Monday, April 11, 2005

Stupid Support Tricks

Recently I was having trouble retrieving my POP3 mail. I created a "help ticket" on my ISP's web site. I described the details of the problem right down to the error message reported by Outlook Express. The funny thing was, once created, there was no way to check on the status of the help ticket. Oh no! I was reporting an email problem. Could it be my ISP was answering my question ... by email?

I won't go into the details here, but the problem "took care of itself." Sure enough, when I was finally able to retrieve my mail, there was this message waiting for me:
Our Mail Servers are working as designed, the error that you are getting is one that is generated by your Outlook or Outlook Express. This is a very common Outlook error and generally means that your "profile" in Outlook has become corrupted. We are sending you instructions on how to create a new profile, if this doesnt correct the issue then you may have to un/reinstall the application itself. Please contact Microsoft if you need help with uninstalling Outlook / Outlook Express as you may need to save your address book / inbox.
This was terrible advice, of course. My problem had nothing to do with a corrupt Outlook profile. This left me wondering how a casual email user copes with such nonsense. On the bright side, if it was a serious email problem, at least you would never see this bad advice.

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