We try to make it easy to get in contact with us. Our previous blog post about getting in touch with us is still valid. Also, we try as hard as possible to be open and direct with our customers about issues and things going on. In this post, I want to share a few funny stories about support. Not Sephone providing support to our customers, but we have vendors too, these stories are about us getting support from them. All companies will remain nameless, but the stories will be shared.
The Phantom Fix
Recently we had been having trouble with this one service, for a few days. At one point, the person told me, it’s been fixed for now, but we have to do one more thing to make sure it does not happen again. It did seem fixed, it ran great, for a couple of days. Then one Monday, it started again. I called the vendor in question and I got voicemail, which is strange, since this was a direct line to a tech, but I thought maybe he was not into work yet. About 20 minutes passed, and the issue went away, and I got a phone call saying they could not reproduce the issue at this time and all looked fine. I said, “Thank you,” and just got off the phone.
I know what happened was they forgot to do “the thing” to prevent it from happening again, they ignored my call, fixed it and then told me that there was no issue. There was an issue. It does no good to quickly fix something and then tell the customer there was no issue, it makes the customer confidence in the product and subsequently the company.
Jumping through Rings of Fire
Once, we experienced an issue with the network interface of one of our servers. I filled in support ticket with the company in question. They replied back on the ticket asking me to run many network diagnostic tools. I did, it took me about 20 minutes to run all of these tests to confirm the issue. Once I sent them the diagnostics they asked me to run, they replied back, we are experiencing a network issue and should have it resolved any minute. Which, to their credit, they did but why make me run a bunch of tests, and jump through all of the hoops? Why not just say upfront, there is an issue, we are taking care of it?
ETA of… Whatever
Once a storage service we use had a RAID device failure. They had a backup, and got it back online pretty quick. I remember thinking, “Wow, that was quick for losing a RAID device of about 8 TB.” Then I started using the service again. It was a nightmare, it was barely working, sluggish, slow, sometimes not working at all. I asked what the deal was with it and was told about the backend restore process and that this process was taking all the resources from the machine. My next question of was how long, to which the answer was…”Whenever.”
I understand, it’s hard to know how long things take sometimes and the impact, but it’s generally bad to have a customer think something is “Good to go”, when it’s not.
Once I called a company about a product of theirs that we had. The man that answered the phone was not in this hemisphere, and though he said his name was Tommy, I seriously doubt it. I mean no disrespect to people of Indian decent or nationality, but generally I have had very poor technical support that comes from that country or region. It seems most of the time they are only trained on the most common errors that the consumer may experience with the common solutions, and normally I don’t experience the common errors, but some of the more sparse ones.
The gentleman keep asking me to restart, I knew that was going to do jack squat, but I rebooted, several times. Then I got transferred, and then transferred again with most cryptic instructions about hitting 2 right after a beep. After that I got the facility where they make the software that powers the machine, and they were able to fix me right up.
Counting on You
This is not a tech story, but about a water well. My well had an issue and I didn’t have water for two days, had to lug around pales of water. Talk about habits though, I bet I turned on facets a dozen times, only to remember I had no water. I understand that when you are used to counting on something, it’s hard when it does not work. If your app goes down or is not working right, and you use it everyday, I know, that can be difficult. We strive to provide good support, so you don’t have stories to tell, like in this post.