Microsoft Support - hello, is anyone home?

I run the latest patched version of Office 2004 on OS/X 10.4.5.  I run
Entourage which connects to my Exchange 2003 server, and Word/Excel etc
with local storage which i replicate to the server using a third party
(and troublesome) replication tool.  There are a few problems with
Office which are obvously bugs - but since the 10.4.5 update I have had
issues with Entourage and time zones, culminating in a week where all
my appointments were displayed an hour later than they were
scheduled... The cause seems to a mismatch in timezones - OS/X and Win
XP have an updated timezone for Australia for 2006 to accommodate the
later end of daylight saving because of the Commonwealth Games, but
Entourage apparently has its own, embedded, timezone information which
Microsoft forgot, or couldnt be bothered, to update...

What follows is an excerpt of an email I sent to various escalation
email addresses at Microsoft.  I did get a call to say that my problem
had been reproduced and logged as a bug - but the other issues remain
unaddressed.

I offer this as in insight into how a large hi-tech company can lose
the hearts and minds of its customers without really trying... Although
this problem is with the Mac software versions, the unhelpful attitude
is pervasive...

Dear Microsoft...

I have been trying for some weeks to obtain a resolution to three
problems in Entourage and Office for Mac.

I have been unable to obtain a resolution.  I am copying this to the
various email addresses I have been able to find which promise some
degree of escalation.

To this point I have become increasingly frustrated by my attempts to
find anyone at Microsoft who will take ownership of this issue.  So I
hope, today, that someone will actually take ownership of this specific
technical issue, and also the broader support issues that I am raising
today.

These are the problems with your support for the Mac products, as I see
them...

1. The Mac Support website offers no opportunity to notify Microsoft of
a support issue by email.  This should be addressed immediately
2. I have been offered toll free numbers for support which can only be
dialled from inside the USA - Microsoft employees should be
encouraged to check where an end-user is located to avoid giving
incorrect information.
3. I have been offered a "mail in" channel to report a bug in
Entourage.  By "mail in" I mean air mail post, in hard copy, from
Australia to an address in the USA.  This was surprising - if a
postal address is available, why not an email address?
4. The Mac Support site incorrectly states that support for Entourage
and Office (current versions) has expired or will shortly expire.  Yet
the product lifecycle page shows that support continued at least until
2008.  This should be fixed immediately.  see
http://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?ln=en-au&prid=1808&gprid=36011

5. The Mac software support forums are not monitored effectively.
Microsoft should be reviewing support issues which remain unresolved
after a reasonable timeframe and either posting a fix if one is
available, or posting a note to say the problem has been logged.
6. The Mac Software knowledgebase contains almost no useful
information.  Perhaps the support forums should be monitored and
selected issues logged in the knowledgebase.
7. The Microsoft Australia website offers a URL for obtaining support
by email.  This is http://support.microsoft.com/oas.  If you follow
this link from an Australian IP address you can select Office from the
product list and then Office 2004 for Mac, but then you are presented
with a screen (see attached image) which shows support options for
Powerpoint for Mac.  There is no option for any other Office product,
and there are in fact no support options offered at all - not even
the forums.
8. The Microsoft Technical Support call centre in Australia is unable
to resolve this issue because, as far as I can discern, there is not a
great deal of information on the Mac products in your internal
knowledgebase.  The technical support person I spoke to this morning
told me that unless there was an update available he could not help me.
 I have access to all the updates via the net - if support for Mac
products is limited to directing me to those updates then this should
have been made clear before I spent 30 minutes waiting to speak to a
technical support person.
9.The technical support person offered two solutions which I believe
would not have resolved the problem, but which would have caused
significant issues.  The first was to remove preferences for Entourage,
thereby losing all my account and preference issues.  The second was
more onerous - and this was to reformat the entire computer.  When I
pointed out that this was unlikely to resolve a problem which appeared
to be caused by Microsoft's failure to update the time zone
information in Entourage, the support person was quite rude.

All in all, this has been a very unsatisfactory experience.  My
Entourage problem remains unresolved (all my appointments this week are
now displayed an hour late and I continue to get a warning error that
the event and computer time zones do not match) and I now do not know
what to do about the two remaining issues I have with Office.  I am
reluctant, obviously, to take another 30-45 minutes to log each problem
and then run the risk of getting an unhelpful and rude technical
support person on the phone.

If there is anyone at Microsoft who actually cares about the customer
experience, and is prepared to take ownership of these issues, then I
would be pleased to hear from you.

