Tuesday, February 12, 2008

MSN "Support"

My "smart watch" was out of commission for the last 6 months since its wristband broke. I got it at Amazon for $60 or something like that - about the same price I usually pay for watches.

Since not a single watch I owned could survive my constant fiddling for more than a year, I figured this one would be a safe bet - a smarter thing for the same price. The device actually survived for about 6 months, and was lying in the drawer ever since.

So today I got a reminder that I will be billed $40 for the next year some time in March, and I tried to cancel it. Here's how it works.

The email tells you to go to http://billing.microsoft.com, select the service, and click the cancel. When I did, the serivce actually did have the cancel link:

When this link is clicked, however, it does not let you cancel. Another web page opens to the side and offers another link:

This is where it gets interesting. When I click on MSN support, I get this page:

As you can see, the MSN direct is in the list, but it's not clickable. Why? Hovering over the question mark button explains why:

Basically, the account that I have does not grant me the privilege of cancelling it. Googling "cancel MSN direct" produces the page http://chris.pirillo.com/2006/04/27/canceling-msn-direct-is-a-pita/ with the number: 866-658-7032.

Calling this number first tells me that they are experiencing high volume of calls, and then that the office is closed, and I should call between 8 am and 12 am Eastern time.

Well, I'll try tomorrow, but next time I sign up for MSN paid services, I will think twice. Or three times. Actually, scratch that. I just won't do it again...

UPDATE: Called in and after ~10 minutes (5 on hold + 5 spelling my name and email address) got it cancelled. I've spent more than that yesterday just staring at the web site trying to figure out what's wrong. Who could have guessed that the phone works better with a computer company than the web site?

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