Goodbye Hotmail!

Page Last Revised: Friday, April 28, 2006 01:28 PM

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The following saga, documented in actual correspondence exchanged with Micro$oft "support" personnel, should serve both as warning and amusement to those who have recently had their access to their Hotmail accounts via Outlook Express terminated or severely restricted without prior warning or explanation from Micro$oft. It should also serve as fair warning to anyone who is considering using this flawed and (now) virtually useless service.


From: Hotmail Staff
To: xxxxxx@hotmail.com
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2005 18:19
Subject: Please visit hotmail.com

Dear Carl

To help protect our users from automatically generated junk e-mail (or spam), MSN Hotmail periodically asks for identity verification.

Please go to http://www.hotmail.msn.com and follow the instructions. It takes only a few minutes and you can then return to using your Hotmail account.

Thank you for helping us to help reduce your junk e-mail.
Sincerely,
MSN Hotmail Staff

Please do not reply to this e-mail as this is an unmonitored alias.


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: SUPPORT@microsoft.com
Sent: Friday, February 11, 2005 09:04
Subject: Another Microsoft-generated problem

Dear Sirs,

For the past week, every time I send a message from my hotmail account via Outlook Express,

1) the message is not sent, but rather rejected with the following inaccurate and inapplicable message:

"Access to the account was denied. Verify that your username and password are correct. Account: '####', Server: 'http://services.msn.com/svcs/hotmail/httpmail.asp', Protocol: HTTPMail, Server Response: 'Forbidden', Port: 0, Secure(SSL): No, Error Number: 0x800CCC33".

2) all the local hotmail folders for the account are then deleted

3) the idiotic email attached below is received from "hotmail staff". Please note that even the link provided is invalid!

4) a lengthy visit to the hotmail website (during which I am not only required to logon yet again, but to attempt to reproduce a virtually illegible set of letters and numbers "for security purposes") re-enables the account until I once again attempt to send a message. Then the entire sequence is repeated.

5) Furthermore, as soon as I log onto my hotmail account via the website, the MSN messenger program loads --- without permission from myself. If I wanted to use messenger, I would have started it myself.

6) This idiocy renders my hotmail account undesireable and unusable.

7) Previous attempts to contact hotmail customer or technical "support" have been time-wasting and futile. Again, the links you provide for "support" do not work!

8) Please explain and rectify this problem immediately. Otherwise I shall be forced to close my hotmail account and avail myself of the services of another vendor. Microsoft customers do not enjoy having such idiotic changes foisted upon us without notice or remedy.


From: PSS Support
To:
MSN Technical Support
Cc: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 01:29
Subject: RE:'RTCProd=007-511-813'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Hello Hotmail Support,

This customer's issue was received at Microsoft and would be better addressed by your Technical Support team. We are forwarding you this e-mail message for your attention and follow-up. Please respond directly to the customer.

Hello Carl,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Online Customer Service.

My name is Vipin and I appreciate the opportunity of responding to your issue today.

As your issue pertains to Hotmail, I am forwarding your request to the Hotmail Technical Support team. They will contact you as soon as possible, to resolve this issue.

Thank you for using Microsoft products and services.

Vipin

Microsoft Online Customer Service Representative

If you have any comments or feedback about the service, I provided you, please send an e-mail message to my Manager Sujith Sadasivan at managers@microsoft.com


From: PSS Support
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 09:02
Subject: RE:'RTCProd=007-513-810'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Hello Carl,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Online Customer Service.

I apologize for any delay in our response to your issue. Due to an increase in requests, our response time may be longer than usual. We appreciate your patience.

I understand from your e-mail that you are experiencing difficulties with the performance of your computer. I realize your concern.

Carl, as a Customer Service Representative, I can assist you with the support options available with your Microsoft product. As this issue is technical, you may choose to work with a Microsoft Support Professional. That is where I can help you determine the support options available for your copy of Windows.  However, to process your request further, please provide the following information:

- Phone Number:
- Version of Outlook Express:
- Version of Windows (Windows XP Home or Windows 2000 Professional):
- Product Identification Number (PID) of your Windows (To locate the PID, please use these steps):

1. Right-click the My Computer icon and then click Properties.
2. Click Start, Click My Computer, and then select View System Information. The PID will appear under "Registered To" in the General tab of System Properties.

Once I have your PID, I will be able to provide the support options available for your product.

If your software was pre-installed on your computer or the PID says OEM in it, then the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is your best resource for support (including replacement disks and manuals). For a list of OEM phone numbers, please go to: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;en-us;oemphone

We appreciate your patience and look forward to your reply with the above information.

Thank you for using Microsoft products and services.

Nikhil

Microsoft Online Customer Service Representative

If you have any feedback about your Online Customer Service experience please email my manager Prabhu Narayanan at managers@microsoft.com


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: PSS Support
Cc: managers@microsoft.com
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 09:26
Subject: Re: RE:'RTCProd=007-513-810'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Dear "Nikhil",

I am a customer, a rather irate customer at the moment, and probably many years your senior. Please have the courtesy to address me properly as "Mr. Goldin".

Please do not waste my time with insulting nonsense. I am NOT "experiencing difficulties with the performance of [my] computer", as you have summarized my complaint. I have accurately described the problem to you in detail.  Please have the decency to read that which I have sent you, or find someone with better command of the English language to read it to you.

Rather than apologize for the delay in response time "due to an increase in requests", why not 1) test your software before you release it, so there won't be an "increase in requests" every time Microsoft changes something without considering its impact, and 2) read and respond to the issues posed, rather than waste both our times with inapplicable form letter responses.

What I have reported to you is OBVIOUSLY a HOTMAIL problem. It has nothing to do with my computer, telephone number, version of Outlook Express, Windoze, or PID.

Everything worked until recently. In fact, I can still access and send mail with OTHER hotmail accounts using OE from the same computer. Nothing has changed locally! Thus MICROSOFT HAS obviously disabled something with the account xxxxxx@hotmail.com, without any prior warning. An Internet search reveals that many others have recently reported the identical problem. It is obviously something Microsoft has done, whether deliberately or accidentally.

I have described the problem to you in detail. Now, please UNDO the damage you have done to this hotmail account!

Thank you.


From: MSN_Hotmail_Support@css.one.microsoft.com
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 02:40
Subject: CST186513324ID - RE:RE:'RTCProd=007-511-813'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Hello Customer,

Thank you for contacting MSN Hotmail Technical Support. I am Manan and I will be assisting you today.

I gather that that you are unable to access your hotmail account through outlook. Also you are often prompted to validate your account.

The Human Interactive Proof validation process was implemented to our outgoing e-mail process to help verify valid users and help stop both incoming and outgoing spam.  This security measure helps make it very difficult for spammers to employ automated programs that use the Hotmail system to send unsolicited e-mail.

We appreciate the feedback you provided and we’re continually evaluating the process to ensure we limit the number of valued customers receiving multiple challenges.  However in the meantime it is possible that you may receive challenges on an ongoing basis and we ask for your co-operation by filling out the text when prompted, as you will be helping us in our ongoing fight against spam.

I want you to know that we’re continually collecting customer feedback and are already taking measures to help improve this process in upcoming releases.

Facts and Tips about the Human Interactive Proof validation process:

1. If the link within the MSN Hotmail message does not take you to the login screen please visit http://www.hotmail.com and login to your account so you can complete the verification process.
2. Once you complete the verification process your e-mail messages will be downloaded again to your e-mail clients inbox or immediately available online from your Hotmail inbox.
3. It is possible to receive multiple challenges a day or every few days.  This will be dependent on the amount and types of messages you’re sending however over time this should improve.
4. You will need to correctly enter the text on the screen before you can access your account.  If you have problems seeing the picture and your computer has speakers please click the “I can’t see this picture” link.  This will bring up an audio file that will play the numbers and letters you are supposed to enter to ensure what you’re entering is correct.

