Start your learning to manage Accounts, Billings and Subscriptions!
Congratulations for making it this far. To start your journey & take your earning potential to the next level, read through the learning modules below. Then, do some quizzes to test your knowledge. Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you every step of the way!
Cool, so who are the people I will be helping?
You will be helping Microsoft customers like you to answer questions from other customers and earn rewards and points through our app. Questions will be related to managing accounts, billings and subscriptions within Account.microsoft.com. Watch this video to see how a Microsoft Ambassador submits a question and how, as an Ambassador, you can respond to the question and help the customer.
Account.microsoft.com (AMC) is the website where Microsoft customers can do many things such as manage their subscriptions, change or update payment methods, look at their order history, and change their Microsoft account preferences. You will be able to help Microsoft customers manage their subscriptions online either via https://account.microsoft.com/services/ or on their Xbox console. Here are the products you'll be supporting as an Ambassador:
- Xbox Live Gold
- Xbox Game Pass
- Office 365 Personal
- Office 365 Home
- Office 365 University
- 3rd Party Subscriptions
Below are some topics you can help customers with, and some topics you cannot handle and need to route back to Microsoft's Customer Services team. To keep it simple, here is an overview:
Topics YOU CAN answer
Turn on recurring billing for a Microsoft subscription
Subscription recurrence dates and billing dates
Cancel or turn off recurring billing for a Microsoft subscription
Change a subscription plan or change how often a subscription is paid for (E.g. switch to monthly or yearly billing)
Change how a Microsoft subscription is paid for
Pay for a past-due Microsoft subscription
Topics YOU CANNOT answer
Cannot look up, fortify or unblock customer’s account
Cannot provide reasons for payment decline on orders
You cannot process the refund if the customer goes through AMC and doesn’t qualify
Meet Baffled Betty, Forgetful Fatima, Motivated Michelle, Panicky Pedro and Savvy Sandip.
The residents of Gatesville are all loyal Microsoft users, but sometimes need some help. This morning in the village, some people are having trouble with their subscriptions. Can you offer a helping hand?
TURN ON/OFF/CANCEL RECURRING BILLING
- Forgetful Fatima wants her Microsoft subscription to auto-renew.She has managed to log into her account, however, cannot see an option to turn on recurring billing. "Why won’t it give me this option?", she asks you.
If Fatima cannot see an option to turn on recurring billing, and she is sure her subscription is still active, this means that her subscription is already set to auto-renew. She doesn’t need to do anything further. Or, if her subscription has expired, tell her to search for a link to ‘Renew’ it on the subscription page once she’s logged in. If she cannot find this link, Fatima needs to head to Microsoft Store to purchase herself a new subscription!
- Baffled Betty wants to switch off auto-renew on her Microsoft subscription. She sometimes gets a bit worked up when things don’t go to plan. "Why is my subscription continuing without me doing anything each month? I don’t know how or why this is happening! Is there anything you guys can do to make it stop?"
Betty's account has most likely been set to renew automatically. If she would like to turn it off, she needs to log into her account, find the subscription, and then select Payment and Billing > Change > Turn off recurring billing. She will then receive a confirmation email reminding her that it won’t happen again.
- Panicky Pedro wants to cancel his subscription but is confused with his options for cancellation."I’m halfway through trying to cancel my subscription, but it’s giving me different options. I want my subscription stopped today, so how can I make sure I won’t be charged further?"
If Pedro wants to cancel within 30 days of purchase, he will see two options. One will be ‘End now and get a refund’; the other will be ‘Don’t charge my subscription again’. If he wants to stop without further charges, tell him to select the first option, and then to follow the steps to ‘Continue cancellation’.
- Savvy Sandip is looking for ways to save time. He wants his Microsoft subscription to auto-renew, but not sure what to do."I've logged in, but can’t find any option to select my subscription preference. What do I do?"
You can reassure Sandip that it’s unlikely he's done anything wrong! Rather, you should ask him whether he bought his Microsoft subscription from a third party. If yes, you should advise him to get in contact with the third party to manage his subscription and billing. To be extra helpful, direct Sandip to the Microsoft self-help page for managing third party subscriptions.
