turns out over on the discourse post that the issue with this user was a 'lingering' mcafee and avast antivirus on his machine. he thought he had the built in windows defender as the only av running, and that wasn't the case. 'deleted' (uninstalled? not clear) mcaffee and suddenly vbs's run again.
so, yeah, this was def user machine side error. but googling on here has turned up a few help list and stackoverflow posts about people unable to run the vbs file for one reason or another (that shouldn't be able to happen, but it's windows...)
I wonder if the issue is trying to run the .vbs script, or trying to run a program as hidden from another program ?
If it just the general act of running a .vbs script , we could just a small program using activex and call almost the same commands from within it.