If you're at a loose end this afternoon and fancy copping a bit of an email earful, try throwing a query over to technical support at CCTV outfit Gadspot.com.* The reply is likely to surprise and delight, as one Reg reader found out: Hi Would like to download latest firmware for a GS1600. Your website not clear on how to find …
Rude but also...
I think Rufus picked the wrong person to abuse. The page is broken, and Rufus doesn't admit it.
Now, as I was very close of getting into a "tech support" call center program, and some friends did so, so I feel the pain of those who suffer from retarded users. That's how the BOFHen are born...
Link is commented out...
Probably an indication that a change is imminent...same as with poor Rufus' employment status. A view source reveals:
<td width="75%">Firmware 2/16/06</td>
If you really want the firmware, copy & paste the link. It downloaded as of 2:40pm 13 Jun edt.
Amazing how few actually RTFA
Like many are saying, had most of you actually read the issue you would notice that Rufus was horribly informed about the site layout.
Yes you can find a downloads link, it's quite easy,
Hell you can find the section for the product thats easy too
ohh but whats this
- - - -
<b>GS1600 / GS1600H</b></font></td>
<td width="75%">IPEdit 2/15/06</td>
<td width="75%">Quick Guide</td>
<td width="75%">User's Manual</td>
<td width="75%">Firmware 2/16/06</td>
- - - -
See that last part? you know the <!-- ... --> section around the page link that neutralizes the link, you know so customers can't click it? yeah thats what the complaint was about. The average user isn't going to dig into the source for the page just to find out that some idiot couldn't comprehend how to add a download link.
It would have benefited Rufus to actually look at the problem in the situation regardless and noted "oh hey, we have bad code where the download link is supposed to be.
There's understanding for the frustration on the customer part, there's no understanding for why Rufus couldn't be bothered to actually see if there was a problem which there still is. Both of them should have conducted themselves in a better manner but they didn't. It's just sad to see so many here going "I R FoUnD da DOwnLOAD LINK" who didn't actually attempt to see what the problem was which was the actual firmware download link itself. Good job folks.
The person talking to Rufus was right -- the site is badly designed. There's a prominent row of categories along the top, and a "support" link should be up there, with downloads underneath that. (They can be additionally along the left..) Also, some people who comment the link is there -- no it's not. The word "download" is there, but it's not a link!
John A Blackley: "Simple economic fact: If you are employed in a customer service role, it simply does not matter what your opinion of the customer is. Further, if your opinion of the customer is negative, you are never - never - allowed to voice that opinion and certainly not to the customer. Violate these simple rules and you are unemployed."
Well, to be honest, I've worked customer service (on the phone). I was pretty polite mainly just because I figured it was nice to be. But, the actual simple economic fact is that it is the lowest paying, worst job possible, usually with no prospects of promotion. And, with some customers deciding to be as rude as possible to "get their way" unemployment was simply not an incentive to be polite; the couple people I saw there get canned looked quite happy to be able to get off the phones 8-).
I'll be directing all new employees to gadspot.com for their training.. looks like Rufus has got the art of Tech Support down to a 'T'.
The Movie Office space comes to mind for some reason
I havent read all the comments, but has anyone acualy tried going to that company's page and tried to get to the firmware upgrade? There is no link. That is what the origional email was about. Effectivly 'I need a firmware upgrade, I can see where it should be on your web page, but there is no link for it.' It wasnt a case of a stupid user, which I do deal with my share of, but the case of someone that was intellegent enough to try various ways of hunting down the link for downloading the firmware.
Rufus, bad job, no cookie. Didnt seem like Rufus even read the email outside of 'cant find download for firmware update' and just blasted on the sender. Could have been handled better, like with offering the proper link or to email the file if it was small enough. This is a case of poor customer serivce.
"Boo hoo I'm not paid enough to do my job properly"
It constantly amazes me how so many people think that getting low wages is a good reason for doing a job badly.
If you don't want to be in technical support, it's simple... Don't!
