People ask every day how they can reach someone at Microsoft to help with Hotmail and Outlook.com problems. You can't phone, but there is on-line help.
I get questions like this a lot. And what’s interesting is that the answer keeps changing.
Things are getting better, but it still feels like we’re dealing with variations on the theme of “no”.
Of late, however, there’s a little hope.
What there isn’t
I have to be very, very clear: there is no telephone support for Outlook.com. There is also no email support for Outlook.com.
This is the cost of free email. The same is true for other free service providers.
Unfortunately the “Windows Live Help Solutions Center” that was available for a while seems to have disappeared along with “Windows Live”.
What help resources there are for Outlook.com have moved.
Outlook.com’s help pages are the only official Microsoft support resource available for Outlook.com.
Don’t expect hand-holding.
But you can expect help for the most common questions and problems. Perhaps the most important (and sadly perhaps the most neccessary) example is My Outlook.com account has been hacked.
There are several solutions to common problems including step-by-step instructions to perform common tasks and deal with common issues.
Microsoft also provides Outlook.com forums for peer-to-peer help. Now the good news here is that there are in fact Microsoft personnel who are interacting on the board. They’ll frequently answer questions, and point you at the answers elsewhere on the site. It’s unclear how quickly or reliably they respond, but it’s most definitely a start.
But as is implied, quite frequently other Outlook.com users will be able to provide you with the answers you need.
One of the things I’ll reiterate is simply this: use search. If you spend any time browsing it’ll quickly become clear that the vast majority of questions being asked have already been answered elsewhere within the forums. It’s very much like Ask Leo! in that way.
If you take a few minutes to learn about and exercise the search capability of the site, read the existing answers and the existing discussions posted by other users, there’s a very good chance you can get probably your Outlook.com question answered without having to wait for anyone.