Again we want to thank you for your co-operation and over time we’re confident you will see the benefits this process adds to your overall Hotmail experience. We request you to extend your co-operation to full extent.

Sincerely,

Manan D. Nayak
MSN Hotmail Technical Support


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: MSN_Hotmail_Support@css.one.microsoft.com
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 04:50
Subject: Re: CST186513324ID - RE:RE:'RTCProd=007-511-813'Another Microsoft-generated problem

YOUR 'HUMAN INTERACTIVE PROOF VALIDATION PROCESS' IS NOTHING BUT A FRUSTRATING, TIME-WASTING ANNOYANCE. IT SOLVES NO PROBLEMS, AND IT MAKES THE USE OF A HOTMAIL ACCOUNT UNDESIREABLE. I DON'T HAVE TIME TO JUMP THROUGH MICROSOFT'S HOOPS. IF THIS OCCURS AGAIN, YOU WILL LOSE MY BUSINESS. YOUR COMPETITION WILL GET MY EMAIL ACCOUNTS, AND I WILL SWITCH TO ANOTHER OPERATING SYSTEM BESIDES WINDOWS. GOODBYE MICRO$OFT.


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: MSN_Hotmail_Support@css.one.microsoft.com
Cc: managers@microsoft.com
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 05:14
Subject: CST186513324ID - RE:RE:'RTCProd=007-511-813'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Is there no end to Microsoft's arrogant and insulting behavior?

>"Hello Customer,"

THIS IS NOT THE APPROPRIATE METHOD OF ADDRESSING A CUSTOMER! NEITHER IS THE USE OF A CUSTOMER'S FIRST NAME. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE MICROSOFT TO STOP BEING PATRONIZING, MOCKING  AND INSULTING?

>"Thank you for contacting MSN Hotmail Technical Support. I am Manan and I will be assisting you today."

"MANAN?" ARE THERE NO LONGER ANY AMERICANS WORKING FOR MICROSOFT? NO WONDER THE PRODUCT IS SO FLAWED AND POORLY DOCUMENTED. "I WILL BE ASSISTING YOU TODAY"? AM I A PATRON IN A RESTAURANT, AND YOU ARE MY WAITER? I AM ISSUING A COMPLAINT ABOUT ANOTHER MICROSOFT-GENERATED PROBLEM: DENIAL OF ACCESS TO MY HOTMAIL ACCOUNT!

>"I gather that that you are unable to access your hotmail account through outlook. Also you are often prompted to validate your account."

YOU "GATHER" (ALMOST) CORRECTLY, AND DEMONSTRATE A BASIC READING KNOWLEDGE OF ENGLISH. SO, AFTER OVER A WEEK, TWENTY CORRESPONDENCES SENT TO MICROSOFT, THREE TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE FORM LETTERS WRITTEN BY THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ MY CORRESPONDENCE, YOU RESPOND TO A FRACTION OF MY COMPLAINT --- AND TRIVIALIZE IT.

>The Human Interactive Proof validation process was implemented to our outgoing e-mail process to help verify valid users and help stop both incoming and outgoing spam.  This security measure helps make it very difficult for spammers to employ automated programs that use the Hotmail system to send unsolicited e-mail.

YOUR 'HUMAN INTERACTIVE PROOF VALIDATION PROCESS' IS NOTHING BUT A FRUSTRATING, TIME-WASTING ANNOYANCE. IT SOLVES NO PROBLEMS, AND IT MAKES THE USE OF A HOTMAIL ACCOUNT UNDESIREABLE.

99.9 % OF THE SPAM I RECEIVE IS GENERATED BY COMPANIES WHO HAVE GAINED ACCESS TO MY EMAIL ADDRESS FROM MICROSOFT. BLOCKING -MY- OUTGOING MAIL, AND DISABLING -MY- ACCOUNT ACCESS EVERY TIME I SEND -ANY- EMAIL FROM MY OUTLOOK-EXPRESS ACCOUNT IS HARDLY DOING ANYTHING TO STOP THE MICROSOFT-GENERATED SPAM PROBLEM.

AND WHY DO YOU PICK ON ONLY A FEW HOTMAIL ACCOUNTS TO GENERATE THIS DEBILITATING NUISANCE? IF THE STUPID POLICY WAS EFFECTACIOUS, WHY ISN'T IT EMPLOYED ACCROSS THE BOARD?

I DON'T HAVE TIME TO JUMP THROUGH MICROSOFT'S HOOPS. IF THIS OCCURS AGAIN, YOU WILL LOSE MY BUSINESS. YOUR COMPETITION WILL GET MY EMAIL ACCOUNTS, AND I WILL SWITCH TO ANOTHER OPERATING SYSTEM BESIDES WINDOWS. GOODBYE MICRO$OFT.

>"We appreciate the feedback you provided and we’re continually evaluating the process to ensure we limit the number of valued customers receiving multiple challenges."

OBVIOUSLY, MICRO$OFT DOES NOT "APPRECIATE" CUSTOMER FEEDBACK, OR THEY WOULDN'T MAKE IT SO DIFFICULT FOR US TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEM. YOUR HOTMAIL 'CONTACT US' FORMS WASTE OUR TIME, AND DON'T LET US SEND MESSAGES EITHER.

WHY SHOULD ANY OF YOUR CUSTOMERS 'RECEIVE MULTIPLE CHALLENGES'? WHAT GIVES MICRO$OFT THE RIGHT TO CHALLENGE ANY OF THEIR CUSTOMERS. IT'S TIME TO CONTACT THE GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES AGAIN. GREEDY MICROSOFT HAS OVERSTEPPED ITS BOUNDS AGAIN.

>" However in the meantime it is possible that you may receive challenges on an ongoing basis and we ask for your co-operation by filling out the text when prompted, as you will be helping us in our ongoing fight against spam."

THE NEXT 'CHALLENGE' I RECEIVE WILL BE THE LAST. YOU HAVE NO LEGAL OR MORAL RIGHT TO AMEND AND RESTRICT MY USAGE OF MY PRODUCT.

>"I want you to know that we’re continually collecting customer feedback and are already taking measures to help improve this process in upcoming releases.

HOW ARE YOU "CONTINUALLY COLLECTING CUSTOMER FEEDBACK" WHEN YOU MAKE IT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR A CUSTOMER TO COMMUNICATE THEIR DISSATISFACTION. PERUSE THE FORUMS AND SEE HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED BY THIS LATEST PERFIDY, AND HOW MANY ARE HAPPY WITH IT.

YOU HAD BETTER BE TAKING MEASURES TO REMOVE 'THIS PROCESS' WELL BEFORE THE UPCOMING RELEASE, OR YOU WON'T HAVE A CUSTOMER BASE REMAINING.

YOUR 'HUMAN INTERACTIVE PROOF VALIDATION PROCESS' IS NOTHING BUT A FRUSTRATING, TIME-WASTING ANNOYANCE. IT SOLVES NO PROBLEMS, AND IT MAKES THE USE OF A HOTMAIL ACCOUNT UNDESIREABLE. I DON'T HAVE TIME TO JUMP THROUGH MICROSOFT'S HOOPS. IF THIS OCCURS AGAIN, YOU WILL LOSE MY BUSINESS. YOUR COMPETITION WILL GET MY EMAIL ACCOUNTS, AND I WILL SWITCH TO ANOTHER OPERATING SYSTEM BESIDES WINDOWS. GOODBYE MICRO$OFT.


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: MSN_Hotmail_Support@css.one.microsoft.com
Cc: managers@microsoft.com
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 05:17
Subject: Re: Please visit hotmail.com

Please reactivate my account immediately, or lose my business permanently.


