I'm starting to get really irritated...


M

Mike

After about half a dozen emails to Microsoft technical support regarding how
I can be assured I'm able to reinstall Money after support is cancelled,
they said they couldn't help me and recommended I contact Digital River, the
Microsoft store I originally purchased M07 from. After three emails to
Digital River, they said they couldn't help me and recommended I contact
Microsoft technical support.

Finally, being fed up, I shot this email reply off to Digital River. I'm
curious how they'll respond:

*******************
I've already gone through half a dozen emails with technical support.
They've referred me to you. To be quite honest, I'm starting to get
irritated that no one seems to want to help me and feel as if I'm getting
the run around. I purchased the product from you, Digital River. When I
bought it, the program itself (aside from the online services) was NOT
promoted as something that could be used for only a limited time.

Also, the EULA lists nothing about being able to use it for only a limited
time. As a matter of fact, the EULA specifically states that I am, in fact,
allowed to uninstall and reinstall Money, with no mention of limitations
(save for the number of computers it can be installed on at any one time):

Obviously, the lack of support prohibits me from being able to do that which
is expressly allowed in the EULA. As a result, I'd like to request a
refund. Please let me know what information you would need from me and what
steps must be taken in order to accomplish this.

thank you,
mike.
 
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L

L Cramer

Good luck. Your point is a fair one. While Microsoft isn't obligated to
continue making a product that's no longer profitable, disabling it use by
current owners is wrong, pointless, and infuriating.

That said, even if you succeed at some point old software suffers
compatibility problems. A transition from Microsoft Money to something else
is inevitable, except I guess for the truly determined.
 
S

Steve

Good luck.  Your point is a fair one.  While Microsoft isn't obligated to
continue making a product that's no longer profitable, disabling it use by
current owners is wrong, pointless, and infuriating.

That said, even if you succeed at some point old software suffers
compatibility problems.  A transition from Microsoft Money to somethingelse
is inevitable, except I guess for the truly determined.











- Show quoted text -
Since when is Microsoft DISABLING Microsoft Money? I expect to
continue using Money 2007 until I convert to Quicken by the end of
2010. I may not have automatic download of my investments, and I
currently enter ALL my credit card and bank transactions manually.
Steve
 
M

Mike

For those interested, I got a reply to my email. Of course, they didn't
even address my concern at all. Below, I've posted the reply they sent, and
then a reply I sent to them right after:

********************************************************************************************************************************************
Thank you for contacting the Microsoft Money Online Store.

We apologize for the confusion, you are asking about your "Onliine
Services", this service is what allows you to link the Money software to
you bank account online with automatic updates. However, this has no
relation to the availability of the download file to install the
software. The installation file is only available for two years from the
date of purchase. At this time that allotted time frame has expired and
unless you purchased or created your own physical backup, the Money 2007
software will not be able to be reinstalled. We would recommend
purchasing the newer version of Money if you are wanting to keep
utilizing the software features.

We have received your request for a refund on order number 3274142612.
Please accept our apologies; the Microsoft Money Online Store provides a
period of 30 days for evaluation of most consumer products. After 30
days, the refund period ends and is strictly enforced. This is outlined
in our refund policy located at:

http://store.digitalriver.com/store/money/DisplayReturnAndCancellationsPage

*********************************************************************************************************************************

Is anyone there even reading my emails before responding? As I stated
before, I am NOT concerned with online services, and I do still have the
installation file I downloaded when I originally purchased the product.

My concern is that, with Money support and activations ending in January
2011, I won't be able to reinstall Money when I need to (for example, when I
replace my current computer with a new computer and wish to reinstall Money
on that new computer). Again, I don't care about online services. I just
care about being able to reinstall the software and using its built in
functionality.

Ideally, I'd like to get a copy of an installation file that does not
require activation. I do not WANT to request a refund. I'd prefer to
continue using Money. However, by ending activation and not supplying me
with an installation file that does not require activation, you are not
allowing me to reinstall the software I purchased, something which the EULA
expressly allows.

