With the help of C’, a Microsoft Global Escalation Services representative – we were able to recover the account.
Microsoft requested details not only about the mentioned Microsoft account but about the Bizspark program associated with it, and after we supplied the full details, they have removed the account suspension.
We haven’t managed to understand why the account was suspended in the first place, nor did we managed to get MS to take a look at their ticketing system (which still shows tickets of other MS users). Investing a month in trying to get answers is more than enough. Let’s hope our tickets are not available to other MS users… let’s hope yours isn’t, as well.
Tzahi got a call today from Microsoft’s rep who apologized for the mix up with the support issues.
To be honest, I can’t blame him – when every single automated system is broken I can only assume their CS reps are drowning in work. I truly do not envy him.
After the call he sends an email with instructions on how to submit a password reset form – again, not the issue I reported, but I decide to play along in hopes that it somehow helps resolving the issue.
The way things are going so far, I’m starting to believe that by the end of it I’ll have a new password for my account, 500gb of storage on outlook and a date with Cortana – but still won’t be able to log in to MSDN because the account is suspended.
In case you’ve missed that, those of us who don’t have their account suspended and can actually access the support cannot reply to support tickets because the form is truncated above the submit button. This replicates on Windows 7/10 on all major browsers (yes, IE11 and Edge included!)
If you ever find yourself in need to reply to a support ticket (and have it ignored), Tzahi made a short video demonstrating how to fix the issue on IE11 (although it should be applicable to any browser, it’s just a rendering bug)
My account is still suspended. I have gotten zero communication from Microsoft – so far nothing is new.
Another thing that is not new is the fact Tzahi can still see personal information of other Microsoft users through the support ticketing system.
Maybe it’s time to email them and point out the fact their personal information is leaking from the support system – you know, the thing both me and Tzahi tried communicating to Microsoft for almost a week now through multiple messages and support tickets.
Another day, another closed support ticket without any communication. Tzahi decides to have another go at reaching out for Microsoft Support on Twitter.
To his surprise, Microsoft Support replied within a few minutes and with a response that is not totally out of context!
Could we be nearing the end of our journey? Keep reading to find out more!
Martin: Ok, an attempt to call Microsoft support – take 2.
MS Support: Welcome to Microsoft. If you have a special access code, press 9, or, wait on the line for additional options.
If you are a home user, please press ‘1’.
Martin: (presses 1)
MS Support: Please choose one of the following options. If you are trying or can’t start your Microsoft program, please press ‘1’. If you need help with forgotten passwords for your Microsoft account or Windows Live Services such as outlook.com, one drive or skype, press ‘2’. For technical support, for all Microsoft products, press ‘3’. For support about subscriptions for Microsoft press …
Martin: (presses 3)
MS Support: Please choose your product. For all Windows versions, Explorer, Edge or viruses and malware, press ‘1’. For all Office Versions press ‘2’. For Microsoft hardware such as mouse and keyboard press ‘3’. Press ‘*’ to return to the menu.
Martin: Well here we have nothing… (presses *)
MS Support: Please choose one of the following options. If you are trying or can’t start your Microsoft program, please press ‘1’. If you need help with forgotten passwords for your Microsoft account or Windows Live Services such as outlook.com, one drive or skype, press ‘2’. For technical support, for all Microsoft products, press ‘3’. For support about subscriptions for Microsoft, payments or account management press ‘4’. If you wish to purchase a Microsoft product, or for pre-purchase questions, press ‘5’. Press ‘*’ to return to the menu, press ‘0’ for the previous menu.
Martin: (waiting to see if additional options will be given after no keypress)
MS Support: Sorry, I didn’t not recognize your choice. To transfer you to the right support channel you must choose one of the right support options. Please choose one of the following options. If you are trying or can’t start your Microsoft program, please press ‘1’. If you need help with forgotten passwords for your Microsoft account or Windows Live Services such as outlook.com, one drive or skype, press ‘2’…
Martin: (presses 2)
MS Support: In case you had issues when trying to access your Microsoft account or forgotten your password press ‘1’. For support with Outlook.com, Skype or other windows live services press ‘2’.
Martin: (presses 2)
Martin: (laughing) – Yes, option 2 drops the call…
How did I not think of that before? I’ll just give Microsoft Support a call!
Martin: Ok, we are trying to call Microsoft Support
MS Support: Welcome to Microsoft Support, for support in Hebrew please press ‘1’ for support in English press…
Martin: (presses 1)
MS Support: Welcome to Microsoft. If you have (unidentified) press 9 now or wait in line for additional options.
Martin: The call on Skype is very choppy
MS Support: If you are a home user, please press ‘1’, if you are a business costumer please press ‘2’, if you are a Microsoft partner, please press ‘3’. Please press ‘*’ to return to this menu.
Martin: Are we a home costumer? (presses 1)
MS Support: Please choose one of the following options: If you are trying or can’t start your Microsoft application, press ‘1’. If you need help with forgotten passwords for your Microsoft account or Windows Live services such as outlook.com, one drive and Skype, press ‘2’. For support for all Microsoft products press ‘3’. For support for Microsoft subscriptions, Payments or account management press ‘4’. If you wish to purchase a Microsoft product, or for pre-purchase questions, press ‘5’.
Martin: Four? (presses 4)
MS Support: Please choose one of the following options: for subscriptions or canceling an account press ‘1’, for subscriptions, applications or questions about payments press ‘2’. Press ‘*’ to return to the menu, press ‘0’ to return to previous menu.