If you don't want to work in McDonlalds... Don't
Or shop assistant, bar staff etc.
There are enough people in the world who do a lot more demeaning and offensive jobs for lower pay than a cushy job in a nice building on the phone. So people are abusive, just think they're paying by the minute to rant.
And I know it's been said a few times but for goodness sake every person saying what stupid users are out there for not being able to find the link, try it yourself first.
One last thing if Gadspot have had the sense to fire Rufus, they still haven't had the sense to fix the link (which looks intentionally commented out to me).
To quote Zaphod Beeblebrox..
"So, ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking"
We've established that the download link isn't a working link: So the lovely Rufus was sad as well as bad.
But, the other point missed by Rufus' rather misguided defenders is that a web site is a means of communication.
If the users don't get the information that they need, then it has failed.
However much you want to blame the stupid users, it isn't their fault . The site didn't do its job well enough.
Call centers are not cushy
"There are enough people in the world who do a lot more demeaning and offensive jobs for lower pay than a cushy job in a nice building on the phone."
What call center are you talking about? The one I almost ended up was anything but cushy. It was actually a warehouse with a lot of "cubicles", PCs and phones. At something around 30-35 degrees. And no A/C.
Surely you can't call that something "cushy".
I do not condone Rufus' attitude, though ... that was stupid. And yes, the link's commented out. Ow.
Why isn't this on a Tshirt yet?
"we refuse the right to sever you. For being mean." has meme written all over it, the whys and wherefores of customer service notwithstanding.
Jumping the gun, but still...
I had a customer like this once, and after yet another whining tirade I took great pleasure in telling him he was the worst customer we'd ever had and that any money we'd made of him had long been eaten up in the countless hours we'd spent dealing with his complaints. Cost me a thousand bucks, and it was worth double in staff morale.
Rufus was clearly out of order here but as anyone will tell you, it's 5% of your customers take 50% of your time. Culling a few of the worst can actually be good for your business.
Horrible Security too!
I've used their chat thingy and had the pleasure of talking to Kit - bottom line, don't buy their stuff if you care anything about security:
Kit: Hello. How may I assist you?
me: i have an NC1200
me: i have a problem with the software, and i want to make sure i have the latest firmware
Kit: What is your problem?
me: i'm trying to secure the camera by enabling the users
me: the video is password protected
me: yet the config pages are not
me: so anyone can go to the user page
me: create their own admin user and login to see the video without authentication
Kit: Oh i see
Kit: Have you tried using A third party software
Kit: Try that and let me know
me: i would think the software that came with it would be capable
me: so that's your only solution, buy some other software?
Kit: Where looking on a new firmware check back at the end of the month
me: that's not good enough - this is a huge security issue, the camera is completely open to the world
me: this creates an enormous liability for your company
Kit: The camera is for you to able to view
Kit: It is your choice to be view it threw the internet
me: what good is that when anyone can reboot it, or reset it to default factory configs anytime they want????
Kit: Its your choice to broad cast it over the internet
me: it's the same on a local network, any employee can get into the camera and shut it down
Kit: The camera has that option for you to view it
me: i can't use the camera for watching cashiers, i cant depend on it for any security, it is pretty much useless
Kit: Please check back with us at the end of the month
Hmm , no better and no worse
Hmm , no better and no worse the level of service you get from any customer oriented service organizations like Banks , Telco's and many others ! , that tell their customers absolute crap and meaningless excuses , for the bad service they provide most of the time!
But then again , look at NZ power company , who are directly responsible for the involuntary homicide of an invalid patient , and the use of the local coroner to grant a can't sue us for free card as we are a faceless guilt free corporation!
Sadly , we see many people like Rufus in today's world , for they are the run for profit corporations who cry crocodile tears at the problems they leave in their wake , then to assuage the pain , the senior exec's merely vote themselves another 50% pay rise , thus starting the whole cycle again , where the end user pays by the bucket!
Such is life , in this new century , where the meaning of customer service , has no meaning , but merely a piece of wallpaper to be used and abused in advertising !
