I side with the company on this one

Story: Garage Door Opener Company Bricks Customer Hardware After Negative ReviewTotal Replies: 4
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Apr 07, 2017
3:08 PM EDT
For one simple reason. I have never worked for a company that would put up with that level of profanity from a customer.

The first time I ever worked for a company with a tech support department, their policy regarding profanity was simple:

1. No tech support employee will utter a profanity during a call. Doing so is grounds for immediate termination.

2. A customer using profanity during a call to tech support gets one warning. If the customer continues using profanity after the warning, the caller will be deemed abusive and the call will be terminated.

I worked for that company for 3-1/2 years, and saw the policy enforced more than a few times. One customer got their support contract terminated after someone called twice in one day, with the same filthy mouth both times.

If you want our help, work with us. If you're more interested in bad-mouthing us, don't be surprised when we turn around and walk away.

(Addendum: no, I wasn't tech support, but I had several friends there.)

Apr 07, 2017
8:36 PM EDT
> One customer got their support contract terminated

As long as the customer is reimbursed the current value left on the contract, that's the company's prerogative.

On the other hand, I wish the company luck keeping any customers under 50 nowadays.

Apr 07, 2017
9:01 PM EDT
I definitely do not side with the company.

If Company A wishes to release a product on the open market, and then remotely bricks devices of 'bad' customers... Company A isn't going to be around for very long.

My real philosophy is ... The commercially produced IoT is broken by design, don't use it.

On customer service:

Once upon a time I worked in the service department of a local CompUSA. Most of the time, the profanity laced rants were due to poor customer knowledge of the problem ... which is why they were dropping off the computer in the first place... and poor skills of the tech department personnel to explain a proposed solution. I certainly struggle with explaining technical details to non-technical persons, and impatient and/or nervous non-technical persons are even more difficult.

Apr 08, 2017
5:16 PM EDT
jdixon, the company doesn't exist any more. They couldn't make the transition from DOS to Windows. It's a pity; they won "best in class" regularly in their heyday. Oh, and yes, the balance of the support contract was reimbursed, but then someone on the other end had to explain to their boss/CEO why we cut them off, and what it would take to restore that support (negotiate a new contract).

dotmatrix, "poor customer knowledge of the problem" was not the typical case for our support calls, except when the installation had no dedicated sysadmin, and the primary user also took care of basic sysadmin tasks. For a small fee per incident, we could dial into the system in question and fix the unexpected behavior. As for using the product, it was corporate accounting and the primary users were mostly CPA's and the like. They usually knew their stuff.

Apr 08, 2017
6:09 PM EDT
> jdixon, the company doesn't exist any more. They couldn't make the transition from DOS to Windows.

That happened to a number of companies. :(

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