“Report abuse” is very unhelpful on Windows Live

I was hoping that report abuse would get an update beyond the new look, but it’s just a new look, and the same old problems.

For example:

This woman, Lady Melissa Williams sent me a message about how her husband, a Greek shipping tycoon, has died, and left a sum of 

(20 Million Great Britain Pounds Sterling”. She’s going to die soon, or so her doctor says, and the couple planned on leaving it to the poor, and I can get a cut if I contact her lawyer at some address. Here’s a copy of the letter:

From: Lady Melissa Williams
18-20 N.Nikodimou street,Athens,Greece
I am Lady Melissa Williams suffering from cancerous ailment.
I am married to Lord Thomas Williams,a Greek shipping tycoon notable
for his great wealth,influential extended family,and charitable
activities all his life before his death.Our life together as man
and wife lasted for three decades without child. My husband died
after a protracted illness in April 17,2006.My husband and I made
a vow to uplift the down-trodden and the less-privileged individuals
as he had passion for persons who can not help themselves due to
physical disability or financial predicament.I can adduce this to
the fact that he needed a Child from this relationship, which never
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of
(20 Million Great Britain Pounds Sterling which were derived from his
vast estates and investment in capital market with his bank in United
Kingdom and named me as the beneficiary of this trust fund.
Presently,this money is still with the Bank.
Recently, my Doctor told me that I have limited days to live due to
the cancerous problems I am suffering from. Though what bothers me
most is the stroke that I have in addition to the cancer.
With this hard reality that has befallen my family,and me I have
decided to donate this fund to you and want you to use this gift
which comes from my husbands effort to fund the upkeep of widows,
widowers,orphans,destitute, the down- trodden, physically challenged
children,barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely
handicapped financially.
It is often said that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this
decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this
money and my husband relatives are bourgeois and very wealthy
persons and I do not want my husband’s hard earned money to be
misused or invested into ill perceived ventures. I do not want a
situation where this money will be used in a worldly manner, hence
the reason for taking this bold decision. I am not afraid of death
hence I know where I am going. I do not need any telephone
communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health and
because of the presence of my husbands relatives around me as
i am currently bed ridden in the Family house here in 18-20 n.
Nicodemus street, Athens,Greece.
Street, England. and do not receive any visitors unless
approved by David Williams who is the immediate younger brother
to my late husband. I do not want them to know about this
development in order to safeguard this bequest. I will also
authorise my Private Attorney in the UK whom i communicate
with via emails all the time, to issue a Letter of Authority
that will empower you as the new beneficiary of this fund,
he would also endorse my WILL where i will name you as the
beneficiary of the (Twenty Million Great
British Pounds). You can contact my personal Lawyer through his
email address:
Barrister Pedro Jones
Email: jonespedro01@lawyer.com
Tell him that I have WILLED the said sum to you and the reason for
doing this is best known to me. My happiness is that I lived a life
worthy of emulation. Please always be kindhearted all through your
life. Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein.

Yours Truely
Lady Melissa Williams

Now tell me that’s not a scam. It’s pretty obvious it is. So what’s the logical thing to do? Well I would report it, but the system on Windows Live is very flawed.  So I click report abuse on the toolbar:

So then there are boxes I have to fill out (name, e-mail, and primary e-mail are already automatically filled out), but one of them has me puzzled. It says I have to give the URL of this person’s Windows Live Space.

The question is: Why? Isn’t it obvious the person I’m reporting? I’d think she’d have to make a Windows Live ID in order for her to send me the message, right? So Windows Live should automatically know who it is I’m reporting, and there’s no point in me finding her Spaces URL.

But then it gets even dumber. I go to Lady Melissa Williams profile, to see if I can find her Space. Problem is, is that she doesn’t have a Space.

It’s usually listed on the left of a person’s profile, if a person has one, but this person doesn’t. So what am I supposed to do? This makes no sense. So I decided to do the next best thing, and take her Profile URL.

So I enter that in, and when I have to identify what type of abuse it is, I get almost every choice BUT spam. Spam is the most common form of abuse on Live Spaces (at least from what I’ve dealt with), and I can’t believe that isn’t an option. So I go with ‘Other’ instead.

As if Windows Live wasn’t acting being dumb enough, it asks for the place where this person did the abusing. Is it not obvious that it was from private messaging? Windows Live should automatically assess the situation: From who did it, to the location I reported it. That’s something basic Windows Live needs to be smart enough to actually figure out.

Then I type my complaint in the itsy-bitsy box Windows Live has provided me:

How hard is it to make the box more bigger to type in? So after that, I enter the CAPTCHA code, and that’s it. They give me a support ticket number I can use to communicate with someone from support: 1092364832

I highly doubt I’ll be communicating, but whatever…

As you can see, it’s more of a hassle to report someone, then just deleting the darn thing. I just wished that Windows Live Spaces Abuse (note it’s still deemed ‘Spaces’) would:

  • Instantly recognize WHO it is that’s abusing (from their Windows Live ID) and WHERE the abuse took place (where I clicked report abuse from)
  • Add ‘Spam’ as one of the forms of abuse
  • Make the complaint/detail box bigger to type in

Then it would be much easier to get the bad guys off of Windows Live than ever. I don’t know about you, but I get tons of requests from people I don’t know on Windows Live, than any other site. It’s annoying!


