Reply from Joe from MS support according to store problems

Today I got a reply from „Joe“ from MS support team.
The reply says that the phone store problem will not get solved and additionally support teams from MS do not communicate with each other.

Yes, this is what the support from the world’s biggest tech company looks like. 🙁
(Reply from Joe in Red, my answer in blue)

Hi Joe,

ok, seems I have to give up on this. 🙁

Hello Hannes

Thanks for the follow up I do apologize if I missed your questions. Please see my answer inline

– Will there be a fix for this store problem or is MS concentrating on Windows 10 and never fix it? I believe Mary had answered this question there is not a fix in place and the workaround was provided for these users.

Yes, mary told me that the fix/workaround is that users have to hard-reset their phone.
Since you are a developer too and are working in support I guess you understand that this is no solution of course so I was hoping for a REAL solution.
User do not know about this „solution“ and there is not way to communicate it to them. (most of them also will not hard-reset their phone, even if they know about this „solution“)

So things will stay as they are: I will get email from users that are complaining that they cannot install the update + will have to answer all these emails and ask them to contact MS support.
I will also get bad ratings for my app in the marketplace.

Of course it’s not only me since other apps/developers are concerned too.
I am in contact with developers and some of them are so annoyed that they will leave the MS plattform and concentrate on developing for android/ios.

– Did you contact support members from other countries and tell them to NOT blame developers for a store problem? We cannot contact everyone who has this issue and again I do apologize for this setback.

I did not ask you to contact everyone (every user) that has this issue.
I am asking you to contact support members from other countries!

MS support from germany still tells users that it’s the developers fault, when an app cannot be updated.
Is there no internal communication at MS support?
Support members from other countries keep blaming me (and other developers) for a problem of the MS store.

I develop apps myself so I can relate when you get a bad review or users contacting you for an issue that you have no control over it does raise the frustration level.
Again I understand you would like a solid resolution instead of a workaround.
I can tell you we had been engaged with our engineering team for a long period of time and what was stated previously there is not going to be fix other than having the user resetting their devices.

So that’s the best „solution“ the world’s largest sofware company can provide…

From a developers perspective: Most likely there is a database that stores a users purchases and there must be some flag that says if the user is using a trial version or if he got the full version.
Seems there was some „migration“ when connecting the 2 stores (phone, pc+tablet) and most likely the migration of the „trial“ flag went wrong.
Maybe it was set, when the user got the app for free…BUT not considering that the user may have got the app for free since it was part of a promotion.

So all apps that users purchased (the full version) as part of a promotion for $0 got the trial flag set…and now these users cannot update…must be something like this.

…and updating/fixing this „purchase database“ is something that support cannot do since it’s „dangerous“ and after all the problem simply is not important enough.
Would be interresting what happens, when facebook or whatsapp encounter a problem like this…

best regards,

10 Gedanken über “Reply from Joe from MS support according to store problems

  1. Jason

    I’m exactly in the same boat as you, Hannes. Oh, by the way, the factory-reset workaround as suggested by MS Engineering doesn’t work. Even flashing the firmware+OS using the WP Recovery Tool failed to resolve the issue. Just sharing…

    1. admin Beitrags Autor

      Hi Jason,
      thanks for contacting me an telling me about this.
      I did not try a hard-reset myself (since I cannot reproduce the problem) but I would have been surprised, if it works…
      The reason in my opinion: The store has some wrong data and a factory reset of a phone of course has no influence on it.
      The only solution is that MS completely removes the „purchase entry“ of the app for a user, gives a refund and allows the user to re-purchase the app.
      This of course requires that every concerned user contacts MS.
      And, the worst thing, in my opinion: Some members of MS support do not even know this.
      I get email from users that told me that MS support told them that it’s the developers fault, who somehow magically changed/removed a license…which of course is nonsense.

      Additionally I cannot imagine that this is sooo hard to fix – after all it should be a simple database update…but most likely the purchase information from users that got the app as part of a promotion got lost in some „migration process“ to unify the phone + tablet/pc marketplace….and after all most likely MS simply does not give this isse that much attention.

      What is your app, that is concerned by this issue too?

      1. Jason

        Hi Hannes,

        Indeed, I also think it’s a DB-related issue. I’ve expressed similar concerns to MS on the need to have a real fix rather than having consumers to contact support. Like you say, it’s impossible to reach out to everyone affected and moreover, not all consumer-side WP Support staff are consistent in handling this matter. It’s sad that MS is allowing this to continue even though they’re taking a chunk of our revenues.

        My affected app is Phototag and I’ve been dealing with this issue since early February. I’m the one who started the UserVoice thread on the issue.

        1. admin Beitrags Autor

          ah, ok 🙂
          …although the circumstances could be better, nice to hear from you!

    1. admin Beitrags Autor

      Thanks for the info!
      So you did a hard-reset of your phone and tried to reinstall my app (or another one that is conderned by this problem)?

      1. Marc

        just want to chime in: Hard-reset of the phone, and/or recovering the phone via WP-Tool does not resolve the issue.
        Tested both unintentionally while fiddling around with the windows 10 beta. Back on WP8.1 now, Week View cannot be installed, store is throwing the usual error.
        Do you have a hint, how to contact MS properly on this?


        1. admin Beitrags Autor

          Hi Marc,
          thanks for the info – sorry to hear that but in fact it was hard to believe for me that a phone hardware reset would solve a marketplace issue, where the root of the problem is that the store has some invalid information about your purchase.
          The only working solution is to directly contact MS support, explain the problem to them, ask for a refunde and this way re-purchase the app for free.
          For details please contact me via the support email adress in the app.

  2. I did a total restore from Windows Phone 10 Preview to Windows Phone 8.1 on my Nokia Lumia 925 today. As this is more than i hard reset, i have to tell you that the installation of week view failed. I will try to contact MS support.

    1. admin Beitrags Autor

      Thanks for the info!
      Please also tell this to MS support so they can see that their solution does not work.