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  • User profile image
    twoelfer

    this is the second time this happens; thus this 'complaint'.

    as a part of developer support, there are managed newsgroups where according to msdn, a subscriber will receive answers within two business days. (which, imho, isn't very fast but better than nothing of course... Smiley

    well, i am a subscriber and i have been for quite some time.
    however, i only used the managed newsgroups twice. the first time, it took almost 14 days for an answer to drop in.

    this time, the first answer came almost emmediately from another developer. sadly, his answer did not solve the problem.

    ( Cannot open form in forms editor anymore, [ http://msdn.microsoft.com/newsgroups/managed/default.aspx?so=1&pg=2&dg=microsoft.public.vsnet.ide&lang=en&cr=US

    posted on 5/7/2004 - sorry, i don't think theres a way to post a url that points directly to that post.

    ])

    however, i did receive a mail from some guy with an microsoft mail-adresse ( Gary Chang [Intl Vendor]). from the tone of the mail i assume this guy acutally is some kind of robot.

    anyhow, gary said there was an answer up in the managed newsgroups and if could be so nice as to post another message indicating if the answer was helpful.

    well, thats what i did.  that happend eight days ago.

    yesterday, along came another mail from gary.

    it has almost exactly the same content. there was an answer bla bla bla if i could be so nice as to post another message indication if the answer was helpful bla bla bla.

    this is _my_ post he's telling me about. and its absolutely clear from the content of my post that the previous answer did _not_ help. this is why i think that gary character is some kind of robot: obviously he/it didn't even read the post.

    this sucks big time. especially in this context:

     'an answer from the newsgroup community or a Microsoft support professional within 2 business days'

    ( from here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/newsgroups/ )


    WM_CHEERS
    -thomas woelfer

  • User profile image
    lenn

    Bad story, I hate to hear stuff like this.  I will forward this thread to the MSDN team management and see if we can get this fixed. Thanks for posting your experience and giving us a chance to fix it first before writing us off. 

    Lenn

  • User profile image
    twoelfer

    Lenn,

    i'll wait and see. however, it would be good if there was a way to contact someone for stuff like this.

    however, there is noone.

    just the same with problems concerning vs. it appears, there's noone to turn to incase of severe problems.

    i hoped channel9 might be a way to let you guys know things... but my last post didn't receive an answer for 10 days - so i guess, its not.

    posting here or on the newsgroups and hoping to get an answer maybe simply doesn't cut it, imho.

    WM_L8R
    -thomas woelfer

  • User profile image
    lenn

    Thomas:

    I understand your frustration.  Microsoft is a difficult company to navigate.  I deal with it everday as well, I have no idea where to start on most issues but just have to keep looking around until I get an answer just like you. 

    I sent mail to Sara Williams who runs the MSDN team last night and am hoping to get an email back sometime in the next day or so. 

    When it comes to product support, the fastest way to get help from Microsoft directly is Product Support Services, you have to pay in most cases however. So I doubt that this is the answer you want to hear.

    Let me ask you this, can you describe what your ideal customer experience would be in a perfect world?  How would you like to get help from Microsoft?  Via phone? Via Web? Via Email?  What would you expect from Microsoft in the interaction?  What would make you feel delighted about doing business with Microsoft?

  • User profile image
    twoelfer

    Lenn,

    >> you have to pay in most cases however. So I doubt >> that this is the answer you want to hear.

    i have no problems paying for support when the problem is on my part. however, when the problem is like the one discribed in the newsgroups - that is, when the product has a problem or flaw that keeps me from working, than i'd rather see support for free: after all, it's not my fault this thing is not working. (there should a least be a somewhat helpful error message...)

    >>Let me ask you this, can you describe what your >>ideal customer experience would be in a perfect
    >> world? 

    well, basically, i wouldn't need to get into contact with someone@microsoft because the products would just work as expected, wouldn't throw meaningless exceptions with empty error message. compilers wouldn't have flaws. documentation would be 100% correct all the time. (ups, and yes, nobody would try to translate developer products into german... Smiley)

    obviously this is simply not possible given the complexity of todays tools. we all know that. so i guess what you're asking for is the 'ideal' customer experience wrt developer support.

    the short answer is: i was quite happy with the support i got when i used to be an mvp. there was a single contact who knew me (at least from mail) whom i could turn to whatever problems in whatever product turned up. (granted, most of the time i was catching errors in the c++ compiler, but  you know what i mean... )

    >> How would you like to get help from Microsoft?

    the point here is: when i try to get into contact /w someone from microsoft, it will be because there is a problem with a microsoft product and not because i have a problem using the product. this means, i'm normally not asking for 'help' because i need assistance to do something, but rather i'm asking for a solution the microsoft caused in the first place. 

    obviously, its quite hard for microsoft to differentiate here: when people complain about the c++ compiler, most of the time the compiler is correct and the complaining folks simply didn't understand the language.

    >>  Via phone?

    nope. most problems that come up over here surely cannot be solved on the phone.

