My Microsoft Money saga continues...

Over a month ago, I contacted Microsoft support to find out how to get Money installed again. They suggested I call my local Microsoft office for assistance, something I'm leery to do for the same reason I'm leery about contacting anyone in the service industry in the caribbean. "Service" to many people down here is a relative term and in the Bahamas at least, it's relative to the levels of service you would get from, say, a carjacker. Even then, at least dealing with carjackers is a quick transaction.

So I wasn't looking forward to dealing with Microsoft Caribbean. I tried them a couple of times at various times of the day and night (in the off chance they use the ancient Latin definition of "office hours", openus neverium) and couldn't get connected to a real live person.

I e-mailed Microsoft again and asked for the number of the North American office that could help on the grounds that I was in Canada when I bought Money and I purchased the North American version of it. They were happy to oblige and sent me a 1.866 number which doesn't work in the Bahamas.

Next e-mail: I'm sorry to bother you but can you send me a number that isn't toll free?

The response:

Unfortunately, I am unable to assist you with your support request.  At this time, our Support Professionals are only trained to troubleshoot issues with North American versions of our products whereas the Support Professionals at the local Microsoft subsidiaries are trained to troubleshoot issues with localized versions of our software.

There are significant programming differences between North America and localized versions of software. You will be best assisted by the subsidiary that specializes in the version. You can contact the local subsidiary at 787-273-3600 or locate contact information for the Puerto Rico subsidiary from the following web site:

Weird, not sure how installing software has anything to do with a localized version of Money. And regardless, all I asked for was a phone number. My reply:

Please let me explain once more from the beginning.
Early this year, I purchased Microsoft Money 2006 online while I was living in Canada. I went through the download process, which was difficult enough as I had to install the trial version, then wait for it to update itself. At the end, I was directed to a website that said to bookmark it if I wanted to install Money again.
I have purchased a new laptop, also in Canada, and I am not able to install my purchased version of Microsoft Money 2006, purchased in Canada while I was living in Canada, on to my laptop, which again, I purchased in Canada.
The fact that I am currently in the Bahamas is irrelevant. I don't have the Bahamian version of Microsoft Money and the only thing even remotely Bahamian about this transaction is my physical location. Both the hardware and the software are North American.
All I want is a phone number of a representative in North America that is not toll-free because the 1.866 number does not work from the Bahamas. Please send me this phone number or let me know how I can get a physical CD of the software.

The polite response:

Coding Hillbilly, since you are located at Bahamas at present, you can call Microsoft Bahamas subsidiary for information on purchase of the Canadian/North American version of Money 2006 CD. YOu can contact them at: 787-273-3600. You can also contact our Corporate Headquarters, U.S. at:(425) 882-8080 for further assistance regarding the contact details and the available options.
I hope the above information is helpful and your issue is resolved soon. Please give my regards to your sister-wife, Bobby Sue.

Again, not answering my question in the slightest, a response I might add would have taken far less time to type up and would have made me infinitely happier.

Since I am fairly adamant against calling my local subsidiary, my options now appear to be: a) wait until I'm in the US or Canada where the 1.866 number will work, or b) buy Microsoft Money 2007 and never buy a new computer again. I'm reluctant to do b) because of the various bugs I've already learned to work around in version 2006.

I'm sure they truly believe they're being helpful but in two e-mails, I've explicitly asked for a phone number and nothing else. Not to complain, but to obtain software I've paid for. And they've been happy to give me a phone number that doesn't work, why so reluctant to give me a corresponding number that does?

This reminds me too much of when I was single.

*UPDATE* I CALLED THEM! What a &*$% nightmare! I was on the phone with them for twenty minutes and all they wanted to do was confirm that it was a valid copy. I haven't a clue where the original e-mail receipt is, if it even exists because I'm not sure it does. My argument to them: You have a record in your system. I'm looking at right now. Go to, just like I did, and you'll see it. One purchased copy of Microsoft Money 2006 Deluxe for $39.95 plus tax purchased on February 13, 2006 on this credit card by an irritatingly handsome man with impeccable taste in footwear and breath freshener.

But they were undeterred in their quest. He: "What's the CD key?" Me: "I don't have one. For the last time, I DOWNLOADED IT!" He: "So you don't have a CD?" Me: "For the love of all that is hillbilly, NO!" He: "So how did you install it?" Me: "????!!!???"

Here's the thing: I installed the trial version, purchased the full version using my PassPort, signed into Money with my PassPort and it did some magic download behind-the-scenes to make it a full version. There was no product key to enter as far as I can remember.

So, get his master solution to prove that I hadn't purchased it on LimeWire: Log on to their website and print a copy of the receipt and fax it, along with a credit card statement (which I've long abandoned in favour of online statements) to them.

Me: "You want me to do all this so that I can install, pardon me, RE-install a $40 piece of software that your own system can prove I own? Sweet Jayzus, man, I've uninstalled and re-installed Exchange Server three times during our conversation. I can wear a pair of $100 jeans from the GAP for a month without bathing and they'll take them back. And you're telling me I need to find a &#*$ fax machine before I can look at my bank account?"

In the end, I told him I wasn't going to do this because I had already paid for the software twice over in long distance charges (to which he replied: "You mean you didn't call the toll free number?") and that, in true capitalist fashion, I'd be making my voice heard with my credit card and purchasing Quicken.

After that I hung up and e-mailed to explain my disdain. I also cc'd which is something I like to do when I send angry e-mails about poor customer service. As far as I know, the e-mail address doesn't actually exist. I don't actually want to deal with a consumer advocacy group but I like the response time I get when I use it.

Then I found the source of my problem so it's all good now.