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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,302
7,127
113
San Francisco
#21
ADVOCATE ADVICE
I have little faith in email services, particularly free ones. Everyone should back up their information on a regular basis so you have important information saved somewhere. It's almost impossible to deal with these people, so you have to be pro-active and keep your important stuff somewhere safe.
 
Likes: Fenway466
Sep 16, 2018
5
5
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#22
Niall -

Over the past +/- 2 decades - for issues such as yours - have had tremendous success(es) starting by going straight to the top of any given organization (i.e. CEO, etc) - including Microsoft (+ numerous dis-organizations!). Though nothing's foolproof - generally speaking (including Microsoft) - not too many CEO's cherish dealing with individual issues - so they delegate.

Had what should have been a relatively minor tech issue with the Windows Mail app - which simply wouldn't function. Microsoft tier 1 tech 'support' was worse than utterly useless (and overseas, of course). After proverbially beating my head against the wall until my forehead (ok - 8-head!) became Neanderthal-like - cautioned the tier 1 tech (who, btw, insisted upon refreshing my entire pc - i.e. wiping it out and starting from scratch) - that if she requested my permission to do so 1 more time (for a total of 6) - that I'd disconnect the call - then immediately call the Microsoft CEO. She asked again - and I promptly followed through on my warning.

Googled Microsoft HQ contact info, located info - then called. Thankfully - didn't have to go all the way to the CEO - as the rep who answered was so horrified, empathetic and apologetic - that she immediately contacted a tier 3 tech support supervisor (overseas, of course) - who promptly assisted me with getting my pc back to where it was when I started the god-awful process (took several hours, but - by far - the lesser of evils).* As mentioned to the tier 3 supervisor: what tier 1 wanted to do was the equivalent of me needing to paint a bedroom - only to have a contractor want to tear down + rebuild the house.

*NOTE: Ultimately resolved Windows Mail app issue myself via Googling potential resolutions (and I'm no Bill Gates! ). Back then there was no (known and/or simple) way to uninstall + reinstall Windows Mail app. Thankfully located online step-by-step instructions to do so - with ZERO help from Microsoft.

Short story-long - here are my suggestions:

1. Try calling Microsoft HQ and explaining situation. Would hope that you'll receive a similarly sympathetic ear + prompt resolution.

2. Since multiple Microsoft email programs** (Windows Mail app + Outlook + Windows Live Mail) and Microsoft email addresses tend to share contacts - I'd try creating at least 1 new Microsoft email address (hotmail, live, outlook, msn, etc) - to see if there's a way to pull through your (hopefully still current) contacts (Windows Live Mail seems to be most user-friendly of all - see below).

**NOTE: All 3 Microsoft email programs have their respective limitations - as reported to Microsoft several times (another subject for another forum / day). Windows Live Mail is no longer supported by Microsoft - which no longer provides links to install it, either (as part of Windows Live Essentials).

But there's still at least 1 website (believe it's Major Geeks) on which you can obtain a (safe) link to install Windows Live Essentials / Windows Live Mail - which I still use daily (along with Outlook + the Mail app). One of Mail app's major drawbacks has been - and remains - effectively sharing contacts across emails addresses.

In my humble opinion, Windows Live Mail remains the most user-friendly of the Microsoft email programs - including the sharing of contacts across Microsoft email addresses. As-such - I think Windows Live Mail should provide you with the best opportunity to locate and make use of your contacts - should they (hopefully) still exist.

By establishing multiple Microsoft (and, perhaps, other - i.e. gmail, etc) email addresses - you'll have back-ups + the ability to share contacts between them + utilize them for different purposes (i.e. I use 1 for friends + family, another for internet use, another for business purposes, gmail for my android phone, etc).

My attitude's always been: if there's a will - there's a way.

Taken at face value (and preaching to the choir) - your issue is / has been absolutely horrendous - but should be resolvable. It's a matter of accessing + obtaining qualified + capable assistance from a knowledgeable Microsoft rep - ASAP.

Hope this helps.

All the best -

Doug Cobb
 
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Likes: NIall

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,645
13,739
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#23
Cobwebb, the process we recommend here that is tried and true is to start at the bottom of the executive chain and work your way up. If you start working th the CEO and he or she turns you down- you have no one to appeal to.

People come here for assistance because we are fairly successful at handling complaints, and we ask our writers to follow our process to self advocate first. Many times self advocating properly gets the desired result and our staff is able to help the cases that really need advocating.

