• Time to go home (unregistered) in reply to aaron
    aaron:
    The simplest solution would be putting rel="nofollow external" into each comment link.

    while this would stop the spammers getting any cred in google, it proberbly wouldnt stop the spamming.

    we stopped it using a hidden field, which works really well against bots but doesnt work againsts someone in a third world country manually going to forumns and posting the spam. now our captcha is a picture of someone famous, seems to be working

    Brillant!

  • Michael Dorn (unregistered) in reply to Worf
    Worf:
    What? No one's made a comment about the old Air Force jokes?

    http://www.begent.org/squawks.htm

    Was the first thing I thought when I read this story!

    I remember that, killed me when I first saw it years ago. Also reminds me of "the Enterprise and the Lighthouse".

  • Time to go home (unregistered) in reply to heretic
    heretic:
    Heron:
    When I was a CS rep for DirecTV several years ago, they told us during training that people would be stupid about following directions, and that the only thing to do was be patient and do whatever possible to get them to follow our directions.

    That often resulted in conversations like this:

    Me: "Ok, we need to reset your receiver. Unplug it, wait 20 seconds, then plug it back in." Customer: "Ok." (20 seconds go by) "Nothing happened." Me: "Did the lights on the receiver turn off?" Customer: "No." Me: "Did you unplug it?" Customer: "No." Me: headdesk

    Did it ever occur to you that the people on the other end of your conversation had already deduced that a receiver reset would not solve the problem because they had already done that five times over the past two days? And that why they waited two days was because they were trying to avoid the pain and suffering inflicted by Customer Service reps who could be replaced by trained zombie monkeys without losing functionality?

    And if the tech (or automated call-response sw) had just sent a bit-twiddle down your line that would now allow a reset to fix the problem?

  • Time to go home (unregistered) in reply to JayC
    JayC:
    anon:
    heretic:
    Heron:
    When I was a CS rep for DirecTV several years ago, they told us during training that people would be stupid about following directions, and that the only thing to do was be patient and do whatever possible to get them to follow our directions.

    That often resulted in conversations like this:

    Me: "Ok, we need to reset your receiver. Unplug it, wait 20 seconds, then plug it back in." Customer: "Ok." (20 seconds go by) "Nothing happened." Me: "Did the lights on the receiver turn off?" Customer: "No." Me: "Did you unplug it?" Customer: "No." Me: headdesk

    Did it ever occur to you that the people on the other end of your conversation had already deduced that a receiver reset would not solve the problem because they had already done that five times over the past two days? And that why they waited two days was because they were trying to avoid the pain and suffering inflicted by Customer Service reps who could be replaced by trained zombie monkeys without losing functionality?

    No, if that was the case, the customer would have said Yes to both questions... Anyone smart enough to have already done the basic troubleshooting is smart enough to lie when asking to repeat said troubleshooting by a customer support rep.

    That's a idiotic and spineless position to take. You either do what they ask or bitch about doing it over and over. There should be no lying to the person that's trying to help you, no matter how brainless it seems. What if tech support is running a different process that absolutely required that one step you lied about doing? It's almost as stupid as not telling your doctor what drugs or so called homeopathic remedies you are taking. Don't assume you will know what will and won't work. If you knew those things, remind me -- why are you calling tech support?

    Spot on. Tak tochna. Bingo. Ichi ban. You got it.

    I have my own "trouble-shooting scripts" that I follow for various systems. And a lot of the time it does require doing or repeating the obvious. And the number of times I've heard "but I did that!" is countless. And, I might add, I've been on the other side too..."but I did that!?". Sometimes it's just a wtf...wrong phase of the moon or cosmic rays. Other times I can logic out that I got the magic incantations in just the right order, and I never have the issue again because often the solution will provide insight into the architecture, design, or simply the flukes of the system.

    Of course, there are exceptions to any rule. I have kicked back a few times. Once was back in Winblows 3.1 days...couldn't get a worm burner going. Called the vendor. He says "look in c:, do you see any 'file*.*' files? I said "sure, every Windows machine I've ever seen has those"...these were corrupted files that lost their links or whatever...the dos file system wasn't the most reliable. 99% of the time they were temp files left hanging after a crash. Harmless. So he says "reinstall Windows". He wouldn't even listen to the technical reasons why that wouldn't help. I argued but his script says "reinstall" & that was the end of it (it would have been a huge pita to reinstall for some reason, don't remember why now). I knew the issue had nothing to do w/ bad system software...it took some research but I fixed it myself.

