Microsoft Is NOT Ready To Support Windows 8: A Case In Point
Windows 8 is upon us! Excited, I’ve installed the shiny new OS and tried to install my first app from the new Store, only to be notified that my “purchase couldn’t be completed” (it was a free app) and that “something happened”. Really, that’s what the message says:
Okay, so I call Microsoft, and the friendly rep tells me I must open an Xbox account (why?) for this to work. Okay, let’s do that. I’m asked to provide a country, and I ask the rep – “is it okay if I leave this as United States?” (I’m located in Israel). Rep says, sure, no problem, we can always change it later.
Next, I suddenly need to provide my billing information at commerce.microsoft.com. But… it’s in Israel. And guess what? There is no way to change the region – it’s locked as United States. So the rep tells me to call Xbox support now (what?), and can’t even put me through. Okay, I call Xbox support and they basically tell me they can’t help me, and there’s no way for them to change the region.
Fortunately, I have a US-unlocked credit card, so I do sort of have a US billing address. I go and fill that in, but I still can’t install anything from the Store. I call Microsoft again, and get an elderly-sounding rep who basically doesn’t help me at all (a 2-minute conversation).
In desperation, I decide to use the chat tech support, hoping they would just let me change the country already (something you can do with two clicks on Amazon). And this is the chat log:
Please wait for an agent to respond. You are currently ’1′ in the queue.
You are now chatting with ‘Tara L’.
Tara L: Welcome to Windows Store Support! My name is Tara. Please give me a minute to review your issue.
Tara L: Hi Erez
Erez: Hey Tara
Tara L: How are you today?
Erez: Somewhat frustrated, but hopefully soon all will be well.
Tara L: So sorry for the frustration.
Erez: No problem; I just need a bit of help.
Tara L: You are attempting to change your region / country on the billing for your account?
Erez: For some reason the account is listed as United States, while I’m actually in Israel.
Erez: The phone number’s working fine (my Israeli one), but I can’t fill in my real billing info.
Erez: (And I can’t install anything from the Windows 8 Store)
Tara L: right, at this time there is not a way to change the region on the account.
Erez: uh, so how can I install Windows 8 apps?
Tara L: The only way is to create a new account.
Erez: This is my MSN account, and it has a 25GB SkyDrive on it.
Erez: I can’t lose that.
Tara L: I know it is a pain to have to do, however this is the only way to get that to change.
Tara L: But
Tara L: once the new account is created you will be able to link another Microsoft account to the new account.
Erez: And how would that help me?
Tara L: I am sorry but this is the only way to update / change any region issues for billing.
Tara L: We have provided information to Microsoft about this issue
Tara L: and I also suggest you to do the same.
Erez: Am I to lose my 25GB SkyDrive because there’s no way to change the account region?
Erez: You -are- Microsoft. I am hereby providing you with this information. There is a problem.
Tara L: the more people to request this to be changed the faster it gets fixed.
Erez: Okay, if I create a new account, can you give me my 25GB back?
Tara L: This will be an issue best resolved by contacting Sky-drive.
Tara L: I am unable to correctly answer that question.
Erez: I understand. I must say I’m extremely disappointed with Microsoft at this point.
Tara L: here is the contact information for skydrive
Erez: Thank you, and goodbye.
Tara L: I completely understand and you are not alone.
Worst service ever, and Microsoft is far from ready to handle anything remotely approaching what they’re trying to do with Windows 8. You’ve been warned.
Keep An Eye On The Best Deals With The eBay Extension For Google Chrome
A 46% discount on an MP3 player or a similar cut on a vacuum cleaner. That’s just too enticing to pass. Call it the lure of bargains and discounts, but I wasn’t really too much into it when I first started shopping on eBay. With online shopping, discounts are a matter of routine. But true bargain hunting should be more of a deliberate activity rather than leaving one’s fortune’s in the hands of marked-up prices and gimmicky discounts.
While it is always advocated that you compare prices and discounts across multiple online shops, it is also true that some of the best deals can be had on eBay. After all, (with due apologies to Amazon) it is the great online bazaar of our time. With all the jostling that goes on eBay, you need an extra edge. Don’t miss a deal with the eBay Extension for Chrome.
The Official eBay Extension for Chrome
What made me check out the eBay extension for Chrome? It was the recommendation of our readers that placed it on our Best Chrome extensions page. This is an official extension which gives you a quick response window to all your eBay activity. You can also use it to jumpstart your search for online goodies on eBay. But its primary mission is to be a command center for all your eBay activity and help you watch and grab any deals that get updated on the site. But first, it all starts with an install.
Installing the eBay Chrome extension is a simple three step process. You can download it from the Chrome web store or from the official webpage for the extension as pointed out by the first link mentioned above. Next, you simply click on the toolbar icon and connect to eBay with your credentials. eBay authorizes you and you are good to go. The obvious but good thing about the extension is that you can sign-into any of the country specific eBay sites internationally, and not the U.S. alone.
Going On a Shopping Binge…
Even if you have no active items on your wish list, you can start with a search or click on Find Inspiration that takes you to the main site. Browse as you normally would through items that are with or without discounts, and goods that are up for auctions too. Everything is captured by the eBay Chrome extension.
All your eBay activity is captured on three tabs. The first tab – Active – displays all your activity i.e. any item that you may be watching, buying, or selling. You can click the arrow on the side to get an overview of the item. If you are watching an item that’s up for sale, keep an eye on the ‘Ends on’ date.
The Ended tab is one you can go to grieve over a great missed deal. Basically, this tab showcases all items that have reached the end of their sale cycle in one way or another.
The final More tab is your ‘intelligence database’ of sorts. It lists all your saved searches and favorite seller information.
The Real Value of Using a Chrome Extension
You were probably beginning to wonder that this extension is nothing more than a glorified shortcut to eBay. No so, because the real worth comes in when it starts popping up desktop alerts and notifications that alert you to a spurt in activity. A typical desktop alert looks like this:
Desktop alerts (or a choice of notification badges) are all configurable. You can get into the extension’s settings and customize the kind of alerts you would like to receive. Enable a sound alert if you want to be really in the know.
More than anything else, the alerts help you to be aggressive with the auction items on eBay. Someone I know uses desktop alerts to really go after collectibles that get showcased on eBay.
The eBay extension for Chrome is a timesaver. Why keep a separate tab open when this can be your eyes and ears around the shopping site. Are you a habitual eBay shopper? Have you given this Chrome extension a whirl around the bazaar? Or is there any other eBay tool you would rather use?