Please don't sniff at other people's English...
...unless you've held down a job in a foreign language yourself.
I can remember picking up the phone with fear and trembling when I went to live in Latin America. Would I successfully negotiate a complete conversation, or suffer the indignity of having to beg "Hable más despacio, por favor"? For this reason I admire people that can make a living in a foreign language, however accented or spelling-challenged.
Tact, tone, appropriateness for customer service etc. is a whole other matter, so have at it.
Actually, Rufus is right... sort of
Okay, so his english sucks. And calling customers names is probably not the best idea.
The downloads button was very easy to find. Just above the FAQ, in fact.
The correspondent is right though in the the download for firmware for the GS1600 is just text - the link is inactive.
However, I think that the correspondent's initial communication could have been better worded. It comes across as somewhat "I'm better than you" - arrogant and unfriendly. The instructions on fixing the problem are then given as directions, in much the same manner as a bad boss telling his subjects what to do. No wonder Rufus responded as he did.
True, Rufus' response is not great, and he probably would be fired (or at least severly warned) in most companies, and true, GadSpot haven't actually fixed the problem yet, but I think that the original attack by the correspondent has something to answer for...
You are number 1 in queue. Please wait for a site operator to respond.
You are now chatting with 'Rufus'
Rufus: Hello. How may I assist you?
Rupam: hi rufus
Rupam: how are you doing today?
Rufus: Hi rupam
Rufus: I am doing ok
Rupam: just wanted to let you know that you are now famous
Rupam: check out that link
Rufus: oh, that's good
Rupam: pretty interesting reading.. plus lots of people supporting you
Rufus: yes, I read it this morning
Rufus: but it wasn't me who wrote the email
Rupam: may i ask where you are located?
Rufus: someone used my name
Rufus: I am in the USA
Rupam: ok, cool..
Rupam: so someone else used your name? thats not fair.
Rufus: that's not a big deal, we get lots of customers everyday. And many makes me angry
Rufus: I should start a forum
Rupam: i know what you are saying man! even i used to be in tech support, so i completely understand what you are saying.
Rupam: if you start a forum, lemme know. i shall join!
Rufus: I wish everyone understand what customer support rep goes through everyday
Rupam: dont worry! keep up the good work. we are here to support you.
Rufus: anyway, thanks for the support. I'll tell the "real" rufus about the support too. I know who wrote the email
Rupam: cool. have a great day!
Chat session has ended.
Should have used the standard tech support option
Have you tried rebooting your computer?
absurd CS - still broken, too
irrespective of how the customer talks, and this one wasn't especially bad, you should never respond like that. All it'll do is enrage the customer and people have been sued and/or fired for less. Far better to gently point out his mistake, and chortle to your colleagues privately at how dumb he was.
And of course despite all this sound and fury, the button is still broken - the url for the firmware is still commented out in the html. If that is giving "people are support the best you can" (sic) then....
Christ a lot of you shouldn't work in tech-support at all
You live in some BOFH-inspired dream of what your company is. A user mails in, perhaps not as politely as he could, with 2 points. One is incorrect, he had missed a download link, he must be WORSE THAN HITLER. The second point was legitimately reporting a dead link to improve service.
You do remember that IT exists to facilitate the business makiing enough money to make a profit, and from this surplus your wages are paid? So instead of pretending you're better than others because you've traded social skills for an absurd level of highly specialised knowledge that ages quickly, how about you cop the f*@k on and do your jobs? Rufus is clearly incompetent - not only are his language skills suspect, he's failed to understand the original mail. He focusses on the first point to the exlusion of the second. He is failing to do his job, and any halfway competent HR should be having him fired, right... about.... now!
Admittedly some of you are just venting frustration, as you forget how specialised your knowledge is, and it is frustrating when trying to deal as equals with others who aren't remotely on the same page. But those of you who genuinely support the childish rant of a technological incompetent like that are really cut out for jobs that involve exposure to other people. Perhaps you'd like to try R+D, guarding bees in a basement, or get a decent idea and soem VC, then start your own company, and see what you think of your support staff attitudes then?
