Following on from my previous woes of an Microsoft Exchange breakdown, I become further frustrated with the poor help I get from Microsoft and still don’t get an answer why the online mailbox repair tool doesn’t work

Wednesday morning about 5:45 am

Beep-beep. The first text came in that got me up from my poor sleep. I connected in and started watching the mailbox store fluttering again and some of the mailboxes being moved back into quarantine. I emailed the support guy, disagreeing with his rescoping of my support request and saying I needed help.

An important point here – they changed the wording and scope of the support call to fit their own abilities, not what I was actually asking.

After getting up and heading to the office, I’d received a bounce back, was clear the guy who had helped me was a shift worker and the call hadn’t been passed on.

At about 8.30am I called Microsoft’s UK number in an attempt to get a support agent in my time zone or even a US one. I ended up speaking to a human, who was based in the Philippines who actually worked on the credit card team, he took my support request number and said he’d try and get someone to call me.

I still had everyone’s mailbox going out of action intermittently every few minutes and several users still dead.

To add insult to my week I then got a call from another user who had a problem with the VPN. I rebooted the VPN appliance which then didn’t come back up. I had another site to go and visit!

I kicked off a couple of mailbox moves hoping for the best – the status of them was poor and showing all sorts of weird and wonderful issues going on, probably exacerbated by the quarantining and mailbox store going offline intermittently. I never really did get a clear answer from Microsoft whether you could or should move a database when it’s in quarantine. I opted to move them out, instructing the users to keep out of Outlook and feeling quite sore that I never had any steer from Microsoft as to what to do in this event. Time was ticking and I still hadn’t had a call back.

Wednesday morning about 10.30am

I had got to the second site, found a console cable, used Putty to try and get on the dead VPN appliance and found the old working but end-of-life one (this one was only 12 months old) and slung that back in. I could not afford not to have remote access for obvious reasons.

I still didn’t have a call back from Microsoft so from about 11.30am I started trying to call Microsoft again and got back to the same guy in the Philippines who said he’d tried to escalate but had no response. He tried again and eventually put me through to some technical dispatcher in the States I believe, but who knows. Whilst I was on the phone to him I had a missed call from a lady in the Indian call centre working UK time.

Wednesday afternoon

After missing a few calls due to having to answer calls of nature myself and get a cuppa and some lunch, I got on the remote session with the new agent. She was unfortunately less skilled than the first. I spent most of the call doing the work for her and migrating the faulty mailboxes, work I would have done anyway. Again no answers as to why New-MailboxRepairRequest was failing and I again took the time to show the output on both the old and new database and I got the answer ‘corruption’ (please say that with an Indian-English accent in your head). I again pointed out that it’s not possible given it was occurring on a brand new, fresh database and got a pregnant pause then some babble and no real explanation.

Anyway we sat on the call not really doing much whilst the database dropped off and one of the migrations struggled, I cancelled one and started again with larger bad item limits and it eventually got through. The other we had to leave but it took hours. The call was then passed onto the next team.

In the background I’d already raised a support call for the VPN box and a new one shipping out. Seriously, Microsoft you should do what Dell do!

Wednesday evening

I left site a bit early, I was done in. Nothing more I could do in the office and I had my remote access back. The final mailbox repair was going through but still having weird statuses looking as if the progress was going backwards then forwards again – Microsoft didn’t know why it was doing that.

I got a call from the chap I spoke to on Tuesday night when I was driving home to get some dinner and I agreed to speak to him late in the evening as I would be driving for most of it after getting some food.

When you’re driving long distance you tend to think a bit. My head was pounding, I felt like rubbish and the thought of wasting my time with Microsoft’s very poor support once again became less and less appealing as I reached my destination.

When I got back to my laptop again, I outlined to Microsoft everything that had gone wrong with the call and I didn’t see any need progressing things further without a senior resource who was better than me and the chap I thought was about my level and certainly better than the lady I had helping me Wednesday afternoon. I also included log entries that were troubling me and evidence of the New-MailboxRepairRequest tool not working.

I got a reply back from a duty manager who said a senior resource would call me 9 am on Thursday. I was going to have some sleep. I needed it.

This blog is continued in part three