Illuminatus Shadow (shadowrunner76) wrote in bad_service,
Illuminatus Shadow

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Adventures with Microsoft

I suppose it happens to just about every tech - something comes along they can't fix without Microsoft's intervention, thus they embark on a quest that crosses desolate and poisoned lands only to be smushed by a goblin king and sent home. Okay, perhaps my quest wasn't quite so epic.

Let me paint some backtory: I am a computer technician that often performs free or discounted service for family and friends. One friend asked I recover his data, then reinstall Windows. Data recovery went very smooth however reinstalling Windows was another story. His laptop has the Microsoft Product Key sticker and the OS was reinstalled using discs from the manufacturer. This is all software that came with the computer. When it comes time to activate Windows, Microsoft states there is a problem with the product key. Oh no! It isn't valid? But its on the laptop, and the software was provided by HP. Buh...?

I call customer service and am greeted by a computer. No sweat! I can understand it better than the outsourced techs in India (no offense to outsourced techs, you guys are great but the accent is a bit of a barrier). The computer determines there is also a problem and transfers me to a live person. They say, without giving me a chance to explain, that the product key is invalid and I must call another line. He gives me the number and I roll my eyes. Already this is becoming a nightmare.

I call the line and hear "Welcome to fee-based personal product support!" Sorry, but I'm not the one who screwed up here. Microsoft's databases think the key is invalid, and while someone may have cracked it years ago it doesn't change the fact it is genuine for this computer. I contact HP support and they state, in no uncertain terms, I need to buy a new copy of Windows.

Furious that I am being told to fork out $150 for something that was rightfully paid for already, I hang up and decide to search the web. In five minutes I found an activation crack, implemented it, and escaped the tangled web of Microsoft sub-par support. No wonder people are pirating this software left and right - people who paid for it fairly are being plagued by awful support on every front!

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