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Winning

What a Horrible Company You Have Become

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I dread every support interaction with your company, it's like a Laurel and Hardy episode.

  • Last week you lost some data from our cloud based forum when your SQL system went down.  The response was "that's the most recent backup we had, sorry for the inconvenience".
  • You post a blog announcement about how great your cloud product is and have comments turned off.  I wonder why?
  • You have no phone support for paying customers.  This results in back and forth emails for days or weeks for critical support issues that could be resolved in one 5-minute phone call.
  • You have a ridiculous ticketing system where each response from your company does not include any of the previous emails in the chain.  Seriously?
  • I just tried to respond to an old ticket that is a months old to get the problem resolved.  Your system instantly responds that I need to submit a new ticket.  Evidently it would be too customer friendly to allow the response to reopen the ticket, which is standard functionality in every ticket system out there.
  • I was trying to respond to a ticket where I needed to give you several answers if I wanted to be upgraded to the newest version.  The instructions were poorly written and didn't include a single screenshot.  I could have written better instruction in 5 minutes.

That's just a few....

 

Edited by Winning

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I am very sorry you experienced some data loss on your community. I can certainly understand how frustrating that must be for you and do not blame you for being upset. The issue you are reporting is the first time in years we have had any sort of data issues like that and we are just as frustrated as you over the issues. We host thousands of communities and take pride in what is normally a very reliable service.

Telephone support is not something we have offered for many years.

Again, I am sorry for your recent problems and understand your frustration. I do hope that this one-time data issue does not impact your overall enjoyment of your community.

Please do submit a ticket to customer service if you want to talk about your specific account issues. 

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33 minutes ago, Charles said:

I am very sorry you experienced some data loss on your community. I can certainly understand how frustrating that must be for you and do not blame you for being upset. The issue you are reporting is the first time in years we have had any sort of data issues like that and we are just as frustrated as you over the issues. We host thousands of communities and take pride in what is normally a very reliable service.

The data loss is actually the least of my frustrations.

 

Quote

Telephone support is not something we have offered for many years.

 

Responding that you've had horrible support for years and can't take a phone call for a paying customer is not much of a response.  It just confirms that you've had horrible support for years, and don't even offer a premium support for someone who would be willing to pay for it.  It's one thing to only offer email support for a free service, another entirely for a hosted cloud service.

 

Quote

Please do submit a ticket to customer service if you want to talk about your specific account issues.

 

I just tried to and your system rejected it.  Now I'll try again so i can go through the painful insane process of submitting a ticket and waiting for 3 days for a response all over again.  Then respond with a question so the process can drag on for days.  Atrocious.  In the mean time your horrible support continues to destroy our forum.

Now it's just a matter of finding a new company that offers real support so we can go through the pain of switching away.

 

p.s. Another wild idea if you won't take phone calls would be to offer a chat support option so issues don't drag on for days and weeks.

Edited by Winning

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Once again, we're very sorry for the restoration of your database and the subsequent 12-16hrs of data loss. As you cited this isn't your primary concern, however, I'd like to address your others. 

Based on your description of interaction from a support standpoint, I was quite surprised to find you've only had 7 total support tickets since you signed up in 2011. All but 2 were resolved within 24 hours, most within a matter of a few hours. The only exception to this that I could find is your upgrade ticket. I assume this is also the ticket you're trying to reply to. The ticket is over a month old and as we didn't receive a reply from you in that time, it auto-resolves. We do not permit you to respond to old tickets as typically, if a ticket is being replied to after that amount of time, it's usually a new issue. While finding an old e-mail and replying may seem more convenient on the surface, it can also lead to lengthy delays and substantial confusion. Your last issue may have been escalated to advanced support or development or even customer service -- the new issue is most likely (from our experience) unrelated so it has to be moved around to the appropriate department. Further, reading through 2 pages of previous correspondence on an issue unrelated to the current one frankly slows us down. It's always best to submit one ticket per incident so it can get routed and organized accordingly. 

