Software Empire eventually, after sending me three product keys, decided that they had received bad keys from their non-microsoft vendor and refunded my charge.
I pointed out to them that wasn't really a help as without activation, I would soon be out of business. They promised to resolve it and said that it would take 24-48 hours.
After six days and no further response to my emails, I moved on.
Note that Software Empire is still advertising this product so buyer beware.
Enter this company:
They sold me a key for $31 and it activated!
This is the procedure that I used:
I right clicked on computer and clicked on properties .
I then clicked on "change product key" and entered the key.
The key was verified and it shows that Win 7 is activated.
Great news but what I am unsure of is that I thought that I had to activate by phone?
So far so good but it has only been a few hours.