I have to install silverlight and opt-in to sign up? Microsoft #WTF

You would think that if you are the David in a David vs Goliath situation, You would employ your resources to make process as easy as possible for everyone involved. Apparently Microsoft does not feel that is necessary with and

I recently decided I wanted to give Bing Ads a shot to capture some extra leads for my Website Migration service. So I took a stroll over to to sign up..

I spent about 30 minutes trying to sign up in three different browsers. The latest version of Chrome, Firefox 14, and IE9. I typically never even open IE but i figured if anything it would work in their own native browser.

Try #1 with Chrome, Firefox, and IE9:

Chrome v.22.0.1229.94: (tested in incognito as well, javascript/flash/shockwave all installed and active/current)
Filled out their signup form completely. No conflicts with password or email username. Everything was fresh.
Submit button is dead, you click and nothing happens.

Success rate = 0%
Firefox 14 and Internet Explorer 9: ( also tested in private modes on each, all plugins enabled/current)
Filled out form with new data, all fresh, no conflicts.
Submit button clicks and refreshes page and captcha. no conflicts shown.
Added in fresh data, same ordeal. Each submit just refreshes the captcha.

Success rate = 0%

Ok, maybe there is something I am doing wrong here. I get on Bing’s live chat system and wait a bit for a Bing rep to help me out. Unfortunately I did not save a screen shot of that conversation. The rep “Stacie” told me that this is a known issue and has been for a week or so now.

Microsoft has known about a simple account form issue to advertise on their search engine they are spending millions to advertise… FOR OVER A WEEK and it is still not fixed.

So Stacie went through the normal motions of having me clear cache and cookies etc. All with no forward progress, She asks if she can email me when it is fixed and she will apply a coupon or credit once i finally get signed up. Sure, good job stacie, i know this is not your fault, you are a CSR not a programmer.

Meanwhile I mentioned the issue on Bing’s Facebook page to see if they would respond with any sort of answer, NOPE, the only thing the choose to respond to is anyone that took a side by side test from their new ad campaign. Selective reading i guess from the social media team over there.

Fast forward a few days: (this is where it gets funny)

I get an email from Stacie to try again, I did, same test as above. Again, I got the exact same results and reactions from the form. I sent her an email letting her know the results. Then she sent another email with new suggestions…


Dear Chris,
I am so sorry you are having so much difficulty trying to sign up for your Bing Account.
If going to is not working for you, I would suggest a few things.
Suggestion number one, please clear your cache and your cookies.

Second, if you do not have Silverlight downloaded on your computer please go to: and download this tool.

Also, when starting to sign up for the account, please do not opt out of MS communications.

If none of these suggestions work for you, please let me know. If you could supply me also with a good contact number, I would be happy to call and assist via phone.
I have documented this email under the reference number 1185610727. If you have additional questions or concerns you can reply to this email, or call 1-800-518-5689.
We want to thank you for allowing us to help build your business by advertising with Bing Ads.
Thank you for choosing Bing Ads.


Customer Care Professional, Bing Support

So you are telling me, in order to sign up to spend money with Microsoft, i need to download their software AND opt in to their marketing communications (not the TOS) In order to fill out the sign up form.

Microsoft, You should be thoroughly embarrassed. Maybe you aren’t focused on advertisers as much as you are users, but having a simple web form broken for over a week and having to jump through hoops won’t help you progress forward. Stacie did tell me some people were able to get through, I imagine that may be the case… they must be on Mac’s.


  1. This is only the beginning. For years they had a bug with their billing page where we could NOT add a credit card to any new account we created. Tried to do it through our API…no dice. Eventually find out that I have to email our Yahoo rep to add cards to our account. Our MSN rep couldn’t do it either.

    I honestly think that they have “bring your kid to work day” at Redmond once a month. Once a bunch of kids show up, they then ask them to program things for adCenter. It’s honestly that bad. And don’t even get me started on their API. Unbelievably, it’s worse than their backend.

    They go out of their way to make it hard for advertisers to spend more with them.

  2. Confirmed… the big orange “SUBMIT” button doesn’t do jack. I’m using XPsp3 with FF16.
    I have to say, that seems to be a pretty amazing chunk of fail for such a large company that is so desperate to get a piece of the search market…

  3. Hello, I just signup with no issues. I just went to and that took me to this page: … After filling all the info, I got my account.

    Maybe this working now? what are you doing different?

    I’m using Internet Explorer 9. I can send you a couple of pictures of my screen if you need help. I tought the process was very easy.

    • I got the email through MS support, you do not need to make it seem as though you are a regular user that would randomly post the exact same URL. The two lead guys are working on the issues now.

  4. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the kind words. I wish I work for Microsoft (that would be cool LOL).

    The URL is coming from typing, this changes into this: and then clicking in signup button in the right side of the screen, then you would get to here: … I can send you a picture of my screen if you want.

    So I guess you got Bill gates and somebody else working the problem (I dunno who is the second lead).

    Nice to see how to get things done the hard way.

    Good luck!

    • Right, we went through it. There are several known issues. No idea what you are talking about Bill Gates for. I wouldn’t say the hard way has anything to do with fixing known bugs with the system and signup. It’s normal programming.

      BTW it’s not hard to tell, seeing as your home comcast IP address is less than 10 minutes from MS’s Redmond, WA office.

  5. Is it just me or does Microsoft mostly recycle their products? We have Windows 8 coming out, but isn’t it really just Windows Vista with new content, basically what Windows 7 was. Does anyone remember Windows ME? What a HORRIBLE operating system, but it was something we had to actually BUY, how ridiculous. Windows 98SE kicked ass compared to Windows ME. What about Windows XP? Anyone remember those dreadful scripts that were made available to the public that allowed you to compromise ANY system running Windows XP. They took FOREVER to patch those security holes. Didn’t the Government get on to them?

  6. Thank you Chris for your blog. I work in the Bing Ads R&D team as a Program Manager – and your blog did bring to our attention problems that our customers are facing. We are working through some of these problems and will have a fix released soon. I will update these comments once the fixes go out

    Thanks again for your help to the Bing Ads advertiser community.


    • Hi all – thanks to Chris we fixed the adverse interaction between ad-block software and the Bing Ads website. We would request all readers of the blog, that were dissuaded from using Bing Ads, to give it a try now. If you have any feedback or bugs – please do contact support (as Chris did in this instance) – we do take it seriously.

      Thanks and wishing all of you a Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!


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