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Author Topic: Why do support people never answer questions?  (Read 5730 times)

Jibz

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Why do support people never answer questions?
« on: July 29, 2010, 10:59:14 AM »
I changed the name of the software I made the inquiry about in this particular case below to Foo, since it could have been pretty much any companies support department that sent this reply:

Quote from: Average Support Person
> I was looking at your product and was wondering if there were any
> plans to add support for TheBat?
>
> I guess it might be possible to export to mbox and then import into
> Foo, but it would be a lot easier if there was real support for
> it.

thank you for your interest in Foo.

Currently Foo provides no direct support for the email client TheBat but as you said correctly you can export to mbox and archive those file with Foo.

If you have further questions, don't hesitate to contact me again.

Sometimes I wonder if they have courses in how to avoid answering any actual questions by just stating the obvious wrapped in macro text :mrgreen:.

cranioscopical

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 02:47:32 PM »
I wonder if they have courses in how to avoid answering any actual questions by just stating the obvious
These support people — they don't have a leg to stand on!

J-Mac

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2010, 10:32:46 PM »
Actually that answer is much clearer than some I have seen. It means "No", they have no current plans to support The Bat - or if they maybe, possibly do they aren't talking about it yet. Let's face it: software developers are not going to expose their look-ahead plans. Never happens - well almost never, and when one does if they are off at all with their schedule they get grief forever.

Jim

Jibz

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2010, 02:28:45 AM »
I guess you can read anything into it by saying she is answering the question by not answering the question .. at the end of the day she is still not answering the question.

Curt

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2010, 02:48:54 AM »
don't forget that many of these people don't speak/read/write English any better than my mother. Well, to put it straight; most are Russians... you need to make it simple. Don't blur a question by telling that you know this and that... >>I guess it might be possible to export to mbox and then import into Foo<< could simply be confusing to her; Is it a question or what?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 02:45:58 PM by Curt »

Jibz

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2010, 03:23:18 AM »
You are right, I am actually terrible at that .. I always end up writing stuff like that that can divert attention from the question I am asking :-[.

mwb1100

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2010, 01:03:53 PM »
My reading of this response is that it's a gentle way of saying, "I'm just a support person - you know as much about the plans for future features as I do".

daddydave

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2010, 12:31:05 PM »
I had actually marked this thread as ignore because I am a support person myself and wanted to spare the world of my kneejerk reaction.

So after some time I un-ignored it and it looks likes the thread did just fine without me. And I agree with mwb1100, most of the people I support would consider a one word answer of "No" rather rude. Support people are trained to try and "cushion" things a bit and provide a workaround. Of course sometimes the workaround will be considered useless by the end user, but sometimes not. Some people would take that workaround and run with it, trying to figure out a way to automate it with some kind of script.

If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 12:40:51 PM by daddydave »

mrainey

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2010, 02:16:58 PM »
I would have interpreted that answer as "No current plans to support TheBat".
Software For Metalworking
http://closetolerancesoftware.com
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 02:18:55 PM by mrainey »

Jibz

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2010, 04:01:55 PM »
Then, imho, "I don't know" or "Not that I know of" would have been good answers (suitably wrapped in "cushion" of course).

Just stating something obvious feels to me like trying to give the illusion of an answer -- if you don't have one that's fine, just say it :).

Stoic Joker

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2010, 04:23:02 PM »
When interviewing people I ask a group of yes or no questions that are increasingly complex and or obscure (just outside their stated skill-set). After a yes/no answer comes ok, Why? The answer I'm looking for is a simple straightforward "I don't know". While guessing is fine in a pinch, stating something guessed authoritatively as a bluff can cause major problems when you're on-site digging through someones server.

f0dder

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2010, 05:37:27 PM »
Jibz: for the specific question you asked, let's keep in mind that... (unless things have changed in the last X months)

1) TheBat internal mailbox format is undocumented.
2) The plugin API for TheBat sucks, and cannot be used for mailbox exporting.

Thus, you'd be left with either reverse-engineering of the binary format TheBat uses, or sending windows messages to simulate user input to get the job done. And for TheBat, you have to mark each and every fscking individual sub-mailbox and export it, since there's no recursive export.

So yeah, the answer you got kinda sucks, but it's no wonder it's not supported out of the box.
- carpe noctem

fenixproductions

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2010, 08:35:33 AM »
1) TheBat internal mailbox format is undocumented.
[cut]
Thus, you'd be left with either reverse-engineering of the binary format TheBat uses, or sending windows messages to simulate user input to get the job done.

And someone got it good enough to see something like that:

thebat_msg.pngWhy do support people never answer questions?

