Tales from Technical Support: Blame it on the Software

Well, guess what? I’m here again! Ha!

So you guys all know that I work in technical support. I work for a tax software company. We support not only the software we sell, but the computer network (to an extent) and taxes, to the extent that it pertains to the software.

As in any business you always have the people who want to try and get something for nothing. We have a lot of customers from my former employer that left there because of the slow customer service that had 5+ hour wait times to get there – and God forbid you ever need a technician – because that was another two hour wait. They were always getting shit for free, because the software was so crappy.

Now they call us, and the longest anyone has had to wait this season has been 10 minutes, when the call was answered the problem took about 2 minutes to solve and it was on to the next one.  And the software works. You would have to try to break it.

Well, today one of those folks called in. Before I forget something, the other company that I worked for also “held the hand” of every single tax preparer they supported. Nobody had to do anything as mundane as learn the software. No. We did that for them, to the extent that it wasn’t giving them tax advise. Every. thing.

So, they’re not used to the way we do things at our company. We sell you the software, get you set up and help you get familiar with the program. They’re run through an entire “on-boarding” process that teaches them everything they need to know to use the software, and we give them a book of instructions. They are responsible for actually knowing how to prepare taxes.

Now, back to today’s tale: Blame it On the Software

History: Customer F has called several times. I spoke with her last week, and she basically blessed me out, telling me that “my” software was making her look bad in front of her clients because it wasn’t doing what it should. Once we got down to specifics, I discovered that she had actually overridden some entries on a form, causing it to give her an error. She was pissed, and hung up as soon as she realized who was really making her look bad.

Today she calls back and gets TechManC. TechManC is calm, cool, and collected. You couldn’t ruffle his feathers if you stepped into the office with a flamethrower. Seriously. Next thing you know, I hear muffled yelling. I glance over to see TechmanC bring up her account and I recognized the name; in this business, you always remember the evil ones.  I whispered to TechmanC, “Is she yelling at you?” … Without even muting the phone he glanced over at me and said “I guess so” which I immediately heard echoed over the phone. Then the yelling started again… didn’t sound like she took a breath. When he finally told her to stop yelling at him and let him help her he figured out that her problem was “our software” was dropping numbers off her client’s income.  We pull in the return and both TechManC and I open it up on our computers and start digging. I know she likes to override things, so I go straight to the income form and start there, everything is right, on to the worksheet; that’s all right too… what has she done?? I go to the main form and look at the line all the info is supposed to transfer to… and it’s $2,000 less than the amount that should be there… my first thought? WTF has she done now??? A simple key press on the keyboard, and viola! problem solved. I tell TechmanC who’s like “You have got to be freaking kidding me? And she’s screaming at me?”… He goes back to the phone, takes her to the form, instructs her on which key to press on which line – and the issue is resolved on her end as well. Now, most people would be sheepish right now… after all, yelling at a tech rep for something is not going to get your problem solved any faster… but not this woman… not Customer F. Nope, the very next words out of her mouth were… well you changed it then. I swear to God. TechmanC kind of chuckled… “No ma’am, that’s how we got it, that’s how you sent it”.

She hung up the phone.  I think she understood that the very next words out of TechManC’s mouth were going to be “Now who’s making you look bad?”…

Dear Customer F,

You are not going to get your software for free no matter how many times you “have” to call and yell at the technical support staff. You are not going to get all states for free either. You’ll be lucky if we don’t raise your price up to the special “we don’t get paid enough to deal with bitches like you” rate that will guarantee you “don’t come back next year” as you threaten to do every time you call. Stop abusing our people, and we’ll let you own our software and do business with us.

That is all.


Another day in tech support… where ID 10 T errors = job security


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