Our company contacts page has information on the bottom about how we ask people to self advocate :

https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/
 
Likes: NIall
Sep 16, 2018
5
5
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#24
Neil -

Appreciate the follow-up.

For the record: I did champion self-advocation (that was the entire point of my post!). In doing so - I simply provided to Niall (and others) what's been incredibly successful for me over the years - and, in this particular case, with Microsoft. And - should you re-read my suggestions - you'll see that suggestion # 1 is for Niall to call Microsoft HQ (i.e. not the CEO).

No one - including me - has all the answers, and no particular methods - including mine - are 100% successful and/or foolproof.

Though your point re: nowhere to go if turned down by a CEO is certainly valid - it's nothing that I've ever experienced - and that's over the course of +/- 2 decades of countless self-advocation success stories (most for which I retain detailed records).

For clarification purposes: every situation's unique - i.e. I don't always start at the top - and that's not what I did with Microsoft. As with Microsoft - I generally try level 1 first - then take it from there. As most of we have experienced first-hand: some level 1 folks are great - and others, well, not so much! Additionally - not every organization provides the necessary and/or capable means to effectively escalate and/or resolve the matter du jour - hence the suggested corporate leap to the top.

Lastly - I inadvertently neglected to include the fact that - shortly after resolving the issue (i.e. getting me back to square 1) - the Microsoft tier 3 tech support supervisor - as a good-faith gesture - provided me with a free license code for Microsoft Office 2016 (worth several hundred dollars) - which I promptly (and still) put to good use.

Best regards -

Doug Cobb
aka
cobbweb10
 
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Likes: NIall
Sep 16, 2018
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#25
p.s. More often than not - diplomacy works.

As does clear, effective communication (including well-documented facts, when necessary) + well-timed humor (when appropriate).

As goes the saying: It's not so much what we say. Rather, it's how we say it.

Many moons ago - someone taught me: you get more with sugar than with salt (and couldn't be more true).

In other words: always treat others as we'd like to be treated ourselves - as if each of these situations were in reverse - i.e. as if we were on the receiving end of a complaint.

It's paid off (literally and figuratively) time and again over the years - including very recently (and quite handsomely, I might add!).

TTFN -

DC
 
Likes: NIall
Aug 26, 2018
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#26
How long has it been since you sent the verification form back? If it has been over a week - get the executives involved. If you are having trouble with emails being rejected, let our researchers know: https://www.elliott.org/add-a-company/

They could be bouncing back because the executives listed are no longer at the company.
Hi Neil, I have filled in the form 20 or more times in the last month.

Below is an email I have written to Doug Brown who is listed as Director of Global Escalation Services - Customer Service and Support. I would appreciate if you could just check to see if it is ok.



Dear Doug Brown,


I am writing to you as I have an issue that I am unable to resolve with the Microsoft customer support.

Several weeks ago my Hotmail account was blocked after I voluntarily took an online security check at your request due to suspicious activity. My subsequent dealing with, Virtual chat, live chat and Microsoft customer support via email have proved unsuccessful in recovering access to the account. I have been directed to fill out the online recovery form but as the account is over 20 years some of the information required I simply cannot remember, the location I set up the account or previous passwords for example. I have also no longer have access to the backup email account that was listed. I do indeed have much information that could be used to confirm my identity but unfortunately the recovery form is quite limited.

I understand security is of upmost importance, and I am fully supportive of efforts to keep online accounts safe.

It appears at this point that I have reached an impasse with customer support. They have been polite and supportive but also I see it is not within their power to do more than redirect me too the online recovery form. Having filled this in 20 or more times in the last month and getting the same reply, that I cannot be verified as the owner of the account I believe it is time to escalate the issue to a higher level.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could redirect me to a person who could help to resolve this situation.

Kind regards,
 
Aug 26, 2018
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#27
ADVOCATE ADVICE
I have little faith in email services, particularly free ones. Everyone should back up their information on a regular basis so you have important information saved somewhere. It's almost impossible to deal with these people, so you have to be pro-active and keep your important stuff somewhere safe.
Hello Jsn 55,

thank you for taking the time to add input to the issue I have. I am now wise after the event, and I am currently making use of an automatic email back up service (to my own hard drive). But, as there is never a problem until there is a problem, I never thought about being pro-active before now.
 
Aug 26, 2018
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#28
Niall -

Over the past +/- 2 decades - for issues such as yours - have had tremendous success(es) starting by going straight to the top of any given organization (i.e. CEO, etc) - including Microsoft (+ numerous dis-organizations!). Though nothing's foolproof - generally speaking (including Microsoft) - not too many CEO's cherish dealing with individual issues - so they delegate.

