The Terrible Support for MSDN Migrations

Update (Final) – 2/26/17

I was able to get this resolved… by waiting.  In the below e-mail my alias keeps showing up and/or I wouldn’t be able to access my subscription.  My guess is that Microsoft employs some kind of caching in their identity management and it takes awhile for it to be cleared/updates to be propagated.  Here were my options if the issue hadn’t spontaneously resolved (excerpt):

  • Change the e-mail on your subscription to an entirely different e-mail, preferably a brand new Microsoft Account with no aliases (the latter being the fastest solution).
  • Escalate this with Microsoft Account Support if you do not want to use another e-mail and believe this is not an alias issue.

Translation:  We can’t fix our poor account integration and the only solution we have is to create more accounts for you.  What a bunch of yahoos.  Oh and I did the chat support twice and they told me they couldn’t do anything because it was a “” specific issue. Useless.

Update – 2/20/17


I’m preserving the below post for context, but here’s the problem so far:

  • My subscription was never properly migrated to the new portal, or (even more hilarious) they never knew I had one at all.
    • I had confirmed this before setting up an alias.  Was further confirmed by the fact that:
      • They didn’t even know I had a subscription and I had to provide proof of purchase
      • They had me try to activate with my retail serial number
      • They reset the expiration window of my subscription to January 31st 2018 (admission of fault)
  • They told me you cannot have any aliases (also wrong) showing up in the portal other than the e-mail associated with the subscription.
    • I removed my one alias via the Microsoft portal.  Also made sure that the original e-mail associated with MSDN was my primary account.
    • Made sure all primary/contact e-mail addresses in the portal were the original e-mail associated with MSDN.
    • Now it’s pretty random as to whether I have access when I log in.

The Beginning (Original Post) – 1/10/17

tldr; My subscription is not active in the new portal after the migration to  After a month of jumping through hoops no progress has been made and I’m not optimistic about anything being resolved.  At this point I’m trying to get a refund to re-purchase the subscription in the new portal.  MS customer service is run by a bunch of children.

I purchased an MSDN renewal in July of 2016. I had previously purchased the initial full-price MSDN in 2015. I was very satisfied with the product downloads and Azure credits that came with the subscription. Little did I know I was in for a treat!  Unbeknownst to me Microsoft was beginning another one of their integration efforts. The MSDN portal was migrated to I was never notified nor received any e-mails as to the change before it happened. I was able to track down their process:

As it stands I did not notice a break in service from within Visual Studio (was able to authenticate whenever I was required to enter credentials) or my Azure services. However, when I sign in to I do not have any active subscriptions. Sounds like any easy fix right?



First Contact – 1/12/17

I did find a few other developers in the MSDN forums who fell through the cracks in the migration, but saw no immediate resolution.  Thus began my initial contact- initiating through their forms system. Here is their response on 1/12/2017:

email received 1

Ohhhh… swing and a miss. I should have led with the screenshots and proof of my purchase. I called the next day, provided some heavy skepticism of their records on not having purchased a subscription and was able to convince them verbally. I was told the case would be escalated.

Radio Silence…


The Continued Struggle – 1/25/17

With renewed vigor and self-righteous might I committed to another phone-call on 1/25/2017.  I spent about a half an hour on the phone and received the following e-mail.  In it was specific instructions on how to provide the screenshots for logging in. Here is that e-mail:

email received 2

I followed the steps proving my issue and thought I was well on my way to having the problem fixed. It was at this point that I took off to Hawaii, convinced that something so clearly demonstrated would be fixed before I returned.

No sir.


Have You Tried Activating It? – 2/1/17

On 1/26 I received a reply asking me to use my product code of the originally purchased MSDN to activate the subscription on the portal. As I was in a tropical paradise this did not happen until 2/1/2017

MSDN not a valid key

I received the following- Hooray!

email received 3


Must Control… Fist of Death – 2/6/17

I heard nothing back and am beginning to lose patience and gain persistence. So I sent an e-mail Monday:

email sent 1

I received a response the next day.

email received 4

I sent an e-mail back saying nothing has changed. I posted a screenshot unfortunately I accidentally used chrome instead of IE with in-private browsing turned on

Chrome No Worky

Ingrid totally called me out on that- points to her for sure. I followed up with the following screenshot (correctly using in-private browsing) on 2/8/2017

IE No Worky


Desperation…  – 2/8/17

At this point being impatient I tried calling in (the e-mail said if it was urgent I could try calling in). I got a new tech who I gave my same case number. I gave her a brief overview of my problems. She confirmed I was using the correct e-mail address. Had me clear my cache and login via IE with in-private browsing. She then had my click on my sign-in name to confirm I was using the correct e-mail address. Unfortunately, just a couple weeks prior I had gone through the process of setting up an alias for a more professional name. The new tech latched onto this claiming it had to be the same e-mail and that I had to contact their sign-in team (which didn’t have a telephone line and only had chat support). She spelled out the support page URL over the phone:

I went on a brief tirade on how this couldn’t possibly be the case because I set up the alias on 1/11/2017- my subscription benefits didn’t work then and it shouldn’t matter since it was an alias.  Still I went through their chat support.  After determining that the chat support was ONLY for those who were unable to sign-in I ended the chat.

I am now intent on e-mailing daily, documenting the process, and finding other developers who are having the same troubles. I love MS products, but their integration of their services has been TERRIBLE and their support likewise. Please contact me if you are having legacy MSDN migration issues and whether you’ve had any success in resolving them.


To be continued….???  (Present Day)




  1. Chris Sieben

    I have the same problem. My coworker also has this problem. I will make another phone call tomorrow to determine the ‘status’.

    1. Craig Post author

      yeah, it’s ridiculous… I’m still working on it. Will update the post when (hopefully) I’ve got access.

    2. Craig Post author

      How did you end up? I finally got access after getting them to manually activate the subscription and then removing all aliases/contact info from my account that wasn’t related to the original MSDN associated e-mail.

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