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Something else new to support

Blue_Banana
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Something else new to support

I've just waited almost a week for a problem to be ignored by the support staff at f9.  Only when I requested my mac did I get any response, although no fix.
Now I know why.  They have been too busy fixing what wasn't broken, the forums.  The introduction of the Community Site is just something else to develop, maintain and fix.  All of which costs time and money.  Why a company decides to pour resources into this when it can't even support the current setup is beyond me.  A simple amalgamation of the forums would have served the purpose of simplifying everything much more efficiently.
If you want to look for support for a problem you now have a multitude of locations to look into for your answer, forums, blogs etc.
I also think the idea to have a Polish forum is a bad decision.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not racist, I have a few Polish friends.  It's just that the Polish forum needs special support due to the language barrier.  Imagine two posts (one in the Polish forum and one in the Community Support forum), reporting an email server problem.  Each will need to be read, evaluated and replied to in a different language.  A waste of staff time for a company that is obviously struggling to support its customers in a timely and professional manner.  As a non Polish speaker/reader I would not be able to read the Polish forum looking for answers to problems.
One good thing that should come out of the Community Site is that f9 customers who have so far been second class customers over plusnet customers, should at last get the same quality of forum notifications and online support.
15 REPLIES 15
Blue_Banana
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Something else new to support

Quote from: James_H
Yep, you are right, they now have people in this forum looking for support.

Not just the forum which is harder to navigate and less intuitive but also blogs and tags!
Quote from: James_H
Of course, they don't have to support 4 vISP forums like they had to previously though.
Thats also gonna cut out a lot of the duplication that you cite as being a bad reason for trialling a Polish speaking forum too.


Like I said, a simple amalgamation of the forums would have been far more preferable to me and probably a good few others.  Just make the old forums read only and point everyone to the Plusnet forums.
This would have provided one location for all and next to no development needed.  One forum has a topic running discussing the colours and layout of the new community site.  They are now discussing the development of skins.  More waste of time and effort.

Quote from: James_H
Can something be a bad idea and a good idea at the same time, for the same reason?

The amalgamation wasn't a bad idea, just the execution.  The community site appears to be overdesigned at the expense of practicality.

gary
Grafter
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Something else new to support

Whats the problem you raised with our customer center which hasn't been fixed?
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Something else new to support

Pointing everyone at the PlusNet forums was considered early on but the amount of development work needed was actually a lot more than you would expect. Force9, Free-Online and Metronet customers don't have a login for the PlusNet site so they would either all need to signup for PlusNet usernames or create a way to login with their own username. Then there's the duplicate username issue, some usernames on F9 for example will be the same as usernames on PlusNet so we'd need to build a way to distinguish them as well.
Blue_Banana
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Something else new to support

Dave,
Sorry to see you have left f9 for Plusnet.  I have fond memories of f9 before the Plusnet takeover.  The f9 brand slips every further into history.
In response to your comments, you had to develop a new user database for all users anyway.  You could have saved all the trouble of developing the fancy front end by re-using the existing forum.
On a different note, I was busy replying to Gary whilst you posted.  When I hit the submit button and went to look at the topic, my post wasn't there but yours was.  Does your new system have a problem with simultaneous postings to the same topic?
Gary,
Thankyou but the problem is now in hand, the developers are looking into it now they have finished with the community site.
My reply may sound a little bitter but considering the poor level of customer service I experienced, I find the amount of time and effort commited to the new community site unacceptable.  The resources should have been used to provide a decent basic support.
gary
Grafter
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Something else new to support

Hey again,
I'm sorry but I can assure you that customer focus and service was not sacrifcied during the making of the Communtiy site.
If you have been specifically told that your issue is being looked into by our "developers" then this means our "Live code support team" are look at your specific issue. They sit next to me on the next desk so if you drop me a PM with your username and issue i'll see if I can do anything for you.
Our Live Code support team are a seperate entity which are soley reserved for solving "live" system problems and they are not in anyway involved with projects such as this site... well at least not until it is fully launched... then it becomes "live code"  Tongue
[edit: typo]
Neil_A
Grafter
Posts: 450
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Something else new to support

Quote from: Blue
I have fond memories of f9 before the Plusnet takeover.

