Frustrating Tech Support

Posted on November 10, 2009

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The other day I bought Red Faction: Guerrilla on Steam. It requires a Games for Windows Live! login in order to function completely – by which I mean you can’t save your game without a LogIn. Putting aside that fact that this is, essentially, selling you crippled software, I decided to go ahead and log in.

I can’t, so I reset my password. This isn’t too hard to do. When I try to log in again, I’m told that I don’t have the right ports open and I should contact my ISP. I work on that for a few days, when I have time, and try again.

Now it tells me that I have the wrong password. So I rest it, again. Then it tells me that I have the wrong password. Yes, again. So I checked online, and found a Microsoft web page that suggests some Internet settings changes in Windows, and that I completely clear my browser history, restart my computer, and try again. So I do.

You guessed it. Still tells me that my password is wrong. So I reset it again, and I check to see if my account exists. Games for Windows Live! says that it doesn’t. Well, that seems to be the root of the problem, right? Why it would let me reset my password when I don’t even have an account, I don’t know. Using links on the pages, I try to create an account. Yep, it says there’s already an account with that e-mail address.

Is there a number I can call? A way to chat with tech support live? An e-mail address? No, and maybe it’s not reasonable to expect such. Microsoft’s market is gigantic. There’s no way to staff that tech support department. Nonetheless, it’s a giant turn-off for buying any game with the Games for Windows Live! logo on it. That logo isn’t free, either. You have to go through a certification process to get it. So game companies are throwing away money in order to release their games with a logo that Microsoft tells them adds value to their product.

The solution, by the way, seems to be setting up a hotmail account. Once I did that, I had no problem creating an account, a working password, and savable games.

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