- Motivated Michelle is worried whether her laptop has been compromised after cancelling her Microsoft subscription. She says that she recently tried to open her resume in Word to update it, but that it wouldn’t let her edit it. "Why do I keep getting notifications saying Unlicensed Product? Has my laptop got a virus now?"
You can assure Michelle that her laptop has not been compromised. Since she cancelled her subscription, Office is now in View Only mode and does not have a license to edit existing documents or create new ones. The notifications are reminding her that Office doesn’t have a license because her subscription is no longer active. She can resolve this by renewing her subscription, but she could also use Word Online by logging into https://www.office.com with her Microsoft account. Word Online will allow her to upload her resume and edit and print it.
SUBSCRIPTION RECURRENCE DATES
- Panicky Pedro wants his Microsoft subscription to be billed monthly.Pedro is excited because he just purchased himself a new Microsoft subscription. His one concern is that he will have to pay for it in one large sum, which he can’t really afford right now. "Do I have to pay for my Microsoft subscription in advance, in one go?", he worries.
You can reassure Pedro that he does not have to pay a large amount in one go for his subscription. Microsoft subscriptions can be billed monthly, on the same day of every month (for example, the 19th of the month). These smaller instalments will hopefully allow Pedro to enjoy his subscription stress-free.
Baffled Betty wants to know whether she can choose the date of the month she would be billed on "Will I always be billed on the same day of the month on which I set up my subscription? Or can I choose what day of the month I am billed on?,"she queries. This is a good question from Betty. You should explain to her that there are two types of payment schedules which a Microsoft customer can follow.
- The first scenario is that the customer’s subscription recurs, and is billed, on the same day. This happens if the customer creates a new Microsoft account and the first thing, they buy with that account is a subscription. So, for example, if a customer creates their Microsoft account and buys a Microsoft subscription on the 6th October, their subscription will recur on the 6th of every month. And on the 6th of every month, they will be billed for their subscription.
- The second scenario is that the customer’s subscription will recur, and be billed, on different days. This happens when a customer has already created their Microsoft account in the past, and the first purchase was made on a different day than the day they started their current subscription. That very first purchase sets the billing date to a certain day of the month, which is different than the renewal day for the current subscription. So, imagine the customer creating his Microsoft account and the first thing he buys in the Microsoft Store occurs on the 13th of that month. Then on November 6th, he purchases a subscription. His subscription will renew on the 6th of every month, but he won’t be charged until the 13th of every month.
In most cases, the only way Betty can choose her billing date for her subscription is if she creates her Microsoft account on the same day, she buys her subscription. Top Tip: There are going to be changes made to this payment system – see INFORMATION ABOUT A RECENT CHANGE IN BILLING. Be sure to look out for updates when they come, so you can give the customer the most up-to-date information!
INFORMATION ABOUT A RECENT CHANGE IN BILLING
- Savvy Sandip has got his finger on the pulse."I heard recently that there is going to be a change in how Microsoft subscriptions are billed. Can you explain this to me in more detail please?", he requests.
Tell Sandip that you are very happy to help him with his inquiry. You can inform him that the change is as follows:
- Recently, Microsoft made monthly subscription billings and renewal dates the same across all Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass, and EA Access subscriptions. Now these monthly subscriptions will be billed on the same day they renew.
- Previously, these customers were billed on the same day each month - even if their subscription renewed days or weeks earlier. These different dates led to a lot of confusion, especially around cancellation and when customers would get their final charge.
- Before this change occurred, Microsoft systems waited to bill customers days or weeks after their subscription renewed each month. Now, the billing and renewal date are the same. This is a one-time event. Once Microsoft makes these changes to our Office 365/Xbox subscriptions, existing Office 365 customers could see a one-time sooner-than-expected charge for their next renewal. Going forward, these customers will also only be billed on the renewal date each month.
After giving this explanation of the change, you can tell Sandip that the reason behind it is to make it easier for customers to understand monthly billing charges for Microsoft products and services.
