Posted December 11th, 2002 @ 09:10am by Erik J. Barzeski
Interland recently deleted some very precious files from /usr/home/barzeski (my main user) on my Freedom Unix (FreeBSD) box which hosts this site (and every other one). I called their tech support line (their email system being ineffective) and spoke with someone who may as well have stuck his index finger between his lips and hummed while wiggling it back and forth.
What the hell? What ever happened to good support. They "must have backed up my files to the .old folders" I had also found. Yet some users were missing .old folders, and ALL of them were empty. I asked him to restore /usr/home/barzeski from the backup files they're supposed to have. "We don't have backup files" I was told. When I asked him what he could do to rectify the situation, he said "I dunno, you can call sales and talk to them."
Right. So now I have to call some sales guy, explain why a technical issue should never have happened, and expect him to give a shit? Or at least enough of one to not charge me for a month of service (or three - my real goal). If the bifurcation of responsibility is not intended to qualm my desire to rant at someone (a sales person) for a problem not related to him (a technical one), then it's done that nicely as a byproduct.
I got an email around 12:30 last night. I could have easily answered it in the morning, but I wrote back immediately. Why? Because someone bought a product I sold. It was for about $45 - not $130/month or whatever I pay Interland - and I wanted to help. I continued helping first thing this morning, before I even had my first Coke.
I'm a loyal customer. I'll stick with a company that provides good support and a good product - fanatically. Perhaps that's why I've been an Apple user for so long - there's never been a problem they did't solve by appeasing me 100%. Dropped my order? Hey, here, have a free set of speakers for $150 or so. AirPort died two years out of warranty? Hmm, it seems our firmware update may have been related (it wasn't - it was just an old and slightly weak power adapter), we'll send you a new one. THAT is support.
Several people have written to us saying "wow, thanks for the fast response!" And you know what? That comment makes me feel better than "wow, great software." Well, almost as good anyway. Because, after all, good support is unnecessary if your product magically works on everyone's computer 100% of the time (an impossibility, given user error, corrupted Internet Config preference files, etc.).