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Author Topic: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive  (Read 5435 times)

tinjaw

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Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« on: October 15, 2007, 07:10:17 AM »
[attachthumb=#1][/attachthumb]
« Last Edit: October 15, 2007, 07:57:07 AM by tinjaw »

Ralf Maximus

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2007, 09:02:40 AM »
My initial take: not evil, just stupid.  Typical customer support fuster-cluck overseen by ill-trained, low-pay, front-line "support" techs.  Chances are your real issue never ran the gauntlet to somebody with any real power to fix anything.

Like that makes you feel any better...

tomos

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2007, 09:14:47 AM »
I've had that experience with apps that actually have very good support -
except I didnt have to wait 10 days of course  :)

They look at the first line of your mail & presume you havent a clue, dont read any further & send a reply requesting for more info.

Next time I contact any support I'm going to start off by saying
Attatched is x, y, & z logfile or whatever,
I KNOW that § is an option BUT ß didnt work for me - whats the problem -

I guess most of them are under pressure be it cause they small operations, or
big operations with stupid management & underpaid/unhappy(probably) staff who
dont give a toss more often than not cause their management doesnt either...
Tom

tinjaw

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2007, 10:34:59 AM »
I have no sympathy for technical support/customer service. I was a Senior Developer Support Engineer for Borland for many years. Yes, customers are jerks. Yes, customers are stupid. Yes, most answers are RTFM. However, it is your job to put on the fake smile and honestly try to assist the customer.

Let me throw a word of advice out there for anybody that might stumble upon this thread via a search engine.

The sales and marketing divisions of companies spend millions of dollars trying to get two seconds of the customer's time. They try advertising, mailing lists, etc. When a customer contacts a company with a problem, you have a genuine opportunity that absolutely should not be passed up. You have somebody who has identified themself as a customer with a bad feeling about your company or product - and we all know that unhappy customers are more likely to speak up in public than happy customers - and (this is the key) you have been provided an opportunity to change their opinion about your company or product. Most unhappy customers will just rip your company or product and you will never even know who they are or that they did you harm. It is your job to turn their poor opinion of the company/product around and make them an advocate for your company.

But when you are a support rep, that it is your job. They know what they are getting into. They chose to interact with the customer on behalf of the company. So, yes, it is a pretty sucky job most of the time, and even I had my bad moments/days/replies/postings/calls/etc., but it is the job of the seniors/mentors to monitor and watch for those and help the representative improve.

As for this particular posting of mine, it wasn't anything in particular other than I knew, going into this, that I was probably not going to get any helpful advice, based on dozens of contacts with support people in the past. It was meant to be more of a "look, the industry as a whole still sucks" posting, than anything in particular. The only hope I had was that, at best, multiple people had the same issue and so they had found an answer but hadn't posted it online yet, and if not, I would be adding a +1 to help the issue onto tech support's radar.

And last, a company's rules/policies/procedures are a huge part of customer support/service. You can have excellent people in those roles, but if you don't provide them with the proper tools, and atmosphere, to do their job well, they can't. A support department is a multiplier that can be positive, and raise the level of support a customer receives, or it can be a negative, driving down even your best workers.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2007, 10:54:16 AM by tinjaw »

KenR

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2007, 10:49:08 AM »
I have no sympathy for technical support/customer service. I was a Senior Developer Support Engineer for Borland for many years. Yes, customers are jerks. Yes, customers are stupid. Yes, most answers are RTFM. However, it is your job to put on the fake smile and honestly try to assist the customer.

Let me throw a word of advice out there for anybody that might stumble upon this thread via a search engine.

The sales and marketing divisions of companies spend millions of dollars trying to get two seconds of the customer's time. They try advertising, mailing lists, etc. When a customer contacts a company with a problem, you have a genuine opportunity that absolutely should not be passed up. You have somebody who has identified themself as a customer with a bad feeling about your company or product - and we all know that unhappy customers are more likely to speak up in public than happy customers - and (this is the key) you have been provided an opportunity to change their opinion about your company or product. Most unhappy customers will just rip your company or product and you will never even know who they are or that they did you harm. It is your job to turn their poor opinion of the company/product around and make them an advocate for your company.

But when you are a support rep, that it is your job. They know what they are getting into. They chose to interact with the customer on behalf of the company. So, yes, it is a pretty sucky job most of the time, and even I had my bad moments/days/replies/postings/calls/etc., but it is the job of the seniors/mentors to monitor and watch for those and help the representative improve.

As for this particular posting of mine, it wasn't anything in particular other than I knew, going into this, that I was probably not going to get any helpful advice, based on dozens of contacts with support people in the past. It was meant to be more of a "look, the industry as a whole still sucks" posting, than anything in particular. The only hope I had was that, at best, multiple people had the same issue and so they had found an answer put hadn't posted it online yet, and if not, I would be adding a +1 to help the issue onto tech support's radar.

And last, a company's rules/policies/procedures are a huge part of customer support/service. You can have excellent people in those roles, but if you don't provide them with the proper tools, and atmosphere, to do their job well, they can't. A support department is a multiplier that can be positive, and raise the level of support a customer receives, or it can be a negative, driving down even your best workers.

Interesting and thoughtful (as usual) post TinJaw.