*****

My favourite bit in all this was being offered a postal address by
which to log a bug report.  Either the software development team
don't have access to email, or Microsoft figures this is the best way
to stop people logging bug reports.

And, you know, there are some people at Microsoft who are genuinely
puzzled that people don't like their company...

0
stephenj (6)
4/4/2006 12:30:28 PM
mac.office 7017 articles. 0 followers. Follow

8 Replies
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In article <1144153828.437386.143480@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com>,
 stephenj@coefficiency.com wrote:

> I run the latest patched version of Office 2004 on OS/X 10.4.5.  I run
> Entourage which connects to my Exchange 2003 server, and Word/Excel etc
> with local storage which i replicate <snip>

The only real support are these groups moderated by a handful of 
volunteer MVP who have their hands full as it is.

I've avoided the new patch on a critical machine because of all the 
problems associated with it.

I did accidently install it on a new machine (with virgin program), but 
encountered a situation where I could not transfer Microsoft User Data 
from Entourage to the updated machine. Think now that the problem is 
related to the patch.

-- 
To reply by email, remove the word "space"
0
labolide (127)
4/4/2006 11:30:31 PM
Hi,

Try updating MacOS from 10.4.5 to 10.4.6.  That fixed my Entourage time 
issue.  It might work for you. Please post back with the results.

Thanks.

-Jim

-- 
Jim Gordon
Mac MVP
MVP FAQ
<http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;mvpfaqs>


stephenj@coefficiency.com wrote:
> I run the latest patched version of Office 2004 on OS/X 10.4.5.  I run
> Entourage which connects to my Exchange 2003 server, and Word/Excel etc
> with local storage which i replicate to the server using a third party
> (and troublesome) replication tool.  There are a few problems with
> Office which are obvously bugs - but since the 10.4.5 update I have had
> issues with Entourage and time zones, culminating in a week where all
> my appointments were displayed an hour later than they were
> scheduled... The cause seems to a mismatch in timezones - OS/X and Win
> XP have an updated timezone for Australia for 2006 to accommodate the
> later end of daylight saving because of the Commonwealth Games, but
> Entourage apparently has its own, embedded, timezone information which
> Microsoft forgot, or couldnt be bothered, to update...
> 
> What follows is an excerpt of an email I sent to various escalation
> email addresses at Microsoft.  I did get a call to say that my problem
> had been reproduced and logged as a bug - but the other issues remain
> unaddressed.
> 
> I offer this as in insight into how a large hi-tech company can lose
> the hearts and minds of its customers without really trying... Although
> this problem is with the Mac software versions, the unhelpful attitude
> is pervasive...
> 
> Dear Microsoft...
> 
> I have been trying for some weeks to obtain a resolution to three
> problems in Entourage and Office for Mac.
> 
> I have been unable to obtain a resolution.  I am copying this to the
> various email addresses I have been able to find which promise some
> degree of escalation.
> 
> To this point I have become increasingly frustrated by my attempts to
> find anyone at Microsoft who will take ownership of this issue.  So I
> hope, today, that someone will actually take ownership of this specific
> technical issue, and also the broader support issues that I am raising
> today.
> 
> These are the problems with your support for the Mac products, as I see
> them...
> 
> 1. The Mac Support website offers no opportunity to notify Microsoft of
> a support issue by email.  This should be addressed immediately
> 2. I have been offered toll free numbers for support which can only be
> dialled from inside the USA - Microsoft employees should be
> encouraged to check where an end-user is located to avoid giving
> incorrect information.
> 3. I have been offered a "mail in" channel to report a bug in
> Entourage.  By "mail in" I mean air mail post, in hard copy, from
> Australia to an address in the USA.  This was surprising - if a
> postal address is available, why not an email address?
> 4. The Mac Support site incorrectly states that support for Entourage
> and Office (current versions) has expired or will shortly expire.  Yet
> the product lifecycle page shows that support continued at least until
> 2008.  This should be fixed immediately.  see
> http://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?ln=en-au&prid=1808&gprid=36011
> 
> 5. The Mac software support forums are not monitored effectively.
> Microsoft should be reviewing support issues which remain unresolved
> after a reasonable timeframe and either posting a fix if one is
> available, or posting a note to say the problem has been logged.
> 6. The Mac Software knowledgebase contains almost no useful
> information.  Perhaps the support forums should be monitored and
> selected issues logged in the knowledgebase.
> 7. The Microsoft Australia website offers a URL for obtaining support
> by email.  This is http://support.microsoft.com/oas.  If you follow
> this link from an Australian IP address you can select Office from the
> product list and then Office 2004 for Mac, but then you are presented
> with a screen (see attached image) which shows support options for
> Powerpoint for Mac.  There is no option for any other Office product,
> and there are in fact no support options offered at all - not even
> the forums.
> 8. The Microsoft Technical Support call centre in Australia is unable
> to resolve this issue because, as far as I can discern, there is not a
> great deal of information on the Mac products in your internal
> knowledgebase.  The technical support person I spoke to this morning
> told me that unless there was an update available he could not help me.
>  I have access to all the updates via the net - if support for Mac
> products is limited to directing me to those updates then this should
> have been made clear before I spent 30 minutes waiting to speak to a
> technical support person.
> 9.The technical support person offered two solutions which I believe
> would not have resolved the problem, but which would have caused
> significant issues.  The first was to remove preferences for Entourage,
> thereby losing all my account and preference issues.  The second was
> more onerous - and this was to reformat the entire computer.  When I
> pointed out that this was unlikely to resolve a problem which appeared
> to be caused by Microsoft's failure to update the time zone
> information in Entourage, the support person was quite rude.
> 
> All in all, this has been a very unsatisfactory experience.  My
> Entourage problem remains unresolved (all my appointments this week are
> now displayed an hour late and I continue to get a warning error that
> the event and computer time zones do not match) and I now do not know
> what to do about the two remaining issues I have with Office.  I am
> reluctant, obviously, to take another 30-45 minutes to log each problem
> and then run the risk of getting an unhelpful and rude technical
> support person on the phone.
> 
> If there is anyone at Microsoft who actually cares about the customer
> experience, and is prepared to take ownership of these issues, then I
> would be pleased to hear from you.
> 
> *****
> 
> My favourite bit in all this was being offered a postal address by
> which to log a bug report.  Either the software development team
> don't have access to email, or Microsoft figures this is the best way
> to stop people logging bug reports.
> 
> And, you know, there are some people at Microsoft who are genuinely
> puzzled that people don't like their company...
> 
0
goldkey74 (611)
4/5/2006 3:31:48 AM
Thanks for the suggestion, but it made no difference.  The problem has
now been recognised by Microsoft and a bug report submitted by the
Australian technical support team.  It appears that Entourage uses its
own, embedded, time zone information - and Microsoft neglected to
update this to allow for the change in daylight saving end date in
Australia for 2006.