Had what should have been a relatively minor tech issue with the Windows Mail app - which simply wouldn't function. Microsoft tier 1 tech 'support' was worse than utterly useless (and overseas, of course). After proverbially beating my head against the wall until my forehead (ok - 8-head!) became Neanderthal-like - cautioned the tier 1 tech (who, btw, insisted upon refreshing my entire pc - i.e. wiping it out and starting from scratch) - that if she requested my permission to do so 1 more time (for a total of 6) - that I'd disconnect the call - then immediately call the Microsoft CEO. She asked again - and I promptly followed through on my warning.

Googled Microsoft HQ contact info, located info - then called. Thankfully - didn't have to go all the way to the CEO - as the rep who answered was so horrified, empathetic and apologetic - that she immediately contacted a tier 3 tech support supervisor (overseas, of course) - who promptly assisted me with getting my pc back to where it was when I started the god-awful process (took several hours, but - by far - the lesser of evils).* As mentioned to the tier 3 supervisor: what tier 1 wanted to do was the equivalent of me needing to paint a bedroom - only to have a contractor want to tear down + rebuild the house.

*NOTE: Ultimately resolved Windows Mail app issue myself via Googling potential resolutions (and I'm no Bill Gates! ). Back then there was no (known and/or simple) way to uninstall + reinstall Windows Mail app. Thankfully located online step-by-step instructions to do so - with ZERO help from Microsoft.

Short story-long - here are my suggestions:

1. Try calling Microsoft HQ and explaining situation. Would hope that you'll receive a similarly sympathetic ear + prompt resolution.

2. Since multiple Microsoft email programs** (Windows Mail app + Outlook + Windows Live Mail) and Microsoft email addresses tend to share contacts - I'd try creating at least 1 new Microsoft email address (hotmail, live, outlook, msn, etc) - to see if there's a way to pull through your (hopefully still current) contacts (Windows Live Mail seems to be most user-friendly of all - see below).

**NOTE: All 3 Microsoft email programs have their respective limitations - as reported to Microsoft several times (another subject for another forum / day). Windows Live Mail is no longer supported by Microsoft - which no longer provides links to install it, either (as part of Windows Live Essentials).

But there's still at least 1 website (believe it's Major Geeks) on which you can obtain a (safe) link to install Windows Live Essentials / Windows Live Mail - which I still use daily (along with Outlook + the Mail app). One of Mail app's major drawbacks has been - and remains - effectively sharing contacts across emails addresses.

In my humble opinion, Windows Live Mail remains the most user-friendly of the Microsoft email programs - including the sharing of contacts across Microsoft email addresses. As-such - I think Windows Live Mail should provide you with the best opportunity to locate and make use of your contacts - should they (hopefully) still exist.

By establishing multiple Microsoft (and, perhaps, other - i.e. gmail, etc) email addresses - you'll have back-ups + the ability to share contacts between them + utilize them for different purposes (i.e. I use 1 for friends + family, another for internet use, another for business purposes, gmail for my android phone, etc).

My attitude's always been: if there's a will - there's a way.

Taken at face value (and preaching to the choir) - your issue is / has been absolutely horrendous - but should be resolvable. It's a matter of accessing + obtaining qualified + capable assistance from a knowledgeable Microsoft rep - ASAP.

Hope this helps.

All the best -

Doug Cobb
Thank you Doug for you advice. Finding access to qualified and capable assistance is really how I would like to proceed, but this is proving trickier than I expected.
I have tried calling Microsoft, most numbers are 0800 or equivalent and can only be called with in the same country. You get an answering service with options. Having followed the options relating to my issue I get advised to contact support via email, no human on the line at any point.
I like you idea of trying to recover my contacts by setting up a microsoft account, I will look into that. I do have a skype account which is from microsoft, but I am not sure if I ever connected them.
 
Aug 26, 2018
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#29
p.s. More often than not - diplomacy works.

As does clear, effective communication (including well-documented facts, when necessary) + well-timed humor (when appropriate).

As goes the saying: It's not so much what we say. Rather, it's how we say it.

Many moons ago - someone taught me: you get more with sugar than with salt (and couldn't be more true).

In other words: always treat others as we'd like to be treated ourselves - as if each of these situations were in reverse - i.e. as if we were on the receiving end of a complaint.

