I have had recent (bad) experiences with this phenomena, but it’s not the first time.
How many times have you gone to a website for a game, a service, an ISP, some software, whatever, and found an ‘official’ self-help forum for users? I seem to recall Dell used to do it, and now almost everyone does it.
“Welcome to the community help forums where fellow member of the ABC community help solve each other’s technical problems”
What this translates (to me) as is this…
“Fuck customer service. We will let you dumb schmucks who bought our stuff fix each others problems. Meanwhile, we are on the beach! Good luck losers…”
I check my forums daily. I don’t post in every thread, and I don’t fix every problem, but I at least flipping TRY to do so. I read every support email I get, and I won’t make you jump through hoops to email a real person. The person is ME. here is my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is a clickable one:
Here it is bigger;
I get quite a pile of spam because I am so free with my email address. You know whose problem that is? MINE. Whose problem is it not? My customers.
Fuck email forms, fuck ‘self-help community forums. Fuck “your call is important to us” and definitely fuck “We are experiencing higher than normal traffic“. If you bought a game from me, and it doesn’t run email me. email me now, and I’ll do my best to fix it.
And the next time you encounter a software provider or other company that expects you to not only make do with ‘community’ tech support, but to act as their unpaid helpdesk staff, make a mental note to avoid them in future. Only by hurting the business of people like that will things improve…
And just to add some positivity, who can I name with the same attitude?
Seth Godin, the marketing guy.
BMTMicro, my payment provider,
Cater Allen, the UK bank.
errr….. feel free to add to the list.