I spent several days last week engaged in an epic struggle with Microsoft to wrest some customer support for OneDrive loose from their customer support department.
I’ve written positively about OneDrive before and I do like the product. But when I tried to get to my OneDrive account with a browser, I saw this error.
I have my cloud account mirrored on my computer, so it wasn’t as if I was missing any files, but I am currently working on a writing project with someone else using OneDrive and I need to be able to access it in the cloud.
I did basic troubleshooting myself, checking for the error in different browsers, resetting those browsers and clearing the cache. Checking on different computers (one an 8.1 and the other a Windows 7 device) and also trying to access the account from my Android phone. Same issue.
I went to the Microsoft forums to see if others were reporting an issue and saw that some people had the same issue back in June, but there was no solution listed.
I put in a support ticket through my Office 365 account as well.
I turned to the chat support offered on Microsoft.com. I waited a long time for a rep to come online and we went over the troubleshooting steps I’d tried so far again and also found that if I created a new OneDrive account, I could access it. The rep said he might need access to my computer. I balked at that because the issue was on multiple devices and seemed to me to be clearly related to the account. The rep then tried to sell me a $200 antivirus and tech support package under the theory that a virus could be causing the issue.
I went back to the Microsoft forums and posted a question, I received a response from someone who also appeared not to have read my post detailing the troubleshooting. But I also received replies from others who were having the same issue.
So I turned to Twitter and sent a message to the OneDrive Twitter account. My response from their reps was almost immediate. I also looked over their accounts for others reporting the same issue.
In my communications with OneDrive, I pointed out the message thread on the forums from the previous June and asked if it might not be the same issue and couldn’t they do whatever fixed the issue back then again.
The next morning, I received a Tweet from one of the people who was having the same issue. His OneDrive was working and so was mine. Three days later I received a confirmation e-mail for that Office support ticket. Glad I didn’t wait on that one.
But the point of this tale is that when you can’t really get a response from a company via e-mail, phone or chat – contacting them via Facebook or Twitter can be the way to go.
But there are some rules to remember.
Be polite – starting off a message with “You people are idiots” isn’t the best way to get a response.
Be specific – get to the point of the issue you are having. Including a screenshot of any error messages is a great idea.
Don’t bombard the account with messages – There’s no need for 10 Facebook posts in three hours or 20 Tweets.
Check to see if there are similar messages about the issue from others – “I see these people also have this error.”
Offer public thanks – If they help you, acknowledge the help on their social media. Don’t use the accounts just to complain.
Don’t post private information – Passwords, account numbers etc… should not be included in posts. Save that for private communication.
You’ll often see links to the social media accounts of companies on their webpage. You can also search Twitter or Facebook for the company, but do make sure you are communicating with an official verified account.