It's paid off (literally and figuratively) time and again over the years - including very recently (and quite handsomely, I might add!).

TTFN -

DC
I couldn't agree more, I was once told by someone that there is no point in getting angry with someone, you have a much better chance to get what you want by being polite, why would someone help you if you are angry at them.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,645
13,739
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#30
Your letter is good.

The way cases are taken up by the writers is that we ask consumers to follow the instructions on the company contact page to write to Customer Service and each executIve one at a time once a week. If there is still an impasse or no response from the Corporation, the consumer goes back to the help page and sends an update- that you have written up the Executive chain and the issue hasn’t been resolved.

The writers will ask for all your correspondence and see if they can help.
 
Sep 16, 2018
5
5
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#31
Niall -

Hopefully either your Skype account and/or a new Microsoft email account will provide you access to your contacts.

Additionally, I just looked up + called (to ensure its current validity) the non-toll-free Microsoft Corporate offices phone # that I called (from the US) to resolve my issue: 1-425-882-8080. According to the pre-recorded outgoing message - normal Microsoft business hours are: M-F, 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM, PST.

If memory serves me correctly - I simply pressed '0' to bypass the elongated voicemail prompts - and quickly was able to speak with the aforementioned Microsoft rep - who couldn't have been more pleasant and/or helpful.

Though it may not be of any help - in the event that you don't already have it - the other Microsoft customer service # that I have in my contacts is 1-800-642-7676. Since it's been a while - unsure as to whether or not this is the phone # that I called and received the horrendously poor tech 'support'.

Based on your description of the lousy 'support' - certainly seems as though you're mired in a similar (if not the same) Microsoft 'bog' as was I a while back - so I'd recommend steering clear of the toll-free #('s) - including the one above - and utilize the local / long distance Microsoft Corporate offices phone # above.

If you're out of the US and unable to direct-dial either phone # during normal Microsoft business hours - let me know. I'll call Microsoft on your behalf to request a valid Microsoft Corporate offices phone # for you to contact from outside of the US (and/or helpful info where you may locate the correct-such phone # for your country - if not the US) - then forward this info to you ASAP.

As mentioned: If there's a will - there's a way...

Best wishes -

Doug Cobb
 
Aug 26, 2018
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#32
Niall -

Hopefully either your Skype account and/or a new Microsoft email account will provide you access to your contacts.

Additionally, I just looked up + called (to ensure its current validity) the non-toll-free Microsoft Corporate offices phone # that I called (from the US) to resolve my issue: 1-425-882-8080. According to the pre-recorded outgoing message - normal Microsoft business hours are: M-F, 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM, PST.

If memory serves me correctly - I simply pressed '0' to bypass the elongated voicemail prompts - and quickly was able to speak with the aforementioned Microsoft rep - who couldn't have been more pleasant and/or helpful.

Though it may not be of any help - in the event that you don't already have it - the other Microsoft customer service # that I have in my contacts is 1-800-642-7676. Since it's been a while - unsure as to whether or not this is the phone # that I called and received the horrendously poor tech 'support'.

Based on your description of the lousy 'support' - certainly seems as though you're mired in a similar (if not the same) Microsoft 'bog' as was I a while back - so I'd recommend steering clear of the toll-free #('s) - including the one above - and utilize the local / long distance Microsoft Corporate offices phone # above.

If you're out of the US and unable to direct-dial either phone # during normal Microsoft business hours - let me know. I'll call Microsoft on your behalf to request a valid Microsoft Corporate offices phone # for you to contact from outside of the US (and/or helpful info where you may locate the correct-such phone # for your country - if not the US) - then forward this info to you ASAP.

As mentioned: If there's a will - there's a way...

Best wishes -

Doug Cobb
Thanks Doug for that, very helpful of you to look up the phone number. I have sent the email I posted earlier, so I am going to wait for 2 weeks to see if I get any reaction to that. I will try ringing then to see if I can talk to someone. I am not in the US but it shouldn't be a problem calling from here.

On a side note, I missed a dental appointment this morning, the reminder was sent via email, and I have lost one job because I didn't answer the email that was sent, so much life intertwined in that account.
 
Aug 26, 2018
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#33
Your letter is good.

The way cases are taken up by the writers is that we ask consumers to follow the instructions on the company contact page to write to Customer Service and each executIve one at a time once a week. If there is still an impasse or no response from the Corporation, the consumer goes back to the help page and sends an update- that you have written up the Executive chain and the issue hasn’t been resolved.