Regarding telephone support - we discontinued phone support long before you were a client, so you would have been aware of the fact we do not provide phone support when you signed up. We offered it for several years in the early to mid 00's and found it to be counterproductive and resource intensive. While less than 5% of our clients phoned in, it consumed the lion share of our support resources with little gain to the client as most issues end up in a support ticket regardless. The upgrade, for example... we can't upgrade your site while you wait on the phone. So, while we could dedicate resources to allowing you to phone in to say "I want to upgrade" - there's still a queue of upgrades and it can't happen while we place you on hold. The same principle applies to live chat as well. It's certainly not unusual for companies these days to provide online only support, but nonetheless, I understand the frustration -- when you have an issue, you want it resolved now and we understand that. 

While it may be an inconvenience and we apologize for same, it is really best to simply login to www.invisionpower.com/clients - you cannot e-mail into support directly for a multitude of reasons, most importantly security. 

I don't see any active tickets on your account, so if you're having an issue, you have to let us know about it via the proper medium so we can assist. It's a bit unreasonable to label support atrocious, horrible and destructive when you're not actually using it. :) If you're not able to login to the client area for whatever reason, or to contact customer service for other reasons, please feel free to e-mail accounts@invisionpower.com. Again, if you're trying to e-mail support@invisionpower.com directly, you're not going to be able to. Support requests must be submitted via the client area. 

If you have further questions or concerns on your account, please contact customer service or you're welcome to PM or e-mail me directly and I'll do my best to assist.

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13 minutes ago, Lindy said:

I am super awesome!

I totally agree with the modified quote above and everything you originally said, almost made me tear-up with pride.

 

Edited by RADStudios

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You're last response further confirms why I'm running to another company.  So now you engage in spin and tell half the story?  What in the world does having 7 tickets since 2011 prove?  What does resolving 5 of them within 24 hours have to do with taking days to even respond to others?  You know, like me responding to a ticket on September the 8th and getting a response back on September the 14th?!

Your response here is a classic example of how to further outrage a customer.  If you had any semblance of customer service the first thing you would have done was contact me offline and ask how you could help.  Instead you engage in spin.

 

 

 

Edited by Winning

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19 hours ago, Lindy said:

I don't see any active tickets on your account, so if you're having an issue, you have to let us know about it via the proper medium so we can assist. It's a bit unreasonable to label support atrocious, horrible and destructive when you're not actually using it. :)

 

Tickets are the worst way to support to begin with. Expensive, take a lot of time, do not help other customers with the same problem.

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45 minutes ago, Hitori Bocchi said:

 

Tickets are the worst way to support to begin with. Expensive, take a lot of time, do not help other customers with the same problem.

I agree with that.  We usually try to search on the forums first.  Then post.  A ticket is a last resort for serious issues.

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Keep it simple, just respond to the ticket he made and no need to type a big response.

I honestly prefer IPB over any other forum software still, for commercial products. The support isn't as bad as this typically, but it does happen in every company. You can't always please your customers, no matter how hard you try. You just gotta keep trying, you may get better luck next time.

Edited by Rory Soh

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3 hours ago, Winning said:

I agree with that.  We usually try to search on the forums first.  Then post.  A ticket is a last resort for serious issues.

Yep... that's what I do like about XenForo.  A lot of the issues are resolved in the support topics on their site (and frequently by other licensed users) and that further helps anyone else that may have issues.  It's like with IPS it's a "top secret" philosophy in that it shan't be posted and responded to in the topical areas (please submit a ticket is the common refrain I see).  Can't have the licensed users seeing the issues that people are having I guess.

It's rather disappointing to see the lack of help that is provided in the support forums here honestly.

Edited by T. D. Perry

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16 minutes ago, Tracy Perry said:

It's rather disappointing to see the lack of help that is provided in the support forums here honestly.

Ya, I found it sort of funny that he posted publicly about how we only had only 7 tickets.  Here's an example of one of the last times I tried to get forum support.  5 posts over 3 days without a response until other forum members helped us.  https://community.invisionpower.com/topic/378714-all-forum-email-notifications-stopped-working-after-upgrading-to-342/#comment-2368702  I'd much rather use forum support when possible - which mainly seems to come from members.  I'll tell you what though, IPS sure is good at answering pre-sales questions!  THAT the company has time for.

I'm waiting for this thread to disappear so I've saved it for posterity.

Edited by Winning

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29 minutes ago, Winning said:

Ya, I found it sort of funny that he posted publicly about how we only had only 7 tickets.  Here's an example of one of the last times I tried to get forum support.  5 posts over 3 days without a response until other forum members helped us.  https://community.invisionpower.com/topic/378714-all-forum-email-notifications-stopped-working-after-upgrading-to-342/#comment-2368702  I'd much rather use forum support although the main support seems to come from members.  I'll tell you what though, IPS sure is good at answering pre-sales questions!  THAT the company has time for.