From: PSS Support
To:
MSN Technical Support
Cc: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 22:28
Subject: RE:'RTCProd=007-511-813'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Hello MSN Technical Support,

The customer's issue can be best assisted by MSN Technical Support. We are forwarding you this e-mail message for your attention and follow-up.

Please respond directly to the customer.

___________________________________________________

Hello Carl,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Customer Service.

Your issues can best be resolved by the MSN Technical Support. For your convenience, we have forwarded your message to them and should receive a response within one business day.

I appreciate your patience in this matter and hope to resolve your issue quickly. If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Thank you for using Microsoft Products and Services,

Poonam 
Microsoft Online Customer Service Representative.

If you have any comments or feedback about the service I provided you, please send an e-mail message to my manager, Bharatesh Jain, at
managers@microsoft.com  


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: PSS Support
Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2005 19:24
Subject: Re: RE:'RTCProd=007-511-813'Another Microsoft-generated problem

What a circus! 1) Microsoft insists on sabatoging my hotmail account (making it unusable) under the guise of "preventing spam". [I am neither a spammer, nor do I send more than a few messages per month!] 2) Microsoft wastes weeks of my valuable time with insulting and non-applicable form letters and other nonsense!


From:   Carl D. Goldin
Date:   Sunday, February 20, 2005  02:16 PM
To:   managers@microsoft.com
Subject:  Another Microsoft-generated problem

Dear Sirs,

For the past two weeks, every time I send a message from my hotmail account via Outlook Express,

1) the message is not sent, but rather rejected with the following inaccurate and inapplicable message:

"Access to the account was denied. Verify that your username and password are correct. Account: '####', Server: 'http://services.msn.com/svcs/hotmail/httpmail.asp', Protocol: HTTPMail, Server Response: 'Forbidden', Port: 0, Secure(SSL): No, Error Number: 0x800CCC33".

2) all the local hotmail folders for the account are then deleted

3) the idiotic email attached below is received from "hotmail staff". Please note that even the link provided is invalid!

4) a lengthy visit to the hotmail website (during which I am not only required to logon yet again, but to attempt to reproduce a virtually illegible set of letters and numbers "for security purposes"), re-enables the account until I once again attempt to send a message. Then the entire sequence is repeated.

5) Furthermore, as soon as I log onto my hotmail account via the website, the MSN messenger program loads --- without permission from myself. If I wanted to use messenger, I would have started it myself.

6) This idiocy renders my hotmail account undesireable and unusable.

7) Previous attempts to contact hotmail customer or technical "support" have been time-wasting and futile. Again, the links you provide for "support" do not work!

8) Please explain and rectify this problem immediately. Otherwise I shall be forced to close my hotmail account and avail myself of the services of another vendor. Microsoft customers do not enjoy having such idiotic changes foisted upon us without notice or remedy.


From: "Microsoft Customer Support" <msft-pss@netreflector.com>
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2005 10:24
Subject: Microsoft Customer Satisfaction Survey

***Please do not reply back to this message***

How did we do? What did we do well? Is there anything we need to improve on?

The Hotmail Customer Support Team would like to hear how satisfied you were with your most recent support experience. We’d appreciate you taking a few minutes to click on our Customer Service Survey link below and let us know what we did well and where we can improve. Your feedback will help us provide outstanding customer service and improve your Hotmail experience!

Customer Service Survey:  Click here to give us your feedback.
http://is4.cc/take?i=92154&r=12739808&h=ZpKZ3urMAej3kx_qY11smA

NOTE:  If you have received this survey invitation, MSN customer support has responded to your request. In the event you have not received a response please re-check all your email inboxes as well as your junk mail filter settings. These settings may have prevented you from seeing our response.

This survey was sent on behalf of the Microsoft Corporation by NetReflector.com in response to a Hotmail customer support incident. Should you have any questions or concerns about the nature, content or distribution of this survey please send them directly to Microsoft Customer Care at MSNST@microsoft.com.

To unsubscribe from future surveys click here: http://is4.cc/block?r=12739808&h=_hzh9b5-D0XGV4uR2N9IwA


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: "Microsoft Customer Support" <msft-pss@netreflector.com>
Cc: <MSNST@microsoft.com>; <managers@microsoft.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2005 11:27
Subject: Re: Microsoft Customer Satisfaction Survey

What a chutzpah! After disabling my hotmail account and wasting nine days and 22 correspondences, you have the nerve to ask me "How did we do? What did we do well? Is there anything we need to improve on?", and then requiring me to waste more time going to a slow-as-#### website to express my opinion (or to "unsubscribe" from that to which I never subscribed)!

In answer to your question/s:

1) You did very poorly, so poorly that it cannot be expressed without use of an obscene expletive.

2) You did nothing well, except waste your customers time, irritate the customer beyond description, and fail to solve the problem you created. If this is your goal, congratulations.

3) You need to improve on EVERYTHING, starting with learning how to properly address a customer.

For details, refer to my previous 22 correspondences on this latest issue, and the idiotic, insulting responses I have received from Microsoft.


From: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 05:00
Subject: RE:'RTCProd=007-574-672'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Hello Carl,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Online Customer Service.

My name is Alok and I will be assisting you today and I appreciate the information you have provided.

I comprehend from your message that you are having issues in sending mails through Outlook Express. I realize your concern regarding this issue.

As a Customer Service Representative, I can assist you with the support options available with your Microsoft product. However, I have taken the time to look through our self help website and found an article that may assist you. Please follow this article below to setup the Hot Mail in Outlook Express and also make sure that you have Outlook Express as you default mail client in the Internet Explorer properties (Start/Settings/Control Panel/Internet Options/Connection Tab):

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q220/8/52.asp

Now follow the following steps:

1. In Outlook Express, click Accounts on the Tools menu.

2. Click the Mail tab, click the Hotmail account, and then click Properties.

3. Click the Server tab, and then change the HTTP Server URL to the following

http://oe.hotmail.com/secure/hmdata

4. Click Apply, and then click OK.

Carl, I hope the above information is helpful. If you have other questions, please write back to us.

Thank you for using Microsoft products and services.

Alok

Microsoft Online Customer Service Representative

If you have any feedback about your Online Customer Service experience please email my manager, Dennis Mathen, at managers@microsoft.com


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
Cc: managers@microsoft.com
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 09:28
Subject: Re: RE:'RTCProd=007-574-672'Another Microsoft-generated problem

TO: "Alok"
CC:  Dennis Mathen

Dear "Alok" and Mr. Mathen:

Thank you for your unhelpful email.

1) I am a customer and probably many years your senior. Please have the courtesy to address me properly as "Mr. Goldin".

2) I am pleased to learn your name, and that you will be "assisting me today", and that you "comprehend from [my] message that I am having 'issues' sending 'mails' through Outlook Express", and that you "realize [my] concern regarding this issue". However, it is OBVIOUS that you have not 'comprehended' my communication, nor responded in a helpful manner!

3) I am NOT 'having issues sending mails through Outlook Express".  Please re-read my original correspondence (att below) in which I have documented the entire Microsoft-generated problem.

4) Thank you for further wasting my time by directing me to a link containing instructions for accessing a hotmail account via Outlook Express. Obviously, I already know how to do so! I have been using this account through hotmail on several computers for over a year. As already stated, I can send mail from other POP3 and hotmail accounts with no problem. It is only with the single hotmail account that we are experiencing this problem, regardless of which computer system we use in the attempt, and it is OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING MICROSOFT HAS DONE TO THIS ACCOUNT WITHOUT PRIOR WARNING OR ANY DOCUMENTATION.

5) A search of the Internet shows that Microsoft has done the same thing to other hotmail accounts as well. The identical symptoms occur, but only for certain accounts --- with no pattern, rhyme, reason nor forewarning.

6) It is disturbing that Microsoft can create such havoc with an unnanounced product change, and then refuse to admit or acknowledge what they have done. It is ridiculous that "support" is unaware of the problem, and insists on further wasting customer time with non-solutions.

