Much ado about scripting, Linux & Eclipse: card subject to change


Real World Bug Reporting, Part 2

I've given up on Rogers' ability to think outside their carefully cloistered support pillars, but for comic relief here's their final reply in this thread, interspersed with a little froth:

Thank you for taking the time to write to us, we appreciate your use of online customer service.

Gotta love the opening remarks drivel "We appreciate your use of online customer service." Geez, that's fantastic.

In your recent email, you have informed us that you would like assistance so you can view your services online and be able to manage your services successfully.

We apologize that you are experiencing difficulties accessing our website.

Holding breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop...

We are also sorry to hear that you have not been happy with the customer service you received. The expectation is that you receive world class customer service. If that is not what you experienced, we do apologize.

Silly me, I thought I'd made it clear I was dissatisifed. But by all means, couch your replies with "if", if it gets you through the day. Note also the distinct lack of "... and to make it better, we're going to actually do something other than simply sending this FOAD email to pacify you."

Please ensure that when you are navigating our website you are using Internet Explorer or Netscape as your browser as we do not support other browser types at this time. It is also suggested to clear all your cookies and your cache folder.

Kudos to Rogers for being forward thinking and choosing to mention Firefox here instead of Netscape. Oh, wait, I'm dreaming. Unfortunately, I can't argue the Internet Explorer point since according to some recent stats, they're still about 70% of the planet. I've never seen very flattering stats for Mac or Linux usage, so I guess it's reasonable to only support Windows and its de facto browser. You win this time, tech support. Oh, but wait -- this isn't a browser issue, it's a VBScript compilation error!

You are able to login as many times as you would like on our website.

Actually, that was the reason I filed this complaint in the first place, and no amount of "just use IE or Netscape" will resolve the fact that this isn't a browser problem.

If you continue using our website and experiencing errors, we do suggest that you contact our eCare department at 1-877-343-5745. They are open to serve you Monday-Sunday 7am-3am.

They are truly our website experts and with further troubleshooting, they will be able to assist you so you can view your services online successfully.

Oh, let's be real. They'll probably tell me that they've never heard of Linux, that Konqueror is a guy on a horse with a big sword, and ask me what version of Windows I'm using repeatedly until I hang up in disgust. I doubt they'll acknowledge the possibility that the browser is not the problem or that it's their code that's causing the compilation error.

We understand that you would like to receive assistance via email, however some matters are more complex and better if we discuss via telephone.

Like the ones where I say, "Read this Microsoft KB article and fix your website accordingly." Yep, that requires discussion.

And true, it's way more efficient to read a screen to someone over the phone than to send him an email so he can read it himself. Besides, manually entering a URL as someone reads it to you is *much* more fun (because errors = comedy, right?) than just clicking a link.

We do appreciate your cooperation concerning this matter. You are a valued customer and we thank you for your business.

So highly valued that they can't communicate between their departments to resolve problems. Ah, well, you can lead a monopoly to water, but you can't make it think.

Anyway, despite this, I'm stuck with these folks for the following reasons: the phone lines in my neighbourhood suck and the best throughput I can get is about 2-3MB/s download. With Rogers over cable lines I can get 5MB, and yesterday I got some junk mail saying they're upgrading everyone to 7MB for free. (It was postal junk mail, not email, because they're not quite *there* enough to send me a free email when wasting postage is an available option.) Ah, Rogers. Always going that extra mile to justify jacking up their rates while giving us a little something extra so we won't complain too much.

So, what can you do? Monopoly, yes, but ultimately, it's all about the bandwidth.


Anonymous said...

I've had endless phone calls with Sympatico about stupid things that were clearly not on my end of the deal, but "please unplug your router, so we can test your computer..." My router and computer isn't at fault for watching your signal drop every 3 minutes from the modem THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Feel your pain, ultimately amused by your use of logic :)

As a webmaster, if I found out the support team ran a customer through this and never bothered passing on that compilation error you so handily reference? Heads would roll.

nickb said...

My last run in with the good folks at Ma Bell involved an hour-long call for a password reset and confirmation of DSL software settings (because I thought I might have screwed something up).

I had to jump through pointless hoops involving: unplugging the router, the modem, rebooting the computer, plugging in a shorter phone line (he had this theory that the phone line had over time just stopped working -- even though I was calling from a phone plugged into the over half of the line (via a splitter) which ran into the modem, so clearly the phone line was fine).

Eventually, I got bored and started tweaking the software settings myself (because he was obsessed with it being a hardware problem) and managed to fix it by trial n' error. He was surprised it was suddenly working. I didn't bother to explain it to him.

I have to say, though, I called up about 5 mins before the end of his shift and he stayed online w/ me until we were through. So, points for seeing it though, minus points it being the *wrong* problem. Call could have been 5 minutes if he hadn't obsessed over the hardware.

Oh, and this was actually a second call -- I had asked for a password reset a half hour earlier but hadn't stayed online with her to verify it worked, because, c'mon, how hard can a password reset be? The second call, albeit longer and more painful, was ultimately successful.