Adobe: Bad Customer Service
I asked to be transferred to a supervisor, who told me that Microsoft wouldn't give Adobe the necessary components to test their software until just recently. I explained that I have personally tested software on the beta versions of Vista for two years, and that the final bits have been available for months.
What was worse than waiting for two hours or listening to made-up excuses is just that no remedy, not even a symbolic gesture, was ever offered. I suggested that it would be helpful if Adobe could contact me when an update is released, rather than expecting me to visit the website every day. She said "That's not possible, we have a lot of customers." Not possible? Hardly. Not practical? Maybe. Not willing? Bingo.
The thing that makes this all even crazier is that I was able to install CS1 without issue, and upgrade on top of that (on *gasp* Vista!) - solving my own problem. It's a shame that the people who I talked to today lacked the imagination (or, seemingly, the energy) to suggest it.
There are a couple of takeaways from all this that I intend to relay to my customer service people:
1) Don't make your customers wait interminably.
2) If your customer paid you and can't use your software, "tough noogies" doesn't cut it.
3) If you can't answer your customer's question, have someone get back to them who can answer it.
4) Throw me a frickin' bone, here. If there is no solution to be had, give the customer something - anything - to show that they're not just another $1000 to you. Maybe a reduced-price upgrade when it finally does arrive, maybe just a follow-up email to say "sorry we couldn't help you".
5) Don't try to throw something technical-sounding at your customer in the hopes that they won't understand it and just go away.
I know what it's like to not have an answer for someone who deserves one. I understand that everybody has a somewhat different capacity for problem-solving. I understand that customer service people are usually the people in an organization who are the least empowered to offer resolution. But PLEASE give the impression that you're trying.