Thursday, August 02, 2007

symantec or syphilis...give me a minute to decide

Had the most blindingly bad tech support experience ever last night—and I've racked up some major time on the phone with techies in my nerdy life. I went to the Symantec Norton Anti-Virus for Mac product page and clicked on upgrade. Purchased the product and as I was about to download, I realized that the product upgrade was for Windows machines. Go figure.

After some unforgivable web maze shenanigans, I found the support "we'll call you" form. The only positive part of this labyrinthian nightmare was that they called me within 5 minutes.

I'm not sure that I can put into words how abysmal my Symantec customer service experience was with one earnest but inept CSR named Maximus. Almost breathtaking in its shititude.

Here's a brief not-verbatim* selection of my torturous conversation with Max (and godhelpme, this really is a prime example of why outsourcing tech support to other countries can be even more maddening than dealing with lousy support in your own culture):

(we're at least 15 minutes into this ordeal by now)
Max: Okay, I need to log this information.
Me: (waiting)
Max: Okay?
Me: Yes. Sure.
Max: Okay. Please hold on while I log this in.
Me: Fine.
Max: I apologize for the inconvenience.
Me: (waiting, because I felt by this time that I had given him the immense amount of support and loving assurance that he apparently needed.)
Max: Hello? (almost panicky-sounding) Are you still there?
Me: Yes. Yes, of course.
Max: Okay, okay. I'm almost finished. Just another minute. Just another minute.
Me: (swearing silently) That's fine.
Ten minutes and 10 repetitions later
Max: Okay. You will have a refund in a couple of days. In 4-7 working days.
Me: Uh...okay. So you said I can just order the Mac Upgrade with you, right?
Max: Yes. I need to go check with my manager. Okay?
Me: Sure.
Max: You hold and I'll go check.
Me: Fine.
Max: I apologize for the inconvenience.
Me: Really, it's fine. Go ahead.
10 variations on this theme and 5 minutes later:
Max: I cannot order this for you to download but I can tell you the web address and help you order it online.
Me: That's alright, I already have the site open. That's how I found the [superlative] tech support [I am presently enjoying].
Max: (Begins what scarring experience now tells me will be a 10-minute explanation about why he can't do what he said he could do earlier. The bowing, scraping and overexplaining is so homocidally tedious that I will spare you the verbiage. I cut him off.)
Me: No, really, Max, it's fine. I'm on the site right now and I'm not going to have a problem. Thanks. That's all I need.
Max: You will be receiving an email about this customer support. (Unbelievable. Add more filler here. Lorem ipsum...) Are you happy with the support I have provided? (etc. ad nauseum)
Me: Yes. Yes. You bet, Max. Everything is great. Gotta go now.
Max: Have a good day, I mean have a good evening. You have been a very nice customer...
Me: Bye-bye Max. (click)
No kidding, this experience dragged on for 30-40 minutes. Every minute of it longer than the previous. If I hadn't been concerned about making sure he refunded my account (and I won't be know if that's actually happened for a few more days) I would have just hung up.

Norton had already been irritating me with their pester bot programs and their bullshit policies. This was the coup de grâce
. I'm done. My friend Dave recommended ClamX instead and I'm willing to try some random cephalopod- pelecypod-inspired freeware rather than ever deal with Norton/Symantec again.

*not verbatim because I don't monitor my own conversations. Evidently I don't give a fuck about quality assurance or training.


pawtucket percy of sandknuckle point said...

sycophants are worse than assholes.

clams are cephalopods?

Epiphenita said...

god-fucking-dammit, i should have checked my first source. bless your pelecypod heart, correction made.

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