Top critical review
MS Partner completely frustrated.
January 4, 2016
A customer asked us to install Office 2013 on a new laptop. They had hired a new employee and originally wanted to downgrade Office 2016 to match their other workstations. In the past we had been allowed to downgrade the product, but we called Microsoft to discover that option is not offered with this version. The only way to downgrade would be to buy the open license product that requires a minimum purchase of 5 licenses.
They decided to proceed with the Office 2016 install so we took the laptop back to our office and proceeded with the long process of creating new a MS Account, downloading the large installation file, and installing Office 2016. The product self-activated in the process and everything seemed to be working fine. We took the laptop back to the customer site and proceeded to setup the end users e-mail account. After we configured the new user account it prompted us to reactivate the Office software. We tried to login under the Microsoft account, but it prompted us with a security alert that our account has been suspended for excessive junk mail. They wanted a cell phone number in order to re-activate the account, but the business customer being rural did not have one. (They are not close to a tower).
I called Microsoft and was shuffled around from person to person. Their Office Activation department showed the license key was in good status and unregistered. We tried creating another account and registering to that, but received an error that the license had already been activated. I asked if we could we just delete the new Microsoft account and create a new one. They told me they could not handle that request and sent me to their Tech Support department. Their Tech Department showed the license was registered to the suspended account, but they were unable to assist with suspended accounts. They sent me to their accounts and billing department. We were able to reset the account password just fine, but even with the new password it still required a cell phone number. Microsoft then asked if I could enter my cell phone number. I did not want to be response able for someone Else's security. What would happen to the account if my cell phone number changed? What would happen if the customer was into kiddy porn? I understandably did not want my cell phone associated with someone Else's account and declined. I asked if we could just use their cell phone number (MS Support's Cell) which of course they would have no part of. After several rounds the account and billing department finally decided that I would need to submit an on-line ticket to resolve this. They had me go to a website to open a support ticket which required you to login. The only problem is that you can't login when your account is suspended. They had me create a dummy/alternative account. I created the account and submitted a support ticket. The support form asked for the account we were having problems with. Instead of responding back to the alternative e-mail address used to create the ticket, they responded back to the account that was suspended. It said "There has been new activity on ticket XYZ... Please login to review the status update" Again... when your account is suspended how do you login to see your response. I asked for a refund, but they said since it was purchased from an on-line retailer I would have to go back to the retailer. I called the retailer and they said since the product had been activated they could not offer me a refund.
Finally after several rounds Microsoft said that they would look into things and get back to me. This is basically code for "My flow chart" has ended and this is my polite way of getting you off of the phone. I was told by 5 Microsoft support staff that they would look into things and return my call, but not a single one did. When they did not call me back I of course would just start the process over. Every day for several weeks. I understand passwords are constantly being hacked and becoming less useful all the time. I am sure Microsoft would eventually like to have a single account handle "pay as you go" and other high security features and tying accounts to cell phones would be desirable. The only problem is when when 1/3 of Americans don't have smart phones (national statistics) this creates a problem for 1/3 of the people. When Microsoft forces you to link a strangers cell phone to your account for security are you really more secure? Also, they should have listed a cell phone as one of the system requirements for Office 2016. They do state it requires a MS account, but clearly we were able to create the account without a cell phone number. We should have never been allowed to activate the product in the first place if a cell phone is required for activation. They should have verified this when the account was created, not after the account was created, we download the software, installed, activated, and migrated all the data over to the new laptop. After everything is all setup... then require a cell phone number that the customer did not have in order to use a simple word processor.
I downloaded the free LibreOffice product and it has been working just fine for them. They would have rather had the paid version of Microsoft Office, but Microsoft refused to even consider using an another option to unlock the account. Microsoft would not refund their money so they are just out the cost, even though Microsoft shows that the product was never used.