back to article Fancy an earful? Click here for tech support

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 …

COMMENTS

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  1. Will

    Not impressed

    "we refuse the right to sever you. For being mean."

    Not exactly up to BOFH standard, is it?

  2. Gavin

    Go Rufus

    If getting sacked wasn;t on the cards most my customers would get this treatment.

    Remember customers sincerity is all lies i tell you, LIES, in fact we actually want to see you maimed and dying in horrible ways. Well using your brain is usually enough but seeign as miracles never happen maimed and death is more fun.

    also remember that most people are stupid and retarded and do want spoon feeding with answers,they have little regard for learning they are not only stupid but happily ignorant i think Rufus is well inclined to answer in this maner.

    My apologies for anyone with braincells that function

  3. George Johnson

    Not a good move

    In this day and age when information can literally move at the speed of light, Mr Rufus has effectively made the entire company look very shoddy in front of a worldwide audience. Quite an achievement! We are always getting warnings about never talking to external people, without having first spoken to our compliance dept., here's a very good reason why!

  4. Andrew Johns

    gadspot has a live chat box thing

    someone please ask to speak to rufus and then talk in broken english for teh lolz

  5. Gabriele Bozzi

    Send him to us!!

    I want him here!..

    With 1100 corporate users not "reading the fine line" and in need of being "spoon fed" we all agreed here tech-supp. would raise towards new heights of service accountability.

    Oh.. And about Rufu's linguistic and diplomatic talents: did I mention I work for a multinational? It happens that this is indeed the kind of atrocities embedded in our incident requests.

    Waiting for you Rufus.

  6. Tim Read

    Down boy!

    Rufus is a muppet. The Downloads link may indeed be on the front page, but the link to the firmware that the customer wanted is not a live link, so it's useless... unless, as the customer did, you view the page source and work it out. Not straightforward. Methinks Rufus needs to chill out and maybe go on some customer service training. Insulting customers isn't good business practice.

  7. Mr D

    To be fair....

    Rufus is correct, the download button was not that hard to find... even without instructions.

    But aside from that, I dont think we shouldbe judging him too much ... he may be not all there or possibly abusing substances...

    Still I shall start getting some emails to them to try and get a repsonse....

    Spam ftw!

  8. Stuart Barnett

    Do NTL own this company?

    ... Or at least 'Rufus' should apply. He'd fit right in.

  9. Jan Buys

    Good lord

    That's all I can say about it.

  10. Steven

    Work experience kid?

    Jesus I've worked with some dodgy techs over the years but I've never seen anything quite like that before!

  11. david skinner

    Well.....

    I had a quick look and the downloads option is on the site, but that doesn't give a company the right to be abusive to customers.

    I used to work in customer service and had to be as nice as nine pence to someone shouting either down a phone or over a desk but if I replied like that I would have been sacked!

    And for your complaint to end up in the hands of the person you are complaining about is just plain stupid!

    Looks like Rufus won't be selling and products to anyone he thinks is mean.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this the owner......

    After looking up who registered the domain name and searching the web for their name, I found this link:

    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=14506590

    As you can see on the left hand side it says the company she owns 'gadspot'!

    Her email is judy@gadspot.com.

    I wonder how well she knows her staff!!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They have a point you know

    Rufus was only saying what everyone else was thinking, albeit in a very unprofessional way.

    There is a downloads section clearly labelled "downloads" on the left hand side as Rufus so graciously pointed out.

    I hope we see more of Rufus's comments as he made me laugh.

    I wont be buying anything from Gadspot.com though - the staff don't see to be thrilled about providing good customer support and there is no excuse for addressing a customer in this way - no matter how lazy and stupid they might be

  14. david skinner

    Live assistance?

    Also just noticed on the site the message:

    "Live assistance, Please leave a message."

  15. Andrew Moore

    Hmmmmmm...

    Methinks that there is only one person working at that company...

    "NOW GO AWAY OR I SHALL TAUNT YOU SOME MORE"

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We love you long time

    Dear Mr Register

    We are at Gadspot believe that being you mean to us. We lay about our website carefully in picking easy access to good customers. Products from Gadspot are offer in same daylight professional as is our Rufus automation technical reponse technician. If you have no good words of kind to offer then please ask you of Gadspot to stop ... or may the flees of a thousand camel humbs infest you of your mullet.