    The only other case or two is when some clown requested that I reinstall Unix.

  • kate (unregistered) in reply to Flash
    Flash:
    heretic:
    Heron:
    When I was a CS rep for DirecTV several years ago, they told us during training that people would be stupid about following directions, and that the only thing to do was be patient and do whatever possible to get them to follow our directions.

    That often resulted in conversations like this:

    Me: "Ok, we need to reset your receiver. Unplug it, wait 20 seconds, then plug it back in." Customer: "Ok." (20 seconds go by) "Nothing happened." Me: "Did the lights on the receiver turn off?" Customer: "No." Me: "Did you unplug it?" Customer: "No." Me: headdesk

    Did it ever occur to you that the people on the other end of your conversation had already deduced that a receiver reset would not solve the problem because they had already done that five times over the past two days? And that why they waited two days was because they were trying to avoid the pain and suffering inflicted by Customer Service reps who could be replaced by trained zombie monkeys without losing functionality?

    Yes, but I tell the person what happened the first five times, and ask if a sixth time is really necessary. If the answer is "yes," I do it. It's always possible that the helpdesk person has silently (secretly?) changed something in the meantime that will make this time work. And if it fails the sixth time, I get to adopt a more "see, I told you so" attitude.

    also take into consideration that alot of subs exagerate what they have done.... they will say they reset it 5 times... but it is usually only once... and did they actaully even do it then? I've told plenty of people to just reset it again with me... and then, as if by some sorcerers magic... it fixes the issue

  • fdizzle (unregistered)

    LOL best WTF i've read here

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha what a classic! :D

  • Steve the Cynic (unregistered) in reply to ContraCorners
    ContraCorners:
    On your keyboard, what does the key directly to the left of the "Z" (or to the right of the "/" key) do?

    On my keyboard, 'A' is to the left of 'Z', and a funny galaxy symbol is to the right of '/'.

  • Subroutine (unregistered) in reply to ih8u
    ih8u:
    ------------------------------------------------- ISSUE #278033 ------------------------------------------------- Client Issue: "whining posts are cluttering up the interwebs (see ISSUE #88334)"

    Problem Point: While some posters (for some unknown reason) enjoy short, stupid posts like 'frist', other posters seem to feel that we all want our screens to be filled up by their long-winded, whining and moaning about, in this case, ONE WHOLE WORD.

    Improvement Goal: Make sure to append to the beginning of every short post (< 25 chars?) the following message. -- ALERT! You do NOT have to read this post. It may be silly. If that bothers you greatly, you may need a social life, a hobby separate from the internet, or psychological help. --

    Hey, that also works with spam!

    So you have 25000 spam messages in your inbox and it takes half an hour to just download them but who cares, you don't have to read them!

    Damn, why do I never have such great insight...

  • friend of an exetel customer (unregistered) in reply to Bob

    not at exetel, its encouraged.

    FYI to those who care to read, ForumAdmin is the CEO of the company.

    http://forum.exetel.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=32839

  • (cs)

    This bit of HTML near the top of the page was causing Firefox 3.5.1 on Windoze to complain about the duplicate style attribute and refuse to render the page:

    
    

    It seems to have got over it now though (I changed nothing), but perhaps it needs looking into properly.

  • Merty (unregistered)

    Hilarious, although also very recognizable. When visiting/auditing companies with large helpdesks, I always find comments like this in their ticket systems or not-that-official-internal system (aka, email, wikipages, department newspaper). And I understand completely, if you are working for a helpdesk and get calls like this without any manager understanding what kind of crap you have to deal with, writing things like this is the way to prevent you from going mad. Therefore, I tell my clients to keep this "informal" ticketing in place, as long as you make sure it never, NEVER, ends up on the customers site...

    There is no thing like a "idiot proof" system, they will always make a better idiot...