- Baffled Betty is a bit confused about the implications of the billing change."So, is Microsoft billing me twice for the same month of service? I often struggle to keep track of what is going in and out of my bank account…", she worries.
Reassure Betty that Microsoft will not bill her twice for the same month of service. When Microsoft moved her billing date to align with her renewal date, they just moved the charge from within the current month to the beginning of the month going forward. So, tell Betty that from this point forward, she will get billed on the same day that her monthly subscription renews.
- Forgetful Fatima also gets in touch about the billing change. "Is this a one-time charge or will this happen again next month? I’m between jobs at the moment so repeatedly being charged would not be ideal." You should confirm with Fatima that this is a one-time event. From this point onwards, Microsoft will only bill her on the day her subscription renews. Don’t forget to wish her good luck with the job hunt!
CHANGE A SUBSCRIPTION PLAN OR HOW OFTEN A SUBSCRIPTION IS PAID FOR
Motivated Michelle wants to change her Microsoft subscription billing plan: Michelle has a stroke of luck and has a winning ticket in the lottery! She wants to put some of her winnings towards her Microsoft subscription, and thinks it would be a good idea to change her subscription to be paid yearly not monthly since she has the extra cash now. "Is it possible to change how often I pay for my subscription? Or is it fixed?", she asks.
After congratulating Michelle for her lottery win, you can tell her that it is indeed possible to change how often a subscription is paid for. Ask her to sign in to our account.microsoft.com website with her Microsoft account, and then go to Services & Subscriptions, and then select Payment & Billing under the subscription. She should click Change to choose a different plan and then click on Switch Plan. If her subscription has the monthly plan, she can choose the yearly plan. Microsoft will use the same payment method for the yearly plan, but she can change it here if she wants to use a different one. Tell her to click to confirm, and she should now see the confirmation page telling her when her plan will be renewed into the yearly plan.
Forgetful Fatima can’t remember where she has put her laptop but needs to change how she pays for her subscription. She contacts you to ask: ‘Is there another way I can access my payment plan to change it?’
You can tell Fatima not to worry, because customers can use their Xbox One to change how they pay for their subscriptions. On her console, tell Fatima to press the Xbox button on her controller, and to select System > Settings > Account > Subscriptions. She may be asked to sign in again to protect her account. Fatima should choose her subscription, then select Change how you pay. If her subscription is past due, she should select Pay now. Or, she can choose an existing payment option, or select Add a new way to pay, then follow the instructions. Sign off by wishing Fatima good luck in finding her laptop!
Top Tip: Fatima can only manage her Xbox-related subscriptions on her Xbox One. If she needs to manage her Office, OneDrive, or MSN subscription, she’ll need to go to account.microsoft.com.
Baffled Betty wants to change from her prepaid subscription plan.
Unfortunately, for prepaid subscriptions, customers cannot change how they pay because it has been pre-paid. Make sure you apologise to Betty, and if appropriate, recommend other subscription payment plans for her to consider once her current prepaid subscription expires.
- Panicky Pedro wants to change the credit card linked to his subscription account. Panicky Pedro has got a new credit card, so he is nervous that his Microsoft subscription won’t have been paid for this month, because his subscription is still linked to his old credit card. ‘What do I do?’, he cries. Luckily for Pedro, customers can pay for past-due subscriptions, by signing in to Services & Subscriptions using their Microsoft account. Tell Pedro to sign in, then to find his past-due subscription in the list and select Pay now. If his credit card, PayPal, or other online payment service has expired, he can update it with the new expiration date. Once Pedro’s payment option is set, he can select Next to make the payment. Alternatively, if he doesn’t want to use this new credit card, he can add a new way to pay, for example, on a different credit card. Remember though, you should warn Pedro that customers cannot pay for a past-due subscription with a gift card, subscription card, or with a Microsoft account balance.
Savvy Sandip has a subscription with recurring billing and wants to change how he pays for it. "‘At the moment I pay on a debit card but I want to change to paying through PayPal now. Is this possible, or am I wasting my time?", he wonders. You can inform Sandip that no, he is not wasting his time. Tell him that he can easily change how he pays for a Microsoft subscription, as long as he has a recurring billing set.
