Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Without wasting a minute of your time

So I tried to update my version of Acrobat Professional from 7.0.8 to 7.0.9, something that should have happened automatically without my being aware of it but for some reason did not. It seems there is a critical security issue Adobe recently became aware of and they will be releasing a patch to fix 7.0.9 in the next days. I wanted to be ready for it.

I downloaded the update file and attempted to install it, whereupon I got a cryptic error message from the Microsoft installer.

So I called Adobe support and was quickly connected to “Samson,” a gentleman who speaks impeccable English but with an unmistakable Indian accent. He worked through his script, incessantly repeating my name, the product name, and the reason for the call; and when he got to the end of the script he informed me that my problem was one that would have to be handled by the technical support team dedicated to my product.

He then quickly connected me (really, I have no complaints about long waits on hold) to “Thomas,” who had me go through all the same information that I had just given to “Samson” (customer ID, serial number, product, nature of the problem), repeated it all back to me several times, and then said, still reading from a script, “Without wasting a minute of your time, I will connect you to a support technician who can help you with that problem.” This was now approximately ten minutes into the call, all ten of which had already been wasted, because I had not yet spoken to anyone qualified to resolve a technical issue.

After some buzzes, hearing-damage-inducing whistles, and clicks, I was speaking with someone in the United States who had me repeat all the same identifying information yet again (don’t these people have computers?) to ensure that I wasn’t trying to steal services from Adobe. Then, after listening carefully, he told me that for $39.95 he could initiate a support call and try to solve the problem. A problem caused by a bug in their software. Their software that has a critical security flaw that could enable a sufficiently malevolent soul to inhabit and destroy my computer. $39.95 for that. For an attempt to solve the problem. No promises. Or I could search the knowledge base for the error message, which I did to no avail. Or I could buy the upgrade to Creative Suite 3 for $600. Which is what I ended up doing, even though the product line has proliferated in such a way that I can’t actually upgrade all the software I bought from Adobe less than two years ago for $2,000 unless I want to spend $2,000 again and get a bunch of stuff for making movies that I’ll never use.

And we wonder why people complain about the customer experience with companies like that.

No, not a minute of my time was wasted. More like an hour. And until the new software is delivered (I opted for physical media rather than a download, because I’ve been down that road before), my computer is still as vulnerable as it was before I started this sorry adventure.

MBAs. Can’t live with ’em. Can live without ’em.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You made me look.

Your experience is quite strange. I’ve always found Adobe to be the most “on the money” when dealing with them, either online or over the phone. And, sure enough—at some point—I automatically made it to 7.0.9.

I wonder how and when. Well, when.