  • The Obviousness (unregistered) in reply to Deity Obvious
    Deity Obvious:
    Emperor Obvious:
    Admiral Obvious:
    Capt. Obvious:
    Tech:
    Even though the poster 'ff' (aka captain obvious) is ...

    "ff" is not me. Please stop spreading such rumors. Thank you.

    I remember back when I was just a Captain Obvious... Good times!

    lightweights ...

    Bring it on...

    I AM.

  • mmkay (unregistered) in reply to MG
    MG:
    Why recurse when you can use a linked list? :)
    ...
    

    captcha = minim, the amount of effort I put into this.

    So that's why you're commenting the wrong article.

  • (cs) in reply to JayC
    JayC:
    If you knew those things, remind me -- why are you calling tech support?

    I am calling tech support because they usually have access to systems that I don't and they would probably get upset if I rooted their boxen and fixed the problem myself.

  • You didn't see me right (unregistered) in reply to Merty
    Merty:
    Hilarious, although also very recognizable. When visiting/auditing companies with large helpdesks, I always find comments like this in their ticket systems or not-that-official-internal system (aka, email, wikipages, department newspaper). And I understand completely, if you are working for a helpdesk and get calls like this without any manager understanding what kind of crap you have to deal with, writing things like *this* is the way to prevent you from going mad. Therefore, I tell my clients to keep this "informal" ticketing in place, as long as you make sure it never, NEVER, ends up on the customers site...

    Good advice unless said helpdesk is for a company in the uk or somewhere with similar freedom of information laws. Here companies are required by law to give all information held about a customer/client, humourous notes and all, if the customer requests it and pays a small admin fee. Similarly putting a customer on mute and venting out loud your opinions of their intelligence, could fall foul of the same law if your company records calls.

  • Darth Obvious (unregistered) in reply to Emperor Obvious
    Emperor Obvious:
    lightweights ...

    What is thy bidding, my master?

  • JP (unregistered)

    Worse is Better.

  • The Obviousness' Dad (unregistered) in reply to The Obviousness
    The Obviousness:
    Deity Obvious:
    Emperor Obvious:
    Admiral Obvious:
    Capt. Obvious:
    Tech:
    Even though the poster 'ff' (aka captain obvious) is ...

    "ff" is not me. Please stop spreading such rumors. Thank you.

    I remember back when I was just a Captain Obvious... Good times!

    lightweights ...

    Bring it on...

    I AM.

    ....your father... Now goto bed!

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to donniel
    donniel:
    Anonymous:
    Jeff:
    TRWTF is in the comments: why are links permitted? What legitimate use could they have?

    Everyone who reads this site could copy/paste http://www.google.com into their new tab's url field...

    ...

    Banning links is overkill, people are often posting links to interesting sites or maybe just to definitions on Wikipedia. The trick is surely to ban posts with any more than 3 links, or something similar. Then we can still cross reference from the comments but the spammers will be screwed (remember that there is a law of spamming that says you are not allowed to put any less than 12 links into a spam post, even if they are all the same link - it's crazy but then spammers are retards).

    Actually, they're smarter than you think. The reason for putting those ridiculous looking links into random pages has NOTHING to do with having people click it.

    It's simply done for SEO purposes, as each link from a website is a sort of 'vote' for the linked website. Additionally, the actual link text of the link helps Google determine its content, hence the multiple variations of phrases they would like to be ranked upon.

    The simplest solution would be putting rel="nofollow external" into each comment link.

    You're absolutely right about SEO, the spammers are not looking for clicks but rather they're trying to boost their page rank. But I know this perfectly well and this is exactly why I suggested the "ban posts with more than 3 links" strategy. Since the spammers are looking to increase their page rank, it doesn't pay for them to post just one link. If they only ever post one link in their spam then they're hardly going to do much for their page rank, are they? So, this stategy should work because the spammers will not be able to post anything that is remotely useful to their end-game.

    You say that the simplest solution would be putting rel="nofollow external" into each comment link but obviously this isn't going to work. After all, if you view the source of the comments page you'll notice that all links are set up as rel="nofollow" anyway. As I explained, spammers are retards and they sure as hell aren't going to bother checking little things like rel attributes. It doesn't stop them from posting and that is the point of spam protection.

