Customer Support is Shit


Customer service means shit anymore, you go with these businesses, and you had better hope to hell you have no problems with their product or service, or you might be in for it. Phone support is out the window, now you submit support tickets. I’d rather call someone, talk to an actual human being, call me old school, but that’s what I prefer, still, tickets are fine, but you have to actually respond to them, try to figure out what’s going on, not issue canned responses or use some automated AI that’s about as intelligent as Butters on a good day. And by god, if you don’t know who the hell Butters is, and you’ve never watched South Park, you poor, deprived child.
OK, so let me lay this out for you, this is a work flow that would work for me. I have an issue, I submit a ticket, I await a response. The response should come within an hour, although internally, I’m screaming now, now now, now, now you fuckwits, but I’m impatient as hell. There is some information there, and a request for some information. By no means do I expect an issue to be resolved in one reply from the staff to one of my tickets. We go a few rounds, them giving me steps, them asking for more information, I comply, then its done, or they have to get involved more directly, but it eventually gets fixed.

Now, people have lives, they have shit to do, they also want a product or service they’ve paid for to fucking work, when it doesn’t, they have to do the support thing. They’re probably not gonna come over all rosy, they’re probably gonna be a bit heated. But, they’re probably not going to jump straight off the deep end in one go, I know there are exceptions, but in general, most of the time you should be able to resolve shit without having to have the other person spitting mad.

What if its worse than that though, what if you get some Indian who doesn’t speak English very well, and therefore, writes grammatically incorrect. There’s room for misunderstanding there because English is one cocked over language and imprecise at the best of times. But what if you get a response back to your ticket that has abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with the actual issue you are having? Yeah that. You marked it under the right category, or as close as would fit your issue, since there are often categories, and subcategories. You lay out in detail your problem, and you just get this bullshit response back that has nothing to do at all with what you’re talking about. You reach out to the company on twitter, seeing if there is a more direct way you might get in touch, they get back to you, without even any useless platitudes, and say, the only official support methods are tickets. What if you included the fact that you needed to speak with a human, not a bot in your tweet? What if they replied something to the effect that we don’t use bots in our support process? Yeah, well that’s fucking bullshit, do you know how I know that’s fucking bullshit? Because your god damned “not bot” just replied to my fucking ticket with a complete lack of content having anything to do with what I said! Even if I did put the wrong category in, a human might come back with something like, “It sounds like this is an issue outside my scope, I’ll transfer it to the right department.” Or, something like this would even work, “Hi, Unfortunately I can’t help with this as its filed under the wrong category, can you close the ticket and create a new one under such and such a category?”
Those would be signs that a human had read the thing, so don’t tell me that you don’t use bots, its either you use bots, or your humans need some serious training. Do they make remedial customer care training? Is that a thing? Because if it ain’t, it sure as shit needs to be. What ever happened to giving a shit. Listen, your services can be amazing, but its inevitable that at some point, someone is going to need customer support. Companies should not be dropping the damn ball on this thing.

Now, let me let you in on what precipitated this, because while the problem is with a lot of companies, this problem is recent. I have a provider who I have a VPS with, I don’t have any qualms about giving the name, its Digital Ocean. I’ve been with them for 3 years now. Today, I wanted to migrate the server to New York, since that is closer to where I am than the one in Chicago. I had it in Chicago originally, since it would be as close to me and my one buddy who was using it as we could get, since he was further south. Now he moved up closer to where I am, and since I was seeing high pings to my server, the worst of which was around 480ms, I decided to migrate it back. Not that I think that the distance is the issue, but perhaps congestion.

The process of migrating means that you have to power off the server so you can take a snapshot. The process took quite a while, and their progress bar was inaccessible, though, due to me having a bit of usable vision, I could see it there, and it didn’t seem to be moving, even in 5 minutes. It finally took though, I actually submitted a ticket because I thought the thing was stuck, but I went back and it was done, so I marked the ticket as resolved. I then go to the task of moving it. The first step is to add the snapshot to the region I want, OK, done, no problem. Then, I have to go and select the size, and the image to use for the template to recreate it. OK, fine, and you can’t use a smaller size than your current plan, because it would not fit, and would cause data corruption, good, fine, I get it. But no matter what I do, whether its arrowing to the options, hitting enter, space, routing the mouse to it and clicking, using my touch screen to physically tap the section, or use golden cursor to literally move the mouse pixel by pixel while I’m waiting for the message that means I hit something, like 3G, meaning 3 gigs of memory, and then clicking, no dice. No links, no buttons, I’ve searched the entire page, used NVDA’s refresh buffer thing, and tried on Chrome, Firefox and Safari on my phone. I couldn’t even log in on Safari on my phone.

SO I left the best provider I’ve had, and now I probably will just not go with another one, since honestly who would have any better support. I regret recommending them to people, since most of the people I did were blind. Well their site is mostly accessible, a few wrinkles, but no show stoppers like I had today. If you put your server where you want it and never move it, you won’t have a problem, but then again, if you should need support from them, good luck getting it.


2 Replies to “Customer Support is Shit

  1. or what about those companies that not only have bots on that shit but their ticket system is an inaccessible web-aplet with some weird rich edit control that doesn’t fucking work and no way to select a category becuase it’s just clickable text with no radio-style indicators and it won’t click… Man I don’t care if I have to be on hold for a couple minutes if it means talking to a rep that can pull up a panel and make changes for me once I verify identify.

  2. I’ve since gone with Linode, and while their control panel isn’t as nice as Digital Ocean’s, its still plenty good enough to do what needs doing.

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