I get this question a lot.
And the answer keeps changing.
Things are getting better, but it still feels like we’re dealing with variations on the theme of “You don’t.”
Of late, however, there’s a little hope.
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What there isn’t
I have to be very, very clear:
There is no dial-in telephone support for Outlook.com.
This is the cost of free email. The same is true for other free service providers.
However, Outlook.com currently offers a couple of options that aren’t typically available elsewhere.
Outlook.com customer service
You can reach Outlook.com customer service in two ways:
- For email-related issues, go here (that’s https://go.askleo.com/olsupport – I’ll update the destination if it changes in the future). After signing in to your Microsoft account, there’s a form to fill out with your issue or question.
- For other account issues, presumably including log-in and account access, there is this link (https://go.askleo.com/adfreesupport) for online chat or to schedule a voice call-back.
In other words, it appears that you can get in touch with a real Outlook.com customer service person. In the latter case, you’re presented with a “virtual agent” to chat with — presumably using some form of AI — but you can also request to speak with a real person.
In addition, Outlook.com’s help pages remain a source for self-service online answers, 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 from other Outlook.com users.
Occasionally, Microsoft personnel interact on the board as well. They may answer questions or point you at the answers elsewhere on the site. It’s unclear how quickly or reliably they respond, but it’s 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 this: use the Search function on the help pages and user forums. If you spend any time browsing, it’ll quickly become clear that the vast majority of questions 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, and read the existing answers and discussions posted by other users, there’s a very good chance you can get your Outlook.com question answered without having to wait for anyone.
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