Brevity is the soul of wit, and all that.
But there's a difference between being brief and being terse.
Microsoft stopped taking comments on the SBS blog due to the number of comments giving "feedback" on the new policy of callback-only support.
Then, yesterday afternoon, they posted a very short response.
Microsoft allowed seven comments. The next day, they responded to two comments with two sentences:
- This business change includes Business Critical Partner Support yet does not change any of the benefits of that program. Business Critical cases continue to be offered at no charge to our partners, the only change is that we will call you back once you call into 1-800-936-4900 to create the incident.
(see the original post.
And they responded to one other comment:
- "Callback really sucks in a lot of situations. The problem Michael touches on, plus if I am calling then I want to work on the problem now and not when it is convenient for some tech to call me back. If someone calls with a CritSit will they be given a live transfer?"
with this response:
A Critical Situation (CritSit) is a Premier offering (http://www.microsoft.com/services/Microsoftservices/srv_premier.mspx) and not a Professional support level offering. This business change is only for Professional SBS level customers, all Professional level SBS incidents will be handled on a call-back basis.
Wait for your callback.
The Good News, as Susan puts it, is that free support has not been eliminated.
So, you know that post about Microsoft's free server down support is like the emergency room on the Internet? Yeah. Forget that. Microsoft will continue to bleed unmeasurable amounts of money.
That's good for you.
But callback still sucks.
- - - - -
First, let's look at the original announcement. Why are we doing this?
- To eliminate your hold time on the telephone
- To collect the problem description and route the incident to the correct engineer
- To prepare you for online incident submission @ https://support.microsoft.com/oas
The future is one in which you will not talk to a human being until you receive a callback regarding your incident.
Second, what does your average call to Microsoft Support look like? Pick one:
1) Very relaxed and casual. Nothing urgent here. Just wanted to chat about a couple of things.
2) Generally relaxed. I have a problem, but it can wait.
3) Gnawing, annoying, issue. It's been going on for months. Would be nice if you could look at it.
4) I have a problem. It only affects a few people. But it needs some attention.
5) I have a serious problem. The company is losing money and they're all looking at me to fix it.
6) I have a serious problem. OMG. Everything's down. I need help NOW.
7) This is an absolute emergency. Everything's down. Absolutely no one can get anything done until this problem is solved.
Microsoft gets all these calls. But not from the SMB community.
At the small end of the spectrum, SBSC's and others who support SBS Server only call Microsoft's Professional Support in examples 5, 6, and 7.
Picture the last few calls to MS. The client is paying you a goodly sum to sit there, with a phone against your ear, until the business is back in business.
You don't call when Gwen in Finance can't get the animated gif to make the bears dance in her Outlook background.
You don't call when one user can't log on.
You don't call when one person has a corrupted profile.
You call when the company is down because the Exchange store won't mount, or some error keeps the entire server from booting.
Small business consultants call Microsoft Support during critical emergencies.
You don't have an $8,000 contract that lets you skip past the incompetent first-tier technical support.
Your boss isn't paying you to flirt on the phone.
You call Microsoft Support when your client is paying you big bugs to stick your phone to your ear and talk to the "miracle workers" at Microsoft until the business is back in business.
|Have you ever created a "server down" incident with Microsoft?|
First, you must agree that you will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, non-stop.
Second, you agree that you will be at the computer. You won't leave a 5pm. You won't go home. You will be at that computer 24x7 until the problem is resolved. No potty breaks. No meals.
You will do absolutely nothing except sit by your phone and wait for the gods of Microsoft to contact you.
If you go to the bathroom, the deal's off.
So, how does the new policy work, exactly?
YOU have to sit by your phone completely attentive. You know not the day or the hour. But when The gods at Microsoft call, you will be chastened and ready.
I'm sorry. In the real world, when Microsoft calls back, you and your staff have moved on to something else. You are not sitting around on the clock doing absolutely nothing, waiting for Microsoft to call back.
Second, please do not forget that nothing else is changing.
--> The first-level of technical support will be completely incompetent. Yesterday they couldn't even spell SBS. Today they are Microsofts' first-tier support.
--> So, some completely incompetent tech, who has only one tool in his box, will call you back.
--> You will waste an hour of your life running the Internet Connection Wizard. An hour you will never get back.
--> And, if you live long enough, you will get escalated to Dallas.
--> Which is good
--> Because they're freakin' awesome
--> and the good folks in Dallas will call you back sometime now and 2099.
- - - - -
In the meantime, back in the real world, what are you doing?
Your client is down. You're onsite. Are you casually walking through the office chatting with people? "Hey, I've got some time on my hands. Waiting for Microsoft." No. Not so much.
Are you off the clock?
No. You can't leave. You can't go somewhere else and make money. So, billable or non-billable, your time is allocated to this client.
Think about when you've been called back by MS. Is "the next day" good for you?
- - - - -
Some people think I'm off base here. What about you?
Does this sound like a move in the right direction? Is callback-only support good?
I welcome your comments.