  • phire (unregistered) in reply to kate
    Flash:
    heretic:
    Heron:
    When I was a CS rep for DirecTV several years ago, they told us during training that people would be stupid about following directions, and that the only thing to do was be patient and do whatever possible to get them to follow our directions.

    That often resulted in conversations like this:

    Me: "Ok, we need to reset your receiver. Unplug it, wait 20 seconds, then plug it back in." Customer: "Ok." (20 seconds go by) "Nothing happened." Me: "Did the lights on the receiver turn off?" Customer: "No." Me: "Did you unplug it?" Customer: "No." Me: headdesk

    Did it ever occur to you that the people on the other end of your conversation had already deduced that a receiver reset would not solve the problem because they had already done that five times over the past two days? And that why they waited two days was because they were trying to avoid the pain and suffering inflicted by Customer Service reps who could be replaced by trained zombie monkeys without losing functionality?

    Yes, but I tell the person what happened the first five times, and ask if a sixth time is really necessary. If the answer is "yes," I do it. It's always possible that the helpdesk person has silently (secretly?) changed something in the meantime that will make this time work. And if it fails the sixth time, I get to adopt a more "see, I told you so" attitude.

    I once had a problem with our sky box (satellite tv). We had hidden it for a party and when I plugged it in, it didn't have any signal.

    I unplugged and re-plugged it about 5 times, checked the coax cables were tight enough, unplugged and replugged them too. I even tried swapping the 2 coax cables (for the 2 tuners) around a few times. But nothing worked.

    I asked my aunty for advice before calling tech support and she told me to unplug it, slowly count to 20, then plug it back in.

    And to my surprise, it worked. Apparently the waiting for an entire 20 seconds was the key to resetting it.

  • (cs) in reply to Ben4jammin
    Ben4jammin:
    Was this the CTOs first day in IT or what?

    Not necessarily. I have seen first-hand more than once the reality distortion fields that come up around people "elevated" into management.

    The one that stands out most starkly in my memory is a guy that was in the coding pits with us and joining in with us pointing and laughing at management's utter reliance on increasingly bogus (and increasingly obviously bogus) schedules. He would join in with us pointing out the fact that making us fill out more and more status reports (initially weekly, ending four times a day!) on why we were delayed would only delay us further.

    Then he was promoted.

    The VERY NEXT DAY he was out among us explaining to us why we had to report our status more often so that management could keep on top of why the project was facing ever-increasing overruns.

  • (cs) in reply to dcardani
    dcardani:
    O'Boy:
    Although the samples amply demonstrate the flaw in the CTO's logic, he did have a point. Any legitimate help desk ticket does represent a flaw somewhere in the product/service, and it may be worth trying to figure out if there's a way to fix it.

    Sometimes (quite often, probably) there may not be enough information in the ticket to determine how the confusion arose, but you should be able to at least identify the most common points of failure.

    Yeah, I have to agree. The first point was that the manual is too confusing. The user's way of saying that was utterly retarded, but the point is still valid. If your users can't understand the manual, you need to improve it. (And hey, your users can't be that stupid since they're actually reading the frickin' manual! Most users won't even crack it open!)

    This is not even remotely the case. Your manuals are written assuming a certain level of customer knowledge. For example I wrote the manual for a telephony card's device driver back in the days. This was a DOS driver and it did crap behind the scenes to permit multiple simultaneous channels to record and play audio, collect DTMF digits, etc.

    I had a customer cause us no end of grief because really weird and mysterious things were happening. In the end what was wrong is he was using a global state variable for his state machine. For all of the channels. Instead of one for each channel.

    Once I corrected that little bug in his thinking, he complained that the manual didn't make it clear that programming parallel operations was significantly different from programming in a single thread of execution.

    Were we to follow your logic, my device driver manual would have to contain a tutorial on writing multi-tasking software. While I was at it, I should probably also have written tutorials on how to interface with software interrupts in every DOS-based programming language that had the capability (since it was such software interrupts we used as our entry point to the API). Hell, while I was at it, why not toss in tutorials in basic programming for C, C++, Pascal, etc. etc. etc.?