Top tip! When advising customers about changing the way they pay for subscriptions, if applicable, remember to tell them:
- That if they are updating their child's subscription, to make sure they are signing in with their child’s account, not their own.
- That if they bought their Office 365 subscription through a third party, such as Apple or BestBuy, they should contact the retailer directly to manage their subscription and billing.
SHARING OFFICE 365 /XBOX WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Motivated Michelle wants to share her Microsoft/XBOX subscription benefits with friends and family."Is this free? And can I share it with anyone I choose? I want to link my two brothers to my account.", she enquires.
You can tell Michelle yes, this is free of charge! When customers purchase Office 365 Home (or Xbox), they can share their subscription benefits with up to four other people, at no extra cost. Each person gets the latest version of the Office apps, 1TB of free OneDrive storage, 60 Skype minutes per month, and an Outlook inbox with 50GB of storage! Advise Michelle that she can share with whomever she likes, but that both her brothers need their own Microsoft account for this to happen. If they don’t already have a Microsoft account, they can create one for free when they accept Michelle’s invitation to share.
Forgetful Fatima is still confused about how to share her Microsoft account benefits with her husband. "It’s all very well saying you can share your subscription with your family, but how on earth are you supposed to do it? ", she complains.
You can tell Fatima that there are 2 easy options for inviting family or friends to share your subscription and that she should follow the steps to whichever option she prefers.
- The first option is to invite someone using email. To do this, Fatima should enter her husband’s email. The email she uses to invite their husband should also be the email she uses for her shared Office 365 subscription. Tell Fatima to then click on the blue Got it button. You can also tell her that she may be asked to add her husband to her Microsoft Family. If she wishes to do so, Fatima can click on the blue Invite button and follow the instructions. If not, she can click on the Skip button.
- The second option is to invite someone using a one-time link. If following this option, Fatima should click on the Invite via link button, and then click the Copy button. To send the link via email, text, or other kinds of a message to the person she wants to share with, she can simply paste the link and send the message. When her husband clicks the link and signs in with his Microsoft account, he’ll be added to Fatima’s subscription.
- Baffled Betty is also planning on sharing her subscription benefits with her son, as a thank-you for setting up her Microsoft subscription for her. She is hesitant, however, because she doesn’t want her son to be able to see her personal documents. "I’m working with a very private client at work, so there are lots of sensitive documents on my computer right now! How can I make sure my son won’t see any of these?" Be sure to assure Betty that anyone sharing her subscription will not have access to any files that she creates using Office—and that Betty will not have access to theirs. All files and service usage information will remain private for both her and her son—as though they had each purchased their own subscription.
Savvy Sandip wants to remove his friend from his Office account: Savvy Sandip used to share his Office subscription with his best friend, but now his best friend has got married and wants to set up his own subscription for his family. Sandip is therefore keen to remove his friend from his Office account, so he can free up his installs to share with someone else.
Tell Sandip to go onto the Sharing page, where he can see who he’s sharing Office with. In the Installs section, he can view and control his shared Office installations, including removing his friend. When Sandip stops sharing his subscription with his friend, the friend will lose all Office 365 Home subscription benefits, including extra OneDrive storage and the ability to use Sandip’s Office installs. The friend can still view and print his own Office files, but he can't edit them or create new ones. If requested, you can then give Sandip the advice about how to set up someone else on the account.
Panicky Pedro wants to manage his invitation requests to share his Microsoft subscriptions. "Help! I accidentally sent my boss a request to share my Microsoft subscription – I definitely don’t want to be doing that! Is there any way to undo it, or will there be an embarrassing moment in the office tomorrow?".
You can reassure Pedro that if he follows My Office Account > Share Office 365 > Manage Invitations, he can view and manage invitations he’s created, including deleting invitations. If his boss hasn’t yet accepted the invitation, then Pedro can simply delete the invitation. Additionally, you can remind Pedro that on this page, he can also check the status of, or resend, an invitation.
You've completed your Microsoft - Accounts, Billing and Subscription learning. You can now attempt the quiz - make sure you refer back to learning anytime you get stuck. Good luck!