Friday, September 29, 2006

Tech Support

As you guys know part of what I used to do was support at my last job. Dare I call it tech support but we had to answer questions of that nature sometimes. What fits what, will this work, things like that. We had canned responses for most of them that we were required to say...and we ever never allowed to say "this is company policy" even though it was. I answered a lot of e-mails as that was my primary job. So from time to time I'd e-mail another similar company with a question that we get just to see what they'd say, or they responded and if it was any better or worse than what I did. Keep in mind I answered 90 e-mails a day during the busy season. That's a lot of e-mails to look up stuff for and make a genuine response. I didn't believe in copied and pasted responses or just saying something to make them go away. If they had taken time to send us an e-mail, they were considering us over other brands so that was our chance to give them the needed information to buy from us. Some times there were ones I had to call because the management that monitored my e-mail didn't want some of that stuff in writing. I thought that was dumb, but what I did was considered to be only slightly above janitorial work in the minds of the management. The Internet was not a useful resource and was typically a waste of time. Anyway...I'm going off on a tangent.

Recently my Dad has been spending his retirement years helping a friend build a car much like mine. Well, this guy did some things differently and a company now makes a fuel injection for these 30 year old beasts. This particular company is known for extremely bad tech support. I've e-mailed them before my last job and during with a few legitimate questions and they were absolutely worthless. I could have just as easily asked a class of second graders and gotten a better response than what these ass clowns call tech support. So, they have this shiney new fuel injection that costs about $3500 once all is said and done. Not only did he wait over a year from the time he ordered one to receive it, it now doesn't work. The car cranks and runs, and drives but not very well. It has some flat spots where the car doesn't all. The car has been this way for a year and the company knows it because he's called and called and called...and you get the idea. As bad as this car is running he's still driving it to shows because he likes the reaction people give when they see this $3500 fuel injection kit on a 30 year old car. These people also get to see it smoke like a diesel because it's running like crap. So I e-mailed said company and said I saw this car at a show in Huntsville and the problems it was having with their equipment and wanted to know what it was. They of course denied that their products had any problems and didn't know who I was referring to. So I e-mailed them his name. Suddenly they changed their tone. Then they admitted that HE had some problems getting it tuned and it was likely his fault, and then went as far as to say the product is not broken, the customer is broken. Even Mike will tell you that indeed this customer is a dumbass, but in this case the company is at fault. They've now sent out hundreds of these units with the same problem, and now they've found that 70 percent of them are defective. Are they recalling them? No. They're making customers wait for the promise of new parts, or making up other excuses. They've now decided that all his problems are in the engine and he needs to disassemble the engine to make sure it's put together properly. What they should really do is either fix what they've sent him, no excuses, or refund his money because what they've sent is $3500 worth of junk.

I realize that not many of you are care enthusiasts but I thought I could rant a little about tech support and how worthless product support has become lately. I'm not sure why companies don't take responsibility for products that they sell being crap, but they don't. Kinda makes you scared to buy any big ticket items like that doesn't it?


I couldn't agree with you more. I've been of the opinion that if you can create a business and provide great customer support you'll be made in the shade.
posted by Blogger Chris D. at 7:44 AM  

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