Ok, this is definitely an out of the ordinary post for my blog. But I just had one of those moments where a company so blows it at customer service that I have to just tell a couple of people
The company I am talking about here is none other then Microsoft and it involves my account at the Microsoft adCenter. adCenter is Microsoft’s answer to Google and Yahoo’s legendary pay-per-click business. Pay-per-click is an advertising method that places your ads next to relevant searches users make in the three search engines Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft’s new live.com search engine. The ads display next to search results and the advertiser pays only if the user clicks on the ad.
Google reigns supreme in this market, followed by Yahoo, and in a very distance third place is Microsoft’s adCenter. I have accounts at all three search engines, but I barely use the Microsoft’s adCenter account.
So I was a little surprised today when I got a call from Microsoft about a billing problem with my account. Microsoft called and told me they wanted permission to charge my checking account to correct an over-credit due to an error that occurred because certain clicks were inadvertently excessively charged. My impression was that Microsoft had some how credited back to my checking account an excess amount and wanted it back. I asked the amount they were talking about and the representative said it was around $600.
I told the rep I needed to look at my account because I don’t spend anything near that on adCenter. So I got her name, number , and extension and told her I would call her back as soon as I reviewed my bank records. I pulled up my banking record and saw there were no transactions pending or posted for the $600 amount. I looked at the adCenter account and can only find $50.80 worth of charges year to date.
So I call back the rep at adCenter, enter her extension, get told she is busy, and then the call was rolled over to another rep. The other rep tells me she will go get the first rep because she can’t find a ticket for my account, she returns and tells me the first rep will call me right back.
The first rep calls me back (with a trendy WebTv caller ID), I explained to the rep that there are no charges from Microsoft in the $600 range posted to my checking account. In fact, I had only spent $50.80 YTD, but in my adCenter account, it is showing a $580 credit. So I tell the rep, there is nothing posted to my checking account showing any overcharge so I am not giving Microsoft permission to charge anything to my account right now. I press her again as what the problem is with my account.
She finally explains that there was error where I was charged $32 per click for an ad where I had bid just $1 Microsoft then tried to fix the problem, but credited my adCenter account back DOUBLE the amount, leaving me with a credit in my account. The rep then says Microsoft can’t remove the credit from the adCenter account and wants permission to charge my checking account for the CREDIT they gave me by mistake! Microsoft wants me to pay them for the credit they gave me by mistake but can not reverse.
They are asking me for permission to charge my checking account for amount I won’t be spending for the next 30 months(YTD=$50.8; Monthly Budget = $50.80/2.5 Months = $20/month; Microsoft proposed charge = $600 = $600/$20 = 30 Months)
I went ballistic! I tell the rep you wasted a half hour of my time trying to get me to prepay the next 2.5 years worth of pay-per-click charges because you messed up and can’t reverse the credit you gave me!
Give me a break. I only kept my account open because I now have a $600 credit that Microsoft can’t remove.