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  1. #1
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    Facebook site for Word is not Microsoft; it's a paid service

    I had read that Microsoft monitors its Facebook site and answers queries. This is not so.

    I went to and "Liked" http://www.facebook.com/MicrosoftWor...94711980549759 and posted a query about a Word problem. I got a call from a fellow in India who downloaded software that let him see my screen. He said he was with a non-Microsoft service and would solve the problem for $29 per query.

    He seemed less knowledgeable than a real Softie, and I didn't like the payment, so I ended the call, uninstalled his software and Unliked the site. I hope I didn't get infected with anything.

    Has anyone else had this experience? Is it for real or a sting?

    KRS

  2. #2
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    It's a sting. How did he get your phone number? He couldn't have downloaded software to your computer; you must have done that.

    Bruce

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    krsmav (2012-09-27)

  4. #3
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    Their "ask a question" screen required a phone number in addition to an email address. I guess I should have seen that as a warning, but a phone reply seemed useful, to avoid emails back and forth. I've worked for big offices that had phone support, and they routinely remoted in. I thought Microsoft was big enough to do that and fell into the trap. Never again.

  5. #4
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Microsoft's own official website provides areas for support for all their products and services. There's not a single link there to Facebook or Twitter. I would conclude that Microsoft does not have any official support presence at Facebook nor anywhere else outside of their own support sites. It wouldn't make sense for Microsoft to offer support through third-party channels. Although they might monitor their own Twitter Hashtags.

    Once you open a support ticket with Microsoft through their own site, you can sometimes get a phone call-back. This is often from outsourced India support partners. And some of them are also not so scrupulous. I had one fellow from one of these support outsourced partners really mess up my Windows XP laptop with Remote Assist software. And he still did nothing useful. I ended up reinstalling Windows on that laptop. And the original issue went away, oddly enough.

    At least I didn't have to pay for that insult.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-10-04 at 01:40.
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  6. #5
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    Many groups within Microsoft maintain Facebook pages--officially. But several questions about how they are managed and by whom are worth pursuing. I've seen several Microsoft pages that include links to "Support."

  7. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    I stand corrected.

    The problem with "Microsoft Support" Facebook pages is that those which are officially sanctioned and those which are scams or paid support offers are very difficult to distinguish from each other. The OP complained about a page which uses Microsoft Office logos, clips from the real Microsoft (non-Facebook) sites, and other tricks to make visitors think this is an official Microsoft Facebook Page. Until this thread, I had never seen any links from any official Microsoft web page or support page to Facebook, Twitter or any other third party site.

    But it appears that some Microsoft employees or groups within Microsoft are maintaining legitimate Facebook Pages.

    The question is, how do you tell which Facebook pages are legitimate as opposed to which ones are bogus? It isn't visually obvious just looking through various Facebook pages or doing a search for these pages. At least not to me, a non-member of Facebook. And a non-user of Microsoft software except the Windows OS itself. (And IE sometimes, reluctantly.)

    The key problem in the OP in this thread was that the page concealed the fact that this particular "Microsoft Support Page" was charging money for services, and that the owner of the page was not directly connected with Microsoft Support (apparently). And yet, in my own Microsoft official support experience, the "Microsoft" support is often outsourced wihtout much attention paid to the reputations of the outsourcing partners.

    Again, how can we tell the difference?

    Bottom line on all of this: The Lounge and other well-known and totally free forums will often get you as good an answer if not better than any "official" support site, on Facebook, at Microsoft itself or in other social websites. So why take the risk, when very good answers and advice can be had right here?
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-10-04 at 01:46.
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  8. #7
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    Microsoft Answers, http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us, soon to be Microsoft Community, has forums that should be legitimate.

    Following up on Kathleen Atkins's message, if anyone has experience with the Facebook pages of groups within Microsoft, it would be good to have feedback on how often they get updated, how reliable they are and where the links to "support" go.

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    bobprimak (2012-10-06)

  10. #8
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    I agree totally. And thanks for posting my favorite place to get answers directly from Microsoft. They can get a bit technical in that forum, but it is completely legit and does not charge for advice.

    Maybe Kathleen or a Windows Secrets columnist could do an article on this issue of Facebook pages which claim to be Microsoft Support Pages?
    -- Bob Primak --

  11. #9
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    Thanks, bobprimak--we'd like to do such an article.

  12. #10
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    If this is not the official Microsoft Facebook page it certainly looks like it.

    http://www.facebook.com/Microsoft

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