Thursday, February 22, 2007

Customer Service...

Symantec's AntiVirus customer service stinks. I recently bought Antivirus 2007 software from their website and tried to download it. It kept popping up a new window with a technical exception about database connectivity. Users should really not be seeing such raw exceptions. A good programmer would've handled it and popped up something meaningful on the UI. Sigh. I thought that perhaps this was temporary and tried after a couple of days. Same result.

Now, if you want to talk to a customer service representative about your inability to download their software from their website due to technical faults of their database admins/programmers, you have to pay them $39.99 per phone call. Note the fact that I am not trying to call them because I don't know how to install their software or use it. But even if its their problem, hey, its $39.99 per phone call.

So I turned to their Live Chat option. I interrupted my dinner for 20 minutes to talk to a rep. As fate would have it, I got someone from India.

Rep: Hello, Ma'am

Me: Hi, I've got a problem with downloading Antivirus.

Rep: [cleanly ignoring my response] My name is xxxxx and I am here to help you today. What can I do for you today?

Me: I have an issue with downloading Antivirus software. It pops up a window with the following exception. [Pasted exception]. Can you help me?

[Silence for 5 minutes]

Rep: So you're saying you have some issue with Antivirus?

Me: Correct.

Rep: So, what's the problem?

Me: [$%##%%#%..Blue blistering barnacles, I just told you, you numskull] I purchased Antivirus software from your site. I have trouble downloading it. I get an exception as follows...

[Silence again]

Rep: Did you buy the software?

Me: Of course! [Why do you think I am chatting with you?For your cerebral charm? I paid 40 bucks for that software!]

Rep: Can you give me your order number?

Me: Yes. xxxxxxxxx.

[Silence for a looooooooooong time]

Me: There?

Rep: Yes. You can download the Antivirus software for FREE in this link. [Gives link]

Me: For free? You mean I have to buy the subscription key, right?

Rep: No. Its completely free. Its a new offer.

Me: But what do I do with my existing purchase? I paid $39.99 for it!

[No response]

Me: I have puchased it already and I just need to download it.

[No response]

Rep: You can download it for free on this link I sent you.

Me: But that's for Vista. I am a XP user.

[No response]

I got so irritated with this guy that I just closed the chat session unceremoniously. Now, that's wonderful customer service for you. This has been my experience with lots of customer service representatives from India working for American Express cards, Dell, Symantec, Citicards etc... Perhaps, they're trained to read from a script and don't know what's happening. Or perhaps they are told to ignore customer responses. Who knows?

And I tried to download the software from the link the guy sent me. Whaddaya know? It asked me for a subscription key when I tried to install it..:) Grrrrrrr. And I still don't know why I have to pay Symantec to talk about a problem of theirs!

Perhaps, Symantec should pay me $ 1000 as damages for my interrupted dinner and the psychological trauma I suffered from chatting to their representative.

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SamY said...

** Perhaps, they're trained to read from a script and don't know what's happening

actually YES! truth be told, they can rather have a robot do the job :). call centre ppl r trained as to how to handle ... n some ppl can respond blindly. its a preset questionair.

having a stupid person receiving a call can be quite a pain ... even more painful is having a dumb caller ... ask our desi ppl @ dell call centre's n such ;)

Kishan said...

you BUY software ???

balar said...

I had a similar experience with another proudct customer service , when i bought their download software.I had to cancel the order.

Anonymous said...

u should have asked me..i could have given u my school id and password and u can download for free..


prabukarthik said...

To my mind,its first and foremost a UI issue.

Viji said...

Ah! That's a sweeping generalization...

Zeppelin said...

lesson learnt: do not buy ONLINE DOWNLOADABLE crap... if you have to, buy it from the store.. That way you can atleast RETURN or get a REFUND or something which does not require you to fry your brain cells.


Adiya said...

mm.. check out GooglePacks free( not Mackafee free ) AnitVirus for personal use.

GooglePacks installas bundles of free-softwares like Google Desktop search engine, google chat, toolbar, realmedia player, antirvirius, adware .. u can pick u wish and install.. it is working for me

Priya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Priya said...

i was just laughing abt what happened.. sorry abt that..chi paavam nee

Sweetilicious said...

Good Lord that peeved me just reading about your experience. I hate it when they do that. I sometimes wonder if they just test you to see how long it will be before you cuss them out.

prasanna said...

u BUY software..!!!??? a person who is 'with computers for past 6 years and dealt with many of these antivirus and other softwares i know for sure kaspersky and bitdefender is THE BEST.

they wont spike ur cpu resource to 100% frequently like Norton. Even though u have a kalakkal hardware config.. norton pulls the system performance down.

just c for urself here: