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  • Patch Lady – when support goes too far

    Posted on Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Patch Lady – when support goes too far

    This topic contains 49 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    • #932343 Reply

      Susan Bradley
      AskWoody MVP

      First off I know many of you will go …uh huh what do you expect of a company that maps your house.. but I love my irobots… until they don’t work.  I
      [See the full post at: Patch Lady – when support goes too far]

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

    • #934036 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      I, too, am developing a love-hate relationship with my Roomba.

      That said, it’s one of the few high tech purchases I’ve made in recent years that I’d go back and do again. In a heartbeat.

    • #936655 Reply

      Cybertooth
      AskWoody Plus

      Susan asked:

      Why do technology items have to constantly have such frustrating customer support experiences?  Why is this “acceptable” in this industry?

      My working theory is that we (the customers) have been entirely too enthusiastic about the offerings that tech companies have put out there, to the point where they think they can get away with anything (you name it: shoddy service; privacy snooping; astronomical pricing) because we’ll just keep buying. Too many of us simply gotta have the newest, shiniest, coolest toys and those of us who beg to differ are just “haterz gonna hate.” And of course they have their legions of volunteer (or paid) apologists ready to jump to their defense.

      This has allowed them to ditch the old view that “the customer is always right” in favor of some, umm, algorithm that calculates it’s OK to turn off some percentage of customers because we’ll keep taking their products no matter how badly they abuse us.

      We could use a high-profile bankruptcy (or two, or three) among today’s market leaders to show who’s boss and instill some humility in the brilliant twits running them.

       

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #936688 Reply

      Noel Carboni
      AskWoody_MVP

      I had one of the first Roombas. No automatic emptying, no automatic charging, barely capable of cleaning a single room with a tile floor and almost no obstructions without getting stuck or missing large swaths of space – not to mention needing to be emptied every ten minutes.

      Hair and dirt made it non-functional by causing all the bearings to tighten up and ultimately seize, after way too short a lifetime (mere months of use), so I threw it away. Never craved another one. Great idea but it seems to me it’s too much money to waste on something that’s underdesigned and poorly supported.

      If the delivery service claims you’ve received all the packages they sent, Support may well believe them over you. Perhaps they figure you’ll eBay the parts to recoup your purchase price. Sadly we’re kind of past the era where companies trust people and vice versa.

      -Noel

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #943375 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        There are still some places out there who trust the customer at least a bit.

        My Cyberpower UPS has a front panel that displays all kinds of neat info.  It can be set to show the line voltage, the battery charge percentage, the power draw of all of the devices plugged into it (the mode I use), run time on the battery at the current power usage level, and other things, as well as visual indicators of online status and what not.

        Recently, it began going haywire, either lighting all of the LED segments at once or just a random set, with no possibility of any useful info being seen.

        The unit was still under warranty, but only just.  I called Cyberpower and described the issue, and in a few minutes they told me the front panel with the LEDs must have failed, so they offered to send a new one (as opposed to me sending the whole unit in for repair).  They didn’t need the old one back; they just sent the new one on my word.  I installed it, and the unit was returned to proper function.

        I am sure that they would have allowed me to send the unit to them for repair if I didn’t want to remove the panel myself, but I really didn’t want to have to find a box and go through the hassle of sending it in, so this worked well.

        I recently also had a problem with my Logitech speakers for the PC.  The left one would cut in and out… often when it was out, a slight tap on the case would restore it temporarily.  It was most likely a cracked solder or the like, but I didn’t see any obvious way to open the thing and check.  I could easily reflow the solder to fix it, most likely, but it looked like the speakers would be hard to open without damaging them, and I was not going to attempt that while the warranty was available.

        I started a ticket on the Logitech site, and they promptly sent me a whole new speaker set, including the base unit with the subwoofer.  They didn’t need the old one back either.

        It’s good to know that there are still some out there that prize customer service.

         

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        10 users thanked author for this post.
        • #955748 Reply

          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          So now you can take apart the old speaker and look to see if in fact you can resolder the loose connection. then you’ll have two working units. Sweet deal!

          -- rc primak

    • #937414 Reply

      mbhelwig
      AskWoody Lounger

      I had a problem some years ago with A Sony TV Video Recorder which would not work properly — brand new out of the box — and the service people were very uncooperative about replacing it with a new one — persistently so.

