My saga continues, despite this crap:
Thanks for taking the time to reply to me.
I understand that there was no Activate Windows command under System Tools. I fully understand the inconvenience the issue has caused and that the current situation can be frustrating. Please be assured that I will continue working closely with you until the issue resolved.
Big whoop. The last two instructions were thwarted by reality. Most recently - 'register it with a reperesentative online - call this number - and choose a live agent.' I call - there's no way to ACCESS a human at all. Hey, Microsoft - when you update your procedures, tell India!
Saturday Update: they are bouncing me higher up the ladder... within 72 hours.