Microsoft Answers… a FANTASTIC resource that I never knew existed

By standss Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Today’s post is the result of some EXCELLENT support that I received from Microsoft. Did you know that there is a Microsoft Answers website where you can post questions and get responses from many experienced users and even Microsoft employees.

It is a fantastic resource for trouble-shooting problems with all products from Microsoft… including Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Windows.

There’s a story that goes along with how I discovered Microsoft Answers and why I think it is a great resource but… If you want to go straight to the Microsoft Answers website without hearing my story, you can click on the Go To Microsoft Answers link now.

My story… I bought an excellent Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard when I was in USA earlier this year. It worked great for a while and then for no reason at all… it stopped working!

I was sure that the problem was with the keyboard and not Bluetooth on my computer. I use several other Bluetooth devices… and they all still worked perfectly.

Obviously a hardware fault… but my company is based in Fiji and there was no easy way to simply return the keyboard… until today.

My parents are travelling to USA later today so I planned to send the keyboard with them… they would send it to Microsoft and bring back a replacement with them (the box says that the keyboard comes with a 3 year warranty).

I didn’t want to waste dad’s time (or he would probably just bring the old one back) so I wanted to send full shipping instructions. Unfortunately Microsoft doesn’t make it easy to find out how or where you can return stuff.

My searches online eventually led me to the Microsoft Answers website….  this is how the site describes itself.

Real People, Real Answers… the community-based forums where you can search, browse, and post questions and answers. Thousands of community members—including Microsoft folks—are here to help.

I didn’t have much to lose… my parents were flying out in a few hours and I wasn’t able to locate information anywhere else…. so I posted a question.

I got a response in less than 30 minutes… telling me that my keyboard came with 90 days of free phone support (from the day of the first incident)… and a number on which I could call.

I called the number… and worked patiently through the scripted questions before I was connected to a technical support person.

15 minutes later… my Bluetooth keyboard with the suspected hardware problem is working perfectly (I am typing this using it).

I had the keyboard sitting in my desk drawer for two months… less than 60 minutes after posting a question on Microsoft Answers… it is working again.

Since then I have spent a little time browsing around Microsoft Answers to see how useful it would be for readers of this blog.

My opinion… If you don’t have immediate access to someone who provides you with technical support, check out Microsoft Answers now.

It is a great way to get problems related to Microsoft products solved quickly. There are sections dedicated to all Outlook, Word, Excel, Windows…

Categories : Office Tip

2 thoughts on “Microsoft Answers… a FANTASTIC resource that I never knew existed

  1. Microsoft Answers is a joke. Its ok for questions like ‘how can I change my desktop background’ but anything complicated gets a paragraph of nonsense which doesn’t answer the question, with links to sites that contain no related information.

    It’s a tried and tested IT support routine. Pass off a stream of technobabble as an answer, knowing the user can’ tell it’s nonsense. All designed to hide the fact that the honest answer is ‘it doesn’t work because this Microsoft product is full of bugs and doesn’t work as advertised’.

    Have you never wondered why all topics on Microsoft Answers are flagged as answered when on reading the ‘answers’ they’re clearly not?

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