Dear Microsoft, please stop stonewalling me and fix my broken Skype subscription

By | May 23, 2017

I sent the following letter via certified mail this morning:

May 23, 2017

Bradford L. Smith, President
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6399

Dear Mr. Smith,

I have been trying to get an Office 365 / Skype issue resolved for over two and a half months. Your customer support representatives have alternated between giving me incorrect information and ignoring me. I am writing (at my own expense) in the hope of reaching someone who has the ability and desire to solve this problem.

In brief, the problem is as follows:

  • Office 365 includes 60 free Skype minutes per month.
  • Prior to March 1, My free Office 365 Skype minutes were correctly associated with my legacy (i.e., pre-Microsoft-acquisition) Skype account with the username “[elided]”.
  • On March 1, someone or some automated process at your end unilaterally disconnected by Office 365 Skype subscription from my Skype account.
  • Your support representatives advised me to disconnect and reconnect my Skype subscription from within the Office 365 account control panel.
  • When I did that, the subscription was incorrectly associated with the Skype account linked to my Microsoft Live account; this is not the Skype account I use, not the Skype account linked with all of my contacts, and not the Skype account I want my free minutes to be associated with. I want my free minutes to be associated with the same Skype account – “[elided]” – that they were associated with before someone at your end spontaneously disconnected them on March 1.
  • The Office 365 account control panel only allows the user to disconnect and reconnect a Skype subscription once. Therefore, now that my Skype subscription was disconnected and reconnected to the wrong Skype account, I am unable to disconnect it again to attempt to reconnect it to the correct account.

On March 1, one of your support representatives gave me an email address to contact ([elided]) and told me that emailing to that address would connect me to someone who could solve my issue. I emailed on March 1. I emailed again on March 22, having received no response. I received a reply containing instructions not applicable to my problem. I replied and explained the problem again. I emailed again on April 3, having received no response. I received a reply containing the same inapplicable instructions. On April 4, I replied and explained this, yet again. Having received no response, I emailed again on May 3. To date, I’ve received no reply.

Please fix this.

Sincerely,
Jonathan Kamens

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2 thoughts on “Dear Microsoft, please stop stonewalling me and fix my broken Skype subscription

    1. jik Post author

      Not exactly.

      After sending my complaint letter to the president of Microsoft, I was notified that an “escalated support request” had been created on my behalf, and someone would be contacting me about it shortly.

      A few days after that, I received the following:

      My name is [elided] with Microsoft Global Escalation Services. I understand that you would like to connect the Skype Minutes associated to your Office 365 subscription to a specific Skype profile.

      Unfortunately, this is no longer an option, the Office 365 Skype Minutes are now required to be associated to the same account that the Office 365 subscription is associated to. This is why you have been unable to attach the Skype Minutes to the Skype profile [elided].

      In order to use the Office 365 Skype Minutes on the account [elided] you would need to combine this Skype profile with your Microsoft Account with the Office 365 subscription. You can combine the accounts by signing into the Skype profile on https://login.live.com/ and following the on screen instructions to combine the accounts.

      You would think that any of the support people I dealt with for months before escalating to the president’s office would have been able to tell me that, but apparently not. *sigh*

      Alas, it didn’t work. When I tried to use the solution described above, I got an error message which read as follows:

      That email address already uses Skype

      We can’t update [elided] with [elided]. This may be because this email address is already linked to another Skype account, or it may have Skype credit.

      In other words, the solution given to me by Microsoft which I quoted above doesn’t work in exactly the situation which I asked Microsoft to help me solve.

      I replied to Microsoft on June 1, telling them that their solution didn’t work and including a screenshot of the error message I quoted above. I emailed again on June 4 when they hadn’t responded. They finally responded on June 6 and asked me to send them the error message I was receiving — you know, the one I sent them on June 1. I replied the same day and sent them the error message again. They responded on June 10 and again asked me to send them the error message. You know, the error message I had already sent them twice! I replied, yet again, and sent them the error message a third time. Finally, on June 16, they replied as follows:

      I wanted to apologize for the delay in my response, your replies to my previous emails did not come back to me correctly.

      I wanted to thank you for the screenshot of the message you receive when you attempted to link your Skype profile to your Microsoft Account. I am currently researching this issue and will send you an update as soon as I have one.

      So, yeah, my problem is not yet solved.

      And I want to emphasize that the person I’m dealing with, who apparently is challenged by the simple task of receiving and reading an email message containing an image, allegedly works for Microsoft’s “Global Escalation Services” team.

      You know, if I were putting together a “Global Escalation Services” team intended to handle the complaints and problems of people whose complaints and problems weren’t adequately addressed by support people elsewhere in the company, I personally would do my best to avoid staffing such a team with idiots. Just sayin’.

      Reply

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