    Regards

    Rufus

  17. Sam

    Re: Not Impressed

    >Not exactly up to BOFH standard, is it?

    Maybe BOFI standard :)

  18. Chris Derson

    Had to check...

    ...and there is no download section in the LHS menu bar thingy.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rude

    I thought the original email was far ruder than necessary. Especially since 4 seconds of looking identifies a download link on the front page.

    I think the reader might benefit from learning how to make negative points while remaining polite and non-antagonistic. He'll get far more help if he did <he say's in a non-polite, antagonistic tone>.

    Glad he doesn't work here (which isn't Gadspot BTW).

  20. Steve Roper

    Good on him!

    I have to say "Good on him!" I wish I could come out brawling like that with some of the customer inquiries we get. Mind you, I'd hope my English would be better though.

    It's really amazing how many idiots just DO NOT read FAQs, site maps and on-site guides. Our ecommerce website gets swamped with tech support inquiries about "How do I do this?". Now our site, in addition to comprehensive user help pages and even downloadable manuals, has a click-and-foldout help feature right next to EACH AND EVERY user function on the site, each clearly labelled in red-underlined bold text, "Show / Hide Help". When you click "Show Help", a detailed paragraph of bright red text appears, explaining in simple step-by-step terms what everything does and what to do, even down to using the shopping cart. As the senior designer of this site, I'm proud of this feature, it took us weeks to set up and implement. I've had some positive feedback on this, yet it has hardly made a dent on the stupid questions we get and the obvious mistakes people make using the site, simply because they DON'T READ THE F_ING HELP!

    To combat this, I have now created a stock email to respond to these inquiries, that simply says, "Dear Customer: Thank you for contacting [ our company ]. In answer to your inquiry, [ Copy/paste relevant help text here ]. Please click the underlined 'Show / Hide Help' link next to the feature you are inquiring about. This will provide comprehensive information for you instantly, instead of your having to wait for a response to an email. If you have a question that is not answered in the online help, we will be glad to provide further assistance."

    What I'd really like to say is, "Dear F_wit: Go to school and learn to f_ing read. Then review your upbringing to find out why you are incapable of following simple instructions. I'm sure the national IQ will improve as a result of your efforts." Oh, I wish, I wish...

    Good on you, Rufus. Go get 'em!

  21. Robert Lee

    Whats new ??

    Simple case of profits before everything else.

    They pay peanuts, and what do they have ? monkeies on the other side of the phone.

    I have to deal with so many different companies daily, and the stories I have can be written into a hardback.

  22. Luke

    At least...

    Dispite all the awful grammar and spelling, and the fantastic attitude displayed by our dear Rufus, at least he bothered to read the original email, which is no mean feat judging by some of the customer "service" that I have been subjected to of late.

    He even took the trouble of writing out a reply, and did not just use a automatic template email based on a few key words picked out by CrapService (tm) for Outlook 2007 – (although looking at Rufus' replies, perhaps this is why many companies use template emails....)

    In one such case I emailed a company to inform them that the My Account page on their website kept looping back to their homepage and so could they fix this and also change my order while they were at it. The email I got back basically told me that if I wanted to change my order, I would need to go to the My Account page.... each subsequent email I sent was met with a similar keyword-based template email that completely missed the point. Some of these companies would be *lucky* to have Rufus on their service desk....

  23. Simon Greenwood

    Sock puppet hardware store

    To quote Mark E. Smith. It's probably a one man operation running a dropship service. It's the reason why I only deal with places like Dabs these days - a large number of equipment 'vendors' don't seem to comprehend the need for support or indeed coherent communication.

  24. Dan

    Brilliant...

    "For being mean." Jeez, that's him told...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Downloads in left-hand column

    I had no problem finding "Downloads" in left-hand "Categories" column and then GS1600/1600H.

  26. Adrian Williams

    Rufus is right about one thing...

    ...there is a downloads link pretty much near the bottom on the left hand side.

    This is a pretty common problem with websites. What is a highly usable ergonomic website to the designer is as clear as mud to the user. On cluttered/obtuse pages I tend to resort to text search on the page to find the link to what I am looking for.

