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WE HAVE A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE

September 16, 2019

 

 

The most frustrating thing as a user, is when you try to explain an issue and no one takes it seriously. I see this from the support side and many times that is precisely why I am called in.

At my last engagement there was a client constantly reporting that her VPN and reporting software would randomly disconnect. She was able to easily reproduce the issue to support staff.

 

This is where things go sideways.  The support staff would go back to their computers, at their desk, on their network, test, see no issues and then close the ticket. Since this was affecting the client’s ability to get her job done in a timely manner she was getting increasingly frustrated.

I was onsite for another issue when I ran into her and she explained the scenario to me and wondered if I had any ideas. I asked what things support had tried and she said “They reimaged my pc and replaced my pc with no change”. Unfortunately this is fairly common approach. I spoke to my client contact and asked if they wanted me to take a peek at the issue. Sometimes a new pair of eyes helps. They agreed and went over to see her.

First thing that I noticed was that, other than the pc replacement, no one had come over in person to see the issue. In this case, the support team was literally one floor above her and feel it was necessary. Troubleshooting was done via remote desktop. I find it invaluable to sit beside the client when troubleshooting – when possible.

 

Long story short, I figured out in about 30 minutes that the VPN software needed to be upgraded and she was on a different VLAN than the support team and a misconfigured firewall rule was the issue.

 

I wanted to set the backdrop, for the main story that includes me.

I enabled “WiFi Calling” on my cell phone so that I can use my cell phone in areas that do not have a usable cell signal. This happens quite a bit to me since I work in remote areas and basements.

 

I enabled the feature and immediately noticed issues. Many times calls go directly to voicemail, or the call drops as soon as I pick up the phone. This happens about 50% of the time. The last time it happened, I was waiting for a call, so I successfully called my phone to make sure Wifi calling was working About 5 minutes later, the caller called and went straight to vmail.  Arggg!!!!

 

I called my wireless provider to report the issue. I started with this “I am having issues with Wifi calling but my other 3rd party VOIP service works fine.” Then I explained a bit more detail as to the specific issue. I let the support person go through their support script and answered their questions. I added that I’ve tested Wifi calling on many Wifi networks with the same issue. At one point they asked me to do a speedtest and were impressed that my cell phone was able to get over 300 Mbps up and down.

 

I had the support person call me a few times and they noticed the following issues; call dropped after I picked up, went to vmail, they could hear me but I couldn’t hear them, poor audio quality about 50% of the time. Then I had them call my 3rd party voip line and it was perfect. Unfortunately I cant use the same software on their line. I even uninstalled the 3rd party voip client to ensure it wasn’t part of the problem.

 

The support person agreed that something wasn’t right and asked if I tried putting my phone back to factory settings and I told then I did that already. They told me they escalated the call and someone will be contacting me. I asked to put in the ticket that I would like a support person to call me back and they said “no problem”. I was actually impressed how patient and thorough the support person was.

 

The next day I received the following text; “Thanks for reporting a problem with your Rogers Wireless. We have been unable to identify an issue at this time. If you're still having an issue, please contact us and quote case number CXXXXXX.”

I called back again, went through the same testing, with the same result and they agreed that the ticket shouldn’t have been closed. They reopened the ticket and I asked that someone actually call me. The support person assured me that someone will call me to work through the issue.

 

That afternoon, I received the following text; “Thanks for reporting a problem with your Rogers Wireless. We have been unable to identify an issue at this time. If you're still having an issue, please contact us and quote case number CXXXXXX.”

Funny part of the story is when I asked both support people if they used their WiFi calling feature and they replied “no and they dont know anyone personally who does” but added that they don’t get support calls about it. I asked if its possible they don’t get calls because no one uses it.

 

So my only option is not to use my cellular company WiFi calling feature and use my 3rd party VOIP solution.

 

Moral of the story, “You should always follow through as much as possible with support calls”. Just because you can't reproduce it, doesnt mean its not a problem. Call the client, or go over, when possible you will probably find something wrong and the client will be impressed with the effort.

 

This kind experience puts the entire support team in a bad light which is difficult to come back from”. I know that from my experience I’ve told a few friends not to bother with this carrier’s VOIP solution and use another one.

 

I've had many of my clients tell me that really appreciate it when I follow-up or that I wont let up until the problem is resolved. 

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