The sad but true tale behind this:
Microsoft Office Live has hosted my website (http://marvadasef.com/) for several years. It started out free and they even gave me my domain name for free.
About a year and a half ago, they decided to charge $14.95/year for web hosting. I thought that was still a pretty good deal, so I paid for 2/2011-2/2012. In January, I got the notice that the annual fee would come due soon, so I just paid it ahead of time so I wouldn't forget. That amount I paid in January would provide annual service from 2/2012 to 2/2013. Matter of fact, my subscription from last year doesn't even expire until the 19th of this month. Here's the email I got on January 17th, when I renewed:
Dear Marva Dasef,On January 30th, I got this email:
This mail is confirmation that you have successfully renewed your subscription to Microsoft Office Live Small Business - Domain Addon. This renewal goes into effect on Tuesday, January 17, 2012. Please retain a copy of this for your records.
On April 30, 2012, we are discontinuing Office Live Small Business. We would like to offer you an opportunity to self-transition to Microsoft® Office 365 for professionals and small businesses.
To get you started, we are offering you an exclusive 6 month free trial, of Office 365 for professionals and small businesses and Office Professional Plus
Whoa! You just made me pay for a service that was supposed to be good until 2013, and now it EXPIRES! All right, jerks, where's my refund? Answer is: Oh, you don't get a refund. That was an automatic payment. You have to (now get this) MANUALLY move everything on your website into the new system. No conversion of the existing site. I can't even use the .OLP backup file. No software can interpret that file type except Office Live. Which will, of course, no longer exist past April 30th.
I wrote a complaint; they obfuscated. The "support" email I received is so laughable it's ridiculous. Of course, the forums are full of other people very upset about this BAIT AND SWITCH tactic.
I'm going to attempt to retrieve my domain name. Apparently, I have to work with the domain issuing company in Australia. I'm not even sure how to do this, except that I have to cancel my existing site in order to obtain the key to the domain name, then email this Aussie company, blah blah blah.
But if I have to remove my site to get my key, I'll have to first move my "stuff" elsewhere. Images are fine since they're all somewhere on my hard drive already, but I have to re-create some things in a different way because the tools that MS provided don't translate to anywhere else. Remember that .OLP file? Totally worthless for this purpose.
I am in the process of rebuilding a website using Google services. Yes, they're taking over the internet world piece by piece. Since I already use most of their services such as YouTube, Pikasa, Blogger, and Gmail, I might as well go with the website too.
I feel like Microsoft defrauded all their Office Live customers. Do any one of us have a way to force them to make good? Nope. I'll have my eyes peeled for a class action suit. I'll definitely join it if there is one.