Cockrot nonsense from Microsoft

Word (or Office 365) subscription. Needs to be paid. I’ve a US credit card. Which I can add to their system, but only for purchases in the US. Sitting here in Portugal I must use a card with a P address.

You know, as if people never move around, never buy stuff outside home, never have, say, a business cc from a different country?

Well done to a multinational there, eh?


34 thoughts on “Cockrot nonsense from Microsoft”

  1. What was wrong with your earlier version of Word or Office which you owned outright that you need to be paying a sub to MS?

    The card thing is not of their doing but down to Visa or Mastercard who require the delivery address to match the billing address in cardholder no present transactions.

  2. I had to open a new PayPal account when I moved from NL to CH cos their system couldn’t manage a change of address across national borders…

  3. I’m sure it would cost them much more in costs related to fraud if they allowed US cards to be used from outside the US than they could possibly make on the tiny number of legitimate transactions performed that way.

    A simple matter of incentives.

    Now, someone more left wing might argue that multi-national corporations should be compelled to deal with everyone on an equal footing, including the rare edge cases, even if it costs them more, but I’m sure that you’d never think that.


  4. Had the same problem with Garmin, recently. Wouldn’t do a transaction in £’s because my UK bank has me at a Spanish address. But on the Spanish card wanted an NIE. (Foreign residents card number0 Which i don’t have & don’t want. I’m a french resident. I just live here.
    Fiddled it on a fake UK address in the end. But what a palaver. For a download that doesn’t care where you are.
    It’s not the card co. I’ve used the same card on AliExpress for different countries. Yankyshite.
    With the PayPal thing, different country, different account. Although Transferwise just gave me a cross-border bank account. £’s the paying bank’s London, €’s it’s in Germany. I think they offer $CO, which’ll be very useful

  5. have you tried putting a Portuguese address and just having the US billing address zip code, or all zeros? most card transactions actually verify against a tiny amount of the detail you give them. I frequently pay stuff with a UK card and give a made up US billing address for example, it works with about 80% of my cards that I’ve tried.

  6. @Tim

    OpenOffice is, more or less, dead in the water. Switch to LibreOffice which is a fork of OO but has been actively developed since forking…

  7. How do the porn sites handle this problem? Or do they actually manage a massive number of either failed or fraudulent transactions, which never get reported from embarrassment or other factors?

  8. What was wrong with your earlier version of Word or Office which you owned outright that you need to be paying a sub to MS?

    This is what I’ve done – remained with Office 2013. I refuse to pay a subscription until it becomes absolutely necessary.

  9. Had the same problem with Garmin, recently.

    I remember when I lived in Russia I tried to buy some Garmin software. It wouldn’t let me do it online and said I had to contact their office in Moscow. They said I had to come in person, they couldn’t sell it online. But Moscow was 9 hours away. So I downloaded a knock-off copy instead. Hey, if software companies want to make an obstacle course for people trying to buy their stuff legitimately, they can’t complain about piracy. Most of my software I bought in Thailand from a chap who was ever so helpful.

  10. I use, and like, LibreOffice. But for professional purposes a subscription to MS Office has also proven necessary – being able to send documents, spreadsheets etc back and forth to clients with edits can get messy if you’re using different software, and LibreOffice compatibility with MS Office documents is good but not perfect.

  11. Tim N, are you sure it was a chap?

    On a more serious note, I hate Windows 10 with a passion – its email thing actually makes me hate life. I experimented with Ubuntu two to four years back but found that the refusal of the big players to recognise its kit made it useless for work – I’d send files and endlessly get emails back telling me they were unopenable.

    So, I’m willing to experiment but experience tells me it’s fraught with difficulty. I’m no techie. Most of the techie talk here goes above my head (installing Ubuntu was a big achievement). I want something that works as well as, oh, I dunno, Windows 95, but which is not Windows. No hassles with other machines. No cretinous teenage gizmos trying to get me to share or connect. Most of my work is simple wordpressing and simple spreadsheeting.

    Practical suggestions welcome …

  12. @Edward Lud

    Once I customized a few things – actually, a lot of things, I detested the default privacy settings – I decided that on the whole I preferred Windows 10 to most of the recent incarnations of Windows.

