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Microsoft: How incompetent can one company be?

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by cejay, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Since moving to Cairns, I've gone from working for a large multinational IT company to a small IT business. As such, all the usual crap that I had PM's sort out for me is now my job....

    We have a new customer who has orders 2008 R2 Standard and Exchange 2010 Std. No problems, we have a new entry level server (my, that performance is going to suck!) and all I need to do is install the OS and Exchange, prep it and arrange installation for the customer.

    Now, where's the media and licence keys. Ah, that's it, the time when MS supplied media and keys are long long ago, when people didn't want to download 3GB ISO's that then needed burning. Now you go to the volume licence site, log in with your reseller/authorisation code, get the keys and then download the appropriate software. Of course, generally you need only download once, but there are multiple versions and often you'll have to go through this process. Most of our customers use SBS and we didn't have a version of 2008 I could use.

    So off I go to the Eopen website. Damn, MS have changed their Eopen site to a new and vastly improved Volume Licence Site. Except that this site has been down since the 6th December. Their helpful website informs you that the site is down for maintenance. It provides no ETA for when it will be available. If you knew no better, you might go away and think, heck, it's night in the US and perhaps they're doing maintenance. Sucks it's a WW site, but heck, who knows?

    A small Google check will show you that this is not the case. It's been down for days and they have no idea when it will be back. Mmmm, ok, I have an install to do and even if I can magic media, I can't magic licence keys. Let's call MS licensing department. Despite being aware of the problem, then send you to a site maintenance dept who advise me to call their VLK department. After a lengthy conversation I was told that my Server 2008 R2 keys will be emailed to me immediately (they never arrived). When I asked about the Exchange I was told that they don't do that and I needed to call another number. Which I did. However, this department had NO idea what I was going on about and eventually I gave up and called my first number back. He told me that it was nothing to do with him and put me through to another department. This was the same department as my first call, but this time he gave me some flannel about the site being down, how they were working on it and that it was not known when it would be available.

    Slightly desperate, I then asked where I was to get my media and licences from. I was told to email them, but worried that this would be a black hole of death, I resisted. Eventually I capitulated and was told that if I sent the email they would send me the media. In 2-3 business days. Goodo!! Great, the server build I need to start today or tomorrow might commence early next week. My customer, hopeful that they might be done this week now has to be advised that this won't happen.

    The hysterical part is that the licensing website trumpets their new and improved system.

    How can the largest software company in the World be so incompetent to implement a new system so poorly that it simply fails to work, then, instead of providing a helpful or informative website that provides options on how to download and install the product that you have already paid for, simply put this message up:


    [quote="MS]The VLSC site is currently down for maintenance.


    Die VLSC Seite ist derzeit wegen Wartungsarbeiten nicht verfügbar.

    El Centro de servicios de licencias por volumen (VLSC) se encuentra fuera de servicio por motivos de mantenimiento.

    Le site VLSC est indisponible pour cause de maintenance.[/quote]

    I expect the usual MS haters and lovers, but I defy anyone to actually excuse this and not be on the marketing payroll of this company. It's not that they have implemented a system that simply didn't work, it's that they offer absolutely no alternative. Absolute total shits.
  2. I HATE companies who seem to have the unerring skill of touting the ONE THING that they DON'T do well :evil:.

    Voadfone promote their automatic Top-Up of pre-paid accounts whenever you ring them; it's the first part of their speil while you wait for someone real to talk to you. It also hardly ever works.

    If MS can't keep a web-site online, what hope do we have???
  3. so on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being going to the shops for milk and bringing back beer and pizza, 10 being the NSW Labor Government, how would you rate the incompetence of microsoft?
  4. lol! Really, this would have to top even the NSW government!
  5. +1 for Vodafone. I transferred to Vodafone because Telstra with whom I'd been for years and with whose service I was extremely happy, did not sell the phone I wanted. Vodafone made all sorts of promises and I got a good deal on the handset, but Vodafone's coverage is worse than Microsoft's.

    Not only don't they have coverage anywhere along the northern route that I take to do the Oxley, but I can't even get coverage in my local shopping mall, and today, I couldn't even get coverage in my school which is less than 20kms from the heart of Wollongong.

