Is Microsoft Too Big To Give A Damn?

Microsoft is one of the top three companies in the world, based on market capitalization, along with Amazon and Apple.  Media Post reported January 3 that Microsoft, considered a virtual monopoly, finally, “Adds Security, GDPR Compliance Products” to its 365 suite — albeit for an additional monthly cost to 365 subscribers. 

It referenced, “security and compliance solutions in an age of increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity threats…” in a blog by Ron Markezich, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365. 

Gary Mruz, a Fortune 50 corporate global IT veteran for over 35 years, expressed little surprise that such a massive software corporation would only now offer increased security for its premier 365 suites, despite the exacerbated internet “wild west” and, as critically, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance products.  (GDPR went into effect May 25, 2018.)



He also referenced the “well known and recognized” (to the IT cognoscenti) paucity of security around Microsoft’s software offerings to either its “Home” or “Business” customers notably associated with its 365 suites of programs.

I asked Mruz: “Is this “safety” concern why so many continue to migrate from Microsoft to Apple products?”  His response: “It is certainly a fundamental reason, especially for Home users who do not have the experience or expertise to either protect themselves or pursue solutions when serious software issues or breaches occur.”

As Microsoft invests millions in advertising and marketing annually to build and enhance the brand, why not extend the product development investment to the highest levels of security and compliance to compete more effectively with Apple? 

Could it be that Microsoft knows its customer-service processes and procedures are so dishonest and appalling (and evidently low cost) that they can simply get away with an 80% software solution? Is it enough that products perform well with terrific options and drive outstanding corporate profits?  

Mruz was recently involved intimately in a nightmare issue with this writer concerning Microsoft 365 Outlook and subsequent Microsoft Customer Service, which is still unresolved in its fourth week. He suggests it epitomizes both the Microsoft software security limitations, as well as the ignorant and deceitful customer service offered by Microsoft, in this case, to its 365 Home users. 

As best interpreted from his response, I summarized: “That they don’t give a damn and take no responsibility or liability for any egregious mistakes?” He acquiesced.

Essentially, Microsoft, in finally restoring Outlook 365 to working order after more than three weeks, removed the majority of emails and many folders established over 10 years during their multiple attempts to address the initial problem.  The technicians simply did not back up the massive array of emails and folders before making changes each and every time the investigation and adjustments were made.

Yes, this is Microsoft customer service!

When ultimately challenged regarding the missing data, Microsoft initially said it was merely “a sync issue” — it was not. You cannot sync what is not there! Then they blamed Yahoo, the primary email server before blaming Mruz!

Of particular note, they explicitly mentioned 365 Business had tools that would be able to resolve the data disappearance efficiently and effectively.  However, they refused to use those tools or switch the customer to that division for such critical help after so many delays and false starts.

Without further details of the extensive, woeful deceit and fundamental incompetence shown by Microsoft after raising the issue to Level 3 and an array of so-called T3 experts, the email data is still missing. Yahoo Small Business “suggests” the data cannot be retrieved. Or perhaps more accurately, will not?

We all know the phrase that half of my adverting is wasted, I just do not know which half. 

In Microsoft’s case, it seems crystal clear its massive adverting, promotion and marketing investments to protect and enhance the brand must overcome a great deal more than delivering the right ad message, at the right time, to the right targets, in the most relevant environments. 

Its marketing investments must overcome the most damaging marketing effect of all. The brutal word of mouth associated with such a lack of responsibility and consequent failures in its customer service operations. More importantly, not going above and beyond to make customers completely whole. And to honestly and truthfully offer suitable full restitution when causing significant damage.  

As a career marketer and day-to-day consumer, when are CMOs of large corporations going to honesty and effectively address and deliver on the most laughable but cunning phrase in U.S. customer service today?  “This call will be monitored for quality purposes.” (AKA: “We actually don’t give a damn!)

According to the MediaPost article, Microsoft 365 is being used by BP, The Gap, Walmart and Lilly. Are you checking your customer-service contracts?  

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