    Sometimes the manual is just fine. Sometimes it's the users who need to be modified.

  • JohnConstantine (unregistered) in reply to dcardani

    I thought the whole article was lame. I mean these are the worst customers you have had to deal with? Holy F'ing crap you have to be joking.

    Oohhhh they used bad spelling!!? The horror!

    JC

  • IHazYourCheezburger (unregistered) in reply to ContraCorners
    ContraCorners:
    On your keyboard, what does the key directly to the left of the "Z"
    "A"
    ContraCorners:
    (or to the right of the "/" key) do?
    + =~
  • (cs) in reply to IHazYourCheezburger

    "blah blah blah i confuse forum posts with formal writing"

    fuck off, troll, i'll capitalize and proofread when it matters

  • (cs) in reply to phire
    phire:
    Flash:
    heretic:
    Heron:
    When I was a CS rep for DirecTV several years ago, they told us during training that people would be stupid about following directions, and that the only thing to do was be patient and do whatever possible to get them to follow our directions.

    That often resulted in conversations like this:

    Me: "Ok, we need to reset your receiver. Unplug it, wait 20 seconds, then plug it back in." Customer: "Ok." (20 seconds go by) "Nothing happened." Me: "Did the lights on the receiver turn off?" Customer: "No." Me: "Did you unplug it?" Customer: "No." Me: headdesk

    Did it ever occur to you that the people on the other end of your conversation had already deduced that a receiver reset would not solve the problem because they had already done that five times over the past two days? And that why they waited two days was because they were trying to avoid the pain and suffering inflicted by Customer Service reps who could be replaced by trained zombie monkeys without losing functionality?

    Yes, but I tell the person what happened the first five times, and ask if a sixth time is really necessary. If the answer is "yes," I do it. It's always possible that the helpdesk person has silently (secretly?) changed something in the meantime that will make this time work. And if it fails the sixth time, I get to adopt a more "see, I told you so" attitude.

    I once had a problem with our sky box (satellite tv). We had hidden it for a party and when I plugged it in, it didn't have any signal.

    I unplugged and re-plugged it about 5 times, checked the coax cables were tight enough, unplugged and replugged them too. I even tried swapping the 2 coax cables (for the 2 tuners) around a few times. But nothing worked.

    I asked my aunty for advice before calling tech support and she told me to unplug it, slowly count to 20, then plug it back in.

    And to my surprise, it worked. Apparently the waiting for an entire 20 seconds was the key to resetting it.

    Back in the old days when we carved support tickets onto stone tablets I came up with a way to make sure users didn't just flick the power switch.

    While on the phone, I asked them to power off $EQUIPMENT. Then, while it was off, hum the Final Jeopardy theme. Either they would or I would explain to them that the equipment needed a bit of time to fully power down. I hummed the theme song along with them if they played along.

    By the time all that was over, the equipment generally came back with no problems when the powered it on again.

    I still smile when I hear the Final Jeopardy theme.

  • St (unregistered)

    Best article I can remember in recent history - very funny.

  • Brett (unregistered)

    I am reminded of my days in Tech Support for a technology company, dealing with our customers.

    Some customers knew far less than they realized, while others had believed our Marketing department than you didn't have to know a damned thing to use the product and were proud of their ignorance. Sometimes belligerently so.

    On occasion, it was necessary to resort to, "Well, sir! You certainly are a problem now, aren't you?" On no occasion was the response anything other than, "Yes I do!"

    I always hoped that much later, perhaps while driving home, they'd pause and think, "Wait a minute! What did that *([email protected]#$ say to me??"

  • IT Girl (unregistered) in reply to V P
    V P:
    There's no way that this happened. Even though the tech would be right about customers being lazy, etc, they would have lost their job in a hearbeat for that kind of attitude just about anywhere.

    Not true:

    Ticket filed today: Agents keyboard is sticky, keys now stick and functionality seems to be getting worse. Can we get a new keyboard for her. Agent works M-F 9-5:30

    My Response: There are instructions on Sharepoint for cleaning keyboards. Sticky keys are caused by spilling food (which is not permitted on the floor)or drink on the keys.

