A little less than a year ago I made my first non-student purchase. After years of relying on my family and university to provide me with software, I bought Office 2011. For years I’ve used Word daily without fail. My epic 40-page social media reports for clients are done entirely in Word and I know the program like the back of my hand. I considered using something like Open Office, but at the end of the day I love Microsoft Office and never considered not paying for the privilege to use it.
Fast forward to April 2010 and, instead of boring you to tears, here’s the gist of my week:
1. Lucy, my Mac, needed a tune up.
2. I wiped her brain (aka reformatted her hard-drive).
3. I reinstalled all programs, minus Office.
4. Turns out, I didn’t read the fine print when purchasing, and my download link expired 30 days after purchase.
5. I contact “customer support” and am informed I need to purchase THE WHOLE THING AGAIN, then buy an extended download or software CD (this adds up to around $165).
6. Not gonna happen.
7. Instead, I download the free trial and use my product key (that I PAID FOR) to activate the full version.
8. Works. Sort of. Word runs reeaaaalllly slowly and typing out a sentence takes around a minute. Delayed typing was just the beginning though. I was working on a major client project and Word decided it didn’t like what I’d done, so I turn on Lucy one day to find everything GONE. I had half of it backed up, but nothing says “fun” like rewriting 20 pages of research in a weekend.
9. I contact Microsoft via Twitter. They take around 24 hours to respond, and here’s what I got:
11. Big mistake.
12. Forty minutes, four transfers and four five-minute attempts-to-spell-my-name-and-email-address-to-people-who-can’t-speak-English later, we have established I am using Office 2011 on a Mac.
13. I hang up on Representative Number Five.
14. I’m still having issues with Word and refuse to repurchase out of principal.
15. Anyone know a great Word-alternative that works with Mac?
After dealing with this all week and wasting too much time fixing a problem that shouldn’t be happening, I slowly get more and more baffled by major companies like Microsoft who haven’t gotten with the program. It’s like elderly people who talk about their health problems all day. Do they realize how much of a stereotype they’re being? I honestly thought horrible customer service like this was a joke. A stereotype that companies realized they couldn’t possibly live up to. Because otherwise people will just download their software illegally because what’s the point in paying for something if you can’t freaking use it?
Now on to Useless Company Number Two.
I recently moved to a gorgeous Auckland suburb and my lovely, capable, go-getter boyfriend set up our wireless and phone in the new house with what is apparently the best provider in the country.
Now, this isn’t really saying much. Speeds here are incredibly slow and there’s no such thing as “unlimited broadband.”
We’re spending $150 per month for this privilege (and 80GB of broadband shared between five people, three of whom work from home in tech-industries) and the router Telecom provided doesn’t actually work with Mac OS X. After hours of brainstorming and reading forums, my again lovely, capable, go-getter boyfriend fixed the problem and now Lucy can connect to the internet just fine.
Our flatmate, however, can now not. Because whatever we changed on the router now means her PC can’t connect.
So we’ve paid Telecom insane amounts of money for not particularly good broadband and they haven’t even worked out the kinks in their product.
After this debacle I feel like maybe we should just steal the broadband from next door.
(But we don’t. Just in case you were wondering.)
Piracy = Not Okay. Crappy Customer Service = Also Not Okay.
Before I go any further, know that I am no way, shape, or form condoning piracy or stealing internet. The point is these massive “tech” companies aren’t doing their jobs. They’re outsourcing customer support to India where supposedly trained employees can’t understand when I say “I have a Mac” five times. Their adventures in social media result in sending me to a useless forum instead of actually trying to help me themselves. They’re charging $100 for a router that doesn’t work with every operating system and they don’t take the time to WARN YOU before purchasing.
You know my thoughts on copyright infringement, and stealing/piracy are NEVER okay, but companies can’t even begin to combat this growing problem until they take customers and the products they sell seriously.
Piracy will never ever go away. Many of you are going to tear me to pieces on this one (last year a few folks did), but it’s the truth, and you can accept it or not. If you want to combat this kind copyright infringement, make it easy for people to buy your stuff, comment, complain, ask questions. Make sure your product WORKS before selling it for absurd amounts of money. Take precautions, do your research and you’ll be golden. Granted, people still steal music and I think iTunes has brilliant customer service, so this isn’t a “solution” by any means. However, keep in mind if you’re selling a tech product users can steal, and your customer service people don’t understand the difference between a Mac and a PC, well, you’re going to have a wee problem on your hands.
What’s the most horrendous, obnoxious customer service drama you’ve had?