Messages are within folders as EML files which can be read easily. Unfortunately, dates in columns are worng, although they are written correctly within messages.

You just need to play with MultiArc:
http://en.totalcmd.p...oad/wcx/ard/MultiArc
and TBB addon for it:
http://en.totalcmd.p...b2mbx_MultiArc-Addon
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 08:38:53 AM by fenixproductions »

daddydave

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2010, 03:22:49 PM »
When interviewing people I ask a group of yes or no questions that are increasingly complex and or obscure (just outside their stated skill-set). After a yes/no answer comes ok, Why? The answer I'm looking for is a simple straightforward "I don't know".

That's fascinating to me. In principle I agree with you, because sometimes I don't know enough to say something, but I know enough to recognize B.S when I hear it. However, I learned even as a small child that people hate to hear "I don't know". This has been reinforced countless times in my line of work as well. (For example, if we don't know, we should be able to find out.)

Although it sounds like you are asking pretty black-and-white questions where either you know it or you don't.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 03:26:50 PM by daddydave »

Stoic Joker

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2010, 05:00:34 PM »
However, I learned even as a small child that people hate to hear "I don't know". This has been reinforced countless times in my line of work as well. (For example, if we don't know, we should be able to find out.)

A client once asked me about something I flat-out didn't have a clue on. The question was important. I told them that while there was an excellent chance that I could spin together some plausible sounding technical jargon that sounded like an answer...the truth was that I didn't have a clue. But I felt that it would be best for all parties involved if I just said that in the hops that they would appreciate my honesty.

They did, and they are still one of our best clients.

The point is that while it is true that people don't like to hear I-Don't-Know ... They hate to be jerked around even more.

Jibz

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2010, 05:41:56 PM »
The point is that while it is true that people don't like to hear I-Don't-Know ... They hate to be jerked around even more.

Very true :Thmbsup:.

f0dder

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2010, 01:08:07 PM »
The point is that while it is true that people don't like to hear I-Don't-Know ... They hate to be jerked around even more.
Indeed. Glad to hear that your honesty had positive results - it doesn't always >_<
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2010, 02:26:58 PM »
The point is that while it is true that people don't like to hear I-Don't-Know ... They hate to be jerked around even more.
Indeed. Glad to hear that your honesty had positive results - it doesn't always >_<



I've always had a great deal of respect for anybody who has enough personal confidence and self-respect to admit to not knowing something.

A senior manager, for a contract client I reported to, had dismissed two of his senior technical staff members the day before I started.

When I asked him what that was all about, he said his decision to fire them wasn't so much about them not knowing something they should have known. It was more about how often what they "knew" turned out to be dead wrong.

I think most people are like this manager. A gap in knowledge is far easier to excuse than an attempt to cover it up with guesses and a pile of BS.

 :Thmbsup:


f0dder

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2010, 05:12:49 PM »
40hz: another success story, yay! :)

Not always a good idea, though... but I've perhaps been a bit idealistic at times. Several years ago, I had some rather urgent personal matters that needed attention (friend of mine had some problems). Called my workplace, but instead of calling in sick I said things as they were - that I chose not to lie and call in sick, but that I need to fix some really urgent personal stuff and had to take the day off. I got the reply that the only reason I didn't get fired on the spot was that I had worked my ass off for the previous couple of months, and that if something similar ever happened I would get shafted, so I had better damn lie.

In retrospect it was stupid to tell the truth rather than calling in sick, like 99.999% of people probably do every now and then... but I were young and idealistic, and it was my first job... so I didn't know much about how workplaces work :)
- carpe noctem

Stoic Joker

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Re: Why do support people never answer questions?
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2010, 07:11:21 PM »
My wife called me at work one day around 1:00 on a Friday. One of our dogs (the puppy she was quite attached to) had gotten out of the gate and run off into the woods by some railroad tracks near our house.

If you've been married for any length of time, you'll know your spouse well enough that when certain tones are used... :)

...So I left work to go help find the dog ... Which involved tromping through the woods for 7 hours. Occasionally the dog would surface - but being a puppy - He would just run past and away...again... Which meant my ass had to run wide open through the thicket trying to follow the little prick. Mind you I've been smoking for over 30 years...so this is no small feat.

The point being...

When I got to work that Monday, the owner (whom I report to directly) came by to inquire as to my whereabouts on Friday afternoon. -(eek!)- ...I simply told her the story above - which was a good bit longer with the rest of the details.

Her only concern, which she expressed by stopping me half way through the story...was about whether or not the dog was okay... Apparently my absence and the judgment involved in its coming to be were irrelevant as long as the puppy survived intact ... Which he did.