    Tomorrow I'm going to go the Vodafone shop and find out how much it would cost me to terminate my contract with them

    *end of rant*

    Returning you now to your regularly scheduled programme.
  6. :cough: apple :cough: OSX :cough:
  7. I know, I know!
  8. I just found this thread on Google, having the exact same problem as the original poster. After stumbling through hoops with Microsoft phone support, I finally found a phone number that actually presents a very easy solution... at least, for those who reside in the United States. I don't know how helpful this information will be to Australians, but I figure any information would be helpful at this point.

    I also only needed Server keys, so I don't know how well this would work for Exchange keys.

    I was asked to call this number: 888-352-7140
    The automated system will ask what product you are activating, say "Windows".
    Once a service representative picks up, they should immediately ask if you need a volume license key. Say yes.
    They should be able to email you the keys using your Open License Authorization and Agreement number (they asked for them in that order). I received my email before the call was over.

    I just hope this is useful to whoever else is dealing with the VLSC mess. Way to go Microsoft, "fixing" a perfectly working system by replacing it with a broken one...
  9. This guy signed up to an Australian motorbike forum to tell us that?
  10. Good on him. Thanks for your input StarCreator.
  11. And if Microsoft made underwear.....

    Attached Files:

  12. "The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't suck will be the day that they start making vacuum cleaners"

    I still miss OS/2 :(

    (and yes I know that it was 50% MS and that IBM as a company was nearly as anti-competitive as those bastards in Redmond, but at least OS/2 worked)
  13. I don't think that exchange needs a key...... I didn't get one for exchange 2010.

    Its also not possible to order VLK media through distributors any more. Direct purchase from Microsoft only, taking weeks for the media to turn up.

    The open site had issues before they took it offline for maintenance - pages would time out, and I'd get errors half the time just trying to navigate the site.
  14. Hmm I work just across the room from MS licensing dudes, I guess its likely you've spoken to one of them =D
  15. OS/2 worked?? You mean waiting 20 minutes for a computer to boot is working??? pffftttt
  16. What was that Paul, a 286?

    I ran it on a 486-DX2 66 with 4 (or it might of been 8?) meg of RAM. I don't remember it being slow to boot. But I tell you what, it never crashed. (well hardly ever :)).
  17. Can't remember, but it was around 1994, and our computer guru was a Microsoft-hater, and Novell expert, and he loved OS/2. We used it mainly in Fax-Servers, where they didn't have to cycle up and cycle down again, but honest and for true, these machines were top-drawer in specs, but we'd turn them on and go and make a coffee. The expert swore, when the beta of Win95 came out (on 17 floppies), that he'd NEVER forsake OS/2 but in less than two years it was a Microsoft house.
  18. Oh well, perhaps the server edition was slow?

    I started with version 3.0 (Warp). Later I got a free copy of Version 4 from some conference I went to. It had voice recognition as part of the OS. You had to speak with a Texan accent to make it work, but hey, it was pretty advanced.

    Rexx was great too. I can only imagine what OS/2 5 or 6 would have been like...
  19. I know, that's the issue Rabbit. They remove the media kit option, insist you use the Eopen website which was crap, replace it with a new system and the new system also doesn't work. They then take the website down and provide absolutely no contact method (until today). Through perseverence and many many calls you eventually get to speak to people who provide keys and take note of your mail address to send you the media. Except the promised 2-3 business days are now 5-7 (that got a curt reply email, lying bastards).

    All up, this is the sort of effort I'd expect from a 2 bob s/w house selling dodgy software, not the largest provider of software in the World. Absolutely useless and a piss poor effort from every single one of MS totally disjointed departments.

    I believed that 2010 has the key embedded, though I am hearing different things about that. Unfortunately we are a small company and simply don't have the resources to chase and chase. I am totally dismayed at their efforts.

    Apparently the VLSC will be up and available Wednesday...I imagine this is PST, in which case almost midday Thursday for us.
  20. You are also cute when you're angry.

    I am sorry, I'll put my skirt on now...