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to Time to go home
    Time to go home:
    And if the tech (or automated call-response sw) had just sent a bit-twiddle down your line that would *now* allow a reset to fix the problem?

    Then they should bloody well say so.

  • Microtrash (unregistered) in reply to Joe

    I've been reading for the last few months religously. While I enjoy all the coding fail and UI fail, this one was just freaking awesome.

  • quis (unregistered) in reply to Franz Kafka
    Franz Kafka:
    Time to go home:
    And if the tech (or automated call-response sw) had just sent a bit-twiddle down your line that would *now* allow a reset to fix the problem?

    Then they should bloody well say so.

    Why? Do you explain in detail your code to a customer if they complain about a bug?

  • Joel (unregistered) in reply to MG
    MG Why recurse when you can use a linked list? :)

    Because sometimes cursing once just isn't enough!

  • Crusty (unregistered) in reply to Joel
    Joel:
    MG Why recurse when you can use a linked list? :)

    Because sometimes cursing once just isn't enough!

    To iterate is human, to recurse, divine.

  • Pariah (unregistered) in reply to JohnConstantine
    JohnConstantine:
    I thought the whole article was lame. I mean these are the worst customers you have had to deal with? Holy F'ing crap you have to be joking.

    Oohhhh they used bad spelling!!? The horror!

    JC

    Yeah I don't really get it either, CTO lets developers read messages that usually get filter out by tech support. Most of them look made up for the article as well as the responses, if not give people the option to complain/ask questions and they will, e.g. see this post.

  • Crusty (unregistered) in reply to phire
    phire:

    I once had a problem with our sky box (satellite tv). We had hidden it for a party and when I plugged it in, it didn't have any signal.

    I unplugged and re-plugged it about 5 times, checked the coax cables were tight enough, unplugged and replugged them too. I even tried swapping the 2 coax cables (for the 2 tuners) around a few times. But nothing worked.

    I asked my aunty for advice before calling tech support and she told me to unplug it, slowly count to 20, then plug it back in.

    And to my surprise, it worked. Apparently the waiting for an entire 20 seconds was the key to resetting it.

    Typically my wait time is 30 secs. This is the arp reset time (address reverse protocol) & is used by the network cards. Also, some equipment needs time for their capacitors to fade to clear their state.

    cr

  • Crusty (unregistered) in reply to Brett
    Brett:
    I am reminded of my days in Tech Support for a technology company, dealing with our customers.

    Some customers knew far less than they realized, while others had believed our Marketing department than you didn't have to know a damned thing to use the product and were proud of their ignorance. Sometimes belligerently so.

    On occasion, it was necessary to resort to, "Well, sir! You certainly are a problem now, aren't you?" On no occasion was the response anything other than, "Yes I do!"

    I always hoped that much later, perhaps while driving home, they'd pause and think, "Wait a minute! What did that *([email protected]#$ say to me??"

    mod +1

  • Mr. Slate (unregistered) in reply to MichaelWH
    MichaelWH:
    ...

    Then he was promoted.

    The VERY NEXT DAY he was out among us explaining to us why we had to report our status more often so that management could keep on top of why the project was facing ever-increasing overruns.

    Reminds me of when Fred was promoted to fire Barney :)

  • TK (unregistered) in reply to quis
    quis:
    Franz Kafka:
    Time to go home:
    And if the tech (or automated call-response sw) had just sent a bit-twiddle down your line that would *now* allow a reset to fix the problem?

    Then they should bloody well say so.

    Why? Do you explain in detail your code to a customer if they complain about a bug?

    I don't see why they wouldn't say so. Every time I've been on a tech support call where they did change something on their end which then required a reboot be me, they simply said, "I just changed something on my side, but you'll need to reboot for it to take affect. Please reboot now."

    Not that hard, is it?

    Even the script monkeys at vonage had the courtesy to keep me that much in the loop with what they were doing.

  • Contra KeybordNazi (unregistered) in reply to ContraCorners
    ContraCorners:
    I've lost track of this. Are you the pot or the kettle?

    On your keyboard, what does the key directly to the left of the "Z" (or to the right of the "/" key) do?

