Fantastic service, terrible software

Top-notch customer support can't make up for the frustrations brought on by poor-quality applications.

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It wasn’t the first time I’ve had to struggle through a lengthy selection menu before I got to a very friendly, helpful person who was able to help me with my internet and TV subscription. Last week, after a complicated 20-minute phone call, I managed to get all of our subscriptions finally straightened out. Or so I thought.

Not too long after, we lost all the sports channels as well as the ability to record shows. So today, it was my wife’s turn to manage through the issues. (As in all good marriages, you share the happy and not so happy moments.) Once again, 20 minutes later, an extremely friendly, helpful person had worked through an impressive list of incomprehensible actions, and all was working fine.

Interestingly enough, while writing this blog, it seemed like somebody had pushed a reset button, causing me to lose my internet connection altogether for five minutes. Nothing dramatic, just strange. So exactly what happened after the support call? Must be a coincidence… As this was related to our TV subscription, surely an internet connection wouldn’t have had anything to do with it?

It looks like a lot of organizations have created a tremendously effective support organization around a tremendously complex piece of technology. I have to say, in the vast majority of cases, I’m very pleased with the quality of service I get. The representatives really do their utmost, but can somebody please have a look at the software they have to manage? This really can be done a lot simpler, better and easier. If it would just work, I’d be even happier than I am now with the fantastic service I get.

By the way, can somebody explain to me why I have to give my zip code first whenever I call support? Because it always turns out to be the very first question the friendly, helpful person asks me.

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