  27. Martin

    Tech support gets younger everyday

    Well, it seems that tech support employees are getting younger everyday. The attitude shown and the grammar and spelling used as well as the phrasing ("For being mean.") would seem to indicate that this tech support worker is a petulant child.

  28. Chad H.

    Wait a sec that spelling....

    I'm suprised he didnt mention he knows this man who recently died who has £100,000,000 (ONE HUNDRED MILLION POUNDS) THAT CAN BE TRANSFURED INTO YOUR BNK ACCONT TODAY, PLEAZE PROVID YOUR ACCNT NUMBA TO BEGIN THE TRANZFER.

    I understand that it gets annoying when customers dont see what is painfully obvious to yourself, but this guy is out of line.

  29. Ned Fowden

    well done Rufus

    Shame about the dodgy grammar, but come on, he's only saying the things that almost all customer facing people want to say but actually simper a snivveling response instead.

    rise up my customer service brothers & sisters, let honesty be the way forward

  30. A. Lewis

    Apart from the terrible English, I like 'Rufus'.

    He's brave enough to say what most techs, faced with abuse from stupid users, are thinking.

    Had he phrased it better, I think it would have been a perfectly acceptable response.

  31. sabroni Silver badge

    The correct response

    would be to ask the user what platform and browser they're running on. If it appears ok to you and not to the user chances are that's the root of the problem. Maybe he's running a beta of safari on vista?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hail King Rufus !!

    You tell 'em son !!!

    This whole World is far too PC now and I defy anyone who has worked in support not to have loved to have done that.

    This boy has kahoonahs the size of melons.

    Keep it up Rufus and lets give him his own feature spot on here !!

  33. C

    RE:Fancy an earful? - bad link, bad HTML, and RAR

    Ok these 'muppets' are idiots ...

    Firstly: as the customer said in his email the download link isn't clickable. (Try looking at the download page for the GS1600)

    Secondly: if you know how, you can find in the page source code that it is commented out.

    Thirdly: the download is a RAR file, and I don't know many users who have any clue what THAT is ( I personally use them for better compression, spanning etc. ). Winzip, or Windows won't even touch it.

  34. Euan Webster

    One man band

    I reckon you'll find this is a husband and wife company, so no matter how much you complain you'll only get Rufus on the end of an email.

    I love the fact that he quite happily sends out abuse and doesn't give a damn. Wish I could do that to some people without finding my P45 on my desk!

  35. Mark

    Absolute genius!!

    I dont know whats funnier, the bad english or the way Rufus takes everything so personally.

    Perhaps he designed the website? He apears to be working in support, customer service and the complaints depts.

    A course in how to accept (negitive) feedback might help keep the stress levels down...

    Just a thought.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FoTW

    Rufus should be given a Flame of The Week award.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poor customer service

    Poor Rufus....needs some lessons in customer support.

    I do think the customer felt he had a legitimate concern, however, the link really wasn't that hard to find. I got to the firmware download link within seconds.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rufus

    Rufus needs to understand that, yes, he is there to serve people who either do not or will not read the fine print, and who want or need to be spoon fed. Whether the customer is right or wrong in this regard is totally irrelevant. Rufus's behavior was unprofessional and poorly served his employer. At a minimum, he needs to be trained in how to deal with customers in a professional and courteous manner. If he cannot do that, he needs to be transferred to a job where he doesn't need to interact with the unwashed millions, or to find other work altogether.

    Without knowing every detail of this, it seems that the customer was actually doing this company a favor by pointing out a deficiency in their Website and making suggestions as to how it could be improved. His comments about it being poorly laid out could be seen as offensive, but he also specifically indicated at least one place where it was broken. The Webmaster would have an easy time finding and correcting that error.

    Finally, I am on Rufus's side when it comes to writing "server" when intending to write "serve". I do it all the time. I think I type "server" so often that when I occasionally want the shorter word, my fingers still keep going...

  39. Haku

    Maddox

    If I owned a company where I couldn't care less about the customers I would hire Maddox to write all helpdesk reply emails. Rufus could learn a thing or two from Maddox.

  40. Tawakalna

    is many many good support!

    happy yes is good support Rufus guy, using Windows XP operating system, please be rebooting your pc, no we are sorry you are using wrong operating system please be referring to your supplier. happy day your expressway, good wish!

