I called the first number to Microsoft and talked to a man with a slight accent....of what kind I'm not sure. He was either Tad or Ted but he was very nice. He took all the information I had to give, even saying that eBay would work with them in this case. Glad to know. I want this thief caught! Then he gave me another number to call about getting a replacement. He didn't know anything much about that but kept saying I could buy another software package from them.
I had to laugh at Glen's comment about getting "John" from India because that's precisely what happened. Although "John" was super nice....friendly, compassionate and probably knowledgeable, I could only understand about 1/3 of what he was saying. Never have I said "pardon me" so many times. I even had him wait for a minute so I could change to my other phone which has a volume control on it. Why is it that when we have a hard time understanding due to an accent, we think that if we can hear it at a more intense volume, that we will be able to decipher it better? It did not help, by the way. I finally was able to understand where to find the form I needed to fill out in order to report piracy and also to "have a chance" at getting replacement software once I sent them my discs and documentation. So, I will send that off tomorrow or the next day.....insured and certified. Its up to them to decide whether I deserve replacement software and if they decide in my favor, it will take a month to get it. I was referred to yet another number (thank goodness for toll-free).
This was in reference to my Windows XP, which is not what its supposed to be either. About all I was getting out of that is that I can purchase a new set of discs. Forget the fact that this would involve wiping my entire hard drive and starting over from scratch. What happens to all my stuff? Why....for a price, they can store it online for you while you do this. XP is no longer for sale, so I would have to buy Windows 7, which may not be compatible with my existing programs. Yet another number was given to me to find out if my programs would work. This guy also gave me the impression that I was some sort of moron for buying a computer at an auction and also for buying the Word program for $139 when it sells for nearly $500.....and that should have raised some flags. Well, no....it didn't. I was buying software that had already been upgraded to a newer version (2010) and I thought that the older version (2007) would be less money because of that. I decided I wasn't in the mood to be belittled, so I said I would research buying new software and let him go. He was condescending and not very friendly.
So, now I wait. Yes, I have learned a lesson. Buy computers and computer software from well-known establishments, ones that can prove they are authorized Microsoft dealers. Check your PC's and laptops to make sure you have your certificate of authenticity on the side or bottom. If not.....you likely have illegal copies. But of course the certificate of authenticity could be counterfeit (as what happened to me). I think Microsoft needs to come up with a better way.