Ken
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

Ralf Maximus

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2007, 10:56:43 AM »
Well said, Tin.  My most pleasant calls to tech support are when the rep listens to what I say and determines I am not an idiot, that I did my homework, and am calling them as a last resort.

My least favorite calls (I'm looking at you, Dell) are when I can't get the rep to deviate from their script.  "Have you rebooted the workstation?" causes me to grip the phone tightly and envision rabid weasels chewing on their entrails. 

One time I called to get an RNA on a laptop that was totally dead, and the tech wanted me to hold the F2 key down while booting and check out some BIOS settings.  I patiently explained that the computer WOULD NOT BOOT, but did that phase them?  No.  The Script Must Be Followed.

Treating customers like hordes of unwanted zombies?  Not a good business plan.

tinjaw

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2007, 11:13:04 AM »
And, let me add, in all fairness, it is very tough being, in my case, a Developer Support Engineer. (Picture college freshmen calling the Delphi telephone support line for help with their homework and trolls/flamers posting to official Compuserve forums. That is what I often had to deal with.) A practice that I try to adhere to, although I don't always, is that for every complaint I make I try to send a positive one as well. For example, here is what I sent out just now to balance this posting. It goes a long way toward helping the good support reps make it through the tough days.

[attachthumb=#1][/attachthumb]

f0dder

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2007, 11:13:49 AM »
One time I called to get an RNA on a laptop that was totally dead, and the tech wanted me to hold the F2 key down while booting and check out some BIOS settings.  I patiently explained that the computer WOULD NOT BOOT, but did that phase them?  No.  The Script Must Be Followed.
In all fairness, you can often get into the BIOS even though the system won't boot, since that term these days is more associated with getting the OS up, rather than the old "basic bootstrapping". If I hear somebody say they system won't boot, my first guess is that it's an OS or BIOS problem of sorts - otherwise people tend to say "it's dead" instead of "It doesn't boot" :)
- carpe noctem

cranioscopical

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2007, 11:28:38 AM »
people tend to say "it's dead" instead of "It doesn't boot" :)

Most mornings I won't boot... but I'm not quite dead yet!

Ralf Maximus

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2007, 12:49:04 PM »
Quote
In all fairness, you can often get into the BIOS even though the system won't boot, since that term these days is more associated with getting the OS up, rather than the old "basic bootstrapping".

Yup, but keep in mind this came fairly late in the call, after I had established that the machine was stone cold dead, pushing up the daisies, joined the bleeding choir invisible, an ex-computer.

Another favorite call was the time I had to request service for a computer not physically in my presence.  A travelling employee called me for help in getting a power brick replaced, which was necessary because I am the point of contact for Dell.  The tech was completely thrown when I kept insisting I could NOT do any of the tests she requested since the computer in question was 1200 miles away.  But instead of absorbing this fact, she kept plodding through the script.

The penultimate moment came when she finally acknowledged the machine SOUNDED dead, and wanted an address for the on-site visit.  She heard the zip code and sounded surprised: "That's not where YOU are at all, is it?"

Edvard

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2007, 12:51:15 PM »
I know a landscape designer lady who has given me great advice when it's obvious someone is having a bad day (or week) and who does not want to deal with you, but you really need answers.

It's called a "Sh!t Sandwich" and this is how it works:

Bread- Thank the person for what they have done, assure them you understand the difficulty of what you are asking, praise them for something inconsequential, etc. ad nauseum...
Sh!t- Restate your question, problem, whatever and (gently now...) your disappointment at having gotten a much-less-than-satisfactory answer from such exemplary human beings you know they usually are.
Bread- Thank them for their patience in reading your email, re-considering your request, etc, ad nauseum... and a sincere "looking forward to your reply" signoff.

She tells me they will be eating out of your hand the next time...

f0dder

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2007, 01:03:15 PM »
Quote from: Ralf Maximus
Yup, but keep in mind this came fairly late in the call, after I had established that the machine was stone cold dead, pushing up the daisies, joined the bleeding choir invisible, an ex-computer.
Fair enough :)

That kind of scripted no-brain "support" really sucks... But that's what you get most of the time, unless you find a competent contact person you can get through to, directly.
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app103

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2007, 08:08:06 AM »
What is worse is when they run out of script and are clueless as to what would be a good response and start making stupid stuff up.

I had an AOL 'techie' run out of script and as a last resort tell me that in order to fix a problem that was causing frequent disconnections, I should copy the file containing all my husband's saved email (since his was the smallest) to a safe location as a backup, delete the original, and replace it with the backup I just made.

This was supposed to help me stay online longer.


Ralf Maximus

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Re: Less Than Worthless Reply From Take 2 Interactive
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2007, 08:35:05 AM »
"Sometimes strong magnetic fields can cause problems.  Is there any metal on your person that could conceivably have become magnetized?  Watch?  Jewelry?"

"Ah... yes, I'll take off my watch."

"Very good.  Okay, now many modern underwire bras contain strips of strongly magnetized metal.  If you're wearing a bra, you should remove that too."

"What?"

"No no, I assure you... it's been a problem in the past.  We have to eliminate *all* metal from your person.  Just humor me and we'll get to the bottom of this problem."

"Well... all right, I suppose.  Give me a minute..."

"Ma'am, can you adjust the webcam a bit please?"