Customer service blues

It’s that time of the year again where I have to rant … about customer service, or lack of it.

1. Symantec: Bought Internet Security 2006 with Turbo Tax and installed it mid-March. Mid-April, I realized that the Anti Spam product they have, did not contain all the addresses from my Outlook 2003 address book, so I deleted the address list in Anti Spam and tried to import the address book manually. No worky. After 2 or 3 hours of frustrating live chat with support, the ultimate resolution proposed to me was to uninstall and reinstall. I did not like it, but I did. Only to realize that the reinstall made my subscription expire in 1 day!!

By now, my blood was boiling. I did not expect that importing an address book is going to require an uninstall, a reinstall and now, another call with Tech Support. But I had to do it. So I went to Live Chat again and they said I need to reactivate the product! Even though I activated when I reinstalled (have to do it, otherwise I cannot get the latest definitions). More frustration. But again, patiently, I searched through my software and found the CD, so that I could enter the unending product code to activate it. Looked like it worked at the time.

Last night, same problem appeared again. Subscription expired notification. I had really no patience this time and thankfully I was not across the counter from the tech support person otherwise I would have hit them! So I went to Live Chat again and guess what, they asked me to re-activate it, and this time they asked me to take one extra step after re-activation – they asked me to go to Subscription status to check if the ‘servers’ recognized the status. Brilliant. Why then, didn’t the earlier support person tell me about this??? And then they comforted me by saying, next time something like that happens, just re-activate and make sure the subscription status shows the correct status!!!!

I just could not believe that such pathetic software could be written, such shameless service be provided and still the company could get away with it.

2. Vonage: I have been a Vonage customer since 2004 or something – a very long time. But I have never had a problem (not a HUGE one) till about 2 months ago. Not sure if there is any connection to their upcoming IPO, and if at all there is a connection, it should have been for the better. But no, it isn’t.

For some time now, I have been having trouble with voice mail. When someone calls me, they get a ring and it goes silent for 10 seconds or so and then switches to voice mail. As a result, they feel they have not connected and they do not leave a voice mail. It is not one or two calls, but at the same time, it is not ALL calls. Strange, but true.

So I called them a few weeks back and they reset some stuff on their side, claiming of course that it was not a system issue but a local issue. Oh well.

Two days back someone who tried to call me complained that they were not getting to voice mail at all! The phone rings apparently forever but does not go to voice mail. So I called tech support yesterday and they asked me to change some settings on my account, which I think were totally unexplainable (change VM setting to 30 seconds, save and then change it back to 15 seconds!!), and told me it will work from now on. Well, no. It does not work.

I don’t have the energy to call them again. I will wait for the weekend to get to that now.

3. Comcast cable internet: In the past couple of weeks, I noticed a strange slowdown in speeds, and since I have vonage, I started getting bad quality on phone calls. Then, it came to a point where the internet connection would just drop after a few minutes of being up. I had had it and I called tech support and they sent a tech to my place. He said the entire community was having a problem, and that he would put in a request for a network guy to come in and fix the issue. And that would take 2-3 days.

First of all, having the internet connection essentially down for 2 or 3 days is nonsense. Second of all, when I called comcast in a couple of days to check the status of the issue they said they cannot tell me because the tech is out and it is an ‘all day’ ticket. Which, from what I understood, means that they will not be able to track during the day, until the tech is done.

So I said, please let me know when it is done so that I don’t kill myself trying to set up a connection and such. Guess what the response was – ‘Sorry sir, we do not do call backs’!!!! What?? So I should keep trying through the day, wait on the phone and check status that way?? No freaking way!

After about 10 minutes of me blasting him on the phone, he said he would put in the notes to have someone call me with an update.

4 days on, and no update calls/voice mails/emails. My temper was quite high because I think this is a clear breakdown in the customer service engine. So I called comcast on Sunday and had a long conversation with them and the end result? 2 cases were created at comcast for someone to follow up on.

At least my internet connection is up. The call back has not happened for 3 days now.

4. Linksys routers: Oh my gosh, I am so tired writing this post, I almost cannot write about Linksys much. I will end it here, just saying that in a tech support call yesterday, I was told that I HAVE to upgrade to the newer routers. HAVE to? Come on!


2 thoughts on “Customer service blues

  1. @ Rpm – Looks like you have been having a Nightmare. I myself don’t have good reviews about Comcast !! But then gotta live with it even if it means making a customer service call once a couple of months … 😦

  2. RPM says:

    @rajesh: tell me about it … this whole experience with everything that is going on, has sort of numbed me. For example, my bank recently sent me a letter saying that since I did not use the money market account (with a healthy balance, I should add) for 12 months, they are making it ‘dormant’! It means if I want to use the account, I will have to send the request with my signature on it!! Unbelievable.

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