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The 48-hour support guarantee for TechNet subscribers clearly isn't working RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • There's been a long thread in this forum http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/reportabug/thread/a3e20c56-b064-44f5-86e9-1597a7234537 about a TechNet subscriber not getting the support he ought to get. There the problem seems to have probably been that the logon name he was using wasn't registered in the TechNet subscriber support system and therefore absolutely no response came from the TechNet subscriber support people.

    I, in a post early on in that thread, noted that whereas the main page for Subscriber support continued to offer a guaranteed response from a MS support person within 48 hours, the FAQ gave only a (impossible) guarantee that an MVP or a peer would reply within 48 hours and a MS support person would monitor the thread and if necessary intervene.

    Now I have a clear example where a poster who clearly was using the correct TechNet subscriber support name received a first reply to his post only after (almost exactly) 3 full working days (Posted Tuesday; Reply Friday a few minutes later).

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sharepointsearch/thread/60e909f2-1555-4439-bf17-dc2449690867

    That reply indicates two things

    1. The sig indicates that this is a TechNet Subscriber support thread.

    2. The meaningless reply "We are trying to involve someone familiar with this topic to further look at this issue." indicates that this is simply an attempt to cover the support guarantee.

    If so it failed because that support guarantee is for 48 hours not 72 hours.

    At this stage (i.e. after 72 hours) the question was finally sent to US-based, Microsoft employees quality support and they quickly came up with a suitable reply.

    --------------------------------

    Issues:

    1. The support guarantee within 48 hours isn't working. Here 72 hours elapsed before the automatic reply kicked in.

    2. Even if it were working the system seems to be that 48 hours after the post, a reply comes that doesn't deal with the technical issue at all but is merely a "I've replied as promised" post.

    No Issues:

    The quality support, US-based Microsoft employees reply quickly and with technical answers.

    Proposal:

    Ignore the middle men. Not only can they not tell the difference between 48 and 72 hours but they also far too often these days are there only as an admin link writing these "We are trying to involve someone familiar with this topic to further look at this issue." posts.

    Instead boost slightly the numbers involved in the quality US-based support and have them automatically notified when a TechNet subscriber thread has been open for *24* hours so they have time to respond with a technical reply within the 48 hour limit.

     

    Note that I am not US nor US-based and so this is not a pro-US statement. It is instead a pro-quality statement.

     

     


    SP 2010 "FAQ" (mainly useful links): http://wssv4faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    WSS3/MOSS FAQ (FAQ and Links) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    Both also have links to extensive book lists and to (free) on-line chapters
    • Changed type Mike Walsh FIN Saturday, February 4, 2012 9:26 AM Statement/Suggestion not a question
    Saturday, February 4, 2012 9:24 AM

All replies

  • HI Mike !

    I agree with your idea of decreasing the mid layer level(s) and sent issues directly to Microsoft Expert Group if user is TechNet / MSDN subscriber.

    Thanks, Hasham

    Saturday, February 4, 2012 10:34 AM
    Moderator
  • How is quality defined?
    Community Forums Program Manager
    Sunday, February 5, 2012 6:38 PM
    Answerer
  • > How is quality defined?

    That's a very reasonable question. Perhaps I should have written "higher quality".

    What I am referring to are the US-based (West Coast I think) people who are the (second) level of support for when the Chinese (Shanghai?) first level of TechNet Subscriber Support can't answer a question. It's obviously not only higher quality at play but also of having more time to look at individual problems (as they get fewer) and probably also having better contacts in Redmond.

    Previously when it was understood that TechNet Subscriber support meant a real attempt by MS first line (subscriber) support to answer a question within 24/48 hours, the Chinese guys used to do a good job of providing useful information and only rarely seemed to need to call on the second-level of support (typically when for all their efforts the OP still wasn't happy).

    Nowadays though it seems that very often there is no attempt at all for MS first line support to try to answer the technical questions within that time period. Instead they are waiting for MVPs or other posters ("peers") to answer even the questions of TechNet Subscribers and only if nobody has do they respond more often than not (and usually way after the 48 hour limit is past) with this standard phrase that they are looking for someone to deal with the question.

    Maybe this means that MS is saving money by cutting down on the number of quality (that word again!) Chinese support people (and they were very good technically and some still are very good) and replacing them for TechNet Subscriber threads with cheaper admin people, but if so it's not progress.

    A long answer, but does it answer your question satisfactorily?

    Mike

     


    SP 2010 "FAQ" (mainly useful links): http://wssv4faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    WSS3/MOSS FAQ (FAQ and Links) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    Both also have links to extensive book lists and to (free) on-line chapters
    Monday, February 6, 2012 2:25 PM
  • It is a normal occurrence in the Partner forum that at the 4 hour mark
    (their SLA) they will post "we're doing additional research".  This will
    start the clock.
     
    But this isn't a forum bug issue, so I'm not sure why it's here?  Brett
    can't do anything about SLAs.
     
    Monday, February 6, 2012 10:55 PM
  • It's here because as far as most people using the forums are concerned these TechNet Subscriber support threads look just like normal threads. Only the sig of the support person and their use of this phrase give them away and most users don't notice either as meaning that.

    If the TechNet subscriber system would use its own set of forums, I would agree, but they (just as they did with newsgroups in the old days) continue to use the standard forum structure which imo puts it here. If the forum issues people think differently they can move the thread as I first thought of the TechNet issues forum but then came to the conclusion that that is for wider TechNet issues rather than for TechNet subscriber forum support.

    As for your first para. Yes, it does seem to have become an automatic response but if so it indicates a poorer level of support nowadays than there used to be in the forums for TechNet subscribers as earlier we saw this kind of message only after the Chinese support people had tried hard to give technical answers and had run out of them The difference in "guaranteed" support (and as I said in that other thread Microsoft can not guarantee support from people who don't work for them even though that is what the FAQ says) now and earlier is what I am trying here to highlight.


    SP 2010 "FAQ" (mainly useful links): http://wssv4faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    WSS3/MOSS FAQ (FAQ and Links) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    Both also have links to extensive book lists and to (free) on-line chapters

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 9:06 AM