8 thoughts on ““Report abuse” is very unhelpful on Windows Live

  1. Yipes — perhaps we need a report as junk for private messages now too. 🙂 I actually turned off messages/invites etc from people not in my network or extended network. Unfortuantely, a number of people in my network appear to be accepting invites from random people thus making some of these scam artists in my extended network. gah! Let\’s be smart people. :)Good luck Michael! Let us know if support follows up with you!

  2. I\’ve reported this same abuse problem to Microsoft MANY time and each time I\’ve added my same criticism of their reporting process. As you\’ve noted, Microsoft doesn\’t seem to be listening and the same just continues. Hope you have more luck getting satisfaction than I have.

  3. I know where you are coming from. I\’ve reported all sorts of things. My success rate with reporting are at 30%. But then I sit quietly and think – it is a free service & some issues are beyond their control. What maddens me though is that the support guys would waste 3 emails on an issue, just to find out that my complaint is valid and that I actually know something about computers / internet.. But then I sit down and think of the free service bit.That\’s my 2c worth.. take it now before it depreciates even more in today\’s economical situation.:-P

  4. I saw a link to your blog on WL teams blog …… so had to check it out, having gone through the same process as you have above to report porn and other comments on my space, I got an email back from them asking for…..a clear description of the violation- the link or URL of the web page where you found the offensive material- Album Name, Photo name, link to the image (if applicable)- Blog Title, Date blog was posted, time blog was posted, permalink (if applicable)- List title, date posted, sample contents/entriesAttached to the email was a copy of ALL the information, as asked for in the "report abuse" form as above. Dumb or what?

  5. I was having these scams sent mainly through YAHOO and reported every one of them easily to abuse@yahoo.com. Now, having been so successful at having literally hundreds of accounts closed (well done me!) they have switched to LIVE emails and i have had the same frustration as above. reporting scam/spam to live is a frustrating waste of time – our time which we were giving up freely to help police the network for Windows Live who get paid! why do we do it ? because we are sick of the misery these spammers/scammers inflict on vulnerable,stupid or even plain greedy people. to make it as difficult as LIVE has, is irresponsible and down right stupid. There are other email providers out there who are equally as bad but most of them accept abuse@………comI would suggest bombarding windows live until they realise what a stupid system they have – but from what I`ve heard and seen the people who are employed in this sector have the brains the size of peas and the common sense of an imbecile.Meanwhile, may I suggest to those of us who are heartily sick of the senders of these mails, to forward them and their headers to fraud.alert@met.police.uk; admin@fraudwatchinternational.com; and do include a message telling them that it has proved impossible to report these fraud mails to windows live and maybe pressure from the police would galvanise the morons who work in that particular, obviously very quiet – office! hope that helps! for anyone who doesn`t know how to find the headers this is what you do:right click on the email in your inbox, scroll down the box that opens to PROPERTIES, click on properties and then click on the top tab that says DETAILS, there are your headers, highlight them by putting the cursor at the beginning (or end) of these headers – holding the left mouse button down and dragging it down the entire box which will highlight the headers, then RIGHT CLICK and clilck on copy – then go back to the email in your inbox – click on forward, then paste your headers at the top of the email and then type in the fraud.alert@met.police.uk; admin@fraudwatchinternational.com; Hope that helps! keep fighting the misery makers

  6. This is a big problem. A bunch of us are talking about it in this group:All Things Live GroupSharing info about Windows Live serviceshttp://hackmsnspaces.groups.live.com/

  7. You can place a report at https://support.live.com/eform.aspx?productKey=wlspacesabuse&ct=eformtsFor spammed spaces.live.com sites you can select Harrassment rather than Other. This may avoid it going into a bounce-back bucket.You can also copy/paste the top dozen abuses listed at http://rss.uribl.com/hosters/spaces_live_com.htmlThese are all examples of recently registered sites that have been detected in spam traps, so they have been spammed in violation of their Terms of Service.You could also refer them to the public exposure of this issue at http://web.tebweb.com:8080/cgi-bin/spm_forum/Blah.pl?b=spam_latest_offenders

  8. listen all forget reporting it they just dont have the time to sort it out, I am a proud member i=of the 419 eaters, scam baiters, its fantastic fun. You get a scammer onboard then waste there time giving them the run around. I have actually had two idiots fly out to madagascar near africe they are the scum of the earth, robbing people from all over the world. the only way to stop them is to scam bait because while we are messing them about they are leaving other poor victims alone. regards grindemdown

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