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.