    If you're asking about the keys which have a Z and / printed on them: One writes a 'y' the other an '8' (or '*' with shift pressed). If you're asking about the keys which produce a Z and / respectively when pressd: One writes a 'v', the other a '='.

  • (cs) in reply to ContraCorners
    ContraCorners:
    On your keyboard, what does the key directly to the left of the "Z" (or to the right of the "/" key) do?
    nothing. i've been hitting both of them one at a time and both together but nothing's happening on the screen.
  • Michael (unregistered) in reply to LKM

    Absolutlely, Joel Spolsky makes the same point ("Fix Everything Two Ways") in this article:

    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/customerservice.html

  • Dan (unregistered)

    Support Wouldn't be necessary if the products were extensively tested, but then products would only get upgraded every 10 years and they would only add one feature. Instead we trade constant updates and loads of features for a few bugs and difficulties.

  • (cs) in reply to Jagger
    Jagger:
    Heron:
    When I was a CS rep for DirecTV several years ago, they told us during training that people would be stupid about following directions, and that the only thing to do was be patient and do whatever possible to get them to follow our directions.

    That often resulted in conversations like this:

    Me: "Ok, we need to reset your receiver. Unplug it, wait 20 seconds, then plug it back in." Customer: "Ok." (20 seconds go by) "Nothing happened." Me: "Did the lights on the receiver turn off?" Customer: "No." Me: "Did you unplug it?" Customer: "No." Me: headdesk

    Important to speak clearly, isn't it? Obviously the customer didn't quite catch "Unplug it" and thought you were doing something remotely to reset (so he waited 20 seconds as instructed).

    Yep. Never tell someone to do something by telling them that "we" need to do it. Otherwise, they expect you to do it with them. And, of course, never ask them to "click on My Computer".

  • John M (unregistered) in reply to O'Boy
    O'Boy:
    Although the samples amply demonstrate the flaw in the CTO's logic, he did have a point. Any legitimate help desk ticket does represent a flaw somewhere in the product/service, and it may be worth trying to figure out if there's a way to fix it.

    it may just represent a different way of doing a particular step. user concerns and complaints should be listened to and those concerns can be a way of identifying points of improvement. But ceding to the myth that "the customer is always right" is a road to disaster. Moreover, that "flaw" may be something that is completely out of IT's hands. It may be management running the user through training without taking the time to understand. It may be the user having a perspective that is different than IT's. And it may be HR hiring a defective unit.

  • Anony-nony (unregistered)

    Perhaps the real WFT is that none of these queries are really technical support queries.

    If these are the only queries coming through to technical support then your tecnical support team could be made redundant as they could easily be dealt with by a help desk.

    However, more likely, there are underlying problems but these arent being communicated properly. If the queries are being submitted though a web paage form, then the form is badly designed. If they are coming through a help desk, then the help desk isnt asking the right questions.

    The CTO is right - REAL tecnical support queries will highlight technical issues. Even if the issues are that the program hasnt been designed to be sufficiently 'idiot-proof'.

    I used to work in a dept where the software would reguarly break because customers didnt follow the instructions. But this isnt the customers fault, its the developers fault for not making the program robust.

    In any case, imho if your attitude is that customers are 'stupid' then you are in the wrong job.

  • Jambe (unregistered)

    I nearly soiled myself I laughed so hard at the "getting" bit.

  • Mahesh Velaga (unregistered)

    One of the most funniest posts that i have ever read .. :)

  • Obvious (unregistered) in reply to Deity Obvious

    Bahhh you still need titles. How drool

  • ClaudeSuck.de (unregistered) in reply to Dazed
    Dazed:
    LKM:
    While not every support call is the result of a problem with the software, a lot of them are (depending on what you're actually selling). It's often possible to fix the software and avoid the support issue, and it's almost always cheaper to fix it once in software, rather than answer the same call a hundred times.
    And often the fixes are very simple indeed: a few extra words in an error message, or placing a control in a different position.

    There is often an unfortunate tendency to focus only on the bigger issues in an application and never get around to fixing all the little things which, while not very significant to how the application works, can make a big difference to the users.

    See Lotus Notes or IBM software in general. Very good examples of how to screw up user interfaces.

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