Microsoft's home page opens with the words:
At Microsoft our mission and values are to help people and businesses throughout the world realise their full potential.
Well that's fine, and I'm a great admirer of the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which is doing great things all over the world. To counteract the grumpiness of the Daily Mail and right wing Tories with regard to overseas aid expenditure, the number of children under five dying from easily preventable diseases has, according to Melinda Gates, fallen from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million now. That's still 6 million too many, but 16 438 fewer per day, which is something to shout about.
I wish however Microsoft would devote a tiny fraction of their concern for those of us who use their facilities at home.
The following letter speaks for itself.
29th October, 2014.
Over the last weekend my Hotmail account was blocked by you because you suspected that someone else was trying to use it. I have filled in the form you provide for me to confirm my identity and so recover the account and each time the application has been rejected for giving insufficient information. The final rejection said that you would consider no further applications.
I have given you all the information I have available.
I do not know what Text*******72 means, nor am I ware of a “Code” which I could send.
You will see from my date of birth (04/09/1937),for which you have asked several times, that I am not of the generation which is all that necessarily au fait with modern communications technology: hence this letter by snail mail.
I have no recollection of having told you or anyone else my favourite fictional character, but it is nearly ten yours since I opened this Email account, so if I did I have certainly forgotten whom I chose.
I have only ever used one password with this account, so cannot complete the other three boxes.
I have given you the topics of four recent Emails, the names of four folders (though some of these may be wrong as I may have confused them with folders on Word) and the Email addresses of four recent correspondents. (Incidentally one of my correspondents was reluctant for me to divulge his address as he suspected the form might be a scam – maybe it was).
Though incomplete the above provides ample verification that I am who I claim to be, and not a hacker. Since my applications were rejected within minutes of being sent I suspect they were never looked at by a person, but simply rejected by a machine.
As you will appreciate, by losing access to this account I have lost my entire list of Email contact addresses along with much information which is important to me on Emails which have been saved. In addition, many acquaintances who contact me by Email will presume I am ignoring them when I fail to respond, and I have no means of alerting them to any new Email address as I don’t know their addresses. There are also several organisations which contact me by Email and on whose communications are important to me.
If you really feel that the above information is insufficient to verify my identity then to make certain you could phone me on the number which is given on all my Emails and I shall be happy to assure you that I am who I claim to be.
Over two weeks later there has been no response.
In addition, using http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php I've found two telephone numbers for them:
020 3027 6039 and 0800 7318 457
Both are permanently engaged.
My potential may be modest, but I'd be a lot nearer to reaching it if they'd have the courtesy to lift a telephone, verify that I am who I am, and restore to me my contacts and carefully saved records.
Any advice on how to prod them into action would be gratefully received.