I don't disagree with you on this part, but IPS's stated policy is that the forum is strictly for peer-to-peer support. They stick to that. If you didn't open a ticket, it wasn't on their radar.

e: I may be mistaken, I see Charles was talking specifically about the pre-sales forum. But I'm pretty sure that's true of the tech support board as well. They don't advertise it very well. Or at all.

 

@Hitori Bocchi I do ticket support as part of my job duties in a similar context. For technical matters, a ticket system is the only way to go. Phones are far less efficient (I could often fix an urgent problem in less time than it takes to even figure out on the phone what's wrong), and they sap someone's attention for the entire duration of that call, which probably won't even result in immediate resolution. There's a place for a human voice to be sure, but it's a huge drain of resources, which means they'd have to raise their rates a lot if they were going to make a concerted effort toward it. I'm not defending the way they do things, but tickets allow them to cover the most ground with the fewest staff. As for forums, they work great right up until you're dealing with confidential info, at which point you're off to a ticket anyway. Outside of feature questions (how do I do this?), almost everything is going to involve credentials or site info of one kind or another.

Edited by Ryan H.

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5 hours ago, Winning said:

You're last response further confirms why I'm running to another company.  So now you engage in spin and tell half the story?  What in the world does having 7 tickets since 2011 prove?  What does resolving 5 of them within 24 hours have to do with taking days to even respond to others?  You know, like me responding to a ticket on September the 8th and getting a response back on September the 14th?!

Your response here is a classic example of how to further outrage a customer.  If you had any semblance of customer service the first thing you would have done was contact me offline and ask how you could help.  Instead you engage in spin.

I'm very sorry you feel that way. Based on your intense verbiage (atrocious, horrible, dreadful, delayed by days/weeks, etc.) I think it was reasonable for most to conclude you've had a long history of negative support experiences when that is simply not true. You've had one single instance where the response was delayed, for which I'm sincerely regretful for the confusion (you had an upgrade request and it was overlooked that you were a cloud client, so it went in the standard upgrade queue, which has a 10 day SLA.) Nonetheless, while you're certainly entitled to your frustrations, you've chosen a public medium to vent your specific frustrations - your issues and our position have merely been addressed as such. 

Anyone who has been a client for an amount of time knows that IPS management, including myself, have an open door policy. We place our e-mail addresses in our signatures and anyone is welcome to contact us with questions or concerns. Further, if a ticket is not yielding the results you want, you are always welcome to ask for it to be escalated. We take pride in what we do and take customer service very seriously. If we are in the wrong (as was the case with the upgrade ticket) - we will own it and do our best to make it right... all you have to do is let us know. Likewise, if the client has unreasonable expectations, I'm personally not bashful in saying so. You're adverse to using the client area - fair enough, but don't be upset when you don't get proper support. We make the avenue of support clear prior to purchase -- you're absolutely entitled to be frustrated that other avenues are not provided and free to provide feedback for the future, but to launch into a tirade based on your experience with unofficial or even non-existent means of support is a bit misleading. With exception to the upgrade ticket, the support provided to you appears to have been prompt, professional and courteous. 

 

1 hour ago, Tracy Perry said:

Yep... that's what I do like about XenForo.  A lot of the issues are resolved in the support topics on their site (and frequently by other licensed users) and that further helps anyone else that may have issues.  It's like with IPS it's a "top secret" philosophy in that it shan't be posted and responded to in the topical areas (please submit a ticket is the common refrain I see).  Can't have the licensed users seeing the issues that people are having I guess.

It's rather disappointing to see the lack of help that is provided in the support forums here honestly.