7) As previously stated, the "http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q220/8/52.asp" link was an unneeded waste of time.

8) There is no "default mail client" setting in the "Internet Explorer properties (Start/Settings/Control Panel/Internet Options/Connection Tab)" with the current version of IE6. This setting occurs in the "General" tab of the current version of OE6 (and was obviously already set correctly or nothing else would be working). One would expect Microsoft support personnel to be more familiar with their products.

9) You advised me to change the HTTP Server URL for the account to http://oe.hotmail.com/secure/hmdata. However, this results in the following to error messages being displayed when an attempt to access the account is made:

Obviously, you and/or whoever provided you with this time-wasting misinformation, didn't bother to test the solution to see if it works before offering it to a customer. This is typical of Microsoft development, and is a constant thorn, and a good reason for us to switch to another vendor.

Now, please UNDO WHATEVER YOU HAVE DONE TO THIS ACCOUNT, AND STOP WASTING VALUABLE CUSTOMER TIME!


From: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 02:12
Subject: RE:'RTCProd=007-574-672'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Hello Carl,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Online Customer Service.

I appreciate your time to write back to us. From your e mail, I comprehend that your issue still persists. I apologize for the same and look forward to assist you. 

As a Customer Service Representative, I can assist you with the support options available with your Microsoft product. However, I have researched the Microsoft resources and found a some steps to work around your issue:

Check your Outlook Express mail account settings to ensure that the mail server logon name and password are correct:

1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts.

2. On the Mail tab, click your Hotmail account, and then click Properties.

3. Click the Server tab.

4. Under Mail Server, verify that the correct name and password are contained in the Login name and Password boxes, and then click to select the Remember password check box.

I would also like to inform you that you may contact the Hotmail Technical Support Team at ts_sykes@css.one.microsoft.com

I would like you to know that I am not attempting to troubleshoot your system, but rather provide helpful information. If the above article does not resolve your issue, you may choose to work with a Microsoft Support Professional. Therefore, I request you to provide me the following information so that I may assist you further in this regard:

- Telephone Number:(Optional)
- Windows Version and Edition:(E.g: Windows XP Home)
- Product Identification Number (PID) of your Windows:
To locate the 20-digit PID, please follow any of the steps provided below:

Step 1: Perform the steps below.

1. Right-click the My Computer icon and then click Properties.
2. Click Start, click My Computer and then select View System Information. The PID will appear under "Registered To" in the General tab of System Properties.
Step 2: Visit the following link and then choose your Windows Operating System.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=%2Fsupport%2Fwebresponse%2Fpid%2Fpidfind%2Easp

Once I have the PID, I will be able to determine the support options available for the version of your Microsoft product.

If the letters OEM appear in your Product Identification Number, you can also contact your computer manufacturer for any warranty or no-charge phone support. The link below lists contact information for most computer manufacturers:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;en-us;oemphone

We appreciate your patience and look forward to your reply with the above information. 

Thank you for using Microsoft Products and Services,

Poonam 
Microsoft Online Customer Service Representative.

If you have any comments or feedback about the service I provided you, please send an e-mail message to my manager, Bharatesh Jain, at managers@microsoft.com  


From: Hotmail Technical Support
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 02:30
Subject: CST187191431ID - RE:RE:'RTCProd=007-513-810'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Dear Mr.Goldin,

Thank you for writing to MSN Hotmail Technical Support. 

I am Ajmal, specialist from Hotmail Technical Support Department.

I am responding in connection to your support request wherein you have mentioned that you get an error message saying, “Access to the account was denied” when trying to access your Hotmail account via Outlook Express.

 I convey my sincere apologies for the inconvenience you have experienced for the same.

Mr.Goldin, please be informed this issue is occurring due to the implementation Hotmail users validation.

We have recently implemented this feature to help protect MSN Hotmail users from junk e-mail (Spam) and we will periodically verify that our MSN Hotmail users are account holders, not automated programs designed to send large amounts of mail. 

To verify the identity of users, we will occasionally prompt you to type the randomly generated text that is displayed to verify you are not an automated program abusing the MSN Hotmail Service. This precaution helps prevent malicious users from using programs to automatically send junk mail through Hotmail.

As you are using Outlook Express to access your Hotmail account, please follow the steps provided below:

1. After you sign in to Hotmail through Outlook Express, you try to send an e-mail message that is marked as potential Spam. The e-mail message is not sent and is not saved to a temporary folder. 

2. You receive a message that you must connect to http://www.hotmail.com and sign in. 

3. Open Hotmail, and sign in. You are redirected to HIP validation. 

4. Successfully complete HIP validation. You are redirected back to Hotmail, and you can now use Outlook Express to send e-mail.   

If you are unable to recognize the characters or unable to see the picture, please follow the steps provided below:

  - Click on “I can't see this picture.” link, which is below the picture. A popup will appear.
 
  - This pop-up window links to an audio file so you can listen to and type the special characters required for registration. Click the link below that begins with "Listen to the characters in the audio file" to listen to the audio file.
 
  - Type the characters you hear into the text box below the link
 
  - Click “Continue” and the characters are entered into the correct field on the registration page. Complete the HIP validation.
 Please go through the following information as it helps in completing the HIP Validation
 
  - Your computer must be able to play audio in .WAV format.
 
  - If your browser plays the file in a different program, remember the characters, return to this page, and then type them in the text box below.
 
  - The audio file is intentionally garbled.
 
  - Characters are not case sensitive.
 
If you are redirected to the same page to complete the validation process again and again, please check your browser settings to make sure that they are configured properly. This may resolve your issue that you are experiencing. Please follow the steps given below.
 
In Internet Explorer 6.x
 
1. Clear your browser's cache or "Temporary Internet Files
 
a. From the "Tools" menu, select "Internet Options."
b. On the "General" tab, under "Temporary Internet Files," click "Delete Files."
c. Click "Settings" and select "Every Visit to the Page."
 
To confirm that the files have been deleted, click "View Files." If they have not been deleted, select all files and delete them.    
 
d. Under "History," click "Clear History."
 
2. Verify that your browser's cookies are enabled
 
a. Click “Tools” from your browser's menu, then click “Internet Options”
b. Click “Privacy” tab, then click the “Advanced” button
c. Mark the checkbox beside “Override Automatic Cookie Handling”
 
3. Check if your browser supports SSL
 
a. On the “Tools” menu, click “Internet Options,” and then click “Advanced.”
b. Scroll to the “Security” section.
c. Confirm that all of the “Use SSL” check boxes are selected.
 
If you're using a browser other than Internet Explorer please refer to your browsers help section.
 
If you are sending an e-mail that has an attachment when you are prompted to verify your user identify, you will have to re-attach the file. Also, you must successfully enter the text that is displayed before you can send e-mail messages again.
 
We apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced after implementing this feature. However, it will help protect you and others by reducing Spam sent to and from MSN Hotmail customers.

Mr.Goldin, please do write us back about the status of this issue and we assure you for a prompt and concise reply.

I am grateful for your support and understanding provided to us during the support process.

You are valuable at MSN and we look forward to provide you with consistent and effective service.

Regards,

Ajmal

MSN Hotmail Technical Support


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
Cc: managers@microsoft.com
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 04:05
Subject: Re: RE:'RTCProd=007-574-672'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Dear Poonam ("Microsoft Online Customer dis-Service Representative"), Bharatesh Jain, "Manager"

Thankyou for your insulting and useless reply to my correspondence, which indicates that you haven't had the simple courtesy of READING that to which you reply, and that you have absolutely no knowledge of the products you purport to support!


