May 082023

I don’t know why Microsoft is doing this to themselves, but sometimes, it appears that they are hell-bent on strengthening their reputation as a tone-deaf company that is incapable of listening to, much less helping, even its most loyal users.

Take these Microsoft Community support sites. Great idea! Let people ask questions, get replies from knowledgeable folks who may have been able to solve the problem that is being reported. Well-moderated, this could turn into Microsoft’s corporate version of StackExchange, where we could find relevant answers to our tricky technical issues. Except…

Except that you frequently stumble upon questions identical to your own, only to find an overly verbose, generic response from an ‘Independent Advisor’ or similar title. Typically, these replies only offer boilerplate solutions rather than addressing the specific issue that was reported. Worse, the thread is then locked, preventing others from contributing helpful solutions.

Why is Microsoft doing this? The practice of providing generic answers and locking threads gives the impression that these forums are mismanaged, prioritizing the appearance of responsiveness over actually helping users solve their problems.

The fact that these answers are more likely to alienate or annoy users than help them does not seem to be relevant.

 Posted by at 12:59 pm