Microsoft responses to customer issues in the PFC

We would like to add a mechanism on the PFC by which customers could rate each Microsoft response they receive to issues they file. In the meanwhile, here are some ideas on what I think we should strive for in terms of response quality.


With each response the first thing we want to let the bug submitter know is that we have read and understood their issue. We never want to use a canned response or template. Each issue is different and each response is directly relevant to that issue.


We want to thank each user for their contribution, taking the time to post the issue. It helps us build a product that is more inline with customer’s expectations and the dialog with Microsoft is informative to other customers as well who may have the same issue.


We want to provide a good reason for each resolution. In particular, if we don’t fix an issue (and I don’t think customers expect us to fix every single issue) we should provide a good explanation for why we made the trade-off we made.


Here are some additional things I think Microsoft responders should always do in each reply:

  • Be honest and polite
  • Use a respectful tone
  • Keep in mind that written communication is more open to misinterpretation then in person
  • Sign replies with name, title, team
  • Don’t treat customer issues like a hot potato
  • Don’t reply to customer bugs during bug triage, take time to provide a great response
  • Provide a workaround whenever possible
  • Don’t sound like Marketing J


I’m putting together guidance for the VS product team on providing great responses to customers… your feedback on the subject would be greatly appreciated and will be incorporated.


Also, if you have examples of good and poor responses from MS, please forward to me. I will send kudos for the good ones and try to correct the others.


And another note, if ever you are not satisfied with a response you receive, just reopen the issue and let us know!


Marie Hagman

Visual Studio

Program Manager

Comments (5)
  1. Joku says:

    Mostly the responses have been good. What I personally would love to see is that when I see bug submitted by someone else, and MS has closed the bug "Couldn’t reproduce", and I can reproduce it – I just bang my head on the wall… Instead of that I’d like to be able to re-open it with a additional message of "why i re-opened" or something to indicate that "hey, maybe you who tried to reproduce it at MS missed something"..

  2. Joku says:

    I would like to add that the following bugs I’d like to see worked on more..

    "This is a bug. Unfortunately, altering this logic now means breaking the exisiting behavior of this API. " This sounds like a response from Raymond Chen "camp".. If this is going to be left like that, the issue and workaround should atleast be mentioned all over the documentation so the subtle bugs this could cause could be avoided..

    What about this kind of suggestion:

    Resolved as Won’t Fix by Microsoft

    "Thanks for the suggestion."

    Does this imply that the suggestion is considered or that it "won’t be considered/fixed".

    "Resolved as Not Reproduced"

    The 3 votes and 2 validations however indicate that it is reproduceable.. I did reproduce this on two machines myself. However I have to try the latest December CTP – could be the MS person was using later version than rest of us.

    Overall I have been very happy with the responses and other aspects of PFC.. Theres certainly a lot of minor bugs that get the "won’t fix", but many of them are result of using the old win components which the winforms team (for example) does not own. Hopefully the Longhorn components are made so that if bugs are found, it won’t take a whole OS upgrade to fix them.

  3. Marie Hagman - MSFT says:

    Thanks Joku, agree that users should be able to reopen bugs that they didn’t themselves post as well as add to the description. Since the discussion thread at the bottom of each bug is not ported to our internal bug database the way the rest of the bug report is, i don’t know if our developers consistently look at it. That way the bugs become community property after they are posted. The main concern is the potential for gaming, but i think those fears may be unwarrented.

    I’ll follow-up on the bugs you listed.

  4. Ryan Lamansky (Kardax) says:

    "We would like to add a mechanism on the PFC by which customers could rate each Microsoft response they receive to issues they file."

    This is really subject to personal opinion… some people who are passionate about an issue might not like the answer Microsoft has to give and score it low, even if it’s the best possible answer.

    I’m thinking this should be a binary choice:

    – The response from Microsoft is clear and reasonable.

    – The response from Microsoft is unclear or unreasonable.

    Something like that.

    I like your guidelines for responses 🙂

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