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: Hotmail Technical Support
Cc: managers@microsoft.com
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 04:17
Subject: Re: CST187191431ID - RE:RE:'RTCProd=007-513-810'Another Microsoft-generated problem

THANK YOU FOR THE INSULTING AND UNHELPFUL RESPONSE TO MY COMPLAINT. YOUR "Hotmail users validation" IS A SHAM AND A SCAM. IT DOES NOTHING TO "COMBAT SPAM" OR "MALICIOUS USERS". IT SIMPLY MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO SEND MAIL FROM ONE'S HOTMAIL ACCOUNT FROM OUTLOOK EXPRESS, OR ACCESS ONE'S HOTMAIL ACCOUNT SUBSEQUENT TO ATTEMPTING SUCH TRANSMISSION.

FURTHERMORE, THIS LASTEST INNOVATION WAS UNANNOUNCED, AND HAS ONLY BEEN APPLIED TO A RANDOM SELECTION OF ACCOUNTS! WHY SHOULD THIS ACCOUNT, FROM WHICH APPROXIMATELY ONE E-MAIL A WEEK IS SENT, BE "FLAGGED" FOR SUCH ABUSIVE AND MALICIOUS TREATMENT BY MICROSOFT.

YOUR ARE NOT "PERIODICALLY" AND "OCCASSIONALLY" REQUIRING THIS STUPID, TIME-CONSUMING "USER VALIDATION", BUT RATHER EACH AND EVERY TIME A MESSAGE IS SENT FROM THE ACCOUNT. THAT IS FRAUDULENT, MALICIOUS, AND UNLAWFUL!

FURTHERMORE, YOUR "SUPPORT" PERSONNEL REMAIN BLISSFULLY UNAWARE OF THIS NEW FEATURE, AS THEY CONTINUALLY REFER CUSTOMERS TO A PLETHORA OF OTHER NON-SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM, INCLUDING ONE WHO SUGGESTED A DIFFERENT HTTP ADDRESS FOR OE/HOTMAIL ACCESS. THE ADDRESS SUGGESTED WAS NON-FUNCTIONAL!

THE USERS WHOSE "OE" ACCESS TO THEIR ACCOUNTS HAS BEEN DISABLED ARE NOT HAPPY! WE WILL NO LONGER ATTEMPT TO USE OUR CRIPPLED HOTMAIL ACCOUNTS. WE WILL AVAIL OURSELVES OF THE SERVICES OF OTHER VENDORS, VENDORS WHO PROVIDE THEIR CUSTOMERS WITH A USABLE SERVICE. AND WE WILL FILE COMPLAINTS ABOUT MICROSOFT'S MALICIOUS AND PREDATORY ACTIONS WITH THE VARIOUS GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES.

NOW, ONCE AGAIN, WE REQUEST THAT YOU FIX THIS PROBLEM AND STOP DANCING AROUND IT.


From: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 20:53
Subject: RE:'RTCProd=007-574-672'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Online Customer Service.

My name is Deepak and I will be assisting  you today.

I apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

Carl, as a Customer Service Representative, since I have no expertise in handling technical issues, I may not be able to provide accurate resolution for this issue. I can assist you with the support options available with your Microsoft product. As this issue is technical, you may choose to work with a Microsoft Support Professional. That is where I can help you determine the support options available for your copy of Windows.  However, to process your request further, please provide the following information: 

- Phone number(optional).
- 20 digit Product Identification number ( PID ) of Windows Operating System.

To locate the PID, please use the following steps:

1. Click on Start and then Control Panel.
2. Double-click on System icon.
3. In General tab, the PID is the first number displayed under "Registered to.."

If the letters OEM appear in the Product Identification Number, your computer manufacturer is your best option for any warranty or no-charge phone support.  

For details about any warranty or no-charge phone support included with your computer system, please contact your OEM. The link below lists contact information for most computer manufacturers:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;en-us;oemphone

Once I receive these information, I will be able to create a support case or provide you with the support options available for your Microsoft Product.

Carl, we appreciate the additional information and look forward to hearing from you. 

Thank you for using Microsoft products and services.

Deepak
Microsoft Online Customer Service Representative

If you have any comments or feedback about the service, I provided you, please send an e-mail message to my Manager Bharatesh Jain at managers@microsoft.com


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
Cc: managers@microsoft.com
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 02:46
Subject: Re: RE:'RTCProd=007-574-672'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Thank you for the insulting, non-responsive, and unhelpful reply to my earlier correspondence. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ ALL MY EARLIER CORRESPONDENCE BEFORE REPLYING.


From: MSN Hotmail Member Services
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 10:11
Subject: Using your MSN e-mail service - important alert

Dear MSN Member,

Recently, Hotmail® announced that in order to improve customer experience and reduce spam and junk e-mail abuse on MSN® services, Hotmail will no longer allow new e-mail accounts to be accessed via Microsoft® Office Outlook® and Outlook Express.

We are pleased to inform you that because you are an existing and valued customer, at this time your current Hotmail and MSN account(s) are exempt from this restriction and you will be able to continue enjoying access to those accounts from Outlook or Outlook Express. However, any new Hotmail or MSN accounts you create will not be accessible via Outlook or Outlook Express.

Because you actively use Outlook or Outlook Express to access one or more of your MSN Hotmail or MSN e-mail accounts, this could be the ideal time to consider subscribing to our powerful new e-mail service - Microsoft Office Outlook Live.

As an Outlook Live subscriber, not only can you get uninterrupted access to your MSN e-mail accounts from Outlook, but you will also enjoy many other benefits.

As a thank-you for your loyalty to MSN, we'd like to offer you a 25% discount off the regular price of a year's subscription to Outlook Live. Sign up by April 19, 2005, and you can enjoy all your first year's benefits for just $44.95 instead of $59.95*.

<snipped the rest of the advertisement>


From: Carl D. Goldin
To:
MSN Hotmail Member Services
Cc:
managers@microsoft.com
Sent:
Wednesday, February 23, 2005 17:18
Subject: Re: Using your MSN e-mail service - important alert

UNFORTUNATELY, YOU HAVE ALREADY DISABLED MY ABILITY TO SEND MESSAGE VIA OUTLOOK EXPRESS, SO PLEASE DO NOT PREVARICATE BY STATING THAT I AM AN "EXISTING AND VALUED CUSTOMER...EXEMPT FROM THIS RESTRICTION."  

FURTHERMORE, WE ALL KNOW THAT THIS NONSENSE BY MICROSOFT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH REDUCING SPAM, BUT RATHER IS SIMPLY DESIGNED TO SELL US MORE USELESS, OVERPRICED GARBAGE.

WHY WOULD ANYONE PAY $60 OR EVEN $45 A YEAR FOR THE POOREST SERVICE ON THE INTERNET?


From: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent:
Thursday, February 24, 2005 21:48
Subject: REe-mail service - important alert :'RTCProd=007-600-513'Re: Using your MSN

Hi Carl ,   I would be glad to pass on the information to the people who helped you.  At this time, I was unable to find your case information to locate the details.  Would you be kind enough to supply me you case number so I can look into this for you?

Thank you,
v-2manjn@msprograms.com
Manjula Naidu
Team Manager
Microsoft 9x/ME


From: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 02:14
Subject: RE:'RTCProd=007-574-672'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Hello Goldwin,
Thank you for contacting Microsoft Online Customer Service.

I am sorry to learn that your issue was not resolved.

As a Customer Service Representative, I request you to provide the following information so that I can determine your support options and assist you better. PID is required to process your request further.

- Full Name.
- Phone Number(optional).
- Windows Operating System Version (like Windows XP Home, Windows ME)
- Product Identification Number (PID) of your Microsoft Windows Operating System.

To locate the PID, please use these steps:

1. From the desktop, right-click My Computer, and select Properties.
2. Locate the 20 digit number under "Registered to…"

Once I have your PID, I will be able to provide the support options available for your product.

