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Why is non-outsourced tech support so bad?

By rlast ·
We're in the middle of the 4th year of the 21st century & tech support is worse then ever!
A 2003 SSPA survey estimates that the First Call Resolution in the software publishing industry is 46%!

Why is it so bad, still?

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Re: Assembly line mentality

by beecee56 In reply to Assembly line mentality.

hear, hear!

"For the support tech, day in and day out abuse from customers, poor internal support from the company who farmed out the labor, high demand by management to lower the call time while improving customer relations, and poor pay all add up to horrible support. I have seen very little shift away from this business model, and until that happens, these issues will continue to plague the industry."

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My 2 cents...

by pgm554 In reply to Many reasons contribute

Poor quality software- yes
Hardware-It varies, most everything is manufactured overseas these days. So QA is not an American issue.

Poor work ethic in the American culture.

NO, we are the most efficient work force in the world, PERIOD.
The Germans, Japenese or Koreans are not as efficient as America.So don't go there.
For the most part,as long as the work is meaning full,we are will push ourselves to the extreme.

From my perspective, the cost cutting methods of leaner and meaner overtax the tech support infrastructure.

The QA of software products is joke .We all get shrink wrapped BETA software these days.

We are the guinea pigs for their not quite done products. And by the time the product is stable, it is obsoleted.


Sony Vaio laptops have a 4 to 6 month product life.
If there's a problem, it ain't gonna get fixed in the production run, it will be fixed in a newer model.

As for tech support, I recently had to set up SBC Yahoo DSL for a friend. What normally should take 15 to 20 minutes, took over 4 hours.
The line was bouncing up and down, tech support voice menu software was caught in a loop (can't get a live person).Registration system crashed in the middle of a setup.


You buy a version of Norton System Works and if you need to reinstall, you need to call Symantec for a new key code because of DRM.Want to talk to tech support? $29.95, to find out if it's their bug.

They are batting .500 these days. A lot of the seasoned folks have been let go to save $$$.
You get script readers.


Need a hotfix? Need a charge card to talk to somebody.18 months after W2K is released, XP hits the street with DRM.(We just want to stop the casual copier).Yeah ,right, and I'm from the government and I'm here to help you.

They have used monopolistic practices to crush competition and dominate the market with a mediocre and security hole ridden product.
If a platform on which most everything runs is so unstable, how do expect product tech support to be adequate?

Poor quality of business management at all levels.

That varies greatly.

Capitalism and Wall street are numbers driven.It is paradox in that captialism is the most efficent form of an economic system ,but it tends cause upheaval and unrest among the workers ,who are more or less numbers within an equation geared towards making money.

The human resource department is kind of a "Madam" in a bordello trying negotiate the best price for the screwing you are going to get.If you're young and pretty,higher price ,older and not so cute,well....

America does have the one major flaw of being superficial.If it's pretty,it must be the best.

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Most Efficient Workforce in the World? God Help Us!

by tlccomputers In reply to My 2 cents...

The previous poster's comments about software are right on target. However, the comments about the current American work ethic are so unbelievable it is almost laughable. If our workforce is the most efficient in the world, then the world is in a very sad state of affairs indeed! I am reminded every single day when I step out into the public arena of how far we have slipped in the quality of customer service in the past 30 years, from the fast food industry all the way up to the top of the food chain. The attitude of most people I encounter who have to deal with the public on any regular basis is: "I put in my time every day. Do you actually expect me to work, too?" They seem to think a paycheck is an entitlement for which all they have to do is show up and spend 8 hours each day doing anything but working. There are still a few dedicated individuals who believe in an honorable work ethic, but they are getting fewer and further between. I think the person who pointed to poor work ethic in this discussion as part of the problem is right on the money!

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We have higher national production and work longer

by Cappadonna In reply to Most Efficient Workforce ...

Frankly, you want to see really lazy workers in the industrialized world, go visit France!! The idea that Americans are lazier than our far east competitors is total hogwash propped up by CEO and wall street types who want to convince Americnas to work even longer...

We're the only industrial nation (other than Japan and Russia) in which laborers work more than 45 hours per week on average. I would say that we are far from lazy. If anything, we are wage slaves driving ourselves in to early graves.

