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September 9, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Verizon Blackberry support site

Ben Sjoberg writes in:

I was trying to remove an annoying signature that is attached to all outgoing messages from my BlackBerry.

A search on the Verizon web site gave me a seemingly simple solution: click the Options button.


I follow the link and log in, however the Options button is nowhere to be found:


I called Verizon tech support, and they gave me the same instructions about the Option button. After the representative realized that there wasn't such a thing, I was forwarded to level 2 tech support. Apparently they had recently changed their system, but the instructions hadn't been updated yet.


I hate that, I spent an hour with XBOX Live support due to the new port to the XBOX 360 back in November of last year. They need to plan before changing things.


Posted by: Cameron at September 9, 2006 01:23 AM

"They" being these tech companies.

Posted by: Cameron at September 9, 2006 01:24 AM

OK, it's broken, but it took me about three seconds to figure out to click "Change Handheld" instead.

Posted by: stoo at September 9, 2006 07:30 AM

And in case no one's pointed this out before, TypeKey registration is broken. I signed up yesterday but didn't get the activation e-mail, so today I requested that it be resent. It got resent twice, with different activation codes, neither of which worked. I only got in because I found yesterday's e-mail in my junk folder -- so the original code worked, but the new resent ones didn't.

Posted by: stoo at September 9, 2006 07:33 AM

Stoo: Change handheld doesn't do anything like what I was trying to do. It switches the handheld you're trying to manage.

Bit of a follow up: If you go to "edit" next to an email account you can set your own signature; but when I tried to do that it said my current signature was blank, so I thought it was automatically adding one if I didn't set a custom one. It turns out it shouldn't have been doing that, but something had gone wrong during a software update.

Posted by: BenS at September 9, 2006 12:31 PM

When I first worked in tech support we got extensive in depth training in the new equipment months before release. By the time we were actually supporting the gadgets we knew them inside and out.

When I left tech support, the company was introducing the new products months before we ever got to even see a non-functional mockup, not to mention actual training. Entirely new software, new features, new menus (which even used new terms for old features) and a support staff of thousands of agents who had not the first freakin' clue how to support them.

That's why I don't work there any more.

Posted by: Erich at September 10, 2006 08:27 PM

it is well too common to the tech companies providing services of communication to relese a new product with half baked features, I am expirirncing trouble with most web based services, and solution merely do not exist, unless you coplaine and get someone in the company to look into the problem and provide on individual basis solution that seems to be simple and logical. What worst is that organizations these days set up in such a way that there is no one whose going to be hold liable fot mis- management, mis-handling etc all other mis-....

Posted by: Gordonii at September 11, 2006 03:49 AM

Erich, did you and your fellow tech supporters ever complain en mass about the change in policy? I'm guessing the answer is yes, and nothing was done, but I also find people are usually more willing to quit instead of trying to fix the problem, especially when it's a big one.

Posted by: ambrocked at September 11, 2006 10:11 AM

>ambroked:"did you and your fellow tech supporters ever complain en mass about the change in policy?"

There were many aspects of the problem, not the least of which was the gradual (and very deliberate) move from specialists to generalists. Once upon a time there was dedicated (and very highly trained) Advanced Tech, third tier support that knew the technology in and out and had a direct line to engineering. That's all gone, because the bean counters at corporate looked at their balance sheets and saw that of all the call centers, sales generated revenue, programming upgrades generated revenue, billing and collections generated revenue, retail support and activations generated revenue...and tech support was a big money hole that didn't generate revenue. Never mind the customer experience of the poor sap who bought the equipment, paid for the programming and couldn't figure out what some error message on his screen meant. Now the company has transitioned to "universal agents" who are supposed to be able to do everything. As you might expect, this results in a "jack of all trades and master of none" in which tech minded agents have to figure out billing and born salespeople have to figure out how to explain technical concepts (that they themselves might not understand) to frustrated customers. Anyone who doesn't "buy in" to the company line and fully support this is not a "team player" and will suffer in performance reviews that determine everything from promotional opportunities to raises. So yes, there's something of a Borg-like "assimilate or die" factor at work. Result: Most of the hardcore techies are no longer at the company.

The point of this whole sordid story: The customer experience is more than the flashy interface or the tech specs or the company logo. Without understanding and acting on the fact that a customer already frustrated with a product wants to talk to someone who actually knows about the product, a company is merely exhibiting its own myopic preoccupation with the bottom line...which, ironically enough, will suffer without some acknowledgement that the customer and his experience is the basis of the business.

Posted by: Erich at September 12, 2006 10:43 PM

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