If your stance is to not provide me with a copy that does not require
activation, then, regardless of what your refund policy states, of course
I'm due a refund, since you are, in essence, just taking my money but not
providing me with a product in return.

Please, I do not want to get another email telling me that I should have
saved my installation file or that online services won't be working or any
other number of responses that don't have anything to do with my concern.
As the provider of this product, you have only two options in addressing my
concern. You either: (1) provide me with a copy that does not require
activation, or (2) refund my money.

You can't do both, and you can't do neither. You HAVE to do one or the
other.

*******************************************************************************************************************
 
P

Patty MacDuffie

Uf course you realize that they actually don't have to do either of your
choices. Not that they won't - we don't know yet - but there is no
legal grounds for forcing them to do one or the other.

Patty
 
L

L Cramer

Having worked in a large web support group for a short while, your doubt
that anyone read your email is likely true. Response time matters more than
response quality. Production quotas rule the day. Canned responses are
available for (they think) every question, and lowly paid worker bees know
they'll hear about low productivity far sooner than they will about poor
quality. So, you click the icon for response #33 and move on. More
seriously, the volume at Microsoft is likely staggering. Hiring and
training a number sufficient to do the job right would be prohibitably
expensive. Everyone wants great customer service, however, few of us are
willing to pay what it would cost.

Anyway, thanks for your effort. Given a thousand emails like it, one might
reach the single cs rep who would actually do something. Good luck.
 
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M

Mike

No legal grounds? Are you kidding? I've used a car analogy before, I'll
use it again. Please, if I am wrong, explain it to me.

Assume you purchase a Mustang from Ford that came with 2-year subscription
to Sirius Radio. After two and a half years of using it, Ford discontinues
all Mustang models and tells you that in 18 months, if you turn the car off,
you will not be able to turn it back on. They say as long as you always
keep your car on, you will be able to use it. But the second you turn it
off, you can't use it again. Obviously, this is unfair, as you will be
required to turn off your car at some point for either maintenance or to
fill up the gas tank.

Don't you think Ford would be required to fix all Mustangs so that they can
be started again after you turn them off. And if they choose not to do
that, wouldn't they be required to give you your money back? Especially
considering when you bought the car, though the Sirius Radio was advertised
as only two years, the car itself was advertised with the ability to be used
forever.

Ford=Microsoft
Mustang=Microsoft Money
Sirius Radio=Online Services

It's no different. I've paid money to use a product forever, not for a
limited time. The EULA in Money backs me up. No where does it say the
software itself can only be used for a limited time. Nor does it say it can
only be used until Microsoft decides I must stop. Therefore, Microsoft, by
not allowing me to reinstall a software I legitmately purchased, is going
against their own EULA.
 
W

William R Wood

Mike,

I love your argument style. If you are not a lawyer you should be. :)

I like Patty too but disagree with her "no legal grounds" theory completely.

MSFT cannot disable Money from working and get away with it. Don't know
what is going to happen yet but if I get caught in a situation where I am
unable to use Money due to MSFT's behavior, I, for one, am definitely going
to see a lawyer.

By the way I don't agree with the second of your 2 options:

"You either: (1) provide me with a copy that does
not require activation, or (2) refund my money."

I think the 2 options are: (1) provide me with a copy that does not require
activation, or (2) pay me compensatory and punitive damages! A refund does
not even remotely compensate you for the loss of use of Money and MSFT
royally deserves to be punished for their colossal arrogance and disregard
of customer interests.

Regards

Bill Wood
 
D

Dick Watson

Your proof of what the law would dictate is useless since the analogous case
you propose has never been tested. ("don't you think Ford would be
required"--don't know. Has it ever been tested? Was Ford, in fact, required?
"wouldn't they be required to give you your money back?" Don't know, were
they?)

