Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Trails, Hapless Hotmail – I Can Change More Easily than You.

David Hansen posted a card from that is aimed at Facebook users but will serve for me to talk (briefly) about Hotmail.

I am appalled that the free service that I am in no way obligated to use keeps making changes that mildly inconvenience me.

When I returned to the computer yesterday afternoon, I discovered that my Hotmail account had been seriously corrupted. After more than a decade with Hotmail, the MSN service got hacked. I have no access at all to MSN Live or Hotmail.

Not only no access - but a new account I created to try fixing the problem was also immediately blocked. I can't "post a problem" to Windows Live forums because they require a sign-in; the passwords don't work. I spent almost two hours on the telephone with technical service people.

The toll-free number for MSN billing support, by the way, is 866-672-4551; even though it wasn’t his job, “Ed” helped out as much as he could. In the end, his assistance didn’t get me back into the account(s). He passed me on to MSN Product Technical Support at 866-234-6020; here, both “Joey” and “Ashwin” tried their best, I guess.

By 10.30PM, it had become a circular joke. To get anywhere, I had to log in. Every new password the tech-sup guys gave me sent me to a screen that told me my “access was blocked” and led me to try starting again. Basically, they threw up their hands at the end of the Skype conversations.

Many Microsoft and Hotmail online support forums address the blocked access issue…same problem as mine. Some resolved it. Some (according to my reading) never did. After Hotmailing for a decade and more, it's past time to move on. Hey, it was – mostly – FREE!

I can change. I’m working on that right now with a little help from a lot of colleagues and clients. Gmail is the choice here; and it’s been getting great reviews like here for years:

Gmail, our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award winner, includes excellent spam protection, phishing warnings and virus scanning; ultimate organization, conversation view, POP3 access and 8 GB of inbox storage that continues to grow every day.

In fact, you can find me on Google+ and Gmail both. Now that Google+ is “open to the public,” it’s probably the solution for me. I choose to embrace the transition. I close by paraphrasing the great Evelyn Waugh, “Change is the only evidence of life online.”

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