On the right and wrong ways to deal with a customer
or how much difference the right attitude makes
I am back up, my DSL horrors resolved. As I suspected, it took the right tech all of <2 mins (1 of which was having me powercycle the router) to correct the error.
My morning however did not start on a good note - I called Ameritech/SBC support and talked with one of their support people (who will remain nameless for obvious reasons). Rather than believing me, or even really listening to me, or reading over my files which should have shown that I have been having problems for going on two days now - he insisted both that this was "beyond the scope of support that Ameritech provides" and that I would have to go through a very long, obnoxious, and time consuming troubleshooting process with him (one that I had already done, but since it was "not in our records" he was insisting that I do it again).
After spending more time than I liked talking with him, probably almost 20 minutes, I got so fed up I simply hung up on him. And then yelled and cursed him out (thankfully noone else was here at the office).
I waited a while, to calm down - and to catch up on the 175+ emails in my in box (moved my mail to a backup server before leaving the office last night).
I called back, chose a slightly different path through the phone maze, and got through to a much much better support person.
He I will name, Issac at Ameritech/SBC Yahoo! Internet technical support was the type of support person you want to get. Calm on the phone, clear in his questions, and reasonable with what to ask of me - he noticed that I had a long history, and before even asking anything else, asked if I minded if he put me on hold for a moment while he reviewed the records. We talked a bit further, and he agreed to bypass the troubleshoooting and just directly call the Level II tech support (he noted that there was a note in my files that the one group I had thought should be working on it had indicated that it was really something that Level II could fix).
Very clear, very informative, and willing to listen to me, the customer - and agreed with me clearly that not getting the service that I had paid for was certainly a problem and something that Ameritech should resolve. Furthermore, he understood exactly why I would have a static IP address, and why not having it would be a problem for a business that needed it.
So, he then got Ray from Level II support on the phone. Again, a very good support tech - he asked a very minimum of questions, confirmed the information in his records (and my identity - reassuring security procedure) and the proceeded to right on the phone make the simple change that could fix the problem. He unassigned and reassigned my static IP address (doing it so quickly as to surprise me) - he then asked that I powercycle the router - when I asked why, he explained exactly why. I then told him I had to shut some things down - put him on hold, shut off my applications (mail) and then powercycled the router.
Almost immediately we were back up - he knew exactly what IP address to ping - and was already pinging it, and as the router came up we confirmed that I was up and functioning (and my website was live) and the call ended.
So, in stark contrast to the first support person I spoke with this morning, Issac and Ray listened, read their own systems information, were proactive, and acted to quickly and simply resolve my (their customer)'s problems - and furthermore they were successful in doing so quickly.
Net result - if all support people were like them I would be a much happier customer.
Now my next challenge will be calling and talking with the Billing department to get some credit for the time service was unavailable.
I think I will also send a written letter to Ameritech Support thanking Issac and Ray by name for the great job they did - having done support in the past myself, I know how hard and thankless a job it is - I suspect a written letter of thanks would be helpful to both of them (and an easy enough gesture on my part).