How NOT to set up an issue tracking email service

Filed under Rants

Here’s a snippet from a recent Microsoft email I received when I opened a ticket with them through the MSDN support channel.

******* The following is an email for a support case from Microsoft Corp.
******* DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE--your email will not be added to
******* the case if you do.  Instead, FORWARD your response to the
******* email address COMPMAIL@MICROSOFT.COM and place your text after
******* the keyword 'MESSAGE:'.  Also, delete all other text above
******* and below the keywords 'CASE_ID_NUM: SRnnn' and 'MESSAGE:'
******* to ensure proper delivery of your email.  Thank you.

Now, I’m pretty technical, but any support email conversation that you have to read several times over in order to even reply to is, uh, shall I say, unfriendly. 

And the wording, “DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE…”, and “Instead, FORWARD…”. Wow, the antithesis of friendly.

What’s worse, when I did exactly as was indicated, the email failed to go through with my attachment. I ended up, get this, having to send a reply to the very FROM address that the snippet above indicated NOT to reply to!

Now, I’m not pointing fingers at the techs themselves here; I doubt the guy that clicked the button to send this email was actually responsible for the content of this header.

But seriously, someone at Microsoft needs to take a lesson or three in email etiquette.

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