If your software was pre-installed on your computer or the PID says OEM in it, then the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is your best resource for support (including replacement disks and manuals). For a list of OEM phone numbers, please go to:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;en-us;oemphone

I hope the above given information is useful. If the information did not help or if you have additional queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be glad to assist you further.

Thank you for using Microsoft products and services.

Anil
Microsoft Online Customer Service.

If you have any feedback about your Online Customer Service experience please email my manager Bharatesh Jain at managers@microsoft.com


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
Cc: managers@microsoft.com
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 02:40
Subject: Re: RE:'RTCProd=007-574-672'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Dear "Anil" and Bharatesh Jain,

Thank you for yet another non-responsive, time-wasting, non-solution to the problem Microsoft recently created vis a vis my hotmail account.

1) The name is "Mr. Goldin", not "Goldwin". Is there no one at Microsoft who can read?

2) Microsoft Online Customer Service is obviously a misnomer. This is not "service", but rather the biggest waste of time imaginable! You apparently have read NONE of my previous correspondence, or you are incapable of understanding simple English.

3) My "issue was not resolved" because their is no one at Microsoft who will take the time to read the complaint. Instead you waste my time (and yours) with inappicable form letters, suggestions which do not work (and cannot be expected to work, such as providing a non-existent link), and insulting, patronizing comments.

4) You do not need my Full Name, telephone number, Windows Operating System Version, or PIN to solve this problem. You need to identify and remove the malicious changes Microsoft has recently made to a random sub-section of hotmail accounts (including mine), and undo it.

5) You already have my full name.

6) I know what an "operating system version" and "PID" are, and I obviously know how to locate them. However, the information has absolutely no relevance, and you are wasting my time.

7) I don't wish you to "provide the support options available for your product". I wish you to identify and remove the malicious changes Microsoft has recently made to a random sub-section of hotmail accounts (including mine), and undo it.

8) You comments and information regarding OEM support is equally irrelevant, unhelpful, and a waste of time and paper.

9) None of "the above given [sic] information is useful." The information DID NOT help and I have NOT hesitated to contact you. Unfortunately, you refuse to read the details you have been supplied, or do a damn thing about the problem.

10) It is irrelevant whether or not you are "will be glad to assist ... further". You are not assisting, you are wasting my time, therefore your state of joy is of no interest.

11) What Microsoft services? You have disabled OE access to my hotmail account, without prior warning. You have rendered the hotmail account useless. This action was malicious and serves no purpose. Now please fix the problem, and stop wasting my time.


From: GEST_Resolved_Hotmail@css.one.microsoft.com
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 11:10
Subject: CST187191431ID - RE:RE:'RTCProd=007-513-810'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Dear Goldin,

Thank you for writing back to MSN Hotmail Technical Support.  My name is Mustaq and I am a Hotmail Technical Support Specialist. I am sorry that the issue you reported is not yet resolved

I understand that you get an error message saying, “Access to the account was denied” when trying to access your Hotmail account via Outlook Express.

Goldin, I can understand how important it is for you to have this issue resolved at once. Every query that Hotmail receives is very important and I truly appreciate the fact that you are working with us in the process of getting this issue resolved and having taken time off in writing this mail.

I have escalated your issue to our Senior Escalation Engineers and they are currently researching on this.

Your issue is of top priority for us and will get back to you at the earliest with an accurate resolution.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Goldin, you are valuable at MSN and we look forward to providing you with consistent and effective service.

Regards,

Mustaq Ahmed
MSN Hotmail Technical Support


From:   Carl D. Goldin
Date:   Thursday, February 24, 2005  10:52 AM
To:   GEST_Resolved_Hotmail@css.one.microsoft.com (GEST_Resolved_Hotmail@css.one.microsoft.com)
Cc:   managers@microsoft.com (managers@microsoft.com); managers@hotmail.com (managers@hotmail.com)
Subject:  Re: CST187191431ID - RE:RE:Another Microsoft-generated problem

Thank you for your useless and discourteous reply. The proper method of address is for a customer is "Dear Mr. Goldin". The alternative you have used is unacceptable.

The "issue" is not yet resolved because Microsoft "support" personnel refuse to read the detailed problem description I have provided, and are apparently unaware of recent malicious changes that Microsoft has made to its Hotmail "sevice". Furthermore, because of the aforementined, they have suggested a number of inapplicable, unhelpful, and potentially harmful "solutions" without proper consideration of their impact.

This is irresponsible and malicious. Bad advice is destructive and expensive. Lack of knowledge or denial of recent changes it unacceptable. How can you support a product if you don't know the first thing about it, or even the language in which it is written and (poorly) documented?


From:   Carl D. Goldin
Date:   Thursday, February 24, 2005  21:57
To:   PSS Support (support@microsoft.com)
Cc:   managers@microsoft.com (managers@microsoft.com); managers@hotmail.com (managers@hotmail.com)
ubject:  Re: RE:Another Microsoft-generated problem

It's been two weeks and I've sent over over 40 messages. Microsoft has yet to solve this problem. Instead "support" personnel send insulting, inappropriate and unhelpful form letters, and suggest ridiculous "solutions" which (if implemented) would cause irreparable damage. They are incapable of reading what the customer has submitted, and even more incapable of solving any problems.

Thankfully there are alternative products and services which are more reliable, and better supported. Good bye Microsoft and good bye Hotmail.


From: PSS Support
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 21:46
Subject: RE:'RTCProd=007-574-672'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Hello Carl,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Online Customer Service.

I appreciate your time to write back to us and look forward to assist you. I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you in regarding this issue.

As a Customer Service Representative, I can assist you with the support options available with your Microsoft product. However, I have researched the Microsoft resources and found a Microsoft Knowledge base article to work around your issue.

Please follow the link provided below:
OLEXP: Error Message: "Unable to Poll for New Messages" When You Use Hotmail with Outlook Express
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q259133/

I hope you find the above information helpful.  However, if the issue persists, I request you to work directly with a Microsoft Support Professional who are in a better position to assist you in this regard. You may call (800) 936 5700 from Monday – Friday, 5:00 A.M. - 9:00 P.M. Pacific time and Saturday – Sunday, 6:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. Pacific time.

I hope your issue gets resolved at the earliest and appreciate your patience in this regard. If you have any queries or concerns regarding Microsoft Products and Services, please do not hesitate to contact us.
  
Thank you for using Microsoft Products and Services,

Poonam
Microsoft Online Customer Service Representative.

If you have any comments or feedback about the service I provided you, please send an e-mail message to my manager, Bharatesh Jain, at managers@microsoft.com 

Is your software secure? Make sure you are current with all security updates by running the scan program available at http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 22:53
Subject: Re: RE:'RTCProd=007-600-513'Re: Using your MSN e-mail service - important alert

It's interesting that --- after two weeks and over 40 messages, Microsoft has yet to solve this problem. Thankfully there are alternative products which are more reliable, and better supported. Good bye Microsoft and good bye Hotmail.


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: PSS Support
Cc: managers@microsoft.com ; managers@hotmail.com
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 22:57
Subject: Re: RE:'RTCProd=007-574-672'Another Microsoft-generated problem

It's been two weeks and I've sent over over 40 messages. Microsoft has yet to solve this problem. Instead "support" personnel send insulting, inappropriate and unhelpful form letters, and suggest ridiculous "solutions" which (if implemented) would cause irreparable damage. They are incapable of reading what the customer has submitted, and even more incapable of solving any problems.

Thankfully there are alternative products and services which are more reliable, and better supported. Good bye Microsoft and good bye Hotmail.


From: PSS Support
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 05:32
Subject: RE:'RTCProd=007-513-810'Another Microsoft-generated problem


Hello Mr. Goldin,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Online Customer Service.

I appreciate the time you have taken to acknowledge our response and I am sorry to know that your issue persists. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.