The lack of support from Microsoft for their Mac products sucks...

0
stephenj (6)
4/6/2006 10:24:40 PM
from ee.drac@verizon.net


Hey Stephen -

I think I've gotten some understanding of this problem, without
actually having a fix...

I figured that it must have to do with how Entourage interacts with the
latest update of the Mac OS.  I had not updated software on my laptop
for a while, and it did not exhibit this error, so as a test, I
downloaded and installed the latest version of Office and tested
Entourage: no error message.  To be sure, I restarted the computer and
tried again: no error.  Then I downloaded and installed all of the
latest updates to the Mac OS using software update: I got the error.
Therefore, I would conclude that the problem is the interaction between
the latest update of Office 2004 for Mac and the latest Mac OS or
simply a Mac OS problem with their latest update.

I'm not sure who needs to repair this problem - Apple or Microsoft, but
I think that makes it pretty clear that it's not a setting in Entourage
that is off.


Hey - I don't see readily how to make a post to this newsgroup, so will
you post this for me?  For some reason, my old email address is listed
here, too, so you can't reply, but if you get this, you can post it for
everyone to see.  Maybe even someone from Microsoft or Apple will read
it and work on this problem...  Thanks!

0
stephenj (6)
4/11/2006 12:31:07 AM
Hey matey

Thanks for the info.  Subsequent to my post Microsoft have identified
this as a bug.  The problem is that OS/X and Windows XP were updated to
include a new time zone entry for Australia which accommodates the
later date for the end of daylight saving this year only.  So, with
10.4.5, Apple included this later date in the OS/X timezone
information.  Entourage doesn't use the Apple timezones - it uses an
embedded time zone file and this did not get updated.

I am not sure about the mechanism by which Entourage determines whether
its timezone information is the same as OS/X's timezone information but
it obviously knows that it is running a different time zone file -
hence the error.

Since daylight saving has now ended, my appointments now appear
correctly - the only problem being the annoying error message about the
timezones being out of whack.

I am more annoyed about the complete lack of interest from Microsoft
and the incredible difficulty in even getting the problem logged.

I will post this reply and your entry together.

