Technical Support FAIL

Staff that can read, understand, and reply to requests in English would be helpful.

Two weeks ago, I needed to access a restricted area on a Web site operated by a major software vendor with beta software I needed. I’d been given an invitation link that should have gotten me access, but it didn’t work.

After searching the site, I finally found a link I could use to send feedback. Because I’m under nondisclosure for this project, I’ve redacted some of what I sent, but you can get the gist of it here:

I’m supposed to have access to the [redacted software] beta. I got an invitation. I filled out the form and it said the invitation was invalid. My contact is [redacted contact], at [redacted PR firm]. The error code I got when I tried to get a product key following the instructions of my [redacted PR firm] contact was 2f1dc2b1-4e83-4dc5-8c3b-8988079801af. I need access to the software. Can you please help me?

Several days later, I got the following response:

Hi Maria,

The reason you are getting this error is because the [redacted acronym] with which this invitation is associated is no more a valid [redacted acronym] hence to fix this you need to follow following steps:

1. The account for which the [redacted acronym] no longer exists will need to be merged with an existing (valid [redacted acronym]) account ,
OR
2. You need to create a new registered account in [redacted service] with which, we can merge this existing account.

Thank You!

[redacted name]
[redacted company] Team

I had no freaking idea what this meant, so I responded:

This information does NOT help me. I cannot get the software. Can someone PLEASE help me resolve this? It’s been going on for nearly a week and I NEED the software ASAP.

Nearly two weeks have gone by. In the meantime, I was suddenly able to access the software. I no longer had a problem. Yet today, I got the following message:

Hi Maria,

The reason you are getting this error is because the [redacted acronym] with which this invitation is associated is no more a valid [redacted acronym]. Every invitation is associated with users valid [redacted acronym] and in your case there is no [redacted acronym] a/c showing and hence to fix this issue there are 2 steps:

1. You give us a valid registered [redacted acronym] and we will merge it with your account for which the [redacted acronym] no longer exists. OR
2. You need to create a new registered account in [redacted service] with which, we can merge this existing account.

By merging we here means that all the permissions which your original [redacted acronym] had will be transferred to this new [redacted acronym] of yours.

Thank You!

[redacted name]
[redacted company] Team

Look familiar? It should. It’s almost exactly the same message I got two weeks ago. It’s even purportedly from the same person.

One thing is obvious to me. The support system of this major software vendor is broken — possibly because it’s hosted in India where the people sitting at keyboards don’t understand English. They might consider getting some English-as-a-FIRST-language support staff to help their English-speaking customers.

What do you think?