      The consumer laws in my country (AU) give the consumer the choice about Replace, Repair or Refund of a product under warranty.

      The store manager where I purchased the unit was just the opposite. He replaced the unit and when it did not work properly, he offered to replace it with a different brand. The panasonic has been working well for years now.

      I have a policy to deal with these people — I never buy that brand again, in anything, and I warn friends of my experience. I also recommend the store where I got such good service from the manager.

      You might say “what difference would that make”. Maybe not much, but it is my way of dealing with companies who provide such poor service on their products.

      It is surprising how word gets around.

      mbhelwig

      7 users thanked author for this post.
      • #955811 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        It sounds like they did do a replace, and you got a better recorder than then original. I’d take that as a win.

        That said, Sony in the USA is notorious for bad customer service.

        -- rc primak

      • #964801 Reply

        Bill C.
        AskWoody Plus

        SONY is notorious for poor service and warrantee resolution. From my first Walkman and a later audio item it was the same, ignore, obstruct, or saddle the unfortunate owner with an arcane return process and hoops to jump through. My last SONY product was in the early 1990s and from reviews on Amazon, Yelp, etc. it appears if has not changed.

        No matter how good the sale, if an item said warrantee issues have to be resolved by the maker, I will not buy until I have researched the maker’s reputation. I also avoid items that change for the sake of change every few months since that in an of itself tells me repair or replacement with alike item is NOT going to happen.

        Fortunately social media does have one good, it is a mighty big squeeky wheel if you are looking for action.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #984435 Reply

          anonymous

          I wouldn’t touch a Sony product with a 10ft pole since the time they’ve decided to install rootkits on their customers PCs. Also, that incident was not exactly isolated.

          https://makezine.com/2011/02/24/sonys-war-on-makers-hackers-and-innovators/

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1067883 Reply

            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            That article is almost a decade old. Sony long since stopped using rootkits. In fact, they abandoned the music sharing service for which the rootkit was deemed useful. But their customer service is a nightmare.

            -- rc primak

    • #942915 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      Susan Bradley wrote, in the original post:

      Seriously of the three promised replacement parts, only one was shipped, the base vacuum robot in particular was not shipped.   So off I call again to ask then to follow up.  And they indicate they will have to look into it with UPS as it must be a shipping problem.

      That would indicate it was in more than one box, unless they mean to tell you that UPS opened the box and took some stuff out.  If there was more than one box, there would be more than one tracking number.  I’d ask them for the additional tracking numbers so that you could try to figure it out.  If they can’t give you one, you know why!

       

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

      5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #950047 Reply

        jabeattyauditor
        AskWoody Lounger

        Susan Bradley wrote, in the original post:

        Seriously of the three promised replacement parts, only one was shipped, the base vacuum robot in particular was not shipped. So off I call again to ask then to follow up. And they indicate they will have to look into it with UPS as it must be a shipping problem.

        That would indicate it was in more than one box, unless they mean to tell you that UPS opened the box and took some stuff out. If there was more than one box, there would be more than one tracking number. I’d ask them for the additional tracking numbers so that you could try to figure it out. If they can’t give you one, you know why!

        Even better: just sign up for the package-management services that UPS and Fedex offer. They’re free, and they’ll notify you as soon as a shipment is entered into their system that has you as the addressee.

        You get tracking info before the package is even picked up at the first point in the delivery chain – and it works.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #951390 Reply

          masterX244
          AskWoody Plus

          Don’t forget DHL over @ germany. Similar service available there.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #969000 Reply

          Susan Bradley
          AskWoody MVP

          I do have tracking account with UPS.  They show one shipment.  I know from purchasing them before it should have come it at least two boxes – one for the robot, another for the clean bin.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1067925 Reply

            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            I’ve had Amazon split up shipments and then show only one package in their tracking. I didn’t know this practice had spread to UPS.

            -- rc primak

    • #943027 Reply

      Pierre77
      AskWoody Plus

      In AU we have plenty of these problems. The only thing we have a strong consumer laws but AI is making its inroads. I constantly receive warnings about new gadgets and old ones  that are now able to perform a lot of spying (listening and transmitting data) without your knowledge.

      • #955908 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        Spying is a whole different class of problem from poor customer support.

