Yesterday, I finally downloaded my copy of Windows 10. My desktop computer has been running Vista 64-bit since around 2008. And, with each new Operating System (OS) release, I’ve considered updating, but never did. Over the past year, I’ve been seeing a fair number of applications that I use no longer offer Vista support. So I decided that maybe it was past time I upgraded. And, I choose Windows 10, because it is the most recent OS. I’ll write later on my process of upgrading, but this post is about my issues obtaining a copy of Windows 10.
Windows 10 is sold primarily in two ways; a USB drive or digital download. Thinking that I would be easier, I opted to buy the USB drive. My retailer of choice was Amazon.com, but the the USB drive was out-of-stock. So, I went with my second choice, NewEgg.com. They had the USB drive, but it was about $10 more than what Amazon had listed. So, I decided to see if I could get it directly from Microsoft. They had it listed for the same price as Amazon, so I decided to try them out.
On March 21st, I placed an order with the Microsoft Store for a USB drive containing Windows 10. I opted for the free shipping, which was 3-7 business days. That would mean that I should have the USB drive anywhere from March 24th to March 31st. I received an email later that day with a tracking number. It said, “It may take up to 24 hours before your tracking and shipping information is reflected on our website, so don’t worry if you don’t see it right away.” So, I was not surprised that the tracking showed, “Pre-Shipment Info Sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item”.
When nothing arrived on the 24th, I checked the tracking and the status had not changed. Having worked with USPS before, I knew that they would often miss updating tracking, yet it was concerning. So, when I still had not received anything on the 31st, I decided to contact the Microsoft Store Support via chat.
The support person I chatted with could not confirm that anything had shipped. She could see that the order was placed and could see the tracking number showed no activity. At first, she told me that the quoted timeline was wrong, and it should be 7-14 days. When I asked if she could confirm that it was actually sent out, she said she could not, so she put in an inquiry and someone would get back to me.
A week after the chat with support, on April 7th, I received an email from someone they they were looking into my case. I responded back to the email, asking if I could just cancel the order or convert it a digital download. When I did receive an answer, I responded back again on April 13th, asking the same question.
By the 14th, I still had not received a response via email. I was getting very frustrated at both the lack of product and the lack of responses. It was now over three weeks (18 business days) since I placed the order and a week since I received the email with no response. So, I contacted the support via chat again. The person who I spoke with in chat said that my case was being investigated, but said that he would also escalate it and I should expect someone to reach out to me in 24-72 hours. So, I was back to waiting.
The next day, on the 15th, I received an email from the escalations department, asking to speak to me over the phone. I call him and he says that it looks like my order was completed, but just was left at the warehouse. He offers me either a rebate or to switch to digital download. I opt for the digital download, so we start the process over the phone of getting that done. When we are almost finished, his tools stop responding, so he asks if I can call back on Monday. I’m happy that things are moving forward, so I agree to call back.
During a slow period at work, I call the person I was speaking to on Saturday. His tools are working again, so he finishes the process within ten minutes. He apologizes again and tells me that he is also giving me a small refund, due to my troubles. The next morning, at home, I download the ISO and burn it to DVD.
Despite the service at the end, my experience was very negative, so I’m not certain I would every order from the Microsoft Store again. It took them almost a month and four different people to get me a product that I could have received within a week from Amazon with no hassles. Yes, it could have been an anomaly, but given that it was my first and only experience with them, I don’t feel confident in ordering from them again.