Telephone Hell: On the Phone with Microsoft Tech Support

March 16th, 2008 by Mr. Fanrastic

I’ve been running Windows XP Pro for several years and have never had an issue with Automatic Updates. Unfortunately that streak has now been broken. After automatic installation of the KB932031 security patch for Office failed several times without explanation, I decided to download the stand-alone patch. It was able to install, except for one file: msrclr40.dll. Apparently this is related to Microsoft Access and the MS Jet database engine. Well, now I can’t load any databases in Access because it can’t load msjet40.dll. So I decided to phone the number listed in the KB article. I had no idea what I was in for.

After a lengthy automated introduction that assumes you are an idiot who doesn’t know how to run and maintain an anti-virus application, I got to the menu which lumps all Microsoft Products together into one option. Apparently the system employs a defective E.S.P. mechanism to decide which department to route your call to. Consequently I was connected to the Outlook support department. Of course they didn’t tell me it was the Outlook support department until I had fully explained the problem to them. They decided that the Windows XP department would be able to handle my problem, so they transferred me.

After enduring some of the worst elevator music I’ve ever heard, the Windows XP department again took all my info and created a case file. After putting me on hold in the elevator for a few minutes, they told me they would have to transfer me to the Microsoft Office support department. Cue the elevator music.

The Office department took my info. Again. And again decided to transfer me. Back to the elevator.

Oh, look, I’m still in the Office department. Yes, I’ll hold while they transfer me. I’m getting quite good at this. Good and angry.

Welcome to the Microsoft Access department. Oh, you have a problem? Okay, please wait in this elevator while I get an Access Tech.

A female Indian voice came on the line, mumbled something and then hung up on me. A string of expletives filled the room.

So I called the number, and again had to endure their “you’re probably are too stupid to use an anti-virus” message. After a few minutes my call was answered. Despite the fact that a case number had been established about four departments ago, there was actually no useful info in my case file. The rep agreed that this was a it odd and so he recorded my info. I had to go back to the elevator while he researched the problem.

A few minutes later, he informed me that the problem was beyond the boundary of his department and so would I mind holding while he transferred me to Customer Support Central? Actually I would mind. I’d rather be transferred directly to an Access tech but without being disconnected this time. Regretfully, this was not possible as he doesn’t have direct access to Access techs. So over to Central then.

Central actually transferred me to the Access tech department… and failed. Apparently no Access tech support was available, so they would have to call me back within the hour. This was at 2:20pm EDT.

I’m still waiting.

Update, 11:59pm – Still waiting. I’m going to bed.

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