The Microsoft Network has attacked its
email problems with a vengeance and set about improving its Web-based
network. But no matter how hard it tries, it just can't seem to escape
those dreaded "technical difficulties."
From Monday evening at about 7 p.m. PT to about 3 a.m. PT today, MSN
was unable to accept new member sign-ups. And currently, members can't
change their billing options over the phone, although they can do it online.
In the grand scheme of things, these problems are so minor that some might
not even consider them worth mentioning.
Except that MSN, the flagship online service of one of the most powerful technology
company in the world, had the same problem about two weeks ago. And that
came on the heels of a major billing snafu in which customers were sent
back bills all at once for several months of service.
The problems come as MSN is rolling out the latest version of its service.
All in all, it is planning to send out 10 million CD-ROMs to get current members
to upgrade and, it hopes, new members to sign onto the service.
A few million CD-ROMs have been sent out, but the majority of the 10 million
have not yet been shipped, said Ed Graczyk, lead product manager for MSN.
And that's a good thing for MSN.
While past glitches, including severe email problems under MSN's old
system, have impacted its users, this week's problems only hit a small
number of members wanting to change their billing options. Where it really
hurts MSN is in the pocketbook,
as new members were prevented from signing up for service.
The problems all stem from an internally developed billing system, Graczyk
But MSN is working around the clock to fix it. "It's been resolved to a big
extent," Graczyk said. "Members should be able to
do everything they want to do."