Letters to the Editor

'Blacklisted' by Microsoft? An open letter to Steve Ballmer

This is an open letter to the corporate management of Microsoft, since it is apparent, my direct correspondence to Microsoft CEO Mr. Steve Ballmer has gone unanswered.

I am angry and frustrated that Microsoft has the ability to internally “Blacklist” an individual from purchasing a product direct from their Microsoft online store without explaining why. This smells of “McCarthyism.”

In June 2009, I submitted information to purchase a Windows 7 upgrade at a reduced price. In October, I was told repeatedly that I could not purchase the upgrade as I was “Blacklisted.” After talking to several Microsoft employees, no one could tell me how or why I was on such a list.

I contacted my credit card company and even ordered a credit check through Transunion, both of which were reporting no problems on their end in regards to my credit.

One Microsoft employee actually told me I was on the Department of Commerce Blacklist. I contacted this agency and was advised that they do not have a “Blacklist,” however, they do maintain a “Denied Persons List.”

This list is for exporting goods only and nothing even similar to my name was listed. When I re-contacted the Microsoft employee, he advised me to contact my Congressman to resolve the issue.

Mr. Ballmer, I would like this resolved immediately and I would like to know how and why I was placed on this Microsoft internal “Blacklist.” Furthermore, no one should have to go through everything I have to resolve this issue. At no time was I allowed to speak to a supervisor and no one could nor would resolve the problem ... this needs to be fixed.

John Thompson, Newport, NC

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