A Little Help on the Phone
13/01/2009 04:25 PM
We've all dialed the phone for some technical help. Today I did it to synchronize a Blackberry with an Email account. What I hoped to do is have the address books work well on either the Blackberry or on a friends PC.
The initial call was made to Bell, who handles such things. Once you select your preferred language and punch 1, 2 or 3 and then again a set of numbers, you get a human. This human is an interceptor. That means they can't really help you, but they can give you the number of the real technical support.
Ok, now another 800 number and two levels of numbers. This time the message gives me a wait time of 2 to 3 minutes. Also, I get an option of a call-back. That's one I don't take. Finally about 1/2 hour into the problem, I get a human, but his language skills and mine don't mesh. So I opt to play the lottery and I call again. This time I get a bright sounding young man with a deep French accent and a rapid pace. I listen for a while and I can understand him pretty well.
He ascertains that I might have selected the wrong option -- Enterprise vs. Internet. This was an obscure choice and according to him I took the wrong path. Ok, what to do?
I proceed to uninstall the software per his request that took me 1/2 hour to install and I reinstall it. So now I have gone through 1/2 hour of install, 1/2 hour to get a human that I can understand and now 15 minutes to uninstall and another 1/2 hour to reinstall. I have 1 hour and 45 minutes of chips in the pot and I'm not ready to go all in quite yet.
At least my new friend based in Montreal is still with me. By this time I've learned that he has a wife and young baby who goes through a lot of diapers. He is 5'6" and liked to play basketball until he noticed it was played by some mutant species.
We've computed the number of diapers that his child has gone through (6000) and discussed the Wall Street melt down. He thinks that it will hurt Canada a lot. We both wondered how pension funds can be so involved in owning companies?
We are relating well and he's a nice guy. I ask him how many are in his office? .... 200 at present to cover Canada. He does not know the number in the US.
Finally the software loads and we can test again. I have to handle a tiny keyboard on the Blackberry, the mouse and keyboard on the PC and the phone and I'm getting hungry too. It's now 2 hours since I first started on my journey.
We test again... nope, it still does not work and my new friend is at a loss about it. It could be that I'm trying to sync Outlook and not Outlook Express because I have no option for Outlook in the Wizard that Blackberry puts on the desktop. He's puzzled and so am I. I knew I might be in trouble when I looked on the net for a solution and found reams of questions just like mine.
I ask my friend if any of the developers ever come to see his group to find out what problems that they field? The answer is no! They do come once a year, but they are marketing people and they have a coffee and leave.
I ask him, if it might help to have a good feedback channel to RIM. He says yes indeed.
Now I can tell a good user interface when I see one and the Desk Wizard is not one of them. It does not make a clean path for the normal user. Doing a sync with Outlook or Outlook express should be easy, but it's not. He'll call back at 10:30am tomorrow with his supervisor. He's nice guy.