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Unreasonable user request

I have a top producing agent in my office that basically gets his way with everything since he is such a high earner.

Recently, he has been pestering the CEO and COO of the company about a problem that one of his clients is having accessing the company website. This client is at a major financial institution and states that they have difficulty pulling up our company?s website, but no others.

This agent will not disclose his clients name, telephone number or location, however, expects us to resolve the problem. We have over 1 million visitors per month on the website and have not received any complaints to our feedback mailboxes, nor heard this complaint from the over 1000 other agents at the company.

The CEO is demanding answers, but I am at a loss for the proper response. As it stands now, the COO and Director of Sales are going to go with the agent to the clients work location, neither of whom is very technically savvy. The agent does not want me or one of my technicians to go.

Any advice or anyone experience something similiar?

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Where's his tech support

by jdmercha In reply to Unreasonable user request

Have the client get one of his IT people to investigate the problem. Then their IT person can call you. You can work together to resolve the issue without ever knowing who or where he is.

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More info

by gralfus In reply to Where's his tech support

Tell your boss that he simply isn't giving you enough information to go on. Since 99.999% of those who visit the site are not reporting any issues, the problem most likely lies with the user's system and not yours. That client's IT should help him troubleshoot it, not you.

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And another thing...

by gralfus In reply to More info

Why the heck is the CEO even getting involved in such an issue? Such folks are usually positioned way too high to see the details, and may not understand that you aren't being stubborn, you simply are not the one to deal with another company's IT issue.

That's the problem with cronyism. They think they are doing someone a favor, when it is really just introducing a LOT more problems.

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How can you

by trockii In reply to Unreasonable user request

How can you fix this person's computer if you can't talk to them first hand and find out the problem? If you have a problem, the best way to fix it is to go to the source. Without knowing the source you are unable to do anything.

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Give support options to your boss

by dsweatt In reply to How can you

I'd first verify that you can resolve your website from a remote location, though no other complaints sure points to an issue at the customer site (just to CYA). Then I would suggest to your boss that the problem most likely is at the customer's end and sounds like a problem with their DNS resolution. Tell them that you could better serve the customer by directly working with the customers support staff to resolve the issue and that you would be happy to contact the customer's support staff if given the contact info. Without knowing if the problem is at 1 computer, or any at the customer site you really can't nail down at what level the problem is. Could be the DNS cache at the problem machine, or could even be database corruption at their ISP not resolving properly. Have them try to access your site directly with the IP address.

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Politically Correct

by dmattingly In reply to Give support options to y ...

Should C-Level Executives elect to get involved in such an issue, what we have done in the past is provide them a comprehensive checklist to have the companies IT staff use to isolate problems such as the one you describe. BTW, your problem sounds very similiar to what we hear periodically.

Our list looks similiar to teh following:

1. Ensure the web browser is set to retrieve data every visit to site and not used cached pages.
2. Try using the IP address to pull up the page to isolate if DNS issue.
3. Run Tracert to see if packets stop somewhere within the company for that machines IPs.
4. Ensure that no personal firewall is installed with blocking rules. Test by turning off.
5. Look for a lot of third party installations. We had problems with a program called Comet Cousor blocking pop ups from one of our pages.
6. etc....

Have on the form a block where the tech can write what he found along with his contact information. If the experience does not resolve the problem, your C-Level executives will be satisfied that you have a comprehensive grasp of troubleshooting by the intelligenece of the questions asked and probaly work toward allowing the tech to further conversations with you based on his findings.


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Jack the fool up!

by Gruvdog In reply to Unreasonable user request

This is one of those rare times when you take the fool out back and make one last attempt to talk some sense into him before you really "TALK" some sense into him.

I would speak to both the COO and the CEO and explain how futile this situation is and politely refuse to be put in this compromising situation.

Sales is too often allowed to hold entire companies hostage due to their spoiled-rotten-prima-donna status.

Jack this ******* up!

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Proper Response??

by SHMartyn In reply to Unreasonable user request

How can you be at a loss for proper response? The response is that without the information your agent is witholding, you cannot confirm that there even is a problem, let alone resolve it. Make sure that agent knows that he's the one with something to lose when the client gets tired of the problem and finds a new vendor. Also make sure that the same message makes its way to the CEO and COO. If they don't pressure the agent to work as a part of the team then it's their problem. They need to learn how to lead their organization.

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Hopefully this is useful.

by rrosca In reply to Proper Response??

It's true that you don't have a lot of help from your sales person here but you're definitely not tied down to inaction.

First of all, you won't receive anything off the feedback forms if some people can't log on to the site. It's reasonable to expect that if they're having troubles logging on, they will be unable to reach you and complain.

At the very least you can check out on your end a slew of options. It could be as simple as your site using flash and this guy hasn't got the flash player installed and it can be much more complex and not on your end at all but you should still check out some things if only to cover yourself.

If this client is important then you guys should try your best to figure out something. Even clues such as "he can't log on" would point me towards checking your database again. You can also offer the sales person to send an IT guy with him, etc.

Demand of your CEO that you need to know more information, too. If the customer's important, he'll give it to you.

Someone also suggested having the client's IT person contact you - that's a good idea, too.

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Insist on Going With

by dloundy In reply to Unreasonable user request

The problem you're having is political, the problem the client is having is technical. Sending the COO and DOS is a political answer, it won't help the client. You should insist that they take you with when they go. That way they'll still have their "show of force" with upper level officers, and they'll get the problem solved, too.

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