Saturday 9 August 2008

Calling MS Licensing for product keys - ARRRGGG!


This is utterly ridiculous. >8*

We are trying to get a Swing Migration off the ground with our client having purchased Open Value licensing for all of their licensing requirements.

None of the keys have shown up on the MVLS site yet, so we need to call into the toll free to obtain the required keys to get the CALs into the server as well as the install key code for Office 2007 so we can setup the GP distribution.

This is the sixth time calling into the licensing number that ends up terminating over seas.

Two of those calls were routed by the system to the wrong department and subsequently dropped.

One of them the person indicated they would email out and gave us a call reference number. That was yesterday, this is today, and we still did not have any keys.

Another call into the system and the person found the call reference number and our client's VL number.

After 20 minutes on hold, the call got dropped ... again.

The next call in, the person at the other end could not find any reference to the call reference number or our client's VL number! But, we did receive an email with a key code?!?

About 5 minutes later, we received another email with the previous 5 pack key code and a 20 pack key code!

After getting into the MVLS site, it turns out that the person had generated a 5 CAL and 20 CAL key. We needed 15 CALs which is three 5 pack keys. I guess they did find the agreement number after all.

This last call, the sixth one, the person seemed to grasp the problem: We ordered three 5 packs for a total of 15 add-on CALs. We somehow ended up with one 5 pack and one 20 pack for a total of 25 CALs.

So, as I now look at our client's MVLS portal, it looks as though the person may have not caught on at all. We now have six (6) 5 CAL packs and one (1) 20 CAL pack for a total of 50 add-on CALs!?!


Looks like we will need to get a hold of someone on this continent to sort things out.

What a huge waste of time. :(

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


Anonymous said...

Who pays for that time you spent on the phone? Build it into the cost of the job? Build it into / eat it as part of managed services? Does this happen infreqnetly enough that you just shrug and realize how big Microsoft is and it's like Don Quixote fighting windmills? You aren't going to win? Yell here and move on? Most all us small business IT consultants are where we are partly because big business / beaurocracy makes our skin crawl. As much more experienced in the industry, what advice do you have for newbies like me that wind up in these situations with Microsoft or any other big company? Get over it? Spend more time calling around the corporation?

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

The big thing is being prepared ahead of time.

In most cases, the key codes show up in the licensing portal and we don't need to call in for anything.

In this particular case, they did not and we ended up needing to make that call.

No, we can't bill for that time ... it would not be right to do so.

But, it can impact project scheduling as it did with us.

Letting your MS contact know, especially your Small Business Specialist contact would be a good start.

Off-shoring may be a necessary evil, but there should be an ability to evaluate the current contractor providing services. In this case, both the system, and the people on the other end can be very frustrating.