Are Tech Support Departments Getting Worse?

RequestClosed.jpgThe recession gets blamed for everything these days, so I'm wondering if it's also an excuse for new slackness in tech support departments, Back in January, I lodged a support request with SanDisk after the C240 voice recorder I use refused to install on my new PC. None of the online support documents were any help, so I resorted to the company's online system. It took SanDisk's support team an entire month before it got back to me, and none of its advice proved any use. But even more galling, it then marked the entire support case as closed within a week, even though I hadn't contacted anyone to say anything had been fixed. It strikes me that a company which takes a month even to respond doesn't have much excuse for then closing off correspondence in a much shorter time frame. I'm wondering: is this unusual, or are we going to see even more and more cost-cutting and penny-pinching? Share your tech support nightmares in the comments.


Comments

    Helping my father out with some tech problems for his anti-virus program, I don't think tech support even got back to him in the end... he had been trying to contact someone to help him for a couple of weeks, though I think he finally gave up and bought another product

    I had pretty much the same experience contacting Seagate recently. By the time I got a response, I had recovered the disk. Even when they did contact me, it was clear they hadn't even bothered to read my description...

    Funnily enough, I've decided my next HDD will be a WD.

    I'm worried that more support services will be moved to India/Asia. I am IT Manager and I would happily pay more for support (or switch vendors) if I was guaranteed that I would be talking to someone who's first language was English. Describing technical problems can be hard enough without worrying about a language barrier also.

    Cheers,
    Paul.

    I'm not sure where SanDisk have thier support centre but I'm willing to bet a bottle of my homebrew it's not local to you.
    Experienced support people are being made redundant and thier jobs being moved off-shore due to the UltraGlobalMoneyFuckage, this makes perfect financial business sense. While I have found these centers to be of a progressively high standard, I think something is lost in translation. Apart from that I have never had any issues with any Tech support rep I have spoken to.

    I'm sorry you couldn't get your problem fixed from the helpdesk, but it's fairly standard practice to assume "no news is good news". People don't hesitate to get vocal when they have a problem (as evidenced by your public condemnation of this particular company's actions), but if everything's running as normal you don't hear a peep out of them.

    If their advice did not help solve your problem, why didn't you escalate it immediately? I agree that closing the problem within a week is a bit of a short timeframe, so if you haven't already done so, provide feedback so they can either reprimand the helpdesk grunt or, if's company policy to close after "x" days, their manager.

    Regardless, a month is too long to wait for a response. They should have at least sent a courtesy e-mail letting you know they had received your problem. If they had an unusual backlog, they culd have given you the (infuriating) message "you are #192,485 in the queue".

    Just in time I have looking for a digital recorder. Scratch Sandisk.
    Customer support is so important that everyone forgets about it until they need it.

    Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. I was just discussing with friends how these days you have fantastic access to support via electronic means and somehow the service is worse. I've had to contact various companies recently and the replies I've got back have been appalling. Ranging from emails that read like they were written by a 5 year old, to emails that weren't meant for me but for a colleague of the support person, through to the generic email that offers help to a completely different problem than the one you reported. This is on the back of dodgy deals that sometimes lead to the support request (for example Lacie's free one year Carbonite online abckup with each external drive that completely fails to mention that the Carbonite software won't backup files on an external drive, only a hard drive). Access to support has increased but clearly they have cut costs on the running and staffing of these channels.

    I'm actually into turning tech support helpdesks around and improving them - it's a service I started offering after more than a decade of working on the service desk front lines and cataloguing the hundreds of differences between well-run, smoothly-operating IT resolution teams and those groups which have, shall we say, a problem or two.

    Yes sandisk support does not exist, i sent my faulty memory card 3 weeks ago, they received it on 4/1/2010 but when i rang to check a number of times they cannot confirm if the RA depot has received it even though the tracking number says it has been delivered.

    Why bother having 5 year warranty when you cant simply talk to someone in proper English and local.

    Have to remember to keep the receipt to avoid these useless support.

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