    >> Via Web?

    web or newsgroups is ok for some stuff that don't need extraordinary amount of source. compiler problems that can be reproduced easily and stuff like that.

    >> Via Email? 

    i think email is certainly the best way to go here, as long as one is dealing with the same support person to get into contact. (obviously, this person would sometimes need to dispatch some problems to someone else. however, email makes it possible to attach complete projects, and follow ups are alot easier than in web based systems.

    >> What would you expect from Microsoft in the interaction? 

    i'm not sure i understand that question... however, if product problems are concerned, it would be nice to know the status of problems one submitted. currently, this is more like a black box process. submit a problem, never hear back. get lucky and the next version fixes the problem... next year.

    >> What would make you feel delighted about doing business with Microsoft?

    just so there is no misunderstanding here: i like to work with microsofts products. i have no problems whatsoever doing business with microsoft.

    i just mislike some details. like, not getting an answer in newsgroups for ages although supposedly one should get an answer. or, not beeing able to find a contact incase something needs to be reported... (like the spamcop stuff).

    what i'm doing right now is, i just dump stuff like this into your mailbox, roberts mailbox, or joes mailbox (joes a friend of mine in pss) and hope something will be done about it. this doesn't feel right _and_ this is inefficient.

    so what would be really cool: have a single contact to deal with. who could track down the 'correct' guys for a specific problem. who'd know the difference between me having a problem with a product and a problem with a product.

    WM_CHEERS
    thomas woelfer

  • User profile image
    Jaz

    Hey lenn,

    I know i'm not twoelfer, but i'd like to just put in my 2pence.

    Recently i contacted MS about the downlaods area of MS.  I got back polite prompt replies making me feel like someone was actually listening to what i say.  Of course that remains to be seen but it left me with the impression.

    Now MS was or is heavily pushing Instant Messaging, now thats the area i'd like to see MS in.  I'd like to be able to IM real life MS representives to get problems sorted quickly.  As twoelfer said some problems you'd have to pay for the service of having an r/l representive IM'ing you, but there are somethings you shouldn't pay for imo.

    Also for quick research, there have been times where ive needed a quick answer and trawling through newsgroups, goole just isn't worth it so an IM conversation like this would be better

    Me> Hello, can you help me with something
    MS> Sure what's the problem
    Me> Ok i'm looking for resorces on Sharepoint in Education
    MS> just a tick
    MS> Ok check here www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/casestudies
    ME> Cheers

  • User profile image
    lenn

    Thanks for this.  So to summarize:

    1.) Don't mind paying to resolve a technical problem as long as it is really your problem and not a problem in the product.  Just FYI - PSS does not charge you for an incident if the issue is a bug or defect.

    2.) Having real-time access to a point of contact at Microsoft to assist in handling a wide variety of issues would be a HUGE bonus.  You had access to this as a perk of being an MVP but feel that you do not have access to Microsoft anymore. 

    3.) Something like an online concierge where you could contact someone via IM and get answers to questions or be pointed to resources from Microsoft.

    4.) We need a Microsoft contact/communication center where customers can find the right place to interact with Microsoft when needed. It is too hard to find a point of contact, and email responses are useless often.

    Does this summarize? There is a real set of issues here that I have been thinking about for a while now.

  • User profile image
    twoelfer

    yup,

    of course no 1. isn't much help incase one is not located in the us.

    for example, pss over here in germany will almost allways relay complex stuff to pss over there which only adds an additional layer of unnecessary communications... so basically, it should be possible to contact pss (over there) by email. Smiley

    still can't open my forms though...

    WM_L8R
    thomas woelfer

  • User profile image
    Stef

    Hey Thomas, 
       We do have a resource availible for our MSDN subscribers when they do not recieve a response from the community with in the 2 business day time frame.

       Please contact the MSDN Managed Newsgroup feedback alias ngmsdnfb@microsoft.com. When inquirying please include your MSDN subscription id, subject line of the post, the location and the no-spam alias used to make the post. 

       In regards to the email sent by George; I can assure you he is not a robot :0).. He is part of our global partnership with China. The email sent by George is part of the post notification process. Once your post has recieved a response from the Community we will contact you by email to let you know a response to your question has been made. It is then up to you to evaluate the response and let us know if there is any additional assistance you need on the issue by posting a response in the newsgroup. 

      It is rare that issues are not followed up on once a postnotification has been sent. But if you can please email the MSDN feedback alias we will be more than happy to review the issue and make sure it get's handled appropriately.

    I apologize for any inconvience that this may have caused you and if there is anything else I can do to assist you please let me know..

    Cheers..
    Stefan

  • User profile image
    twoelfer

    Stef,

    i will keep that mail adress and try it out later. however, quite frankly, i doubt this will do any good. just by looking what happened this time, i doubt sending again one more mail will make things any better.

