August 16, 2005 7:10 PM   Subscribe

I downloaded an upgrade to Microsoft Money. They charged me twice.

Irritatingly, I had to sign up for MSN Passport to get it, but I wanted to be able to track my 401(K) account automagically, and so I needed the updage. The problem is, they've now charged me twice, even though I only downloaded it once. I can't find a phone number or an email address anywhere to call and get this fixed. I sent an email from the support page, and was told that I contacted the wrong group, and given a link back to the support page (but of course not told which group to contact).

Even better, I got home tonight, and somehow Money thinks I downloaded a "trial version", even though I have now been charged over $120.

Now what? I suppose I should contact the bank and contest the charge. But... what else? Anything?
posted by dpx.mfx to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
1. keep hard copies of anything relevant (order confirmation, receipt, emails to and from re: the issue, etc.).

2. Call your CC company and ask for the charge dispute department.

3. Fax all relevant info to the dispute department.

4. Wait.

Of course, you can try and get MS to refund but I've never had any luck with those types of screwups. The CC company will get right on it though. It will help if MS sent you dupes of the confirmation and they have the same number or are time/date stamped the same or anything like that.
posted by dobbs at 7:19 PM on August 16, 2005

Response by poster: I did actually get two confirmations, but they're a day apart, and the first one (the one I actually wanted) is a "deluxe upgrade." The second one is a new "premium" edition. It's very odd.

And is it just me, or is Passport a HORRIBLE service?
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:24 PM on August 16, 2005

Passport lives up to its reputation as being unwieldily and not very useful for general transactions. I had to sign up for it for some reason a couple of years ago and haven't used it since.
The CC will stop the charge but they will ask a lot of questions in the process of the dispute. While the dispute is in process you don't have to pay. It looks like MS got you to upgrade from Deluxe to Premium and won't give you any option to downgrade.
Have you tried JGNASH - the open source financial
posted by ptm at 9:21 PM on August 16, 2005

While the dispute is in process you don't have to pay.

My experience is the opposite of this. You are expected to pay and then you're refunded if you win.

However, if you were calling to say your CC was stolen and then charges appeared, you would not have to pay (well, it's not that simple, but that's my understanding).
posted by dobbs at 9:25 PM on August 16, 2005

Best answer: I work for a company that does online order processing. Disputing the charge is actually not as simple as some are suggesting and it's probably not the best solution. If you were dealing with some dork in his basement, yes, but Microsoft? I don't think so.

If you cannot find any contact information, ask your credit card company for the phone number that is associated with the charge. Once you have that, give them a call, say "I have a duplicate order that I would like refunded. I have two order numbers I can give you." Be polite, don't act like it was their fault (because it really was not...they didn't place the order for you, did they?). If they refuse to refund it (unlikely, but possible), just explain that you already have a copy of the software and would have no choice but to dispute the charge with the credit card company.

No matter how frustrated you are, please, as someone who has taken hundreds of calls from people like you, don't yell, don't be rude, and mostly, don't be sarcastic or insulting. If the rep on the phone can't help you, explain that you think your circumstances are extenuating and ask to speak to their supervisor. You'll speak to a more experience and more empowered rep who will likely be able to bend the rules.

Oh, and good luck.
posted by BradNelson at 6:30 AM on August 17, 2005

Best answer: I believe this webpage may be of assistance to you.

The text of the link that I clicked on in order to get to that page said:
Attention Money users: If you purchased a download version of Money from Microsoft and have a question or problem related to billing for that purchase, please visit http://support.msn.com/contactus.aspx?productkey=msmoney.
Additionally, here is a more generic "contacting Microsoft" webpage.
posted by WCityMike at 7:35 AM on August 17, 2005

Response by poster: WCity Mike - I contacted MS Money support, they said contact MSN Passport. So I contacted MSN Passport (but didn't include the first email, silly me) and they told me to contact MS Money support. I've now emailed both of them back with the other one's information.

In the meantime, I'm going to try the "interactive chat" option from your link.

And I realize it isn't their fault, where "they" are the people I'm dealing with now. I just find it strange how this happened - the only thing I can figure out is that somehow I managed to purchase the Premium version accidentally while printing a rebate form. Which seems strange.
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:37 PM on August 17, 2005

Response by poster: Actually, WCity Mike - there's an actual phone number on there. I can't belive it.
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:40 PM on August 17, 2005

Response by poster: Okay, I take back almost everything bad I said. The woman on the phone was delightful, explained that there was in fact some kind of technical mistake, that they realized I didn't make two downloads, and that my account will be credited apporpriately.

I would have appreciated an easier way to get to the phone number, though.
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:50 PM on August 17, 2005

Glad it worked out for you dpx. I have some real issues with MS as a company, and as a software creator, but as a customer service company they've always been top notch. You only realize how good MS is when you try to deal with many other companies- they have excellent support, documentation, and customer service/billing systems and people.

It helps to be as rich as Microsoft: they'd usually rather refund money erroneously than lose a customer for life. For a downloaded version of MS Money the "cost" to MS of potentially giving you a free copy is measured in the pennies. =) The "cost" of you not having a happy outcome and a positive customer service experience was dpx.mfx carrying a grudge about MS and never giving Money, Office, or any other products a chance in the future.
posted by hincandenza at 4:37 PM on August 17, 2005

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