        Spying is not a bug — it’s a feature. (Not one I prefer to have, especially without notifying me and offering an opt-out, but a feature nonetheless.)

        -- rc primak

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #949045 Reply

      willygirl
      AskWoody Plus

      Those Roombas scare the heck out of me, mind of their own and if we had one I’m almost sure it would come alive and attack in the middle of the night. Family elsewhere can’t live without the machine. Customer service once upon a time was a one on one in real time, in store greet you with a smile experience and let’s get these repair parts ordered. And there are companies out there today that do stand by their promise to get it fixed one way or another from start to finish.

      Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA

      • #955966 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        This was not originally about Roomba. It’s about iRobot. Totally different companies, though similar products.

        -- rc primak

        • #957548 Reply

          willygirl
          AskWoody Plus

          This was not originally about Roomba. It’s about iRobot. Totally different companies, though similar products.

          I am aware of this just referring to Woody’s earlier remark and it’s all in the robot family.;)

          Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA

        • #969018 Reply

          Susan Bradley
          AskWoody MVP

          iRobot is the parent company to the Roomba vacuum cleaner.  They are the same firm.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #1068202 Reply

            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            I finally looked it up on Google. The product is named the Roomba i7, not the iRobot i7.  No one calls it an iRobot.

            -- rc primak

    • #949206 Reply

      The Surfing Pensioner
      AskWoody Plus

      Oh dear. I thought about getting a Roomba, but decided against it – although I love the idea of a gadget that would vacuum for me! – mainly because I learned long ago not to purchase appliances unless you can take them back to the shop and kick up a fuss when they don’t work. Then the store will replace them, all right. Otherwise, once they’ve got your money……………………..

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #951578 Reply

      anonymous

      >They assure me that three items were shipped.  I assure them that no, just one arrived.

      I had a similar experience with Amazon not long ago, when they started pushing their deliveries onto third-party “couriers” in my area. When a package was days late I finally went to check and it claimed to have been delivered over the previous weekend. They even posted a picture of the delivery, which was terrific because it very clearly showed the front porch for some other house, not mine.

      I couldn’t believe how hard it was to get that through to customer support. They were adamant that “it shows that it was delivered” and that I should just look around for it. It took three or four entirely separate tries to get them to understand that it was delivered, just to the wrong address. And that no, by the way, I’m not going to check with all of my neighbors and see if they have it. If their flaunted couriers can’t deliver a package to the right address (the house numbers aren’t invisible) it isn’t my problem, it’s theirs.

      • #956107 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        Amazon Logistics has had a lot of difficulties with their delivery drivers. In my own case, they could not read the difference between a 3 and a 5 on the apartment numbers. Partly the fault of my apartment community, as they chose a really lousy font for those numbers. Even the Post Office doesn’t get things right every time due to that font.

        My point is, the humans who actually make the deliveries can’t always make sense of every number on every residence in every neighborhood. With a bit of practice, our local Amazon Logistics folks have gotten better, but the Postal Service doesn’t assign a regular carrier to our route, so the misdeliveries just keep happening.  The latest goof by USPS nearly cost me a fine with our City due to a vehicle excise tax bill being misdelivered during a snow storm.

        It happens in every delivery service, not just Amazon or UPS.

        -- rc primak

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #994578 Reply

        anonymous

        I had a similar experience with Amazon not long ago, when they started pushing their deliveries onto third-party “couriers” in my area. When a package was days late I finally went to check and it claimed to have been delivered over the previous weekend.

        I had a similar experience with Amazon. My house number is 863. The third party courier delivered it to 263 from the photo. Amazon said that I should got there and ask for my package. I told them no way I was going to that address. That address has been in the news several times for crime actives including shooting and knife fights and machete issues. Last time utility tried to turn the gas meter for no payment they need a whole crew of police and others to get in their and several shots were fired on that day. I am surprised that the delivery courier driver did not get hurt. May be they figure they were getting a package and left driver come up to the porch or maybe the police car was there like it has been for several weeks now.

    • #953795 Reply

      Seff
      AskWoody Plus

      I’ve always put robots that vacuum for you in the same category as one-coat paint, non-drip paint and silent/lightweight hoovers. Great ideas, but in practice more of a marketing con than a viable product, and not to be trusted.

