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This post has been migrated and imported into different systems over the years, I have not had a chance to format this post manually so it may be hard to read but I have left it here as a reference.
I was actually getting hopeful that Microsoft had changed for the better, that the company was going to great lengths to improve all of their services and the customer experience. I actually loved the new Office 365 that I had gotten used to at work, most of us will need Office at some point and Office365 made it simple to install and manage. I was sold and wanted to get this for my personal Microsoft account.
One litte problem, my account was created a long time ago when I was 14 or so and I had used a random email to verify my account, something like email@example.com, via a domain I owned at the time. I ended up selling this domain at the age of 18 and I no longer have control of it, thus no access to the email. But my microsoft account still worked, I never had to verify the email as I always remembered my password. However, now that I had gotten Windows 10 where I connected my microsoft account and as I was also looking to get Office 365 I wanted to change my email so that the ugly “firstname.lastname@example.org” didn’t show on my account anymore. I contacted Microsoft support and they said all I had to do was to add an email and phone number to verify my identity and let it sit for one month. Not a problem, I could do that and figured I would purchase Office 365 since things seemed to going forward smoothly. That was 6 months ago…
After addint the verification information I was still unable to change the alias or primary email on the account. Trying to change it told me that I needed to add another email to the account which I could then change to.
The above text is in Swedish and the red text states “For security reasons you need to verify your primary alias before you can add another alias”. As you can see, trying to add another email to the account told me that I needed to verify “email@example.com” before I could add another email, I verifed it when I added it 10 years ago? Trying to remove the email results in a promt that says “You are trying to remove the only alias for your account. Add another alias and make it the primary alias if you don’t like this alias. Later you can decide to stop using this alias or remove it from your account”.
I had even added a different email and even a phone number which will be used to verify ownership of the account so why am I stuck in this loop? Time to contact Microsoft support again.
I call microsoft, they say it’s an xbox live issue and that they will need to redirect me to their support line. Speaking to xbox support 15 minutes later lets me talk to someone who seems really unsure about this issue, they put me on hold and about 10 minutes later I hear “beep beep beep…” and the phone hangs up. Phone support seems to get me nowhere so I try email instead which gets me in touch with Per. Per walks me through all the steps I already tried above, I try this again multiple times and again while writing this just hoping that something will change but no luck. Per seems to understand that this is a big problem and tells me that their “Expert team” will need to help me solve this, he asks me what my preferred @outlook.com email would be and I give him two options and sends the ticket to “expert support” and I feel relieved hoping that this ordeal is finally over.
20 days later, nothing…
I tried updating my ticket a week ago, no response…
(image removed)Trying to get some extra help via twitter gets no response…
I feel very dissapointed with Microsoft and I am considering just cancelling my account and buying the Office package from a shelf in a store. I would have to remove my account from my Windows 10 computer and most likely lose my purchases for windows and xbox, I’m sure I could live without the microsoft store. I was excited about HoloLens and the progress Microsoft has made with Visual Studio and developers in general. However this problem has really made me rethink how I feel about microsoft as a company, all those Windows Vista feelings are coming back. It feels like Microsoft has taken a step backward when it comes to their live account that is connected to everything a long with their support which seems substandard. I mean, I develop systems for users every day at work, I know it can’t be that hard to change an alias for me and if it really is that hard then Microsoft is really doing something wrong in how they structure their user database.
Someone else can verify my account now, it is a security risk. Google “can’t change account alias Microsoft” and you will find many users with similar problems such as this Reddit user who can’t change the alias on his kids accounts becuase Microsoft removed his autogenerated email.
I guess I will call Microsoft support on monday and hope they don’t hang up on me again…
Update May 24th 2016
Microsoft answered another ticket I had opened in order to get an answer to my first ticket, I wouldn’t normally do this as I know it can bog down a support ticket but I think waiting 2 weeks is long enough to wait for an answer. The response I got was “we are having more requests than expected relating to our Windows 10 update and that this may be resulting in longer wait times”. I guess it is even more reason to question why I started to like Microsoft again. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love Windows 10 but the following post shows you all the dirty tactics used by Microsoft to get users to upgrade to Windows 10 all so that they can hit a magic number: How Microsoft’s tricky new Windows 10 pop-up deceives you into upgrading. I guess they are busy shooting themselves in the foot rather than helping customers with account changes.
Update June 3rd 2016
I finally got a reply from Microsoft and I was feeling hopeful. Unfortunately they simply responded saying that I could contact the domain owner which I already tried and they also sent me a guide on how to recover my account which I tried but it simply resets my password. I tried explaining the situation one last time and that I had added security information to verify my account with a separate email and phone number but it seems like Microsoft won’t use it for this even though I was told that that is what it was for when I started paying for the Office365 subscription. Well, let’s hope they answer my support ticket a bit quicker this time.
Update June 6th 2016
Microsoft was unable to change the email since markcards.com is considered an email provider just like gmail or yahoo. I closed the account. I am dissapointed that Microsoft couldn’t solve such a simple problem, my account ownership was verified by credit card, phone and a separate email but I couldn’t remove an unverifiable email since it wasn’t verified? Wouldn’t the right solution be to specify a new email that can be verified?
I design CRM systems for a living, I guess I should be happy I don’t design them like Microsoft…