I had a bunch of domains hosted with a french registrar (an all inclusive domain+hosting package).
One of the domains dissapeared off the net - it had seemed to fall off the root servers...
After contacting the registrar, I got a nice letter telling me that they were DNS experts, and as I was a customer, I could not possibily understand how DNS worked, that I should read the RFC, but I would probably not understand it, and was signed by their support manager (in french) : "get lost d**khead".
Nice and useful when one of your sites that they manage has fallen off the map.
Anyway, the problem was solved by moving my domains and sites elsewhere and managing my own DNS... It was cheaper too, so being rude is never good for business, no matter how stressed out you are... Remember how the company pays your salary...
Others evidently agree that Gadspot tech support is rubbish:
"NOTE: Due to horrible technical support and a total lack of customer service from Gadspot we will no longer carry the Gadspot line of cameras. Any existing orders will be completed and these products will be eventually taken off Bluecherry.net"
Google is full of 'Gadspot never respond to tech support request' type complaints. Looks like Rufus is a bit of a dimbulb after all.
That is the most insane response ive ever saw!!. i work in a ISP and i deal with customer's via email all the time and ive never saw anything so abusive sent to a customer
I'm flaberghasted (great word!) about how the above comments are so divided.
I have worked in a customer facing position too for some time, and have been frustrated by the customer not even R(ing)TFM, but I wouldn't even consider acting like rufus.
For those people above - its called being nice - not being an a***hole, the world is full of a***holes. And its about keeping your reputation, and your job (not that these people care but a lot of companies do).
I once had the pleasure of speaking to a sales rep at a company who could sell me a part for my broken combi-boiler. I'm not a CORGI engineer, but I knew the part responsible for the fault and knew how to get the replacement - I couldn't install the part myself so I got a proper plumber in to install it (he originally insisted the part was no longer available, I proved him wrong). This salesman seemed to think I HAD to be a CORGI engineer to even purchase the part!!! I'll not write out the long and drawn out insulting tone of his voice, he was so right in his conviction, and he was a real a***hole about it for no reason.
Besides in this case the link in the downloads was dead making the customer fully justified in his support query, something which seems to have completely escaped some people in the above comments.
Also his linguistic skills demonstrate directly how much of a brain-dead he is, even if he doesn't natively speak engrish.
Thanks for the heads up - I'll avoid that company like the plague.
...is good publicity apparently. Thanks for the tip, I won't be ordering anything from Gadspot (like many hundreds of others who have read this article). I really detest poor customer service and always vote with my feet but I don't blame Rufus, I blame the person who employed him.
on the same
Bah, Rufus didn't even mention "upgradation" of the FW or to
"perform it on the same", thus guys, don't blame the poor
Is far better than what I get daily at work ...
I may have...
Emailed their tech support department with a couple of pointers on customer service.
It's a two-way street
Since this is near the bottom of the comments, it will probably never be read (except by El Reg moderators), but...
Customer Service IS a two-way street. If you contact a CS rep and show respect and an understanding of their job, provide some humor for them and demonstrate patience, in 9 out of 10 cases you will get superlative service, even from reps that are "less than the brightest bulb".
I have seven phones and data service with a major cellco, and, as a new billing system is being implemented, am having more than my share of problems getting features set up and new hardware activated. However, I've always treated the CSR with friendly respect, and I always let them "know" I'm a former telco guy so I understand the problem. I even self-deprecate by making some jokes about my working on the system they have installed, and that the problems I am having is "simply GOD punishing me for doing my job". This latter usually gets a good chuckle from the CSR...then, suddenly, my "problem" is kicked into ultra-super-zap-high-priority and I get MULTIPLE CSRs working to solve it. (I actually had a group manager spend nearly 8 hours tracking down and solving a billing issue...he called me every 45 minutes or so throughout the day to give me status updates! Bloody Hell - when have you EVER gotten that!)
