Last week Microsoft bCentral required all users of it's ListBuilder Service to sign up for and use Microsoft .NET passport system by converting to that system before allowing log-in to their existing accounts.
I normally distribute my list through ListBuilder on Sunday evening for delivery by Monday morning to my subscribers. I got NO NOTICE there was to be a change to system until I tried to log in to my list last Sunday evening, December 3, and couldn't.
The sign in system crashed my Netscape Browser twice, so I opened up Explorer 5 and it just locked into a loop of agreeing to terms of service, I mark "Agree" radio button and click "next" to be returned to terms of service agreement over and over again. I give up with Explorer and return to Netscape. Now my computer freezes entirely. I give up after 2 hours of trying different approaches. The "Help" screen is worthless.
Monday A.M. I try to log in again on Netscape and go through process again at bCentral. Now when I click "Next" button . . . NOTHING HAPPENS AT ALL! I open Explorer 5 and try again to get back to terms of service feedback loop once again. Click button that says "I Agree" to TOS and get returned back default "I do not agree" button checked over and over again.
I call customer support. I wait on hold for 45 minutes before giving up fed up with awful loop of loud Christmas music I've heard repeatedly, along with that wonderful recorded, "All of our customer service representatives are busy. Please hold and your call will be answered in order received" Well either there is one person that can't get satisfaction who won't hang up or there are six hundred angry callers ahead of me (or both). I give up. I try again, for a WEEK!
I still don't have my ezine out two issues later, I still can't get through customer support phone waiting list. I sent an email to bCentral support and got no answer. I have a paid advertiser for ezine and now I've got to explain that I'm locked out of my list host and refund money.
This has got to be one of Microsofts' finest hours. I could care less about passport as I never intend to use it for anything but this service and will not share my personal info with them to save my life after this debacle. So I'm willing to sign up for passport for ListBuilder only, but all I want to do is access and distribute my newsletter! My subscribers and advertisers will love me for this absurdity!
After attempting for a full week to send out two issues of my newsletter, that I can't get by ridiculous feedback loop of agreeing to terms of service over and over again or getting signed in with passport I create but then being prompted to convert my account to passport. When I follow instructions I still get following message.