There's an awful lot of talk here about the certainty of Microsoft's legal
exposure and liability over this issue. I don't think any of it is coming
from the lawyers who use Money and occasionally drop by the group. If any of
you speculating about this are, in fact, lawyers, please feel free to correct
me. And for those of you so certain and eager on this tack, by all means
PLEASE contact a lawyer and let us know what you find out.
 
M

Mike

I appreicate the kind words, Bill. I don't agree with your "option #2,"
though. Please, believe me, I do NOT want a refund. I would much rather
continue using Money. However, a refund, in my mind, settles the situation
in that it assures that Microsoft doesn't "come out ahead" by going against
their own EULA and charging us for a product that we are not able to use.
 
M

Mike

You don't have to be a lawyer to know what is appropriate in this instance.
Let me end the car analogy, then, and make an even more basic analogy.
Let's say you purchased a round trip airline ticket from New York to Las
Vegas (and then back again) through US Airways. You get on the plane and
fly from New York to Las Vegas. While in Vegas, US airways calls you and
says they are discontinuing all flights. The first half of the product you
pruchased--flying from New York to Las Vegas--was used. But the second half
of the product you purchased--flying from Las Vegas to New York--was not
used; yet US Airways still has the money you paid for the unused product.

Now, they should at the very least continue just the remaining flights for
all currently booked flyers. However, if they chose not to, they HAVE to
give you (at least half of) your money back. It's simple--you paid for a
product which they did not fully deliver. I don't have to be a lawyer to
know I am deserved my money back in this situation.

Same thing with Microsoft and Money--I purchased a product. Now that they
have my money, they are telling me I can't continue to use that product. I
deserve (at least a portion of) my money back.
 
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L

L Cramer

I wish you success in convincing Microsoft to change its activation
restrictions on Money. But, your analogies don't fit. A roundtrip airline
ticket is not the same as software that is clearly sold as a license to use
for a specific period of time, not as a transfer of property. You have, in
effect, leased the right to use the software. Once the lease expires,
Microsoft has fullfilled its legal obligation.

Still, good luck.

lzc
 
W

William R Wood

Mike/Dick,

I still think you are discounting the actual damages.

In your airline example, if US Air cancels all flights and leaves you
stranded their damage exposure exceeds a simple refund for the return
flight. What if you loose out on a business deal because you are stranded;
what if you have to stay at a local hotel overnight and then pay double for
a return flight with another airline, etc, etc. The consequential damages
arising from the cancellation could be substantial. And in some cases
conduct that disregards obvious risks to injured customers could warrant
punitive damages as well.

I am a lawyer (retired 15 years ago) and I never practiced software law (or
airline law) but this MSFT case stinks and I would be amazed if MSFT does
not have significant exposure. If people are denied access to their
financial data due to MSFT's activation policy which is unreasonable on its
face, I think MSFT could be held responsible for consequential and maybe
punitive damages. One example - my computer breaks on 2/1/2011 and I get an
audit notice from the IRS the same day for the prior 7 years and I am right
in the middle of working on my 2010 tax returns. Without access to my Money
records I have major problems and MSFT might very well be required to
compensate me for all expenses related to the tax audit and preparation of
my current returns arising out of loss of access to my records. And they
might also be tagged for punitive damages relating to the aggravation factor
and their unreasonable refusal to remove the activation requirement which
prevents further use of Money. Nothing is for sure, of course, and MSFT can
argue that users should have switched to alternate software before the
deadline, etc, etc (I would say switch to what? or why should I have to
switch, I paid for Money?). Anyway this is all speculative right now since
we don't know where MSFT is going. They may relent and remove the
activation requirement. I may not even care if I can continue to use M2002
forever - which is my current intention. But I surely am injured already.
I spent a week reading and then performing the export/import of my data from
M+ to M2002 and then reconcilling and re-setting up everything in the M2002
file. Still not totally done yet. That huge waste of time and effort would
not have been necessary but for MSFT's activation policy, I would have
simply continued to use M+.