  41. J

    Agreed

    Yeah, it's all too PC nowadays. So let me point out that if you work in "customer service", it just means you're the lower rung in the great ladder of being, and could not find any good job. Not good enough for R&D or anything else, and barely literate to begin with, so just sit here (somewhere offshore, most probably), follow this script blindly and we can say our company has customer support. Sure, not every case is like that, but so what? Life is not fair and you'll be judged with the average.

    Yep, the link to downloads is there, although I had to look twice (and I *knew* it must be there because I read it on the article). Now, moron, go and follow the download link, scroll down and try to download the firmware for the GS1600 / GS1600H. Don't reply before you do that, please. Now go and have a chat with Rufus, or the kid in MySpace who says she owns the company, or whatever.

    Good thing I don't work in "customer service"... :-)

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a

    Seems to me that the problem with "downloads" is that it is shown as a category, and so many will not spot it as they skim the column, and indeed the page, looking everywhere for where it may be. I think the page could do with a bit more consideration.

  43. Alex Edwards

    Yay Rufus

    Has anyone tried to find the download button?

    It's dead easy - all you have to do is be able to read :)

    I had a scan over the site - it seems to be full functioning to me, I even tried to think like a 'user' .... but hey. I bet Rufus gets it bad from his boss...mores the pitty - we need good folks like him to stand up to stupidity :)

  44. John A Blackley

    No wonder

    No wonder people in the UK are so constantly p***ed off! Reading all the "You go, son" and "Only saying what others are thinking" and "Stupid customer" comments here made my jaw drop.

    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.

  45. yeah, right.

    Commenters showing lack of brain cells.

    OK, so the original email said that finding the FIRMWARE for the GS1600 was difficult. Did anyone who commented that Rufus was right actually try to GET the firmware for the GS1600? The link is dead, as in it's commented out if you view the page source. The FAQ is useless, as it points to the previously mentioned error-filled download page.

    I find the original email quite normal for a frustrated customer who has to use yet another poorly designed website. Although I sympathize with Rufus, his response was totally out of line. If he's going to insult customers, he should be doing a much better job at making them feel small, stupid and useless. He should also pick targets who don't have valid complaints. I'm guessing Rufus is one of the owners of the company, and therefore has nothing to fear about getting fired.

  46. Eric Barnett

    Do any of you people actually READ the previous posts...

    Before shooting off your mouths???

    It was mentioned once previously and let me restate.

    The download button on the main page IS there. However the download link for the firmware for GS1600 / GS1600H is dead. That's what the user complained about.

    Shame on you people for cheering for Rufus. If he was in my company and was caught replying like that to a customer he would be sacked in short order. People running tech support often forget that we are here to SERVE our customers, no matter how annoying they are. If you don't like SERVING people then please get the Hell out of the industry.

  47. De Saegher

    chat with the nice people

    You are number 1 in queue. Please wait for a site operator to respond.

    You are now chatting with 'Kit'

    Kit: Hello. How may I assist you?

    Rufus: Hello, I just read a wonderful articel at the register about your coworker Rufus.

    Rufus: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/13/technical_support /

    Rufus: Is he available?

    Kit: Hi Rufus,

    Kit: How are you today?

    Rufus: Fine, thank you. How are you yourself?

    Kit: Unfortunately he doesn't work here anymore

    Kit: I'm doing well thank you

    Kit: How may we assist you today?

    Rufus: That was all, thank you.

    We had some further chats, Kit appears to be a very nice person, but our beloved Rufus is gone. My guess is he was promoted to make this place a better world for us all.

  48. Entropy

    So, he found the commented link in the source....

    But he couldn't find the download link in the first page? How did that happen?

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oi Eric

    With what most companies pay support staff and considering the conditions they are asked to work under, do you not think most of them would rather 'get the Hell out of the industry'? The reason companies employ support staff on low wages and in poor conditions, is because people are too lazy to think for themselves half the time, consequently driving up the number of 'support' calls that need to be answered and driving down the quality and value of the service. It's a McJob basically and there's nothing to be done about it without bringing down profit margins or increasing the cost of products and services. People want their cake and eat it, from the top to the bottom. However, gadspot is seemingly a tinpot company and I would have done a bit more research before buying something anyway.....rant...rant...rant

  50. Jackie Wanner

    Most people don't read through anything including the article

    If any of you who say you bothered to check this situation out need tobe more attentive. Yes a download link does exist. The firmware download in question doesn't work. The tech can't even form a sentance and if I had to talk to him in person I would ask to speak to his manager or return the product in question. People like Rufus give all technicians a bad name. He should be reprimanded for his response if not fired.