Martin: (presses 2)
MS Support: Please choose one of the following options: if you are trying or can’t start your Microsoft program press ‘1’, if you need help with forgotten passwords for your Microsoft account or Windows Live services such as outlook.com, one drive and Skype, press ‘2’, for support for all Microsoft produ…
Martin: (presses 2)
MS Support: If you had problems while trying to access your Microsoft account or for a forgotten password, please press ‘1’. For help with …
Martin: (presses 1)
MS Support: Because your security is important to us, support for forgotten passwords or problems while trying to access your account are given using a secured web page. Please go to account.live.com/password/reset. I repeat – account.live.com/password/reset, thank you. Press ‘*’ to return to the menu.
Martin: Well, this has been the world fastest support call (hangs). And in case anyone missed that, Tzahi was laughing in the background while hearing this.
As if I did not see that one coming at this point.
It’s only day #2 into the tweet per day campaign and the unbelievable happens – we get a response from Microsoft.
The first response is dull and simply links to the knowledge base article we’ve visited on day #1 – but Tzahi keeps insisting – he points out that in addition to the fact my account is STILL “temporarily suspended”, his account STILL has access to other people’s support tickets which include full names, emails and phone numbers.
It seems that at least the people running Microsoft Support’s twitter page understand the severity of this issue and they instruct Tzahi to contact their “account specialists” as soon as possible!
4 days, zero communication from Microsoft’s side – good thing we’re persistent.
Seeing as both the Facebook and Twitter attempts were completely ignored, it’s time to try the online support representatives again!
The first lesson we learned today is that if you want to use Microsoft’s online support chat you should be using Internet Explorer, Edge or Firefox. Tzahi likes using Vivaldi for some odd reason – and when you use Vivaldi and possibly other Chromium based browsers, the chat history just disappear at random. That is why the following conversations were only partly documented.
Trying to reconnect…
Well, apparently Microsoft support is having some connectivity issues… but hey, at least we have another case number to add to the pile!
Let’s try that again:
Microsoft is not willing to communicate by email to emails outside of their own @outlook.com and @hotmail.com domains.
Also, the only way to escalate an issue is by filing a support ticket – which as proven before – simply gets ignored.
The bit missing from this conversation is the part where Tzahi is instructed on how to respond to a support ticket in Microsoft’s system –
There is only one small problem… where is the submit button on this form? And just to clarify, this is how the ticket reply form looks on the latest version of Microsoft Edge.
Maybe the fact my account has been “temporarily suspended” for several days does not warrant a quick intervention from Microsoft, but surely once they find out their users’ personal information is compromised they will pay attention and act to resolve the issue quickly.
At least that was the general train of thought when Tzahi decided to try and reach out to Microsoft on Twitter after failing to get any notice through their support system and Facebook.
Quickly losing hope I will get any response to my support tickets submitted through the online forms, I decide to try and contact Microsoft support directly.
Fun fact – you can only request a support call for US and Canadian numbers (country code +1).
So after several attempts at reaching a live representative through their online help system, I finally get in contact with a support rep:
The only bit of information I was able to infer from that conversation is that my previous support tickets were indeed being ignored. Not clear on if I should submit a new ticket or not after this conversation, I decide to err on the side of safety and submit a new ticket just in case.
So just to recap – at this point it’s been several days, 2 ignored support tickets and supposedly 2 new support tickets. One of them is SURE to get a response at some point… right?
It’s been almost 24 hours since the second support ticket was submitted – this time following all the instructions to the letter – and still no word from Microsoft customer support. No communication what so ever – and at this point Microsoft has multiple email addresses and phone numbers they can use to reach me to resolve this issue.
I am pretty pissed off by now so I decide to go on Facebook and try and get Microsoft’s attention while venting off some steam.
At this point I blame myself for not following the Microsoft’s instructions to the letter.
Still, not a big deal. I ask Tzahi, my business partner to use his Microsoft Live account to file a support ticket regarding my account being suspended. The reason I did not get a response within the advertised 24 hours period MUST be because I used the suspended account to create the ticket. Or so I think…
Thankfully, Notepad++ is not tied to an online account system, so I can still get through the meeting with only slight inconvenience. At this point I do realize I need to do something to “fix the problems with my account”.
Being a nice user, I do as I’m told and log in to https://account.live.com with my account.
I am greeted by the “Account Temporarily Suspended” message posted below. Not going to repost it, only what follows after you click continue in that window.
First thing that happens is that you are redirected to a support entry on temporarily suspended accounts. According to the instructions you need to create a temporary account to file a support ticket and customer support will get back to you within 24 hours.
There’s only one slight temporary problem with creating temporary acccounts:
Well, there’s obviously something wrong with the temporary account system, but maybe if I click the “Contact Support” link it will take me to the proper place I need to go to setup a support account so I can have my issue resolved.
…or not. You can happily submit your ticket with your suspended account even though it clearly states in the instructions you should use a different account.
Well, since the temporary account system doesn’t seem to work, I decide to file the ticket using my suspended account any way. I get a nice confirmation number for my ticket – sadly this screen is not documented since at this point I was still naive enough to believe the issue will be resolved with that single support ticket.
I’m at a friend’s office. We’re discussing projects we’re working on so I take out my laptop to show him my latest work – and that’s when something goes very wrong…
The Visual Studio license has gone stale. That much makes sense, the laptop is mostly plugged to the TV in the living room and serves as a media hub. I only use it for work when I’m traveling so it makes sense Visual Studio was not launched on it for several weeks.
I’ll just re-enter my account credentials and get a fresh license for Visual Studio and be on my merry way…
…or not. That’s the page I am greeted with after I log in to my account through Visual Studio. Needless to say, once I dismiss this window Visual Studio shuts itself down.