    - i posted and got a reply and posted that the reply didn't work.
    - i answered goerges mail to no avail.
    - i ansered to the thread; didn't help-
    - i posted to channel9. didn't help
    - i mailed to robert (and lenn ??), who tried to help and find someone feeling responsible. this did indeed start a thread on channel9 (in another post, the first one went unnoticed.) - but still no answer to my question in the newsgroups.
    - i received mail from someone at pss who assured me they would take care of the issue. twice. only, they didn't.
    - now you are telling me i should send another mail regarding this issue.

    well unfortunately, my original question was posted on 5/7/2004. this has been more than 2 _weeks_ ago.

    there is still no answer, although i _did_ send _alot_ of mail to various people and i _did_ receive various mails telling me this issue would be take care of.

    know what? i'm fed up with this issue. and by now, i did find a workaround concerning my original problem. unfortunately, i couldn't wait for more than two weeks without beeing able to use the forms editor. i doubt anybody else can.

    but still, here's some comments...

    >> Please contact the MSDN Managed Newsgroup feedback alias ngmsdnfb@microsoft.com. When inquirying

    now, wouldn't it be great if this information was easily available somewhere? i certainly didn't find it.

    >> In regards to the email sent by George; I can assure you he is not a robot :0)..

    inwhich case he's not very good in reading, nor is he very responsive. he actually asked me if a posting of mine containing the text 'sorry, this doesn't help' would be helpful. and he didn't reply or did anything else when i answered his mail, notifying him of this situation. sorry, but this looks like a robot to me.

    >> It is rare that issues are not followed up on once a postnotification

    can't disagreee more. i only posted twice. the first posting took almost two weeks to receive an answer, the second still hasn't seen any. to me, this looks like 100% of unanswered posts. maybe there is a better ratio here for other folks, but obviously i don't have any numbers here. i _do_ see a lot of posts without answers though. might be postings of non msdn subscribers of course.

    >>  if there is anything else I can do to assist you please let me know

    what do you mean, 'anything else'. i'm not aware of anything that has been done yet. so, what 'else' are you talking about? (ok, i really don't expect an answer to this question... Smiley)

    WM_CHEERS
    thomas woelfer

  • User profile image
    Stef

    Hey Thomas, 
       Please do keep that alias handy.

    >> now, wouldn't it be great if this information was >>easily available somewhere? i certainly didn't find >>it.

    We are always interested in feedback that can help us better assist our customers. I will be more than happy to make sure that the alias is more availible from the MSDN managed newsgroup site.

    >> inwhich case he's not very good in reading, nor is >>he very responsive. he actually asked me if a >>posting of mine containing the text 'sorry, this >>doesn't help' would be helpful. and he didn't reply >>or did anything else when i answered his mail, >>notifying him of this situation. sorry, but this >>looks like a robot to me.

    Can you please post the location of the post and the subject line. So that I can follow up with George to make sure this situation does not occur again in the future.

    >>can't disagreee more. i only posted twice. the >>first posting took almost two weeks to receive an >>answer, the second still hasn't seen any. to me, >>this looks like 100% of unanswered posts. maybe >>there is a better ratio here for other folks, but >>obviously i don't have any numbers here. i _do_ see >>a lot of posts without answers though. might be >>postings of non msdn subscribers of course.

    That is correct. This is a public forum so there are alot of non-Msdn customers posting to this forum. IF you can post the alias you used when posting the questions; I can research the issues to see what happened. This information will allow us to make the necassary internal changes to insure that this does not happen again in the future.


    If you need any additional assistance in the MSDN managed community please feel free to contact me on the MSDN feedback alias.

    Thanks, 
    Stefan

  • User profile image
    twoelfer

    Stefan,

    here's an url to the thread (mirror on .net247 - i can't seem to find a way to post an url pointing directly into the original newsgroup):

    http://www.dotnet247.com/247reference/msgs/49/248040.aspx

    the subjectline ist 'cannot open forms editor anymore'.

    sorry - i don't know the alias anymore...

    WM_L8R
    thomas woelfer

  • User profile image
    Stef

    Hey Thomas,
       Thanks for the info.. From what I can tell here is what happened..

    Your original question was posted on 5/7/2004 with the subject line of "cannot open form in forms editor anymore".

    A response was posted by Les Smith on the same day.

    Your replay to his response was made using the anonymous web based account(anonymous@discussions.microsoft.com) and not using your registered MSDN nospam alias. So we were unable to see your response and thus we could not determine if the solution resolved your problem or not.

    In the future please make sure to use your registered no-spam alias so that we can quickly act on all your responses. Also if you recieve an email indicating a response has been made to your post, please post a reply to your question in the newsgroup using your registered no-spam alias so that we can assist you.

    If all else fails please contact the MSDN Managed Newsgroup feedback alias (ngmsdnfb@microsoft.com)and someone locate the resources to assist you with your issue.

    Thanks

  • User profile image
    twoelfer

    Stef,

    obviously, you fail to understand the problem here.

    i am not going to explain what was going once more.

    WM_THXANYWAY
    thomas woelfer

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