1. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    I like Microsoft products. I've purchased a dozen Windows phones for myself and as gifts. I have a 950XL on order. But its crazy just how bad the store chat support has been.

    I like to use chat because I have a record of what was said without writing down what the rep said.

    Today was the BEST by far but still almost comically bad:
    You are now chatting with 'Samantha'.
    Samantha: Thank you for visiting the Microsoft Store Website. My name is Samantha, how may I help you today?
    You: This is about Microsoft Band VERSION ONE. Under accessories it shows a USB charging cable. How do you charge the band without a cable? Does it come with a regular AC charging cable?
    Samantha: Please contact 1-800-642-7676 and ask to direct you to microsoft band support.
    You: What if I can't speak for some reason?
    Samantha: Sorry but we don't have a chat support for that department.
    You: Then can you tell them they should NOT have a text chat button on the page for that product?
    You: Makes Microsoft look kind of stupid. LoL
    Samantha: Alright!

    Next best (but even worse):

    You are now chatting with 'Katie A'.
    Katie A: Thanks for contacting Microsoft Store chat, my name is Katie A! How can I help you today?
    You: Hi. How can I find out the cost for Microsoft Complete for various Lumias?
    Katie A: I would love to assist you with your Miscrosoft Complete needs today!
    Katie A: Let me look into that for you.
    You: Thanks
    You: If there is a chart, that would be good. If there is a formula based on price that would be okay too.
    Katie A: Ok not a problem.
    Katie A: Which Lumia are you looking at?
    You: Any and all. I have bought a bunch of Lumias as gifts but not from MS store so I bought insurance from the various stores. I am trying to figure out if you are a better, equal or worse choice for the insurance
    Katie A: Well in order for you to get the insurance through us you must purchase the product through us.
    You: That's what I'm talking about.
    Katie A: I was just reading that you said you bought a bunch of Lumias as gifts but not from the MS store.
    Katie A: So you will not be able to get insurance on a product that was not purchased from our store. You must buy the phone through us in order to quailfy for the Microsoft complete.
    Katie A: I can not help you unless you bought the phones at our store.
    You: I'm taking about future purchases.
    You: If you aren't familiar with Lumia models, I can give you a list of them. I am likely to buy virtually every model for myself or as gifts.
    Katie A: Well for future purchases then yes you can get the insurance I was under the assumption your were suggesting that you wanted insurance on the already bought phones.
    You: I forgive you ;)
    Katie A: I am very familair with them thank you for clarifying for me what you are talking about though. :)
    Katie A: Let me pull up that information for you.
    You: I clearly stated I already bought insurance for the phones I already bought.
    You: Thank you.
    Katie A: Sorry about the miscommunication.
    You: No problem.
    Katie A: So I am seeing that we do not sell the Microsoft Complete online but you can inquire with your local MS Store.
    You: So will you tell me what the cost of it is for various Lumia models. In case I don't feel like going to a store or calling a store after already going thru this much with you and then having to write it all down as opposed to saving a chat.
    Katie A: I do not have any information on my end. You would have to talk to the store. I only have information regarding what is on our online store.
    Katie A: Sorry for the inconvenience and frustrations I may have caused you.
    You: So just to get it straight, you KNEW you couldn't answer my question but went thru this tortuous waste of time?

    There have been several others but those were even worse.

    [/Vent]
    gpobernardo likes this.
    11-03-2015 04:36 PM
  2. gpobernardo's Avatar
    These chat support modules usually aren't really high-level (there are exceptions of course). But it would never be like talking directly to a manager or some higher level corporate member. Most probably, they are just third-party outsourced customer "representatives" who underwent a week or two of seminars on how to respond to the most common concerns and queries of the customers of a certain company.

    It's not that I'm immunizing Microsoft for the poor experience, but it's just that these "chat support" things aren't really reliable.

    I received something similar to your first chat, when the person on the other end asked me to contact a certain number for my query. At that moment, I said something like, "Then why am I contacting you in the first place? Better close off the option to request for chat support if all I will get is a redirect to another contact point."

    At any rate, have you tried @LumiaHelp via Twitter? They've produced more results than their chat counterpart, but won't be as quick though - response time is usually within a few minutes to a few hours (not a few days).
    11-03-2015 10:04 PM
  3. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    I have to keep sharing these inane experiences:

    Thank you for choosing Microsoft Store. An Answer Tech (Microsoft sales specialist) will be with you shortly.
    info: at 9:34:33
    Privacy Statement
    You are now chatting with 'Kim'.

