I find it absolutely incomprehensible how hard it is to purchase a Microsoft Product and actually gain access to it.
Over the years, things have always been hard, but appear to have got a lot worse.
My Experience with MSDN Subscription.
In December I receive notice that our existing MSDN subscription is due to expire, so I set about renewing it. Now with any other company, you would just enter a credit card number into a website some place and you would be done. But Not Microsoft.
Microsoft force you to purchase through a reseller (and I get that) so we set about that path.
Our previous reseller was Ingram Micro, who totally destroyed their own business by interdicting SAP some time ago, and have got nothing right since then! So we followed the Legendry Microsoft License Expert “Shane Piercy” to Dicker Data and purchased our license there. (Thanks Shane, that was the easy part).
After some weeks, Microsoft approve our license and send an email with some details.
We then login to Live.com and revalidate an email address that we have used, validated and sign in daily with for the past 10 years. This take 3 days.
We then go to the Volume License website and find the new license needs to be added. We do this, and are advised that we again need to validate our email address. This takes 48 hours (actual time was 4 days). – Remember it is computers doing all this tricky validating of email addresses by sending us an email with a link to click.
We then check back for days in the Volume License website and are advised in the FAQ that validating the license and email can take several days. Go figure!
Finally after 5 days the license appears, and we find that we need to then assign it to a user. We start doing this and fail several times before ringing their Asian America support line and chat to a helpful person who suggest a lot of things before mentioning the catch phrase “What version of IE are you using?” – I almost blurt out… “Why would I use such a F#&!ed browser!” before explaining that I was using Chrome. Heaven forbid I was on a Mac and did not have access to IE at all.
We finally worked out that IE is required for “This Website” even though there is no detection on the website warning you of this.
So I fired up IE, and set about assigning a user to this license before I get this error.
Lucky I am on the phone to the Philippines at the time and ask.. “What Next?”
MS support take all my details again, and advise they will assign the license. This will take only 1 hour to complete. (Believe that when I see it).
I ask for an email address for my support dude. No, he does not have an email address, only a team address that I can use his name in and someone may forward it to him. Remember here I am communicating via a POT (Plain Old Telephone) to the number 2 (I like saying that) IT company in the world. Why can’t I email the dude, or skype, or MSN, or live chat, or SMS, or whatever.. No the only way to get him is call a POT and wait in queue like I did in the last century.
So now I wait. 30 days down, and still no access to something I have paid for. Can you frigging believe it!
The story is not over yet, but I just know I will not have access in 1 hour from now. That would be way to easy.
Microsoft – if you want to know why you are failing. It is because everything you do is 10 x harder than it needs to be. Compare this experience to Apple App store on the Mac!
You have a lot of catching up to do MS!