Customer Support – Not!

I recently spent some quality time on the phone with Microsoft customer support in the far east. I’ve used Microsoft mice for years, but I needed to temporarily uninstall their mouse driver. I ended up speaking to five people including a supervisor and the supervisor’s supervisor. None had any Macintosh experience. There is apparently no such thing as Microsoft Mouse/Keyboard support for Mac. After two callbacks, the supervisor’s supervisor finally informed me that the uninstaller exists in the my Utilities folder. It doesn’t have the same name as the mouse driver, but there it is. Time wasted — two hours.

I’ve had similar experiences with Adobe tech support for its publishing program, In Design, where it often seems that all problems can be solved by reinstalling the application or trashing your preferences. If that doesn’t work, then the bug you found is actually a feature.

We’ve all had these experiences. And painful as they are, they are one thing when they relate to your phone bill, and another when they’re about a piece of software you depend on to make a living.

Two weeks ago Avid took over the AlphaDogs Editors Lounge event with a series of simultaneous, small-group meetings where customers could get up close and personal with key Avid personnel. CEO Gary Greenfield was on hand, along with the principle Media Composer product managers and engineers. Anybody present could pose questions to the key decision makers at Avid and get honest answers.

Contrast that to Randy Ubillos’ impressive Final Cut X demo at the NAB Supermeet. He showed off lots of intriguing technology, and the crowd cheered. But no questions were permitted.

Avid and Apple are playing to their strengths. Apple is once again democratizing the market, making it possible for more and more people to edit, and hoping for customers numbered in the millions. Avid is building on its deep roots in the professional community and keeping those relationships as close and current as possible.

I’m glad both companies exist. They’re doing different things and both are important. But when it comes to customer support, I’ll take the up close and personal kind, any day.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Adobe Premiere, Apple, Avid vs. Final Cut, Consumer Editing, Final Cut

6 Comments on “Customer Support – Not!”

  1. Robin Buday Says:

    Get a LogiTech mouse (one of the high end models). They are way better and their customer support is great.

    • Steve Says:

      My wish is to get the second mouse button to work as a double click. That single and simple thing has saved my wrist. Will the logitech driver do that?

  2. Todd Kopriva Says:

    I think that you’ll find that the technical support for the Adobe professional video products is much better—and much more personal—especially if you bring your questions to the forums. We (members of the After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Audition teams) actually help out quite a bit there.

    Here’s a post in which we try to get people to communicate with us as much as possible:
    http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/02/after-effects-team-on-twitter.html

  3. Steve Says:

    Todd, I gather you’re from Adobe. I have no doubt that what you say is true, but, needless to say, In Design is very much a professional product and is mission-critical for many, many publishers.

    The ID forums have been super-helpful. The folks there have been very giving of their time, and without them I would not have made it. But calling tech support itself has been very frustrating.

  4. Tim Says:

    At least you get some free tech support, at Avid you don’t get any! you have to go to the forum for this, avid is very lucky to have such a great bunch of guys at the forum providing ‘Unpaid technical support’ on avids behalf, in my books this is not right, think of everything you’ve ever purchased in your life time most if not all of those brands/products provide some kind of free support, but not avid. yes MC is a complex product but still it’s a product and avid should provide some ‘minimal’ free support for it.

  5. Randy Says:

    I am debating on calling them although I got my iphone off ebay and it is jailbroken and unlocked for t-mobile. Would they be able to help me?


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