    Kim: at 9:34:37
    Hello! Thank you for contacting Microsoft Store Online. My name is Kim, How may I assist you today?
    You: at 9:35:19
    Hi, I have an order for a Lumia 950XL scheduled to ship by November 25th. After I placed the order I discovered MS offers a discount to veterans. How do I make sure I get the phone at the veteran price? I don't mind taking it to an MS store near me to resolve it after it arrives.
    Kim: at 9:35:36
    I will be more than happy to check that for you!
    Kim: at 9:35:39
    For me to address you properly. Can I have your first name, please?
    You: at 9:35:50
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Kim: at 9:35:54
    Thanks!
    Kim: at 9:36:44
    Did you place the order online?
    You: at 9:36:54
    Yes,
    Kim: at 9:38:43
    When you placed the order, did you added the discount?
    You: at 9:39:07
    No. If you missed it up front I said I discovered the discount AFTER I ordered.
    Kim: at 9:39:32
    Let me double check here on my end.
    Kim: at 9:39:38
    Are you part of the Military>
    Kim: at 9:39:39
    ?
    You: at 9:40:20
    No Veteran means you have already left the military.
    Kim: at 9:40:29
    Sorry, I'll double check it here on my end.
    Kim: at 9:40:38
    understood. Sorry.
    Kim: at 9:41:50
    Upon checking here, the Veterans discount can't be applied on the Lumia 950 XL.
    You: at 9:43:27
    Then why does it show the veteran price of $616 on the order page rather than the normal $650 when I go there now?
    You: at 9:45:24
    No answer? Bye
    Kim: at 9:45:29
    Still have any inquiries? please don't hesitate to chat us back again

    So far I have NEVER had any question answered via their chat (or phone support) but I never ask a a question that is answered on their web site. I am beginning to suspect that either:

    1. They track my IP and are playing a complex practical joke on me
    2. They really can't answer any question that isn't already answered on the pages you click on chat from and only exist for the lazy or reading comprehension challenged.

    I just noticed that after taking the time to get a first name for me for the express purpose of addressing me by it, that she never did so.
    11-21-2015 11:20 AM
  4. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    Update. I decided to try again calling instead of chatting. I normally don't like doing that because nobody would believe it ever happened if I didn't have written proof. LoL

    Anyway, I asked the phone rep what I needed to do to get my veteran discount on a 950XL I already ordered. She put me on hold for 12m17s and then told me she tried to call a store but they wouldn't answer.

    I said I didn't understand why she would call a store and she said because she has very little information she could access directly.

    I also explained how my local store had told me that phones bought from someone other than MS could get Microsoft Complete but they had to be approved sellers and wanted to know how a buyer could find out if a seller was approved because buying a phone, having it shipped to you, taking it to a MS store (for inspection) and finding out the seller wasn't approved was not a good thing.

    This is where I became impressed with the person. This is someone who will rise quickly in a mind numbing bureaucracy. She reminded me that she didn't have access to the information and suggested I call several random Microsoft stores and kind of average what they tell me.

    Your first reaction may be that Microsoft support sucks but the fact is she (a) gave the best answer available to her and (b) gave an answer that did have some value. So MS gets a D- but she gets an A-/B+ in my book.

    Almost forgot: when I started calling stores I found out that the menu option to get answers to these types of questions, just transferred directly to the same support number I had used to get the advice to call stores.
    11-21-2015 04:39 PM
  5. bucfan11's Avatar
    I got one!!!

    Phillip G: Thanks for contacting Microsoft Store chat, my name is Phillip G! How can I help you today?
    You: Phillip, I chatted with a few minutes ago with a guy who told me that MS products do not come with a warranty. is this true? I find that almost unbelievable.
    You: He said 30 return was all that was offered
    Phillip G: I would be happy to assist you with your warranty questions today!
    You: I want to buy my wife a 640 XL
    Phillip G: Our products such as Surface, Xbox or PCs come with a 1 year factory warranty
    Phillip G: That covers defects in hardware
    You: Lumias?
    Phillip G: However you can always add our Microsoft Complete accident protection to those products as well to cover drops and spills
    You: He said it there was no warranty on the 640XL and it was not eligible for the protection plan
    Phillip G: With our phones their are not.
    Phillip G: As you will want to get a protection plan with your mobile carrier
    You: I want a unlocked phone from MS. I don't want to be tied to a carrier.
    You: Anyway, you agree that Lumias come with no warranty?
    Phillip G: You will need a carrier to use the phone as Microsoft does not have networks for mobile phone use. And yes I agree
    You: So why is this on the Microsoft Store support page:
    You: Tweet .. Manufacturer’s Limited Warranty .. . . PLEASE NOTE! This Limited Warranty is applicable to products sold under brands “Nokia”, “Lumia” and “Asha” and to related accessory products
    You: 2. Warranty. (i) Twelve (12) months for the main device; (ii) Twelve (12) months for accessories sold separately or included in the sales pack of the main device excluding batteries, covers, cables and chargers; and (iii) Six (6) months for all batteries, covers, cables and chargers, unless otherwise specified in the Product user guide.
    Phillip G: A warranty sign up comes with the phone however you have to fill that out and send it in.
    Phillip G: It's not covered once shipping starts like our other products.
    You: Unbelievable you guys are not trained any better. That is two of you that had no clue and are costing your company sales.
    Phillip G: Sorry you feel that way today.
    Phillip G: Is there anything else I can assist you with before you go today?
    You: NO way should I have to dig through the website for a simple question that all of you should know the answer to.
    Laura Knotek and HoosierDaddy like this.
    11-21-2015 07:31 PM
  6. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    I am convinced MS stock prices would double if they just shut down chat and phone support.