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Working Long Hours Doesn't Mean Work Quality

by cjc9 In reply to We have higher national p ...

A very important issue here is this notion that if you work long hours, you must be a hard worker...a ludicrous concept at best.

In my early career days, many of the people I worked with would put in 60 hour weeks, in the spirit of "making the deliverable". What I came to find out was that many of them were simply bad at their job, so bad, in fact, that they often needed to redo their work many times over, just for it to be minimally acceptable. This took time!

When I discovered that these folks were being perceived as "harder workers" than myself (quality job first time around, 37.5 hours a week, thank you), my resume hit the streets - it was clearly time to move on.

Incompetence, inefficiency and laziness are prevelent in the American workforce, especially at the "pointy-haired boss level". Don't get me wrong, I've seen examples to the contrary, hard workers who's 60 hour weeks easily eclipsed other two full week output... But to say that the American workforce is the most efficient in the world certainly seems narrow minded to me.

Or perhpas those folks have never had the experience of working in the "Fortune 500" world. My word, you could fund several small countries with the money lost on "smoker's breaks"!!!

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I believe this is a structural issue

by *BML* In reply to Working Long Hours Doesn' ...

I agree that there are a lot of workers -- especially in larger corporations -- who are doing a very bad job.

But I believe that this is a structural issue -- the Dilbert principle at work...

I have several folks on my team who could be exceptionally productive, but the structure of our corporate environment makes it very difficult to be productive and do a good job.

If you give talented people a goal and give them the power to get the job done, then you see great results. If you don't set good goals and/or you don't give them the power to reach the goals, then you get frustrated, sarcastic workers.

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So True!!!!

by ozguy In reply to I believe this is a struc ...

I work in one of the those large multi-national companies and I believe BML's comments are exact.

I have seen the same company go from providing and wide recognised exceptional service to an average service with many of the same people on the ground, but through management change and company philosophy service deteriorated.

A company's structure and atmosphere needs to be conducive to making employees want to work hard and achieve. There needs to be rewards for doing so and management need to ability and strength to identify those who are not pulling their weight and do something about it.

If the structure and people are right at the tops levels, it's amazing how things can change. A manager who has a good understanding of customer service and work ethic will generally not tolerate anything else from the people under them, and so it flows down to the point where peers will pressure each other to excel.

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Absolute vs relative

by Elder Griffon In reply to Working Long Hours Doesn' ...

I hate to interject, since I can't quote chapter and verse, but it's a frequently-cited finding that American workers tend to score high both in hours worked and measures of overall productivity, somtimes in marked contrast to other industrialized nations. I think this is what the other poster was referring to by saying "most efficient in the world," although I can't say what specific evidence there is of that. Certainly, it doesn't seem like there are many experts who would assert that Americans score poorly in terms of productivity per hour worked, relative to other countries.

It should be noted, I think, that this finding in itself doesn't preclude the notion that we Americans lack a common practice of diligence for certain things, or that perhaps a necessary diligence for certain kinds of work is missing from business cultures around the world.

I've noticed this in the company I work for as it moves from an entrepreneurial to a more long-term business structure. Some problems that would have been quickly solved before tend to hang around, because people are reluctant to take responsibility for them. In fairness, this is often because people feel like they are not rewarded for taking responsibility, and might even in some cases be punished for not concentrating on their main job functions. Workers often get the message that they deliver value to the organization in part through predictable behavior (such as working longer hours, even if productivity isn't there). I often wonder what could possibly be done about this.

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Australian Experience

by alan In reply to Absolute vs relative

I live and work in Australia and find great productivity correlates with mutual respect among workers for education and training. If the workplace culture promotes and rewards education, greater interest in quality outputs results.

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by Timbo Zimbabwe In reply to Working Long Hours Doesn' ...

"My word, you could fund several small countries with the money lost on "smoker's breaks"!!!"

Well THIS smoker takes 3 breaks a day; Before work, at lunch and after work. First, don't assume that because someone smokes and takes their coffee break to smoke, that they get nothing done. Secondly, in the IT field, I personally wonder how much time/money is lost to "Doom 3" or "Star Craft" breaks.....

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