Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
People ask every day how they can reach someone at Microsoft to help with Hotmail problems. You can't phone, but there is now on-line help for Hotmail.
This is a question I get 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.
Once again I have to be very, very clear: there is no telephone support for Hotmail. Seriously, it's on the Windows Live Help site:
"We don't offer any direct phone or email support for Windows Live Hotmail."
But the good news in that statement is that there's a Windows Live Help site.
The Windows Live Help Solutions Center is currently your only official support resource for Windows Live Hotmail. If you're attempting to contact Microsoft, this is your only resource.
Don't expect hand-holding.
The site focuses on two approaches to support:
Self-help: in the form of online documentation and tools that you can use to learn more and occasionally even fix your own problems. What to do if you think your account has been stolen is a great example of an article that walks you through the steps, and online tools, that in some cases can restore a stolen or lost account.
Peer-to-peer help: aka discussion forums. The primary means of disseminating information is in what boils down to a open discussion forum. Now the good news here is that there are in fact Microsoft personnel who are interacting on the board. They'll frequently answer questions, 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.
One of the things I'll reiterate is simply this: use search. Clearly, the vast majority of questions being asked on the site have already been answered elsewhere on the site. 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 your Hotmail question answered without having to wait for anyone.