*3 hours later...*
Don't let your Microsoft Office 365 membership end" Well, isn't that awesomely convenient, one-click subscription renewal. They took my money. The click over to MS wouldn't work. I tried many things.
2- Geek Squad tech support on the phone- Language interface problems galore. After 20 minutes of saying stuff over and over to each other I was advised to check with Microsoft, which I was actually already doing (see number 3).
3- Logging into my MS Office account- Today was my lucky day. I had to jump through hoops for 20 minutes getting codes and changing passwords and shoving my eyeballs through the screen and my fingers through the keyboard before I finally got into my account, but that was ok because I was still trying to understand the Geek Squad tech on the phone, gave me something to do. Hmm, my Office account didn't seem to have any idea I just renewed my subscription. I gave up on Geek Squad and said I would check with MS support to see what was going on.
4- MS online tech support- The only easy thing in this whole venture, but possibly a terrible mistake. Yes, she was puzzled, too. Nothing we tried worked. She agreed my plan to just go ahead and renew through MS and then cancel through GS would be the better idea. I renewed & got a $25 gift card. Awesome. She couldn't understand my logon probs though. She suggested another tech support session with someone else, but it was great talking to me.
5- Before I say this next part, we must know that the only way I can talk on my phone now is through speaker. It's been fine doing that up to this point. I pretend I'm using a Star Fleet communicator.
6- Geek Squad again- Tech support can't make heads or tails of what the crap is going on in my account, even though this guy spoke my language just fine. Why does it look like I have 2 MS Office subscriptions? And why was one canceled last May while I was on vacation? The more we looked over my billing, the deeper the mystery grew. After 30 minutes of breaking it down into manageable understandings of what neither of us could understand, I was transferred to billing.
7- Geek Squad billing's phone connection was dismal, plus a whole new dialect from another part of the world. That call lasted just under an hour. The only new information I picked up was that the email prompting me to renew a subscription I already had in fact created a whole brand new subscription, and every time I said I wanted to cancel the purchase I made, the billing rep asked me repeatedly if I wanted to cancel the subscription. Since I only have one subscription showing up in MS Office (yes, I kept checking), and since Geek Squad says I have 2 but one is already 'gone with the wind' (as per the previous tech), and since half our sentences are cutting out and we have no idea what each other is saying, I literally had to yell "NO! DON'T CANCEL!" several times. This tech couldn't understand what *my* problem was, and obviously couldn't understand that this was a Geek Squad issue and not a Microsoft issue. She advised me to go back to Microsoft for answers, even though clearly Microsoft can't undo a Geek Squad billing problem. (I felt really bad for that billing tech, it wasn't her fault that whoever set up the email incorrectly coded it to the wrong product and didn't interface with Microsoft itself at all.)
8- I will be going to Best Buy tomorrow to see for myself what the account number is on that subscription that got purchased instead of renewed before I tell them to 'cancel' anything. I will take print outs of my emails showing that they offered to renew a subscription for me, and I'm going to ask them how I got that email if billing and other tech support both say I didn't have that subscription to renew in the first place because it had been previously canceled, even though it still shows up in my MS Office account.
And this is why I blog. I don't blow up on the phone, I don't gripe on facebook, I don't slam my feelings all over twitter, I don't call unsuspecting victims on the phone and dump my day in their laps. Well, Scott will hear a little when he gets home, but by then I'll be so tired of it that I'll just say "Go read my blog", and he'll get on his fantasy teams instead. :edit: I should add that the 10,000 word emails have stopped, too. Some people appreciate this.
Other things Geek Squad tried telling me-
-I purchased my laptop in 2012. Nope, it was 2009.
-I've heard 3 completely different descriptions of what Black Tie really means in the last 5 months.
-My original package has somehow broken apart into different billing cycles, and when I ask point blank if I'm paying for parts and labor protection on someone else's Toshiba, they go silent.
-Whatever my Kaspersky package entails, it has somehow reduced by about $85 a year, so whatever plan I was enrolled in to begin with has somehow corrupted down to 2 different "software security" and "tech support" services, which are basically handled over the phone, because online billing support for that has ever worked right and seems to be gone now.
-Black Tie may or may not apply to any of this at any given moment. I used to be able to get through immediately on the phone, but they've apparently remodeled how that works.
The sweet thing about having all this protection racket plan stuff is no one can push me to buy more. Just want that $104.21 back, thanks. And an audit of my account. Maybe some reward points or something. Free upgrade. Whatevs.