As a Customer Service Representative, I have forwarded your case to the Support Professional who is handling your case. He will contact you as soon as possible.

I hope your issue being resolved soon.
 
Thank you for using Microsoft products and services.

Satyaprakash
Microsoft Customer Service Representative

If you have any feedback about your Online Customer Service experience please e-mail my manager Dennis Mathen at managers@microsoft.com

Is your software secure? Make sure you are current with all security updates by running the scan program available at http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect


From: PSS Support
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 10:38
Subject: RE:'RTCProd=007-574-672'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Online Customer Service.

I understand from your e-mail that your issues with Outlook Express persists on your computer. I realize the importance of your concern and would be glad to assist you.

As a Customer Service Representative, I can direct you to the channel where you will be best assisted. Please note that this issue is too technical in nature. I suggest you to work directly with a Microsoft support Professional who has the expertise to assist you with this matter. You may contact them from Monday through Friday, 5:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. Pacific time and Saturday through Sunday, 6:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Pacific time at the following telephone number:

(800) 936-5700

If you have further issues or concerns, please write to us for assistance, we would be glad to assist you.

Thank for using Microsoft products and services.

Clive
Microsoft Online Customer Service

 If you have any feedback about your Online Customer Service experience please email my manager Prabhu Naryanan  at managers@microsoft.com

Is your software secure? Make sure you are current with all security updates by running the scan program available at: http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: PSS Support
Cc: managers@microsoft.com ; managers@hotmail.com
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 11:42
Subject: Re: RE:'RTCProd=007-574-672'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Thank you for the ridiculous, inaccurate, illiterate, and unhelpful response. After two weeks and over forty correspondences, "customer service" concludes that "this issue is too technical in nature" and "suggests I work directly with a 'Microsoft support Professional'"!

What nonsense! The issue is not "too technical", but rather Microsoft "support personal" lack sufficient knowledge of the products they purport to "support", and of the recent changes Microsoft has foisted on an unsuspecting customer base.

The "issue" is simple. Microsoft has disabled OE "send" access to my hotmail account, in a vain attempt to get me to subscribe to another service --- as though I would do so, considering this experience. You refuse to rectify your error, and have wasted two weeks of my time.

Fortunately, there are alternative products and services. Good bye Hotmail and Good bye Microsoft!.


From: MSN_Hotmail_Support@css.one.microsoft.com
To:
Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2005 12:10
Subject: CST187050536ID - RE:RE:'RTCProd=007-511-813'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Dear Carl, 

Thank you for writing back to MSN Hotmail Technical Support. This is Arvind. 

I sincerely apologize for the delay in responding to your question. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

I can feel your frustration of not being able to access your xxxxxxxx@hotmail.com and send messages from it since you are experiencing the Human Interface Proof.  

Carl, please note that, Hotmail has introduced a new feature and it is called Human Interface Proof (HIP). If you are unable to access your account from Outlook Express or Microsoft Outlook, as you experience, you have to login into your web interface account, visiting
www.hotmail.com, complete the HIP challenge and then try accessing your account. None of your folders or messages are lost. Once you have finished the HIP challenge, your messages will automatically be synchronized with your e-mail client. 

You have to follow it for a certain number of times. Once you have finished the procedure, you will not be prompted again. Hotmail has enabled this feature for all its customers including the paid customers. 

If you are finding difficulties in sending your questions to MSN Hotmail, please send a message to
support_x@hotmail.com or visit the below link

http://hotmail.msn.com/cgi-bin/dasp/ua_info.asp?&_lang=EN&country=us 

I once again apologize for the inconvenience this situation has caused and for the delay in my response to your question. I sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding. 

If you have any other concerns, please do not hesitate to write to us.

Regards,

Arvind
MSN Hotmail Technical Support


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: MSN_Hotmail_Support@css.one.microsoft.com
Cc: managers@microsoft.com
Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2005 14:36
Subject: Re: CST187050536ID - RE:RE:'RTCProd=007-511-813'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Mr. Arvind,

I am a customer and many years your senior. You have been repeatedly requested to address me properly, as Mr. Goldin, yet you impudently insist on baiting me by using my first name! Wonderful attitude toward customers, that.

Once again, the "support" information you are providing is blatently FALSE. Please note that only 3 of 40 responses from Microsoft have admitted the malicious sabotage that you are designating "Human Interface Proof (HIP)", and each of those three have described it differently. One brilliant "support" person suggested I change the HTPP server address for the account to an invalid one! The remainder of the "support" personnel have wasted my time with other inapplicable "suggestions", some of which would be destructive if followed. This is malicious and actionable practice.

Please note that "HIP" is not a "feature", but a malicious obstacle. The "HIP challenge" is a ridiculous waste of time, and accomplishes nothing except to alienate your customer base. Please further note that "You have to follow it for a certain number of times" is deliberately vague. I have "followed" the procedure over a dozen times. How many more are in store? When will this magic "Once you have finished the procedure, you will not be prompted again" occur?

You are also incorrect that this punishment is being extended to all accounts, paid and unpaid. It is only being extended to a small selection of accounts, one of which is mine.

Please also note that the email address you supplied ("If you are finding difficulties in sending your questions to MSN Hotmail, please send a message to support_x@hotmail.com") is an unmonitored alias. Thus, you are telling me to send me questions into hyperspace. A real positive customer attitude.

It appears that Microsoft personnel are incapable of honesty, lack any semblence of technical expertise or competence, and no longer provide support for their products. Furthermore, Microsoft is in Washington. Why are all the support personnel in India and Pakistan?

I've wasted too much time on this issue already. For two weeks, I've been unable to send anything from my hotmail account, and every attempt has forced me to play your "HIP challenge" game, a procedure which takes about 30 minutes of my valuable time. I have written over 40 letters and responses to Microsoft's inane replies. And yet the problem persists.

Therefore, I have determined to take my business elsewhere. I shall also publish my experience and findings, and advise others to follow my action in leaving hotmail to the idiots who designed this latest annoyance. Feel free to close my useless hotmail accounts.


From: MSN_Hotmail_Support@css.one.microsoft.com
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent:
Sunday, February 27, 2005 17:50
Subject: RE:Re: CST187050536ID - RE:RE:'RTCProd=007-511-813'Another Microsoft-generated problem

Mr. Goldin,

Thank you for writing back to MSN Hotmail Technical Support.

I have realized the mistake I have done and I sincerely apologize for the same. I will make sure that this mistake will not be repeated and I will follow your words while addressing my valued customers. Thank you very much for pointing the mistake.

I realize your frustration of not being able to send messages from your account because of this challenge.

Please note that, Hotmail has implemented this feature to all its customers and this issue is experienced by many of our users at this point of time.

We are currently working to resolve this problem as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused you and we thank you for patience and understanding.

Regards,

Arvind
MSN Hotmail Technical Support


From: Anonymous
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2005 17:59
Subject: Message from Anonymous regarding HIP

Mr. Goldin,

This is Anonymous of MSN Hotmail Technical Support.

I am sending this message from my personal address as I can feel your frustration with the HIP challenge. Please note that, I am NOT supposed to follow up my customer from a personal account. However, I am doing this out of my own interest to inform you that, you have to follow the HIP challenge 21 times.

Once you have finished all 21 times, HIP will not repeat itself. Please note that, MSN has not given the permission to the Support Staff to reveal the number of time a customer has to do the HIP challenge.

If you have any clarification, please reply to THIS message.

Please not to inform any one about this interaction and about my information on HIP. This is my humble request.

Thank you for your consideration and understanding.

Sincerely,

Anonymous


From: Tom Sun (CS&S)
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 00:15
Subject: SRX050222609044

Mr. Goldin,

I am the team lead of Microsoft Support professional Eddy, who worked with you on the Hotmail issue. I have read your reply to MS Customer Feedback.