The difference is XF users such as yourself, based on my own observation, tend to be forum enthusiasts -- power users that don't mind getting their hands dirty. IPS has tens of thousands of clients and at last check, only 5% visit this community on a regular basis. Most of our clients prefer ticket support and when we offered IPS staffed forum support, it was rarely used and most resulted in a ticket anyway as again, most of our clients don't want to get their hands dirty -- and they shouldn't have to. I often use automotive analogies... XF users are often akin to sports car owners. They like to tinker, get their hands dirty, do lots of mods and don't mind getting their hands dirty. That's not to say that a segment of our demographic don't also like to put their work clothes on to get dirty, but on the whole, our clients prefer the luxury car experience in that they want us to handle as much as possible, they don't want to do much beyond cosmetics and popular modifications and they want us to do all of their oil changes. There's no conspiracy theory here, the vast majority of our clients want to submit a ticket and have it handled for them... they don't want to post to a forum and have back and forth interactions with other members that will often result in a ticket anyway. We choose to put the bulk of our support resources where they're needed most: in tickets.

If forum support were easier and more efficient, we'd be all over it (again) - we handle several hundred tickets per day, reducing that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. For our purposes and for our clients' needs, history has shown ticket support is the best medium. We would like to and will put some resources into official basic forum support such as "how do I" or "where is ...." however, technical issues just can't efficiently be resolved via the forums. If you're not a power user or tech-head, it's a bit like asking your dealer to diagnose and walk you through changing a timing chain. Most (at IPS) prefer to just take it in.. it's under warranty after all, why subject yourself to the aggravation? It's better for us too as trying to diagnose and repair when you don't have access under the hood is just inefficient and frustrating. 

 

1 hour ago, Rory Soh said:

Keep it simple, just respond to the ticket he made and no need to type a big response.

There is no active ticket, hence the bewilderment. 

54 minutes ago, Winning said:

Ya, I found it sort of funny that he posted publicly about how we only had only 7 tickets.  Here's an example of one of the last times I tried to get forum support.  5 posts over 3 days without a response until other forum members helped us.  https://community.invisionpower.com/topic/378714-all-forum-email-notifications-stopped-working-after-upgrading-to-342/#comment-2368702  I'd much rather use forum support when possible - which mainly seems to come from members.  I'll tell you what though, IPS sure is good at answering pre-sales questions!  THAT the company has time for.

I'm waiting for this thread to disappear so I've saved it for posterity.

I understand you'd rather use forum support. That's not, however, an official means of support, we make no claims otherwise. I really do not understand the aversion to the client area -- in all of these years, it has never bitten anyone. :) You had no ticket related to the issue you linked to, so, by your own account, you waited 3 days for unofficial support when you could have simply submitted a ticket and had a response (usually) within minutes or hours. Again, I understand your frustration, but if I'm being honest, it seems to be largely self-inflicted. For reference, our support team does not typically answer pre-sales inquiries - though they will occasionally help out if they're able to. Likewise, they will occasionally help in the peer-to-peer support forums if time permits and ticket volume is slow. 

I'll reiterate, you're welcome to contact me or customer service with any specific concerns - we are genuinely happy to assist where we can. At this time, there's still no new support request on your account, so we're really doing nothing but spinning our wheels here unless you help us help you. 

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You can always provide private information via mail/ticket etc. but still solve the problem on the forum, so that everyone has something from it. Thats how its done in many other support forums, but this one is an exception. As Tracy Perry said: "Please submit a ticket is the common refrain I see".

 

And you can't say that he is wrong about his accusations, because he submitted only a few support tickets. For many users, also here (believe it or not), looking for an answer on the forum/google etc. is the first thing to do, but sadly here is the worst place to find an answer. With technical problems, when I use google, even when they are on english (which they are in 90% of the cases), I rather end on the german support side than here, because people there are more open to ask/answer it on a forum. I also end up getting many russian/french etc. results, but rarely any which lead me to the this forum here...

Edited by Hitori Bocchi

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I recall we tried 'official' support in the forums for a while but it did not really work out that well, simply as some of the questions being posed needed either ACP or FTP information so the tech could take a closer look...

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Lindy, do you mind if I use your posts here in an industry trade article as an example of how to never respond to an angry frustrated customer?  As for your continued fixation on the fact that I have not submitted another ticket, no I haven't.

Despite your fixation on the number of tickets we've submitted and that fact that you think there has only been "one issue with delays", perhaps I'm using many factors to judge your support.  Questions:

  1. When you lost data on your customers forums, did you send out any type of proactive message to them telling them you had lost some of their data and apologizing?  Or did you just do nothing and hope they wouldn't notice?  You don't need to answer ;).
  2. Have you sent out any explanations to your customers of what happened, why it happened, and what you've learned from the experience to implement new processes to stop it from happening again?  You don't need to answer ;).