Hi there, F9 and PlusNet have always been the same company. In fact PlusNet was launched by F9. F9 and PlusNet are totally identical. Take a look at our 10 year history page:
http://www.plus.net/features/timeline_1997.shtml
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,324
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Something else new to support

Quote from: dave
Pointing everyone at the PlusNet forums was considered early on but the amount of development work needed was actually a lot more than you would expect. Force9, Free-Online and Metronet customers don't have a login for the PlusNet site so they would either all need to signup for PlusNet usernames or create a way to login with their own username. Then there's the duplicate username issue, some usernames on F9 for example will be the same as usernames on PlusNet so we'd need to build a way to distinguish them as well.

User id number set as primary identifier in phpbb instead of username, allowing of duplicates in username field, and a merging of the sql databases.  Probably a weeks work at most including testing.
Im going to take some serious convincing that merging three installations of phpbb would have been harder and less productive than developing a backward step such as this forum.  Somebody in management should be asking some serious questions about this whole affair.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,780
Thanks: 983
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Something else new to support

Surely there'd be far, far more duplicate user id numbers than duplicate names!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Something else new to support

Quote
On a different note, I was busy replying to Gary whilst you posted.  When I hit the submit button and went to look at the topic, my post wasn't there but yours was.  Does your new system have a problem with simultaneous postings to the same topic?

Hi there,
What probably happened, was that you hit submit and then went back to the thread.  If you hit submit and someone else has made a post, you get some red text saying that someone else has posted and you need to hit submit again.
Back to the more important issue here, what's the problem that has been frustrating you?
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,324
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Something else new to support

Quote from: jelv
Surely there'd be far, far more duplicate user id numbers than duplicate names!

Not if renumerated, it is after all only one row in the _users table.  Indeed another new row could be created.  Anyway, its all a bit acedemic now.  But Im intreagued to see how this will progress... Lets see what its like in six months.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 17,700
Thanks: 686
Fixes: 167
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Something else new to support

I'm sure we'll be able to convince and prove to you that this site will become extremely valuable. There will continue to be improvements as we get more and more feedback to take on board, hopefully you'll start to see these soon.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Not applicable

Re: Something else new to support

Following my visit to Plusnet in March of this year, I came away with the distinct impression that the staff took great notice of what came out of the forums and that they use this information to formulate future plans.  We are frequently asked for our opinions on various things and these are taken notice of (the most recent being the issue of Squirrelmail).  Although it must be rather irritating when there are problems with service, I do feel that staff time spent on these forums is well spent, particularly when it comes to troubleshooting individual difficulties.
retep
Grafter
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Something else new to support

I understand Blue Banana's doubts about all the attention here, but its a start-up thing and generally plusnet seem (mostly) on top of things at the moment. First time for a long, long time that I have seen a fully green fault board some days ago for instance.
Personally I dislike the double login required when I check for faults and then login again for the forum and ask why is it needed? In my database days it would be easy to map the two together  Wink but who knows now.
Generally I like plusnet/ staff here but if there are problems elsewhere I am sure they will be here far more rarely so make the most of it.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Something else new to support

Quote from: poppy
Although it must be rather irritating when there are problems with service, I do feel that staff time spent on these forums is well spent, particularly when it comes to troubleshooting individual difficulties.

I definately agree with that, but not just the individial issues but the wider issues too. Makes identifying, investigating and prioritising issues that are more service wide that much easier. Can sometimes be difficult for CSC to determine how widespread an issue is, 10 calls could be answered by 10 different analysts and unless it's something out of the ordinary it probably wouldn't ring any alarm bells. Whereas that probably would ring the alarm bells if there were 10 posts at the same time.