Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tech Support is Not Supportive

I have phoned SaskTel Webhosting Tech Support twice now. And both times, I think they got more out of the phone call than I did.

Let me be clear. I am probably more advanced than your average web user. I do have a good understanding of how a website works. I can code basic html and css. But I'm mostly self-taught, and by no means consider myself an expert in that area. Hence the calls to tech support.

First they make you wait on hold forever and then when someone answers the phone, they don't know what the hell you're talking about. I mean, I'm not an expert as I said before, but by golly, you'd think the people who they have working on Webhosting Tech Support would know something about their own webhosting service.

My first phone call, which took place a couple of months ago, I wanted to know how to create a secure area on my website. The first guy I talked to didn't have a clue what I was talking about. He put me on hold and asked somebody. They apparently didn't know either. He said he didn't even know if that was possible. Maybe it was something that you had to buy extra? Then he transfers me to sales so that I could ask them if it was included in my webhosting package. Right. If the tech support guy doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about, like the sales guy will? Luckily, sales guy was on lunch, so I left a message. Fiddled around some more, still couldn't figure it out, and decided to try tech support again. After more time spent on hold, I finally get another guy. Second guy seems quite a bit brighter and better informed than first guy, and after several consultations with other people, we finally figure out my problem. Woo hoo. And it only took me about 2.5 hours combined time of being on hold and trying to explain a very simple problem to the so-called "experts".

Then today. I decide to install Wordpress. I have never done it before, but the instructions on the website are fairly straightforward, so after some mucking about, I finally get it downloaded and then uploaded to my website, and then I muddle through setting up a new database on the server (something I've never done before) and I begin the installation process. But the software wants the name of my database host. I don't know it and don't know where to find it, but the instructions say that my web host will know the answer. Time for tech support once again. This time they are apparently so busy that they don't even bother to keep me on hold. I have to leave a message. They don't get back to me all afternoon. I phone again. I finally get someone who, surprise, surprise, doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about. He asks someone else who also apparently doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about. I direct him to the instructions on the Wordpress site. He throws out a few suggestions which don't sound right, but which I try anyway, to no avail. He finally puts me on hold again and goes to consult... his Magic 8 ball for all I know. I finally get frustrated after about 15 minutes and start googling the shit out of my problem. Another 5 minutes, and I've found the solution. On my own. 2 seconds after I find the answer, Tech Support Boy picks up the phone again and says "I think I found what you're looking for." I then had the immense satisfaction of telling him that I had already found the answer myself. Thanks for nothing losers. (I only said that last bit in my head).

Anyway, I guess I should be proud that I solved my own problem. But it really kind of cheezes me off that the SaskTel webhosting support guys don't seem to know their products, their own customer interfaces, or how their own service works. Every time I talk to these guys it's like I'm speaking a foreign language. They get PAID presumably to know this shit. And every time I phone them, I end up teaching them something about their own business.

Unless it's some sort of plot to make their customers more self-reliant and less likely to bother tech support. In which case, bravo, well-played. Believe me, I'll try my damnedest to solve my own problems first next time, since that seems to be what happens in the end anyway.


Anonymous said...

I like your Northern Blog Violet. And the new layout looks good.

Violette said...

Ha ha. We're so punny.