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Warning: Office Live Free Trial Will Start Charging Your Credit Card

Got an email from Microsoft letting me know about the Office Live upgrades coming this month. When the upgrade happens, they warned me, my free beta account would migrate into a paid Office Live Premium account, and my credit card would be immediately charged $39.95. Oh boy…

If you are an Office Live Essentials subscriber, you will automatically be moved to the new Office Live Premium service. This will allow you to retain the online Business Applications that were included in the Office Live Essentials Beta. Once you have been successfully moved to the new Office Live you will be need to agree to the new service agreement upon signing in to regain access to your account. Your credit card will be charged $39.95 for the first month’s subscription. You have 30 days to decide whether you want to continue with Office Live Premium. If you switch to another Microsoft Office Live offering or cancel within that 30 days, we will credit the full $39.95 back to your credit card.

Big mistake. Microsoft is not considering the thousands of technology enthusiasts who signed up for Office Live just so they could say they checked it out, or the few who were looking for free domain names. Those people may ignore the emails from Microsoft, or the emails may even be going to a junk email address, and they will never know about the charge until they see it on their credit card (at which point it would be too late to get a refund).

Office Live Premium has not yet launched, and no one has been charged yet, although word is we can expect the changeover next week. Microsoft still has time to fix this. They need to make it so that the system doesn’t charge anyone who doesn’t sign in to their account, and deleted inactive accounts in a few months. Users who do sign in should be given 30 days to migrate, warned every time they log in, and charged only when the month is up.

Anything less than that, and you are going to have a lot of angry users, and a lot of chargebacks. Please Microsoft, change this before you regret it.

November 6th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Office Live, Live, Windows, General | no comments



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