Remember back a year or two ago when you got an email that said Bill Gates was going to start canceling Hotmail accounts, so you better forward this email on to let him know you were still alive and kicking? Well (apparently) that day has arrived.
The scene: my laptop
The crime: a missing inbox.
Tonight, after getting back home from Comedy Night Done Right (NBC on Thursdays) I pulled out my computer to complete my nightly perusal of the internet. The first site I elected to visit was Hotmail.com. You see, I desired to check my email (shocking, I know). Much to my surprise, however, was when I logged in to Hotmail, instead of taking me to my inbox, I was told I didn't have an inbox...yet:
Really, Hotmail? Huh. That's strange. Then what have I been checking all these years? Cause I thought my inbox was that place where all my received emails were stored until such a time as I elected to delete them.
Trying to solve this conundrum, I followed the link to "Sign up for Windows Live Hotmail." It took me to a screen where I could "Create [my] Windows Live ID" that looked like this:
You'll notice at the top it says, "Already using Hotmail, Messanger, or Xbox LIVE? Sign in now." Okay, I thought. Seems strange that I have to sign in twice, but whatevs. I clicked that link and it took me back to the original sign in page. Something was smelling fishy, but I kept the faith and typed in my password. Again. And you know where it took me? Right back to the "You don't have an inbox...yet" page. If you think I was starting to get annoyed, you would be correct.
After trying to sign in every possible way, and getting steadily angrier, I decided the best thing to do would be to alert Hotmail and MSN to let them know that they were having some issues. So I clicked on help, thinking there would be a simple place to leave some feedback or - even better - a customer service number to call. And wouldn't you know it? There wasn't! Instead, I got to a very user unfriendly help table of contents with topics such as "How do I monitor my child's account?" Numerous searches for a helpful link yielded zero results and their customer support website was down (probably overloaded).
I finally found a place to leave feedback, and although it was for msn.com, rather than Hotmail, I decided it would have to do. I let them know how I was feeling about whatever the heck was going on in a clear and concise manner. Essentially, I cyber yelled at them. Hey! Sometimes the best remedy for a bad situation is nothing more than a swift kick in the pants.
But you know what? You don't have to fix anything. It's all good. I didn't need those pictures of the time I spent working for the Department of Commerce in Romania. I can get by without the contact information for my mom's side of the family. And my tax return? Pffft. It's not like there's a chance the IRS might come audit me or something, right? (In the interest of avoiding an unnecessary comment, don't worry, Mom, I have a paper copy of the return. You may direct your comment to another item in this blog)
The truth is, Hotmail, you've been steadily declining for quite some time now. I don't know if you're trying to be the new black or something, but come on. You're an email provider. Not a social networking site. Stop trying to be one. Every few weeks, the all new Hotmail comes along and the changes bug me every time. I've been with you, Hotmail, since the beginning. Those were happier, simpler times.
So here's the deal: you give me back my emails, I'll collect the information I need from them, and then I'll be on my way. I've slowly been using Gmail more and more anyway. The changes they make are actually improvements and - even better - they're optional.
Don't freak out too much, MSNBC. I'll continue to partake in Comedy Night Done Right.
And to all my beloved blog readers out there, it's aluissa at gmail dot com.