The tale of how I won the MSDN Premium subscription in the competition, and Microsoft refused to activate it

    I’ll start from afar - 3 years ago, the Habitat held a competition " Photoshoot for Software People or Software in Exchange for a Photo " sponsored by Microsoft. Guided by the principle of “Attempt is the first step to failure”, I sent a photograph. Suddenly, the number of photos turned out to be very modest, I unexpectedly won , and after a couple of months, MS VS came in the mail with an MSDN Premium subscription (as much as 10k $ virtual dollars!).

    Then I didn’t particularly need this happiness, I even tried to write to Microsoft to change it to something more useful in everyday life, but they turned out to have crooked mail .

    Well no - no, no ... I put it on a shelf and forgot ...

    In March of this year, 2012, the event finally turned up, requiring the use of my “charms”. It was a resurrection. With trepidation, opening the box, he took out a subscription activation card, went to the specified address and began registration. They asked me an email, a serial number, and then they asked me to choose the type of subscription delivery. But the dropdown was empty, it was impossible to go back or forward.

    I thought - “Well, it's okay, probably everything is written for IE only” (I was in FF). I tried to repeat the process through IE - but the registration did not start already, I received a message that the serial was already wrong (!!!).

    Well, apparently now you have to write to support:

    Me: Good afternoon,
    I'm trying to activate MSDN Premium on
    For the first time through Firefox - in the second step of activation when choosing Media type - there was an empty dropdown, and it was impossible to move further on activation.
    When you try to activate through IE, he already writes, “The Subscription Activation Key you entered is either invalid or should only be used for renewing a current subscription.”

    Tell me how to solve this problem.

    No longer hoping that the problem would be resolved on Sunday, but being sure that on Monday something exactly this technical patch would be solved - went to bed.

    And then the hardcore started

    Microsoft: Thank you for contacting the MSDN InfoCenter.
    In this case, the deactivation key is already activated in our center.
    To activate a subscription in our service center, we need the following documents (scanned copies):
    a subscription activation card with a 25-digit code,
    confirmation of the legality of the acquisition (invoice or waybill),
    physical address and contact phone number.
    If you need the advantage of a subscription - distribution distribution, please inform the required language pack:
    If you have any questions, please contact our information center.

    I am in complete shock. Deactivated? And what was the expiration date and my agreement with it? Where in the license agreement does Microsoft have the right to require any additional information for activation? Naturally, for 3 years, any legal buyer can lose his documents, and he may not be at all eager to leave his contact details to corporations.

    Me: I certainly can send you a scanned card, for the rest of the items there are questions:

    1) I am an individual, and accordingly it is difficult to expect all documents to be stored for 3-4 years.
    2) I understand correctly that when buying a product for 10k $, the buyer is subsequently forced to disclose personal information about himself in order to take advantage of the purchase?

    Microsoft: Thank you for your reply.
    Under the MSDN subscription licensing terms (application), we can activate a subscription only if there is written proof of payment of the initial order or documentary evidence of the transfer of the subscription from another person;
    To activate the subscription, we need the personal data of the MSDN user:
    Licensing requirements and privacy information: /default.aspx
    If you have any questions, please contact our information center.

    Me: Good afternoon,

    I ask for a link to a specific paragraph of the license agreement, which requires all the documents you specified to _activate_ the subscription.
    I see the requirement of proof of purchase only for the case of a product return.

    In response, they only send the same links. All my subsequent inquiries (a total of 7 letters during our 3-week correspondence) ended with the same links or “All information and conditions necessary for activation were provided to you by e-mail.”

    That's all

    Of course, I don’t really worry about my “prize”, gifts - they are sometimes gifts. And the conclusions from the situation are simple - if you buy Microsoft products (and software in general) - keep all the evidence of the purchase _amely by you_ as the apple of your eye forever. I naively believed that I received the box / serial by mail - that's all, it's yours. But no.

    Well, now I don’t know what else can be expected from them in the future :-)

    Update: Mission accomplished!

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