MSFT will surely loose customer support for this stunt at the very least. I
am not likely to buy MSFT products anymore and I used to be a major MSFT
fan.

Regards

Bill Wood
 
M

Mike

I think you have a common misconception that I've seen through these
newsgroups. At least in my EULA (for Money 2007), no where in it does it
list a license to use the software for only a limited amount of time. It
does list a limited amount of time to use online services, but not the
software itself. As a result, Microsoft has no right to tell me I can't
reinstall a product which I paid for, unless they want to compensate me for
the payment they took.
 
M

Mike

I completely understand what you're saying, Bill. And I do agree to a
certain extent.

Regarding my emails to Microsoft, I'm only trying to argue with them that
which would satisfy me. I don't think, for me personally, I would ever be
able to argue punitive damages because of how I use the Money software.
I've never used online services. I've never used bill pay. I've never
downloaded bank transactions into my file. I manually enter everything and
use Money for the main purpose of its Cash Flow Forcast. As a result, I
don't think I have too many punitive damages. (Again, this is
personally--I'm sure they are others that used Money to its full extent and
would have many more damages than I would.)

But, just because I don't think I would suffer from any punitive damages,
that doesn't give Microsoft the right, in my mind, to take my money for a
product and then tell me I can't use that product. So if they want to tell
me I can't use it, fine. Just give me my money back.
 
M

Mike

Also, I just noticed the wording below in my EULA. It would seem to suggest
that any damages I can recover would be limited to the amount I paid for the
software.

17. LIMITATION ON AND EXCLUSION OF DAMAGES.
YOU CAN RECOVER FROM MICROSOFT AND ITS SUPPLIERS ONLY DIRECT DAMAGES UP TO
THE AMOUNT YOU PAID FOR THE SOFTWARE. YOU CANNOT RECOVER ANY OTHER DAMAGES,
INCLUDING CONSEQUENTIAL, LOST PROFITS, SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR INCIDENTAL
DAMAGES.

This limitation applies to

* anything related to the software, services, content (including code) on
third party Internet sites, or third party programs; and

* claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, guarantee or condition,
strict liability, negligence, or other tort to the extent permitted by
applicable law.

It also applies even if
* repair, replacement or a refund for the software does not fully compensate
you for any losses; or

* Microsoft knew or should have known about the possibility of the damages.

Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or
consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to
you. They also may not apply to you because your country may not allow the
exclusion or limitation of incidental, consequential or other damages.
 
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W

William R Wood

I agree with Mike, nowhere does the ULA limit the term of use of Money
itself, only online services (which are irrelevant to many folks).

I have purchased and used time limited software but that time limitation was
very much upfront. MSFT has never indicated that the core functions of
Money are time limited. Even now MSFT's cancellation announcement of
6/10/2009 indicates that Money can be used indefinitely (subject only to the
survival of your computer and compatibility with future hardware/OS).

Thus, unless MSFT removes the activation requirement they are violating the
ULA.

Regards

Bill Wood
 
M

Mike

However, just playing devil's advocate here-- I guess one could argue that
since Microsoft is not allowing people to reinstall the software, the EULA
no longer applies, and as a result there are NO limits on the damages
Micrsoft would have to pay.
 
W

William R Wood

Many companies attempt to avoid liability for consequential damages by
including disclaimers such as the one you cite but many/most states refuse
to honor those disclaimers so they are uninforceable as a matter of law. In
fact I believe juries would likely increase the amount of damages against
companies who try to pull that stunt.

Regards

Bill Wood
 
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D

Dick Watson

I suspect they've applied the principle to Money customers that some
customers are worth losing.

I cannot implore strongly enough: people who favor the "lawyering up" track
should pursue it and report back. This might be a place to start:
http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm.

Bill, do you still have friends "in the business" that may be familiar with
software/services? The ONLY way to find out if there is a case here is to
ask. Everything else is just talk.

I think it is telling that no lawyers have been here chumming the waters and
trolling for potential clients. But I could be wrong.
 

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