Microsoft support – calling customers liars is now a thing

Let me start this off by saying I’m not a Microsoft basher. Far from it. I have used Windows ever since v2 (well, apart from a short dalliance with IBM’s OS/2 and six months of using a MacBook Pro), and I like it. I have a Surface Pro 3 which I love. I’ve owned every iteration of XBOX, and they’ve generally been great.

But Microsoft has always been appalling at communications. Utterly appalling. They can’t say the simplest things correctly, or in a manner that doesn’t have people trying to dig out the actual meaning, or work out which bits are true and which aren’t. Even today, they can’t send out media releases that make sense or agree with what they’ve said previously, and that flows through to customer support, which is likewise clueless.

Completely clueless. Which would be bad enough, but to then accuse customers of lying is taking it a level up. This sort of totally useless “support” is is often what you get when you outsource that support to third-world countries, but as per usual, MS can make communications worse than anyone else. Well, except maybe Telstra, which is another article in the pipeline…

You can see why they want to do all this support on the phone, because it’s deniable and leaves no paper trail. (This means they’re smarter than Donald Trump Jr, but that’s a low bar.)

So my $200 Elite controller has been getting steadily worse, with the rubber grips unglueing themselves, and the left joystick getting really sloppy. So it needs to be replaced under warranty. I contacted them at the start of the year, and they were bad to deal with, then nothing happened, so I just concentrated on uni. But I got back to it after the trimester ended, and this whole sorry debacle start to play out.

I’ve been talking to a lovely lady who is very polite, follows up regularly, and appears to have exactly no ability to get anything meaningful done.

But they did eventually send me a shipping label, so I boxed up the controller and sent it off.

And they sent me a new one! Except, you know, they didn’t. They sent me a bog-standard one, not my super-duper one.


Then I talk to an idiot from the XBOX division who said to me immediately that the only possible reason for me being sent an XBOX One S controller was if I had sent one to them, not the Elite controller. No mate, I’m not lying, despite the very clear inference.

And it was a terrible phone call – even accounting for his poor English, he’d put me on hold for minutes at a time, pop back in to yell something incomprehensible at me, then straight back on hold again.

And he then threw the good representative under the bus, claiming that they’d been told by her it was “a white controller” rather than “an Elite controller,” and saying that if only they’d been able to talk to me, this wouldn’t have happened.

Which is what I wanted all along, but no, that’s impossible, MS won’t allow it.

Also, their shipping company (CouriersPlease) is a disgrace – here’s the feedback I sent them after their complete delivery screwup.

Some feedback on your terrible service. I got an email directing me to the tracking page, which said my package was “onboard for delivery” at lunchtime yesterday (strangely, this notification is now not there on the tracking page…) Naturally, I expected that this meant it would be delivered yesterday, so I rearranged my day to accommodate this information that you provided. Sure enough, no delivery, and it arrived this morning.

This is extremely annoying, and makes your company look fairly useless.

I was much more polite than I felt, trust me.

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