    Has ANYONE got a question answer correctly in a chat? By that I mean an answer that wasn't already on the page you clicked chat on. Prove it by posting the chat.

    The first time I used their chat I thought it was weird there wasn't any obvious option to save/print/email a transcript. One of the main reasons people chat is so they don't have to take notes about what they were told verbally. But it soon became crystal clear they didn't want there to be any record of the ineptitude. So customers have to select/copy/paste to save a record..
    11-21-2015 08:55 PM
  7. Kevin Rush's Avatar
    I don't remember ever receiving useful information from any companies web site chat. I'm not sure what the purpose of the chatting feature is? Does it make the companies look good, that they have the feature? I would prefer an email address that was seriously staffed and responded within 24 hours with knowledgeable answers and solutions. Chat isn't serious and is a waste of time.
    11-21-2015 09:50 PM
  8. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    I don't remember ever receiving useful information from any companies web site chat. I'm not sure what the purpose of the chatting feature is? Does it make the companies look good, that they have the feature? I would prefer an email address that was seriously staffed and responded within 24 hours with knowledgeable answers and solutions. Chat is a waste of time.
    I've have always had awesome chat support from B&H over dozens of chats; I think they know more about the products they sell than the designers. Even T-Mobile is good the majority of the time. DISH also almost always good. Signature Hardware was good the 3 times I used chat. 2 or 3 plumbing suppliers I used for a remodel were also good. And Moen (for our ioDigital computerized shower) was incredible. PreSonus was very good. I know that's a fraction of a fraction of a percent of all businesses with chat support.

    So I may have been luckier than most.
    Last edited by HoosierDaddy; 11-21-2015 at 10:13 PM.
    11-21-2015 09:57 PM
  9. Tsang Fai's Avatar
    I would say, if you are querying some basic things (yes very basic, like expected shipment date, cancelling an order), the online chat is very satisfactory 90% of the time.

    If you want to handle more complicated matters (e.g. "why there were 3 successful authorization from my credit cards but shipment still doesn't happen???", 98% of the time they could not handle / give you wrong information / do not even understand your problem.

    I have been using their online chat support over the past few months. Here are some really bad experiences:
    (I do not include the chat history here. All are my true stories)

    • The "representative" stays idle for over 15 minutes.
    • He/she keeps on asking "What is the product you ordered" even when I have already told him/her the order number and he/she has verified my identity.
    • He/she suddenly ends the conversation before I have any chance of sending the chat history to my e-mail (usually this happens when I say I am not satisfied with his/her response)
    • He/she acts like a robot, e.g. after I have said "Please send me the verification code via my e-mail, xxx@yyy.com" and then he/she copy-and-paste the standard response "We appreciate your right to privacy and this process is to ensure that your Information stays protected. I won't be able to see any account information until I verify you. I will need to send you a code to verify your Microsoft Account. Then, you will need to relay the code back to me. I can send you the code with three options: WEB, EMAIL or PHONE. If by phone, you may be charged for the text message, depending on your service plan. Which option is most convenient for you?"
    • He/she keeps on asking "Where did you buy this product from" even after "looking-up" my order


    I suspect many of these "representatives" are part-time, short-term. Maybe I was chatting with someone taking shower at his/her home and he/she was chatting with at least 5 customers at the same time.
    Last edited by Tsang Fai; 11-21-2015 at 10:29 PM.
    HoosierDaddy likes this.
    11-21-2015 10:14 PM
  10. bo_woods's Avatar
    Microsoft Surface tech agents in my experience tend to sometimes be very knowledgeable.

    Are you speaking with sales support (the chat windows that pop up while browsing the store)? Or an actual tech agent under Microsoft support (method that involves you having a Microsoft account and selecting a device)?

    I was having issues with the audio jack on my SP3 once and the tech agent I spoke with had me in my registry typing in codes and stuff and later on downloading some Surface Pro package that does something with your firmware to fix hardware or something like that, but the point is some of these guys actually know products inside and out. His resolution temporarily solved the problem and other stuff had to happen between me and MS support but that's another long story that hasn't ended yet and is besides the point.

    On the other hand, you sometimes come across agents that don't know that much and have very poor English skills... But I haven't encountered that too much with sales support as I have with Tech support.

    Tech support is about 50/50 when it comes to having someone knowledgeable vs someone with poor English and no true help to offer while in sales support the representatives seem to always speak good English (are easy to understand/understand me) but don't know much beyond what can be found in writing throughout the store
    11-21-2015 10:30 PM
  11. Musicman247's Avatar
    Yeah, most likely they are a mass call center with scripts/FAQ cards that they read from. I text and video chatted with two reps about an hour before the 950 xl went up for pre-order, and neither of them had any information on when pre-orders would start. About an hour before they started. Think about that.
    11-21-2015 10:38 PM

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