Archive for January, 2012

Bit of a rant

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

I’m going to rant a bit about a bad support experience I’m having with VMware. This is not the first time I’ve had this same problem with VMware Support, nor do I expect it to be the last. It seems to be a characteristic of VMware’s support organization that on the rare occasions they are actually attentive, they are unable to actually offer solutions for my problems.

So what’s the problem this time? Quite simply, VMware is not reading my tickets before their support factory spits out a canned response routine. The first thing they do is ignore the contact preference field that they asked me to fill out on their web form to submit a help request. I had to submit four requests today for separate snapshot-related problems, and on three of them, the assigned support rep called back. Unfortunately, my organization hasn’t seen fit to give me a direct, unshared, fully functional incoming phone line, so I can’t really use the phone contact method. (That is a separate issue that has been a major problem for me for 3 years, but one which I’ve given up hope of getting resolved.) I specified on all four tickets that my contact method preference is email. I really wish their support organization would pay attention to the fields I fill in that they ask me to fill in on their support page.

While I’m ranting, let’s back up just a bit. When I log in to their support portal, I’m at first shown that I have no support entitlements and no open tickets. I’m given the chance to look at the knowledgebase, but that’s about it. I have to log in a second time, to the same support portal, with the same username and password, before they deign to acknowledge that I do in fact have support entitlements and open support requests. It has been that way for 6+ months, and yes I notified them of it 6+ months ago when I first noticed the issue.

Well, on to the tickets I filed today. One of them, the one where the rep actually paid attention to the contact preference field, gave me a kbase reference which, much to my surprised and delight, actually resolved the issue. A second issue has also now been resolved after the technician tried (and failed) to reach me on the phone and finally decided to actually address the issue via email, as I had originally requested. A third issue is still waiting on a response from the technician after I had to correct his re-interpretation of the error message I had given him verbatim in the initial ticket. He did ask for some additional information, but he also asked a question of me which had already been answered by the information requested in the initial web form.

Why does VMware seem to employ support representatives who not only do not speak fluent collegiate-level English, but who insist in ignoring the support requests I file in order to find the closest easily solvable problem to my actual problem? I’m sorry, but that closest problem isn’t the same, and it’s solution does absolutely nothing to help with the issue I asked your organization for help with initially.

Before anyone goes and excoriates me for not understanding technical support, let me state that I was a technical support representative for Red Hat for two years. Based on that experience, I am recommending to VMware that they move even their basic support representatives back into the United States and/or initiate a global rolling-center model. While I was at Red Hat, we found that the outsourced model did not work – as it manifestly does not – and established (at the time) three major geographic centers, staffed by individuals who spoke the languages of the countries in their geographical regions fluently. I have no problem with VMware establishing a large presence in India or other overseas locations. I have a very large problem with VMware not providing me with competent fluent English-speaking support representatives who actually pay attention to the fields in the tickets that get filled in by the selections I make in their web form.