Stephen

0
stephenj (6)
4/11/2006 12:32:30 AM
On 4/10/06 5:32 PM,  "stephenj@coefficiency.com" wrote:

> I am more annoyed about the complete lack of interest from Microsoft
> and the incredible difficulty in even getting the problem logged.

By the way, Send Feedback from any Office application now works again, to
log problems.
> 
> I will post this reply and your entry together.

Just FYI--with a vague subject line and a post that didn't mention the
actual problem, his entry was a tad incomprehensible.
> 
> Stephen
> 

-- 
Daiya Mitchell, MVP Mac/Word
Word FAQ: http://www.word.mvps.org/
MacWord Tips: <http://word.mvps.org/Mac/WordMacHome.html>
What's an MVP? A volunteer! Read the FAQ: http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/

0
daiyaNOSPAM (1173)
4/11/2006 4:35:49 AM
i thought it made sense - but then i posted the original issue.  I
think what he was saying was that the problem didnt occur until he
downloaded 10.4.5 for OS/X.  That concurs with my experience.  But
whereas he thought this implied a problem in 10.4.5, I believe that
10.4.5 included the patched timezone information for the east coast of
Australia.

I still cant log a problem for Office 2004 for Mac - but perhaps this
is a problem with the Australian site only.  If you go to
http://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?ln=en-au&c1=505&prid=1808&gprid=36011
you will see that I still get the expired support message...

0
stephenj (6)
4/12/2006 6:10:44 AM
On 4/11/06 11:10 PM,  "stephenj@coefficiency.com" wrote:

> 
> I still cant log a problem for Office 2004 for Mac - but perhaps this
> is a problem with the Australian site only.  If you go to
> http://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?ln=en-au&c1=505&prid=1808&gprid=
> 36011
> you will see that I still get the expired support message...

I don't get any expired support messages, even though I'm still on the
Australia section.  I wind up here:
<http://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?ln=en-au&c1=505&prid=7840&gpr
id=36012>

However, I'm talking about something different. Use Help | Send Feedback in
one of your programs, which should take you here:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/default.aspx?pid=feedback&lang=en&app=Entourage

It's a one-way channel, not support, but you should be able to get it logged
that way.

-- 
Daiya Mitchell, MVP Mac/Word
Word FAQ: http://www.word.mvps.org/
MacWord Tips: <http://word.mvps.org/Mac/WordMacHome.html>
What's an MVP? A volunteer! Read the FAQ: http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/

0
daiyaNOSPAM (1173)
4/12/2006 1:34:37 PM
Reply:

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I just purchased a new computer with Microsoft Vista and Microsoft Money Essentials. I have been using Microsoft Money 2000 on my old computer running WindowsXP. I backed it up on a thumbdrive and tried to transfer my files (years of my financial history) to the Microsoft Money Essentials that was installed on my new computer, but the message I get is: "Money Essentials is unable to open files from other versions of Money." Does anyone have a suggestion for how I can download my financial information from the old program to the new program? Thank you Money Essentials is no...

Upgrade from a Microsoft CRM 3.0 Prof. (trial) to CRM 3.0 (SBS)
Hello . I want to upgrade a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 from a professional edition (trial version) to a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 in a Small Bussines Server. My question is if this is possible. I've found some documents to upgrade the program from SBS to professional edition and I supose thats the procedure it's the same for the other way. Thanks Miquel From Microsoft's evaluation download page: "The Small Business Edition trial version can be converted to a commercial Small Business Edition or Professional Edition. The Professional Edition trial version cannot be ...

Microsoft publisher 97
Whenever I try to open MICROSOFT PUBLISHER 97, I keep getting an error message that states: "Windows is low on memory, or your hard disk is full. Try closing other programs, and freeing some space on your hard drive before starting PUBLISHER". I've checked the hard drive, and it isn't full. There are no other programs running either. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to resolve this problem ??? Have you changed printers? Disable your printer, see if you can open Publisher. Anti-virus programs can interfere as well. What version Windows are you us...

Migration from Microsoft Mail to Exchange 2003
I am getting ready to migrate a small office from an Office 97 / MS Mail messaging topology to Outlook 2003 / SBS/Exchange 2003. Current: Outlook 97, Microsoft Mail with Post Office on one of the peer-to-peer PC's Destination: Windows 2003 SBS (and thus, Exchange 2003 with Outlook 2003) What is the best way to get current mail/contacts from the Post Office to the Exchange Server. Should I simply export each user's mail/contacts from the post office to a .pst file using Outlook 97, then install Outlook 2003, open the .pst file and move content to the Exchange server? Any pitfal...