If Bing‘s process for setting up a Bing Local Listing is any indication, Microsoft is in trouble.

It look me 7 weeks from start to end to do something that should have taken 7 minutes. (Okay, maybe 30 minutes.) Here are a few of the hoops I had to jump through:

  • I couldn’t use my browser, Chrome (a Google browser). Is that petty or what? I think it let me use Firefox to sign up, but it was so long ago I can’t remember for sure.
  • It took about 7 minutes to set up the basic information–but then Bing said they had to mail me a confirmation pin number. Yes, snail mail.
  • When the letter arrived, I signed back in. It asked me if I had any changes. I made some edits. Then Bing said they needed to mail me a confirmation pin number. (Sound familiar?)
  • The second letter finally arrived. But the system wouldn’t accept my password (yes, it was the right password), so I had to reset that.
  • This time I didn’t make any changes until after I figured out where the pin number went.

Oh, and Microsoft loaded WindowsLive software onto my system during the initial log-in process, which promptly caused Outlook to start freezing up intermittently. By the time I figured out that problem, I’d wasted a couple of hours uninstalling and re-installing my virus protection software.

As a business owner, I try to keep up with technology. Phil Simon has a whole book, The New Small, that’s all about how small businesses are harnessing new technologies. Maybe Microsoft ought to read it. Because, for a technology company, it seems rather stuck in the 20th century.

Anyone else tried to claim a Bing Local listing? If so, what was your experience?

Photo by blakespot (Flickr).

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