Archive | January 2014

Firmly Entrenched in Microsoft Trap

Firmly Entrenched in Microsoft Trap

Microsoft is automatically checking computers for valid windows. It is done by means of a Windows update for Windows 7 (update KB971033). If you check your windows updates on your computer, you can see if you installed this update. If you’ve chosen automatic updates, this file will be on your computer. Then if your windows software is suspect, an automatic notification is sent to Microsoft, your screen turns black and a message appears on your computer screen – bottom right. If you are conscientious or curious you may be inclined to click on the icon you see in your toolbar. That’s the bait to get you to buy another edition of Windows. Don’t do it! Don’t let your curiosity get the better of you! If you proceed, you cannot cancel the order! You will be stuck with a very expensive edition of Windows.

 What you Can Do:

If you are positive that your present windows edition is genuine, you have your original software, and you know or can find your product key sticker (on your computer); then backup your computer, do a clean boot (if you are not familiar with this, you can find instructions online), reinstall your windows, and activate by entering your product key (be sure you type it exactly). The message will disappear and all will be well. If you don’t have Windows software, buy from a local store.

 What I Did and the Consequences:

I proceeded with “getting genuine online”, through, thinking I was safely ordering from Microsoft Store. Not the case! I contacted customer service within 24 hours requesting cancellation of the order. The customer service agent took down all information, told me there is no record of the order at Microsoft Store, and gave me a reference number. Since then, Microsoft has emailed me the product code and the invoice, I’ve received the kit, and my credit card has been charged. Everything indicates it was a Microsoft purchase, even the address it was shipped from. I’ve called every customer service number on the Microsoft and Windows website, spoken to agents from all over, including a supervisor, and nobody can find the order in the system. I have to compliment the customer service agents here. Although I called dozens of times, I was never put on hold for a long period of time and they all tried their best to help. I praise their cordial, friendly service and I understand that they are confined to working within the constraints of the authority they are given. I am upset at Microsoft not at them. I cannot return the package as I cannot get a RMA number (return authorization) and my request to cancel means nothing.

 I could ask my credit card company to dispute the charge but I’ve decided not to proceed. I received the product I ordered and I will bite the bullet, pay the bill, and accept responsibility for my own actions. This blog is my expression of how I feel about this particular issue and hopefully to warn anyone else who could get caught in this Microsoft trap. Now, I’m tired of this whole thing and I am putting it to rest so I can get on with things that are much more important.  

Don’t be tricked by Microsoft into buying into “getting genuine” online

Recently, my computer screen went black and a message appeared in the lower right corner “you may be the victim of software counterfeiting”. It puzzled me as I had never seen this before and I wondered if it could possibly be a virus. After a lot of searching on the internet, I discovered that Microsoft had a “Windows genuine advantage” program, now renamed “Windows Activation Technology” and the message on my computer was this new technology at work.

Okay, I thought, not a virus. I’ll “get genuine now” by clicking on the link provided. That way, I thought, I won’t lose anything on my computer as I’ll be provided a download that will fix the error. That was my first mistake! Thinking I was dealing with Microsoft Store (afterall it was Microsoft’s program), I completed a purchase request for Windows 7 Home edition. To my surprise, I was advised that the product would be shipped to my address. I realized that meant a clean install and I would lose all my files anyway.

Almost immediately, I telephoned the Microsoft customer service number and advised the customer service representative that I was cancelling the order. She could not find any record of my order on their system so she gave me a reference number and advised me to call back when the charge appeared on my credit card statement. Thus began a long saga of telephone calls to ALL the customer support numbers, including the WGA number on my invoice. There is still no record of my order!

The get genuine package was shipped to me! I haven’t used the software. I  don’t need it, I don’t want it, but I’m stuck with it. Everything I’ve received i.e. the invoice, the email confirmation of the order with the product key, the shipped package and my credit card bill, all indicate that it’s from The package was even shipped from the Microsoft warehouse in Ohio. I an unable to return it as I need a return authorization number to do that. I am told by all the numbers I called that this is not possible when there is no order in the system.  There are no other numbers that I can call to to contact the vendor (if indeed it wasn’t Microsoft store).  I’ve reached an impasse and my next step will be to file a dispute with my credit card company.

You may wonder what I did to fix the problem on my computer. I had no choice left so I did a clean boot, reinstalled my original Windows disks I got with the computer, and entered the product key I found on the back of my computer. Voila! Windows validated and the message disappeared. My computer is clean, my screen is blue once again, and  I am happily using my computer.

I’ve learned a lesson from this experience. Microsoft wants to curb piracy of their products which I understand. However, the only suggestion they offer to fix the message on the screen is “to get genuine now”. I believe this is for their own benefit and not the user’s. A simple suggestion that the user buy windows locally, do a clean boot, and install a new windows program would solve the user’s problem. As Microsoft accepts no responsibility for a purchase through their program, this should be a listed alternative.

The other surprising thing I discovered is that no one asked me where I got the windows program I was using, not even the Windows Genuine Advantage support person, and I wasn’t asked anything at all about possible counterfeiting of my installed Windows. I thought that would be the first thing they would do since they state anti-piracy as the intent of their program.

In summary, I want my readers to understand how this “get genuine” thing works and I want you to know that you can solve the problem without reporting to Microsoft. Good luck to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation.

Website Penalty Update

I am happy once again with Google search! I received a reply today from Google stating they reviewed my resubmission request and revoked the manual action against my website. It helps to know that even large companies like Google are reasonable when honest submissions are sent to them. I feel vindicated and pleased with their response .