Six years ago, after many years of being a loyal Microsoft customer and a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), I finally had enough and made the switch to Mac. I’ll never forget the moment it all happened either – on the Acela to NY for a big meeting, and my Windows machine crashed (again), and sitting in front of me was a business man using a Mac and he looked blissful. I’ve never looked back. Ever. I’ve truly been a happier person since making the switch. Today, I was reminded why I dislike Microsoft so much.
This weekend I purchased a new iMac 5K. I needed Microsoft Office. That’s where my frustration begins. Finding the latest version of Microsoft Office for Mac – that doesn’t require an Office 365 subscription – is, in and of itself, very frustrating. I accidentally purchased a standalone version of Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows. That cost me $424. Eventually I found the right version of Office for Mac, purchased and installed it but I couldn’t download and install it – not yet. Evidently Microsoft needed a few hours to allow me that. During the checkout process, instead of getting a download link and license key, I got this:
“We have received your order and it may take as long as 4-6 hours for us to process it and charge your credit card.”
What? I have to wait 4-6 hours to receive my download link? OK that’s the first thing. Eventually it came through. But given that I purchased the wrong version of Office in the first place, I needed a refund. So I contacted MS support via live chat. Well, they’re systems were down for maintenance so I was told to try back in a few hours. The fun is just beginning.
Fast forward a few hours: I call Microsoft support. After waiting on hold for several minutes, listening to awful smooth jazz and ads for the new Microsoft Windows 10, which apparently “CNN says, ‘Is something to be excited for!'” (What better endorsement for an operating system than CNN, right?) So I got to someone – but… I was disconnected. Not once. Not twice. Three times.
My blood pressure is rising.
Finally I reach someone, he’s pleasant enough. He senses my frustration. He asks for my phone number in case we get disconnected. I’m grateful. He asks me for my order number, my email address, and just when I thought the refund was going to happen – I quite suddenly get transferred to another department. Now I have to start all over again. This time, after clearly expressing my frustration, the woman tells me “not to worry” and that she “will not transfer me.” After providing her with the same information as provided to the other rep, and sitting on hold for a good five minutes, it turns out that the only people who can help me are in the commercial department, but they’re closed right now so I should call back tomorrow. (And what the heck is the “commercial department”?)
My blood pressure has risen.
So that’s where I am now. No where. OK well that’s not totally fair, I do have Microsoft Office for Mac installed on my beautiful, perfect, bullshit-free iMac 5K. Sure I made a mistake and ordered the wrong product, but that has a little something to do with the shitty user experience in their website and the sheer glee I felt when I thought I found the right product. Ultimately the only reason I found the right version of Office for Mac was by Googling and finding someone else’s link to the product. I simply could not find it on my own. And I’m not exactly new to this whole Internets thing.
I know – this blog is a rant. I freely admit that and with no shame. But what the fuck! I have a voice and I want to use it in a time like this. This was a fantastic reminder of how maddening Microsoft is, why I divorced them in the first place, and no matter how much time goes by, the wounds are not only deep and raw, but they still wound me. This was also a wonderful reminder of how pain-free and delightful Apple is. I’ve never had a single experience with a Mac or with Apple that comes anywhere near the pain and frustration Microsoft and Windows cause(s/d) me.
Oh, and the best part? I’m not done yet. I still have yet to receive my refund. To be continued.
Hey, it’s my blog and I’ll bitch all I want. You don’t have to read it.