      As for customer services, I’ve had pretty mixed experiences in recent years. There are some who pull out all the stops to help you, and there are others that are more interested in the feedback survey you’re going to receive immediately afterwards than in resolving the actual problem.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #953935 Reply

      pHROZEN gHOST
      AskWoody Lounger

      Alexa, fix my Roomba for me while a lay on the sofa. Alexa responds … I don’t know how to do that Dave.

      Whah, Whah, Whah. The toys are broken. What did you expect? Electronic toys are made cheap.

      Don’t be lazy. Housework can be a healthy experience. Those who disagree would be better off in a seniors’ home.

      Byte me!

    • #954242 Reply

      anonymous

      Susan,
      I had the similar issue with MS web store. I ordered a surface since business required it. It was to ship and delivered in 2 weeks. After 2 weeks called support, I got an  MS support person that barely spoke English. I asked where it is. He look it up and says it was shipped. I said that I do not have it. He would look into it and will call me back. Two days later no call back. I called again. Got another  that understood every second or third word. Had to use short sentence to get her to understand my issue. She said that not ship since back order. Why did the first call person not tell me that? She could not say. I asked when back order will be 2 weeks or more. After three weeks, no info again. Call again got another  that that seems to understand and speak English. She said that it was shipped yesterday. Four days later got the surface pen. Wait a few days and call again. Got another support person that seems to have been drunk or high as a kite. Finally asked for supervisor. Supervisor said that all three items (Surface, mouse, and pen) were shipped separately and delivered. No they were not. Asked for tracking number that he finally gave after several yelling moments. I look it up and only one of the three was delivered. I asked if he look at the tracking. He said that he look at their system and not the tracking. Their system showed that it was delivered. Mostly one item delivered makes it that all are in their system. Got feed up with MS and try to cancel the order. Could not. Had to cancel with Credit card company. When to local store, and got it in less than 1 hour. Never order anything thru MS website.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #956359 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        I have had non problems with the Microsoft Online Store. Maybe just luck. I got an Acer netbook there in 2015, and no problems. I’ve ordered small parts since then and also no problems. Same with the Google Online Store.

        When dealing with customer service reps who are not proficient in English, yelling or any other rudeness does not get you better service. Simply politely wish them a good day and hang up and call again. Often the second call in a row gets you a better rep. But yelling will only get you written up as a problem customer. Politely asking for escalation to a supervisor or a different department (shipping or billing rather than sales) also sometimes helps. The Sales Department frontline reps are the rookies, and they tend to give the worst service.

        -- rc primak

        • #957122 Reply

          anonymous

          When dealing with customer service reps who are not proficient in English, yelling or any other rudeness does not get you better service.

          Yes, I know that. I was clam with the reps.

          I lost it when the supervisor did not want to give the tracking number of the three separate packages. The yell did help since it turn out he was just a training supervisor. The actual supervisor heard the yelling and started to direct him what he needs to do in the background is what I heard.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #955823 Reply

      Mr. Natural
      AskWoody Plus

      I have a PHD in understanding broken English. The result of talking to tech support people for over 20 years.  🙂

      Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #956436 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        I just seem to have a natural talent with foreign languages and nonstandard English. In High School I would drive my French teachers insane because they knew I never did my homework, but I became fluent just through classroom exercises and practice outside of class.

        Who knew that all these years later this talent would pay off with customer service reps!

        -- rc primak

        • #958302 Reply

          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Heh.

          There’s one trick that tends to make at least some customer service reps pay attention and be polite.

          Go with standard NATO voice-comms English, with procedural structure too.

          (Well, it does help having learned that in the military, like myself… no, not a NATO member country here…)

          No reason to reinvent things – international military comms procedures have been specifically designed to be workable with people whose language skills are rather variable, and link quality as well…

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #961240 Reply

          Charlie
          AskWoody Plus

          So rc, you are fluent in Indlish?  That’s what is spoken in most cases.  You’re lucky.

          Win 7 Home Premium, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Groups B & L

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1067735 Reply

            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            Pretty much, yes sir.

            Also, Spanglish and Philippino-English.

            Chinese-English is more variable, so I’ve had a bit more trouble with that variant.

            -- rc primak

    • #957228 Reply

      MikeMc
      AskWoody Lounger

      I had an HP Tablet and the battery went bad. It expanded and blow the back off the tablet (I have pictures). It smoked for a day or so while sitting in the middle of my driveway. Contacted HP support and got a case number. I made it quite clear that the battery was on the verge of exploding. Never heard from HP. Apparently they been hiring Roomba employees!