And, to ice the cake, I've only been paying a quarter of the cost each month - as each problem gets me a nice refund AND another US$25-US$100 credit.
Sadly, I'm not "gaming" the CS department to my benefit. I truly have some issues, and fortunately for me the cellco is trying like hell to get them resolved. And, yes, I HAVE worked on their systems many years ago, so I DO have "insider information" about the processes they use. This does help some, as I can explain some aspects of how the whole billing and provisioning system fits together to the CSR - who is always very interested in understanding something new that might help them.
I guess my point here is that if the email doesn't get a response (or you get "Rufus" in the response) a phone call - which might be difficult to make, as the contact number may be burried somewhere - and a friendly discussion with the CSR *ALWAYS* gets the job done.
It's up to you: if the product or service is worth the time and effort, make the call. If it's too cost-ineffective to pick up the phone (and, yes, there are times where it's not worth the effort - generally anything under US$50 is not worth the time) then chalk it up to experience and buy elsewhere. But the experience in learning how to "work" with CS is defenitely worth the effort.
BTW, the complaint email that started this was, I feel, completely appropriate, and that "Rufus" over-reacted. A better follow-up would have been to send the detailed HTML with the fault, followed by a telephone call.
To anyone who thinks that there was not a legitimate complaint
People have been saying 'I found the link'.
Try clicking it then, you tools.
to anyone who gets angry with users of their website
Rufus is clearly a fool who works for a foolish web company. Those of you who've lamented about the foolishness of users not reading help - you are complete and utter fools!!! Good web design should be intuitive and shouldn't need "help". If you're getting inundated with "foolish" users asking for help that's already there - that's as big a signal as you need to think "hey, perhaps we need design a more usable website so these guys shouldn't have to contact you.
Effective communications is a two-way street and involves active listening...
Simon Travaglia, are you paying attention?
Please, please, please be inspired hire Rufus for a short stint (at least). Imagine what good use the BOFH and PFY could put him to. Rufus could help shake out the cobwebs and help the spirit of your tales return to those exuberant pre-Register days.
Actually, Rufus used to be nice guy....
...Until he had a few awkward customers when he worked for BT http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAbcEcjHXVg It all went downhill from then on...
Why do so many take sides without looking at the facts?
Mr D, david skinner, the anonymous "they have a point you know", "downloads in left hand column", Adrian Williams, and several more seem to be about as useful as Rufus. All of them apparently believe that the apparent link to Firmware 2/16/06 (which is what was being complained about) provides a useful link:
Obviously they haven't clicked on it to check, because it doesn't provide a link at all. Clearly Rufus didn't check either - he's the sort of useless customer service type who assumes the customer must be wrong, doesn't bother to look at what's being complained about. As to rudeness, his reply was pretty offensive - all the customer had done was point out two nasty problems on the website (neither of which has yet been fixed, perhaps because Rufus didn't bother to report them to anyone who could fix them).
Well, I suppose ithe non-link is useful to people who look in the absolutely appallingly laid out (probably the fault of a badly used generator rather than direct human incompetence, but could be someone who doesn't understand how to write ASP code so that the client-side script can be debugged) page source and see what has been generated, because then it's pretty easy to guess what the link was supposed to be. But if that's the standard of support website that the writers of those comments find acceptable, I hope that I never have to deal with them. Of course I hope I never have to deal with Rufus, either.
Had to check again....
...and now feel suitably foolish. I could justify my earlier blindness by waffling on about good UI design, and the use of colour/font/size changes to highlight section changes, but I'll just eat a little humble pie instead.
It's nice to see that Tre off The Apprentice has found a job to suit his skills.
Rufus was completely out of line - and would have been even if there had been a 36-point, garishly coloured, animated - and properly-working - 'Download' link right at the top of the page. He should be ashamed of himself, and so should the people who have commented to support him. Anyone who works in a customer-facing role will get the occasional (or more than occasional) person who misses the obvious and ends up asking what seems to us like a stupid question, but it's our obligation not to fly off the handle at them, and not just because we want to keep our jobs. It's about compassion, too.
