more money for other things. Of course if that blue collar worker is in manufacturing, they could well lose their job as a direct result of supporting Wal-Mart by shopping there.

The moral of the story here is, if you want tech support to be based in the US, you have to be prepared to pay for it. Microsoft isn't going to swallow those costs, because the investors would revolt. That means they have to pass it along to us, the consumers. Unless we're willing to pay an extra 10-20% (maybe more) across the board, it's simply not economically feasible to have tech support based in the US. Save for crooked politicians and executives in companies like Wal-Mart, it would ultimately be in everyone's best interest, but trying to convince the 300 million or so people in the US of this would be nigh impossible.

You can write all the letters, emails, faxes, telegrams, and whatever else you want. Unless you can show a workable business model where profit levels would remain steady, or increase, it's not going to happen. If you want to make a difference, you have to stop thinking about it as a personal inconvenience, and start thinking about it as how Microsoft (or any other company) can use this to make more money.

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