You see the Lindy, your determination to defend and minimize things causes tunnel vision which stops you from seeing the bigger picture of why someone who knows what good support means might find your responses so amazingly unacceptable. 

And those are only two examples, I could write plenty more.

Edited by Winning

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It would be best to open a ticket to Customer Service I feel as Lindy suggested, then you can discuss the issues:

16 hours ago, Lindy said:

I'll reiterate, you're welcome to contact me or customer service with any specific concerns - we are genuinely happy to assist where we can. At this time, there's still no new support request on your account, so we're really doing nothing but spinning our wheels here unless you help us help you. 

Having had several years on 'both sides of the fence' here, I can tell you that staff / management at IPS will listen and try to accommodate you where possible. I guess what I'm saying here is if you're unhappy with the topic responses then a ticket to Customer Service is the best way for you to move forward with this.

Edited by AndyF
Typo :)

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I am rather curious to hear Lindy's response on this though. If no notice was sent out regarding the data loss, I would consider that in itself to be a big concern.

I'm hoping maybe you just didn't notice or receive the e-mail for technical reasons.

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Removed my comments since this is the absolute worst community I have purchased something from. They would rather pick what you say apart then address a simple fact. 

Edited by Morpheusxeno

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5 minutes ago, Morpheusxeno said:

There are easier places to get Invision Powerboard And the people who release these "hacked versions" Have updates more often and fixes more often that legit IP.Board does. 

I really really really (really) highly doubt that. A nulling community that has an active community of developers that directly provide bugfixes to the software before IPS would be quite a sight to behold.

It's absolutely "easier" to go out and pirate IPS than it is to buy it. It's "easier" to go out and steal a lot of things than to actually pay for it yourself. That's really not an argument you want to be making here.

If the only reason you use a legitimate copy of IPS is so that you can use PayPal, I think that must say something about your personal character, and it's not something good.

Edited by Makoto

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2 minutes ago, Morpheusxeno said:

If you are judging my personal character by the fact that I want to do something right by my customer then you yourself are a pile of faeces eh? Is that we are at now? A judgment contest?

First we can stop the judgement contest right here.

@Makoto was responding to your hype on pirated software beliefs....

Sorry about that but this issue and your contribution to it has no bearing.

As far as Pirated Software Don't expect sympathy here There are just too many that will not agree with you or your idealism.

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9 minutes ago, Morpheusxeno said:

What I am getting at is the fact that we pay alot of money for forum board that doesnt declare anywhere that Invision Powerboard must be displayed in the footer at all times before purchasing.

https://www.invisionpower.com/legal/standards

SCOPE OF GRANT

You may:

  • customize the Software's design and operation to suit the internal needs of your web site except to the extent not permitted in this Agreement
  • produce and distribute modification instructions, Skin packs, or Language packs provided that they contain notification that the Skin and Language packs were exported from and originally created by Invision Power Board and/or IPS. The modifications instructions you personally create are not owned by IPS so long as they contain no proprietary coding from Invision Power Board
  • create applications which interface with the operation of the Software provided said application is an original work

 

You may not:

  • permit other individuals to use the Software except under the terms listed above
  • reverse engineer, disassemble, or create derivative works based on the Software for distribution or usage outside your web site
  • use the Software in such as way as to condone or encourage terrorism, promote or provide pirated Software, or any other form of illegal or damaging activity
  • modify and/or remove any copyright notices or labels on the Software on each page (unless copyright output removal license is purchased) and in the header of each script source file
  • distribute the Software
  • distribute individual copies of files, libraries, or other programming material in the Software package
  • distribute or modify proprietary graphics, HTML, or CSS packaged with the Software for use in Software applications other than Invision Power Board or web sites without written permission from IPS
  • modify the software to function in more than instance or location (URL, domain, subdomain, etc.) from a single set of source program files unless each location is separately licensed

I also have no idea how doing right by your customers and stealing software are related. You're going to have to clarify what you mean by that.

Edited by Makoto

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2 minutes ago, AndyF said:

I'd never want to use a copy found um 'elsewhere' as you would never be 100% sure what unwanted 'extra's it might have, and not all would be pleasant...

Totally agree hence why I purchased it, But I am not happy with the fact I have to display "faeces" on my website that I dont want. That I wasnt told I would have to display.

Edited by Morpheusxeno

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