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Fwd: Re: Advertising of the list -Reply

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I believe that a software vendor who hires tech support personnel that
gives you bad advice or the run around or cannot understand the problem you
are having with the software is guilty of having bad tech support as much
as the vendor who has a buggy program.

When I once tried to install PC Anywhere 32, I had problems. The Symantec
tech support was great. Very responsive. To the point. I could tell they
are not ashamed of their product when they put their tech support phone
number under the "help" toolbar. Most vendors bury the "customer service"
phone number deep inside the manuals. On the other hand, When I was having
trouble with my Colorado Tape software, the tech support person was taking
my problem very lightly and was actually playing around with someone in the
office while trying to help me out. The advise was pretty worthless and I
was left trying to get my tape drive working on my own. Since that
experience, I now have a Ditto drive (surprise!).

I happen to think that a well written program needs no tech support or
manuals. The misunderstanding is not by the "user". I've been told by
someone who writes software that I respect that there is no such thing as
"operator errors", just shortcomings of the software. One of the most
tedious jobs is to properly error trap a piece of software. Some vendors
want to put this off onto an unsuspecting user.

I respect your opinion and I don't have any problem with it. However, we
don't really know how good a tech support system is until after we buy the
software. I think it is fair to report poor tech support response as a
benefit to those who are considering buying the software.

Bill Allen
From: Dennis S. Wish PE <wish(--nospam--at)>
To: 'seaoc(--nospam--at)'
Subject: RE: Advertising of the list -Reply
Date: Wednesday, March 26, 1997 9:47 AM

In theory, I agree with Bill, however, reality is never so clear.  Assume
for the moment that the user is unable to communicate his problem
sufficiently enough for the tech support technician (or software developer)
to pinpoint the cause and recommend a solution.  This may not have been a
common occurrence with Structural Engineering software, but has caused me
hundreds of dollars in long distance phone support with major companies. 
In most cases, I found that the tech simply did not understand either my
question, misinterpreted the nature of my problem or led me down a wrong
path to be left hanging until the next call.  This happens often and just
as often proves to be a technical problem with another program that
interferes with the one I'm complaining about.
Granted, this does not address blatant bugs that are never properly
addressed, but should I decide to "flame" the vendor for his inability to
solve my problem I may be doing him/her an injustice since the really
problem was not his software. This is common in operating systems such as
Windows where two or more programs compete for the same memory address and
one may not recover well.
The point is that I may be mad as heck with vendor A when the problem is
really with vendor B. 
I stand by my statement that each of us needs to post responsibly and not
defiantly. Maybe the misunderstanding is ours!

Dennis Wish PE


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From: "Bill Allen, S.E." <ballense(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaoc(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Re: Advertising of the list -Reply
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 14:59:57 -0800
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Richard Lewis, P.E.
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The service mission like-minded Christian organizations
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