Yes, compassion. I'm quite sure that most people, when they get politely pointed at something they really should have seen for themselves, feel rather foolish anyway - and foolish in inverse proportion to how polite their inital query was. There's no need whatsoever to rub their noses in it.
Well, not unless they *then* go on to be jerks about it.
As someone who works in tech support, I can see how this could happen. Its called going postal, and when you deal with 2000 people, who ARE idiot, you end up snapping.
Rufas needs more english and training thought.
You can't blame him
I agree with the comments that Rufus was not acting profesionally, but where he lacks in professionalism he makes up for in company passion, he was right and stuck up for his company.
Rufus is not a hero!
I'm kinda late to post on this, but everyone who is supporting Rufus is as thick as he is. (Or they're trolling.)
The Download link on the LHS of their site leads to the camera name, but when you actually try to download the firmware, you find it doesn't work.
Let me repeat that - you cannot download the firmware, even if it says "Downloads" on the left hand side of their webpage.
This means that Rufus was wrong. And an ar$ehole.
As Ruana says above, even if everything on their site had worked properly, Rufus should not have replied the way he did.
Wrong or right doesn't matter if there's another shop competing for paying customers.
*If* the original email had been rude (which it wasn't, except it was giving Rufus info he didn't want to receive), then the correct thing to do would be *not* to reply, or to reply and say, "I found the tone of your email offensive and will not communicate with you further on the subject."
I want to see all these idiots supporting Rufus when he's responding to their queries!
Rufus the lame...
I checked, the link your man Rufus advised the user of is the same one that was reported as dead. Guess what, it's STILL DEAD! Rufus should investigate any customer complaint before giving a knee-jerk (or just jerk) reaction and angering his company's customer base. This will hurt them BAD.
Not you that need manners
Support good but you don't know to understand that. If you realize that it may that be supported problem to read, maybe you should shut your head and be pheasant.
Re: Not you that need manners
Shirley even a translation website could have constructed a more coherent sentence than that?
("...be pheasant" ??)
I was recently told in no uncertain terms that o2 couldn't tell me whether a device they supplied supported SAP. I wasn't asking how to use it, just if it was present on the device.
"The O2 XDA min S supports AKU2 and several other Bluetooth profiles, a full list of which can be found on our website, www.o2.co.uk/xda <THERE IS NO SUCH LIST>. O2 does not support SAP (SIM Access Profile). Further information about bandwidths etc can be obtained on the website or by contacting O2datasupport@o2.com."
"O2 do not support or offer advice on Bluetooth applications."
"Bluetooth – Bluetooth 2.0 is installed in the Mini S. and this works with myriad applications. I’m afraid I’m not able to supply any further information."
AKU2? What has that got to do with anything? Anyone want to try downloading SP2 for XP via bluetooth.
After 14 emails from people who didnt understand my question, let alone posess the necessary skills to form a coherent response, I gave up.
I have to admit to getting quite angry at one point:
"Bluetooth is the name given to a radio technology making transmission of signals over short distances between telephones, computers and other devices, like household appliances, without the use of wires.
The BlackBerry is a handheld device providing e-mail, telephone, text messaging and web browsing and other data access.
I mentioned nothing about blackberry, push email technology or the delicious fruits of Bramble bushes.
I can see where the confusion comes in. Bluetooth.....Blackberry, its all the same. Any chance someone can read the question and answer it approprately?
Which bluetooth profiles does the XDA mini S support. If YOU (the reader of this email) do not understand the question, its probably best not to try and answer it. Pass it on to someone who knows what bluetooth is, what bluetooth profiles are, and preferably what reading, comprehending and responding is. Please do not send me any information on Blueberries or Black Teeth. I hate getting annoyed and being sarcastic, I really do, but this is beyond a joke."
But what is the point in getting nowhere if you can't have fun on the way!
Customer Service is dead! Long live the age of misinformation and support avoidance!
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