Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to Demonstrate You Don't Care

An encounter I had with the euphemistically named "Yahoo! Customer Care"

To summarize the exchange:
  1. I encountered a completely inexplicable problem using the most basic process on Yahoo Answers.
  2. I thoroughly investigated to make sure it wasn't my end, since I couldn't believe Answers would crash in a trivial case. And I mean thorough - multiple machines, networks, browsers - the works.
  3. I read the FAQ and help section (Which are repeated in the boilerplate email)
  4. Finding no help, posted to customer service. Which is run by another company and works fine, although according to Yahoo!, I'm somehow to blame.
  5. In response to my detailed reports, I get the (un)help parrotted back at me.
  6. I respond to the email (including ticket and incident numbers)
  7. Same blame-tossing boilerplate is sent to me.
My favorite line: "We hope this is resolved for you soon.."
"Hoping" isn't going to fix your broken software.

Flickr is good, but I think it's time to delete the Yahoo! accounts.

Can you imagine a non-tech-savvy person reading this?
If they actually knew what an ISP was, they might actually believe the poop Yahoo! is shoveling and call their ISP. And what would they tell them?

This blaming-the-customer stuff has to stop.
Even if there is something wrong on the user's end (and how could there be? They accessed both the web site and the customer service portal), it's up to the publisher to work around it.

Customer SERVICE. You're doing it wrong.

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.

We're sorry you've had difficulty accessing Yahoo!. The error you
received is typically caused by unusual activity from either your
computer or your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to Yahoo!. While this
type of problem is usually temporary, if you continue to experience this
error, we recommend that you try the following suggestions:

1) Contact your ISP and let them know you are experiencing connectivity
problems with Yahoo!. You may have difficulty accessing Yahoo! if we
detect unusual network traffic coming from your ISP. Only your ISP will
be able to address and resolve this abnormal activity.

2) Check that you are not using any third party software program or
application to access Yahoo! services. Please keep in mind that these
types of programs are not supported by Yahoo! and may violate our Terms
of Service, and therefore may contribute to your receiving this error.

3) If you have not scanned your computer for spyware and viruses, please
do so now. Some spyware programs and computer viruses will run separate
programs on your computer for a variety of purposes, sometimes slowing
your computer down in the process, and even preventing you from
accessing certain Internet sites such as Yahoo!.

For detailed information on virus protection, please visit:

http://security.yahoo.com/malware.html

For detailed information on spyware, please visit:

http://security.yahoo.com/spyware.html

4) You may want to try accessing Yahoo! through a different computer or
through a different Internet connection.

We hope this is resolved for you soon so that you may continue to use
Yahoo!.

Regards,




Yahoo! Customer Care

******

For assistance with all Yahoo! services please visit:

http://help.yahoo.com/




Original Message Follows:
------------------------

I already did all the recommended things before contacting.
2 computers. 3 browsers.
2 ISPs.
No viruses or spyware.
No third-party silliness.

This sort of response attempts to put the blame on me or my systems.
An understandable response, but as a customer, I don't want to hear it.
Especially when I go to great lengths to confirm that there is no
problem on
my end.

YOUR third-party customer service system worked fine.
It's Answers that's broken.

I was simply trying to post a question to Answers.

I assure you, I will never attempt to do so again.

Good day.

"Great Artists Ship"
Lon Koenig lon@schnoggo.com
612.965.6305 http://lonkoenig.com



On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 8:03 PM, Yahoo! Customer Care <> wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Thank you for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.
>
> We're sorry you've had difficulty accessing Yahoo!. The error you
> received is typically caused by unusual activity from either your
> computer or your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to Yahoo!. While this
> type of problem is usually temporary, if you continue to experience
this
> error, we recommend that you try the following suggestions:
>
> 1) Contact your ISP and let them know you are experiencing
connectivity
> problems with Yahoo!. You may have difficulty accessing Yahoo! if we
> detect unusual network traffic coming from your ISP. Only your ISP
will
> be able to address and resolve this abnormal activity.
>
> 2) Check that you are not using any third party software program or
> application to access Yahoo! services. Please keep in mind that these
> types of programs are not supported by Yahoo! and may violate our
Terms
> of Service, and therefore may contribute to your receiving this error.
>
> 3) If you have not scanned your computer for spyware and viruses,
please
> do so now. Some spyware programs and computer viruses will run
separate
> programs on your computer for a variety of purposes, sometimes slowing
> your computer down in the process, and even preventing you from
> accessing certain Internet sites such as Yahoo!.
>
> For detailed information on virus protection, please visit:
>
> http://security.yahoo.com/malware.html
>
> For detailed information on spyware, please visit:
>
> http://security.yahoo.com/spyware.html
>
> 4) You may want to try accessing Yahoo! through a different computer
or
> through a different Internet connection.
>
> We hope this is resolved for you soon so that you may continue to use
> Yahoo!.
>
> Regards,
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Customer Care
>
> ********
>
> For assistance with all Yahoo! services please visit:
>
> http://help.yahoo.com/



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2 comments:

  1. When helping to spec knowledgebase, case management, and live support software for companies some of the more common "features" are related to canned responses and auto-response/escalation. It reduces time agents spend responding to the same/similar incidents. I'm not a helpdesk manager and am not tuned into the ins/outs of agent behavior, but I'll wager it also leads to additional mind-numbing and terse responses. Next best bet for resolution ... game the system. There's probably a threshold of the number of resolution attempts, time between attempts, and flame level (naughty words, name calling, etc) that will trigger an escalation. Perhaps we should do some of our own automation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When helping to spec knowledgebase, case management, and live support software for companies some of the more common "features" are related to canned responses and auto-response/escalation. It reduces time agents spend responding to the same/similar incidents. I'm not a helpdesk manager and am not tuned into the ins/outs of agent behavior, but I'll wager it also leads to additional mind-numbing and terse responses. Next best bet for resolution ... game the system. There's probably a threshold of the number of resolution attempts, time between attempts, and flame level (naughty words, name calling, etc) that will trigger an escalation. Perhaps we should do some of our own automation.

    ReplyDelete

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