The writers will ask for all your correspondence and see if they can help.
First email has been sent, I will let you know if there is a reaction. I will send another one next week to one of the other executives.
 
Sep 16, 2018
5
5
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#34
Niall -

My pleasure, of course. Sorry to learn of the lost job + missed dental appointment.

If you were able to send an email - then clearly you've found at least a temporary work-around.

While under normal circumstances, patience may be a virtue - it doesn't pay bills, accept job offers and/or repair/clean teeth, etc.

As a fortune cookie once accurately stated: Life is what happens when [we're] making other plans.

Not to ruffle any feathers, so to speak (and everyone's different) - but under the same or similar circumstances, there's simply no way that I'd wait even a(nother) minute to call Microsoft. What other/additional less than pleasant 'surprises' await you - as a result of your lost email account?

More often than not, effectively presenting your case - i.e. explaining your situation + how it's affected/impacted you (utilizing the lost job + missed dental appointment as real-life examples) will result in empathy + immediate assistance (and much more timely resolution. And that's exactly what happened when I called Microsoft.

Any luck locating contacts via Skype and/or via a new Microsoft email address?

Reminder:

Windows Live Essentials allows you to add programs to Windows - including:

Windows Live Mail, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, OneDrive, Family Safety, and Writer.*

Here's the link via MajorGeeks.Com: https://www.majorgeeks.com/mg/getmirror/windows_live,1.html

*1. Though Microsoft support ended January 2017 - it still works fine.

2. I also regularly use Photo Gallery - to edit + crop photos, etc.

3. Also have Movie Maker - but have never used it (to my knowledge/recollection) + elected to not install and/or uninstall OneDrive, Family Safety, and Writer (no personal need for any of these).

4. Though I use Microsoft Mail app as my primary email program - I still use Windows Live Mail daily - for such things as:

A) easily moving emails from one address to another (for record keeping purposes, etc) +

B) easily forwarding phishing emails - as attachments (so the recipient gets the entire email - to help effectively thwart future phishing attempts and/or catch the cyber criminals).**

**NOTES:

1. WLM has its limitations - i.e. sent emails get stuck in outbox, etc. Easy work around is to save emails as drafts in WLM - then swap over to Mail app (or Outlook, etc) - to promptly send from Mail app (Microsoft mail programs sync almost instantly - i.e. as soon as you save a draft in WLM - it appears in Mail app within seconds.

2. For whatever dumb reason(s), Outlook + Mail app aren't as user-friendly as WLM - most notably for the above uses + (as mentioned previously) for much more user-friendly access + use of shared Microsoft contacts).

3. I still use WLM whenever searching for contacts to add to outgoing emails (if/when can't locate via Mail app), adding, editing and/or deleting contact info, etc.

Lastly - coincidentally happened to receive a couple more phishing emails today - which I ALWAYS save as attachments via WLM - then send via Mail app to the proper authorities (US + international).

As-such - updated my contacts for reporting/forwarding spam and/or phishing emails today:

APWG - Anti-Phishing Working Group: reportphishing@apwg.org (international)

FTC: reportphishing@antiphishing.org (US)

US-CERT: phishing-report@us-cert.gov (US)

Report Spam Email: spam@uce.gov (US)

All the best -

Doug Cobb
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,645
13,739
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#35
Doug, why the links to Windows Live in your post?

Endorsements aren’t allowed here. Do you work for any of these companies and links you are posting?

They should be deleted as they have nothing to do with the Hotmail problem.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
966
1,212
93
#36
Doug Cobb, we are all volunteers here. Calling one of the Moderators names is not going to further your cause with anyone, especially not Mr. Elliott.
 
Aug 26, 2018
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#37
Firstly I would like to thank every one who made a contribution and I would like to say that I somehow solved the issue. In the end microsoft, their customer support and non replying executives were of no help at all.

What I did, was to check the domain name I used many years ago which had the email address for the back up email for verification. I discovered it was free. So I bought it, hosted it and set up the old email address and I was able to get a verification code sent to that.

2 months of wasting my time and microsoft customer supports time but I am currently archiving all my emails from that account and will move away from it over the next few months.

This is what I love about the internet, people willing to give their time to help other on a truly altruistic level. Many years ago I sat at my computer and some person I did not know took the time to walk me through making a event log, then spent more time finding the virus problem I had, and helped me resolve the problem. I was in awe of this person and this is a story I often use to reaffirm that there are so many good people out there.

Congratulations and kudos for such good work.