    • #957726 Reply

      jaman57
      AskWoody Plus

      >They assure me that three items were shipped. I assure them that no, just one arrived. I had a similar experience with Amazon not long ago, when they started pushing their deliveries onto third-party “couriers” in my area. When a package was days late I finally went to check and it claimed to have been delivered over the previous weekend. They even posted a picture of the delivery, which was terrific because it very clearly showed the front porch for some other house, not mine. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to get that through to customer support. They were adamant that “it shows that it was delivered” and that I should just look around for it. It took three or four entirely separate tries to get them to understand that it was delivered, just to the wrong address. And that no, by the way, I’m not going to check with all of my neighbors and see if they have it. If their flaunted couriers can’t deliver a package to the right address (the house numbers aren’t invisible) it isn’t my problem, it’s theirs.

      A lot of times I think it’s purely the luck of the draw as to the quality of support – if you get a person who cares, you’re good, but if not… Actually of the “big boys” I buy from, Amazon has always given me great customer support when I’ve called (which hasn’t been that often), and has always quickly resolved the issue to my satisfaction. But 1) the items involved have also not been big-ticket items, and that may make a difference, and 2) I also call, I don’t use chat, and maybe they put the more-accommodating people there. Or, like I said earlier, just the luck of the draw. In tech, I always have had good experiences with Dell. But overall I agree totally with @mbhelwig‘s post above – if I get ripped-off or disrespected once, I make sure they never get the chance to do it again!

    • #960684 Reply

      Charlie
      AskWoody Plus

      Susan, you now know what a “Limited Warranty” is.  Practically nothing.

      Win 7 Home Premium, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Groups B & L

    • #961154 Reply

      geekdom
      AskWoody Plus

      Can’t go wrong with a manual Bissell: no batteries, no electricity, no fancy, and it works forever.

      Group G{ot backup} TestBeta On hiatus.
      Win7Pro · x64 · SP1 · i3-3220 · RAM 8GB · Firefox: uBlock Origin - NoScript · HDD · Canon Printer · Microsoft Security Essentials · Windows: Backup - System Image - Rescue Disk - Firewall
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #961806 Reply

      Charlie
      AskWoody Plus

      I still have a canister vacuum I bought from Montgomery Ward in 1975 that I still use. I paid around $80 for it and it still works great!  Only thing is, I can’t get bags for it anymore, so I empty the bag myself.

      I find helping with the housework means I don’t need a treadmill or exercise machine and it makes my wife happy.  Being retired has some rewards, no rocking chair for me.

      Win 7 Home Premium, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Groups B & L

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #962319 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Robot appliances that can lighten the housekeeping chores have been a long standing theme in science fiction and “futurist” essays about things to come. The reason is simple: most people do such chores and are thankful for the appliances that help do them: washing clothes and drying them, doing the dishes, pots and pans, etc. Robots are supposed to tackle more complex tasks, such as cleaning floors. But getting them to work is a difficult process that can develop properly only at its own pace.  I see “domestic robots”, right now as being more of A Next Big Thing and less as being well-established products that can be trusted to work without frequent problems.

      Normally, buying a type of product that has been around already for several years, such as the Roomba vacuum and its like, would not be an early adoption. But, because of the slow and uneven pace of the difficult development of robots in general, buying one still has much in common, unfortunately, with an early adoption.

      And being A Big Thing (Next or not), many would-be entrepreneurs, raised in the hot-house climate of HiTech exaggeration and TED talks, as soon as they have managed to build something that works just fine for a few days — and have been lucky to find daring “Angels” willing to finance a start up — that they set up shop, with products that are not quite ready for market.

      The people who run those outfits are not necessarily great at their jobs, merely extremely motivated — and also firm believers in a bunch of Silicon Valley common places. The unfortunate that buy their products expecting real help from them, when things do not go as expected, discover that awful truth when they get in touch with their service people.

       

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

    • #963766 Reply

      Norio
      AskWoody Plus

      Thank you, Woody for letting me vent on your platform. At least it made me feel a bit better to get out my customer support frustrations.