First, I am sorry that we could not help you resolve this issue as you expected, and for the inconvenience that our products have caused you. As the Office Support team, we focus on Outlook or Outlook Express technical issue. Refer to below link:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;878462

This is not an Outlook or Outlook Express problem, but we change the Hotmail policy. I appreciate your understanding that Product Support team doesn’t focus on policy.

I believe that you have taken much time to write that email; and I also understand your feeling: A customer who used to use Outlook Express to send and receive his email can not do that suddenly. Sorry for the inconvenience we bring to you again. I will forward your complain to MSN team.

For more information including current phone numbers for MSN support please use the following link:

        http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;823390

In addition, if you need the Chat support or Email support, you can go to the following web site: http://msntech.webhelp.com/msntech/

You may also contact MSN Technical Support by calling 425-635-7019. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Best regards,
Tom Sun
Team Lead
Microsoft Office Support Team


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: Tom Sun (CS&S)
Cc: managers@microsoft.com
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 01:44
Subject: Re: SRX050222609044

Mr. Sun,

Thank you for providing the 41st inaccurate response to my simple complaint. Microsoft's ANNOUNCED policy is that OE access has been removed for new accounts, but that older accounts will retain access --- at least for the time being. In fact, Microsoft has sent me an email (in respect to the account in question) stating that the account will still have OE access! Obviously this is inaccurate.

Furthermore, the link you sent me DOES NOT RELATE TO THE PROBLEM I HAVE DESCRIBED OVER 40 TIMES TO MICROSOFT 'SUPPORT' STAFF, who are apparently incapable or unwilling of reading that which has been submitted. This is no surprise. Everything Microsoft has told me so far on the subject is blatantly false.

I do not receive the error messages to which YOUR link refers. I receive completely different messages, and symptoms, as I have described to you in detail, and which you refuse to read, or perhaps are incapable of comprehending.

Rather, this situation is the result of another malicious Microsoft program, which 3 of 41 of your support technicians have described by a variety of names and mnemonics (e.g. "Human Interface Proof challenge", "Human Interactive Proof Validation Process", and "Hotmail User Validation"). Apparently, Microsoft has decided that they will "challenge" certain accounts, by making the user jump through hoops and waste valuable time trying to decipher a nonsensical graphic, and that this charade will someone reduce SPAM.

It is far more likely to reduce, and eliminate, the use of Hotmail accounts for any purpose. Only an idiot would subscribe to a paid service to regain features that were once free --- especially when Microsoft is reportedly using the same malicious "HIP" program on [certain] paid accounts!

I am appalled at Microsoft's audacity at implementing such a malicious and useless program. I am further appalled that the majority of "support" personnel are either unaware of,  or unwilling to divulge, the existence of this program. I am aghast at the inaccurate and illiterate "explanations" and potentially damaging "solutions" that have been offered by Microsoft "support" personnel.

I have wasted over two weeks of my time on this issue. Fortunately, there are alternative products and services. Good bye Hotmail and Good bye Microsoft! It's been distinctly NOT NICE doing business with you.

I understand that "support" staff cannot change Microsoft's abusive policies. They can, however, and should be willing to accurately divulge them, and pass user comments of dissatisfaction along to the policy makers. And they should be able to do so in better than illiterate language.

You may feel free to pass this message on to your superiors. I will publish it, and everything preceding it, to warn other users who may be receiving the same run-around, and to advise them of the solution to the problem. Good bye Microsoft.


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
Cc: managers@microsoft.com
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2005 19:47
Subject: Re: RE:'RTCProd=007-600-513'Re: Using your MSN e-mail service - important alert

Thank you for your belated, insulting, and unhelpful response to my message of February 24.

I suggest you do some research. I have already been 42 messages sent to Microsoft "support" personnel. heir form letter answers have varied from outright lies, to ignorant (and destructive) misinformation. Furthermore, not one of the "support" personnel can compose a proper English sentence (and probably has no idea what they are reading, either)/

You have maliciously disabled our hotmail access, without forewarning. And (except for 3 persons) you refuse to admit what you have done. You have wasted weeks of my time with mendacious denials, patronizing and inappropriate form letters, unhelpful and destructive suggestions (which are totally unrelated to the problem reported), and the worst excuse for customer and technical support I have seen to date.

So be it. Your competitors provide far better service, and will receive all my future business.

I have retained a copy of all the correspondence on this issue, and have posted it on the Internet for all to see.

Fraud, mendacity, and insulting mis-treatment of customers. That is Microsoft's policy.


From: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 16:20
Subject: RE:'RTCProd=007-600-513'Re: Using your MSN e-mail service - important alert

Hello Carl,

Thank you for letting us know that your problem has not been resolved.  I am forwarding this message to the Support Professional's manager for immediate attention. 

My apologies for the inconvenience already caused to you. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you relating to this case.

Sincerely,

Rattandip Singh
Team Manager
Microsoft Platforms Support
Paul Deep
Team Manager
Microsoft 9x/ME


From: Carl D. Goldin
To: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
Cc: MANAGERS@MICROSOFT.COM
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 17:13
Subject: Re: RE:'RTCProd=007-600-513'Re: Using your MSN e-mail service - important alert

Namaste Rattandip Singh,

Thank you for sending me yet another insulting, unhelpful response, which indicates that you have NOT read any of my previous emails (including those attached to your correspondence) --- but simply replied to them with ridiculous form letters.

Microsoft is located in Washington state. Why are all the "support" emails originating in India? Why do you insist on rudely addressing customers by their first name, and especially after they have repeatedly complained about it? THE PROPER METHOD OF ADDRESS IS "MR. GOLDIN". ANYTHING ELSE IS VERY INSULTING! If neither your language instructor nor your employer has informed you of this, shame on them!

Microsoft will NOT be receiving any of my future business. You can take your predatory policies, and attempts to control rather than serve your customers rather than serve them, and sell it to some one in the Kashmir.


From: Customer Feedback for PSS Customers
To: Carl D. Goldin
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 14:00
Subject: RE:'RTCProd=007-600-513'Re: Using your MSN e-mail service - important alert

Mr. Goldin,

I apologize for the improper salutation. I have already forwarded your message to the Support Professional's manager for immediate attention

Please be sure that we at Microsoft strive to provide the best possible service, solutions and products to our customers. However, in this case we had not been able to satisfactorily  resolve the issue you had.

In closing, I would like to also thank you for letting us know about the issue and giving us an opportunity to reply.

Rattandip Singh
Team Manager
Microsoft 9x/ME


Needless to say, despite Mr. Singh's representations to "have already forwarded your message to the Support Professional's manager for immediate attention", I have heard nothing further from Microsoft on this issue, and the (one) account still remains disabled --- unable to send email through Outlook Express (and perhaps even from the website - haven't tried that) without having all access shut-down until someone visits the www.hotmail.com site, logs on, and spends hours deciphering a series of illegible "HIPO"s.

This, of course, is how "we at Microsoft strive to provide the best possible service, solutions and products to our customers."

A pox on the lot of them!


Why would anyone continue to use hotmail after such an experience? Why does Microsoft think it has the right to make changes which impact their customers, without prior notice, forethought, or (apparently) even notifying their own "support" personnel? How can randomly and arbitrarily disabling Outlook Express access to a (selection of) Hotmail account(s) reduce SPAM?

If Microsoft truly wished to reduce junk e-mail and SPAM, it could do so by less invasive methods. This is simply a precursor to the introduction of their newest scam, "Microsoft Outlook Live". We are supposed to be so frustated by the loss of Outlook Express Access to our hotmail accounts (which is probably the only reason we use them in the first place) that we instantly sign up for another inadequately tested, over-rated, and mostly useless product.

We will simply stop using our Hotmail accounts, and replace them with a more reliable, honest, and customer-friendly vendor. I suggest you do the same.

Sincerely,

Carl D. Goldin