    One thing I did was to refuse to let Windows 10 do my emails. I use Mozilla Thunderbird for that and am far happier with it. The thing that took me a little while to work out how to accomplish, and was frustrating until I sorted it, was how I could sync my diary with my google account (for calendar notifications) without the email being synced as well (resulting in the unpleasant Windows 10 mail experience). Once I’d accomplished that, my satisfaction with Windows 10 improved substantially.

    Sadly the integration of Skype into Windows 10 is ticking me off no end – I often use it to talk with clients, and the integrated version seems very unreliable in terms of calls connecting or messages sending. Unfortunately a lot of my clients are not very technical people, nor do they all use Apple products so I can’t just tell everyone to use Facetime instead.

  13. I still use Office 2000 with no problems other than the occasional click-through error box when I load a plain text file.

  14. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I refuse to countenance Windows. It’s so user-hostile that if for some god-forsaken reason I am forced to use it I find myself cursing it within twenty seconds. Thank god I don’t have to develop for it and can use real operating systems instead (i.e. Unix-based). The only decent Microsoft product at the moment is Visual Studio Code.

  15. It could be a VAT thing. To make sure they account for VAT correctly they need to know where you are, and the current standard is two matching bits of information about your location.

    Credit card details are one bit of information they use. If they don’t match the address you give, or your IP address, then there’s uncertainty about where you are.

    In theory, if they have three bits of data of which two match and the other doesn’t they can discard the anomaly and still count the other two as corroborating one another. In practice, I suspect a lot of vendors are playing it safe and insisting on perfect matches so that the VAT authorities can’t complain they’ve done it wrong.

  16. Tried Libre office, but the compatibly with Word track changes and complex stuff in Excel is just not good enough 🙁

  17. Edward Lud said:
    “I hate Windows 10 with a passion … I want something that works as well as, oh, I dunno, Windows 95, but which is not Windows. …Practical suggestions welcome …

    The tekkies here will despair, but I’m still using XP and Office 2000. Firefox for a browser. The 2000 version of Outlook Express for e-mails. It’s wonderfully simple, it works, it runs nicely on a secondhand Thinkpad that costs less than £100, and I haven’t had to learn to use any new software for nearly two decades.

  18. @Richard

    You’re not the only person I know who does that!

    Sadly wouldn’t work for me (I do need some newer features of Word and Excel to be able to open clients’ documents properly) but … compare software 1983 vs software 2000, against software 2000 vs software 2017, and the changes in the last 17 years do seem rather small in comparison.

  19. MyBurningEars said:
    “Sadly wouldn’t work for me (I do need some newer features of Word and Excel to be able to open clients’ documents properly)”

    There’s a free Microsoft download that allows Office 2000 to work with newer versions of Word & Excel. I haven’t had any problems with opening clients’ documents since I installed that. There may be some things it can’t handle, but I haven’t found any.

  20. Is Tim’s problem (with credit cards & addresses) caused by VAT?

    Microsoft needs to know where the customer is located so that it can charge the correct country’s VAT, and the tax officials will be suspicious if customers are claiming to live in a different country from the one their card is registered in.

    Not that anyone is going to pretend to live in Portugal for VAT reasons (23% ?), but it could be part of the reason why their computer systems have been set up to ensure that the credit card and the address are in the same country.

  21. I’m a techie, my main PC runs Windows XP with the latest service pack and auto-updates turned off, Office 2000 with the compatibility upgrade, Firefox for web, RoundCube on my server for web-fronted email. Until a few years ago I was using Acornsoft VIEW and a dial-up connection for my email. 😀

  22. I’ve had the IP address issue where a purchase made using a UK card to be delivered to the card address was cancelled because I made the order while in Canada, reordered from a UK IP and all good

  23. @Richard, December 5, 2017 at 10:19 am

    XP is perfectly OK to use, even online. Office 2000 is OK too, as is Wordperfect 6 & even Supercalc (DOS).

    For peace of mind install Malwarebytes and update database & run scan daily.

  24. I used LibreOffice for years but have now switched back to MS Office 365. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to be back. It’s fast, less buggy and is 100% Office compatible! LibreOffice is so painful I just can’t bring myself to save £80/year or whatever it is.

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