  51. Daniel Ballado-Torres

    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...

  52. Mike Morris

    Link is commented out...

    Probably an indication that a change is imminent...same as with poor Rufus' employment status. A view source reveals:

    <tr>

    <td width="75%">Firmware 2/16/06</td>

    <td><!--<a href="http://www.gadspot.com/images/20060216-Gad-C010.rar">-->

    <b>Download</b></td>

    </tr>

    If you really want the firmware, copy & paste the link. It downloaded as of 2:40pm 13 Jun edt.

    Cheers

    Mike

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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>

    </tr>

    <tr>

    <td width="75%">IPEdit 2/15/06</td>

    <td><a href="http://www.gadspot.com/images/ipEdit.exe">Download</a></td>

    </tr>

    <tr>

    <td width="75%">Quick Guide</td>

    <td><a href="http://www.gadspot.com/download/GS1600QG.pdf">Download</a></td>

    </tr>

    <tr>

    <td width="75%">User's Manual</td>

    <td><a href="http://www.gadspot.com/download/GS1600UM.pdf">Download</a></td>

    </tr>

    <tr>

    <td width="75%">Firmware 2/16/06</td>

    <td><!--<a href="http://www.gadspot.com/images/20060216-Gad-C010.rar">-->

    <b>Download</b></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.

  54. Henry Wertz

    mmm...

    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-).

  55. Andy Bright

    Awesome

    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'.

    Superb stuff.

  56. Darkwolf

    hmm

    The Movie Office space comes to mind for some reason

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad Rufus

    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.

  58. ger9

    "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).

    Ger9

  59. Kjetil

    To quote Zaphod Beeblebrox..

    "So, ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking"

  60. Terry Bernstein

    So....

    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.

  61. Daniel Ballado-Torres

    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.

  62. Gilbert Wham

    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.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  64. Shane Brooks

    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

    me: no

    Kit: www.pysoftware.com

    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

    me: okeydokey

  65. heystoopid

    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 !

  66. John Benson

    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.

  67. Tim Brown

    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...

  68. Rupam

    Rufus chat!

    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: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/13/technical_support/

    Rupam: check out that link

    Rupam: :-)

    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

    Rupam: seriously??

    Rufus: I am in the USA

    Rupam: ok, cool..

    Rupam: so someone else used your name? thats not fair.

    Rupam: :-(

    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: :-)

    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!

    Rupam: cheers!

    Rufus: thanks

    Rufus: bye

    Chat session has ended.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Should have used the standard tech support option

    Have you tried rebooting your computer?

  70. MarkMac

    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....

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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?

  72. daniel Silver badge

    Reminds me...

    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...

    Cheers,

    Daniel

  73. Andy

    Others evidently agree that Gadspot tech support is rubbish:

    http://store.bluecherry.net/VCenter_NC1000_L10_Indoor_Network_Camera_p/gs1200g.htm

    "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.

  74. shane

    Unreal

    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

  75. Stu

    Opinions divided!!!???

    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.

  76. Paul Buxton

    All publicity...

    ...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.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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

    english.

    Is far better than what I get daily at work ...

  78. Dan P

    I may have...

    Emailed their tech support department with a couple of pointers on customer service.

    <.<

    >.>

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  80. Dan

    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.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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...

  82. War Monger

    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.

  83. Pete

    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...

  84. Tom Thomson

    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.

  85. Chris Derson

    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.

  86. Mike Fleming

    Rufus doofus

    It's nice to see that Tre off The Apprentice has found a job to suit his skills.

  87. Ruana

    Shocking

    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.

  88. Darkwolf

    hehe

    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.

  89. Dale Morgan

    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.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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!

  91. R. John Quisenberry

    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.

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Not you that need manners

    Shirley even a translation website could have constructed a more coherent sentence than that?

    ("...be pheasant" ??)

  94. Oliverh

    Customer "Support"

    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!

    RANT OVER

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