Thursday, July 14, 2005

Adventures in Customer Support

I believe I have the credentials to speak on that most tenditious of topics, customer support for software. Been on both sides, having trained helpdesk techs, performed as the family helpdesk all by my lonesome (Hi, Mom!) and of course had many, many interactions with helpdesks in my role as Frustrated User.

If you want to know why helpdesk techs sometimes ask stupid questions, it is usually because someone else, calling the helpdesk, did exactly that stupid thing. You don't have to believe me, read this (some of it is out of date, but most of the problems are PEBCAK: Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard).

Then there's the other side: Problem Exists At Helpdesk. I've had some special moments with those folks. Recently I have been having severe problems with my work email. Some, not all, of the email sent to me never gets there. My tech, trying to get to the bottom of this, actually requested me to send him one of the emails I didn't get. (sigh) If I was able to deduce the existence of a specific missed mail, summon it by sheer brainpower from the ether to which it vanished and restore it to life and then send it to him I sure as hell wouldn't be stuck here -- I'd be off making a killing in the stock market.

I also had a run-in with another tech for a different issue, with similar comprehension problems. I'd purchased some software with one month of free support. When installed, the mouse and keyboard no longer felt any commitment to the communal whole, in fact refused to communicate and just sat and pouted at me. So, I fire up the free support (email only, of course). I begin to suspect, due to the turnaround, that the helpdesk is located in a foreign clime. Somewhere with a 12 hour time difference. Moreover, the tech assigned to me sees nothing wrong with telling me all sorts of helpful things to try and fix the problem, all of which involve using the keyboard. (again, sigh) (I did eventually get it fixed, but not with their help.) What part of "keyboard does not work" is hard to understand???


Blogger John of Argghhh! said...

As noted in an earlier conversation... the "help" files are now suddenly crystal clear...

8:46 AM, July 17, 2005  

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