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New support model - go back to old model respecting customer needs

Created: 05 Nov 2013
ShadowsPapa's picture
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Most software companies used to give a choice "best means of contact". You could choose email or telephone. You could choose best time of day if phone call, etc.  I note the past few years with Symantec contracting support to off-shore cheaper support help that the email option is gone. Just like most other businesses who serve the public, such as Walmart, city or state governement offices and agencies, the local grocery or food store and so on, they have a responsibility to make sure they give equal access to all - including those with handicaps and disabilities.
I would hope that extends to support after the sought-after sale is made as well as trying to sell something to the public.
However I feel this isn't happening with support here.  Symantec has forgotten that some of their customers not only are very very busy, and/or may "wear several hats" (meaing perhaps they work not only security, but perhaps server or systems support, perhaps network design, maybe even help out at help desk, so they can't always tell you what they will be doing exactly when. There are meetings, restroom breaks, the boss stops by to chat, your team leader calls a meeting, there's a network outage, or an office connection down, it all takes priority.

Then there are those of us who have bona fide disabilities. Perhaps we have difficulties using a telephone for various reasons - maybe a physical handicap, pehraps hearing loss, perhaps language barriers, there are dozens of reasons. Maybe they have a disability more connected with the brain - autism, Torret syndrom, ADHD, the list goes on and on.... 

Symantec, by insisting that all support be done via telephone, is excluding their customer base who may have handicap or disabilities.
They are also ignoring the fact that some of us are seasoned and experienced way beyond the first-level support we get from across the ocean.
If they believe that some part needs to be removed and reinstalled, don't force us to sit on the phone for an hour while this takes place. TELL us to remove, reinstall and we can do it and then let them know the results.
Give us, the paying customer who pays all of your salaries and without whome you would have no reason to exist, the choice of support type - email, telephone and so on, and if email is needed, requested, preferred and so on, respect that, send us an email asking for specific information, then email us with the suggested "first things to try".
This having to nail down a time for a phone call which always takes a long time and is very very basic stuff I could do in my sleep is not only forcing us to work like those with a wide-open day and no busy schedule, but forcing those with certain impairments into a bad corner.  You are refusing to help us in the manner that is most effective for us the customer.

So my idea or suggesting is - give us a choice on the form of a preferred method of contact - phone, email, carrier pigeon, slow boat to China, message in a bottle, or Native American smoke signals - but allow us the choice of communication methods.
Also respect that some of us have dealt with Symantec security products since 1992 and have a good understanding of how things work and can follow basic directions and suggestions - if the tech believes that removing and reinstlaling JAVA will help, then they can simply email us that instruction and we can then do it WHEN IT IS CONVENIENT for us. Maybe we have to break it up over 2 10 minute time slots - we can do that if you email us, we can't if you force a phone call. I can't always sit through a phone call that takes an hour, so I won't respond to a time for a phone call until I know or expect I can actually have a full hour free - that might be 2 or 3 days from now - but if you email me the instructions or list, I can get it all done before that 2 or 3 days as I can work in between OTHER duties.

Give us a choice - let us use alternative communication methods, stop forcing long phone calls for basic stuff.