      Thank you Susan for venting. These companies that have lousy customer support (such as iRobot) will only change their ways when a geek like you who has a platform with many readers catches them in the act. It’s possible that customer support for others that follow will get better because of your detailed rant. Yeah, yeah–I know it’s unlikely. It irritates me that this company appropriated a name that has fantastic connotations for me: “I, Robot” the first publication in the Robot series by Isaac Asimov. That’s where the Three Laws of Robotics made their first appearance, and I will paraphrase to fit the situation:

      First Law
      A robot may not soil a living room or, through inaction, allow a room to get dirty.
      Second Law
      A robot must dock onto the Clean Base except where such action would conflict with the First Law.
      Third Law
      A robot must evacuate its debris bin as long as such evacuation does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #967119 Reply

      Susan, I REALLY feel your pain.

      For years I have been going ’round and ’round with my cellphone provider over faulty phones, horrible customer service, 45 minute holds, cut connections while on hold, reps speaking unintelligible English and such. (I don’t speak Tagalog, and they certainly don’t speak very good English.)

      I finally wised up, got a hold of my state rep, and through them filed a formal complaint with my state’s utility oversight body. I figured, “Hey, I pay these guys, let’s see what good they can do.”

      Man, you should see how high a cell service can jump when facing a formal complaint backed up by a legislator’s staff!

      Bottom line, I got to speak with a US-based Rep, got a year-delayed refund, and a phone that just MIGHT last more than two weeks.

      Now, on to getting a new provider!

      Sounds like you might think about filing a complaint to the Consumer Division of the FTC might be in order. (https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/bureaus-offices/bureau-consumer-protection) They ‘ll step in if they get enough complaints. If there’s a state bureau where you live, give that a try too. It’ll definitely be more responsive than the federal level.

      The squeaky wheel DOES get the grease!

      Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Wait for the all-clear", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't check for updates-Full Manual Mode."
      --
      "...All the people, all the time..." (Peter Ustinov ad-lib from "Logan's Run")

    • #977064 Reply

      glnz
      AskWoody Plus

      Has any of us NOT had Susan’s experience?

      In my case, if there is not immediate satisfaction on a tel. call, I say that I bought the thing on my American Express, that American Express loves me, that if they don’t do what I want  within five minutes my next call will be to AmEx to cancel the charge, and that when the vendor sends me a prepaid return label I’ll leave the defective item downstairs for a pickup but not otherwise.

      It works a lot of the time, and when it doesn’t, AmEx shows me they love me.

      But sometimes the vendor is honorable.  Most recently the kitchenware maker OXO – good folks.

    • #1000152 Reply

      SAS@HA
      AskWoody Lounger

      This keeps happening because we don’t pay for support up-front. Consumers are wooed by the features and benefits, but it’s not often that we ask how good the support is before buying. By the time you do need the support you’re trapped, and in one way or another you’re spending time and money again. The manufacturers / developers are like Lily Tomlin’s Ernestine the Operator skit snorting, “We don’t care, because we don’t have to.”

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1068104 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        Except where specifically noted in some sort of End User Agreement, support is included in the price of any high-tech item. That is a big part of why these gadgets cost so much.

        Companies just try to “maximize investor value” by cutting back on support costs. Usually this happens through outsourcing, so the reps have no idea what product they are supporting, let alone the technical details of how and why it works or fails to work.

        But we do pay for support every time we pay a premium price for a tech product.

        So now that we know all of this, what can we do to improve the situation?

        -- rc primak

    • #1212606 Reply

      anonymous

      @susan this is a long-standing problem with script-based technical support. A significant number of people at the other end of the phone line have no idea of what they’re discussing — all they can do is record symptoms, make database searches, and then read back the scripts.  If the problem you have doesn’t fit the script (or they can’t find the right script with their database query skills) then you get situations such as this, where the tech is making the user jump through all sorts of silly hoops, because that’s what the script directs.

      This issue has implications for all sorts of things in Intelligent Systems, machine learning, AI, etc., because so much makes assumptions of what’s “typical”, and where they don’t work well for unanticipated conditions (especially unusual) that don’t fit the script or haven’t been accumulated in the knowledge base of experience.  Even a simple FAQ list fails spectacularly if you have a question that the FAQ maintainer doesn’t consider to be “Frequent”.  Same logic applies to complex response trees in telephone systems, if what you want doesn’t fit any of the offered options.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Patch Lady – when support goes too far

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