Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Flash Mobile Update - Customer Nightmare

In my previous post about Flash I held out that Adobe is putting unnecessary barriers in the way of developers for charging for the Flash light player. While looking at some application and development options I decided that I needed to get Flash 2.0 on one of the Nokia handsets in the office to look at some things.

I went to the handy dandy Adobe store to by the 2.0 version. $9.99 again. Sigh. Ok. It's not that it's the money, it's the barrier, but I digress. So I buy it and head to the download page. I click on the download link and the javascript/ajax thing pops up and low and behold there is a message. It states that the download store is not available and that I should try back later or call one of two phone numbers if the problem persists.

I wait for a couple of hours and try again. Same thing. I call the first number. It is disconnected and I am instructed to go to the main Adobe number. I call the second number it is disconnected and says to go to the main Adobe number. Clever. I decide that my trip to the Midwest for fun is more important and I will resume this exercise the following week.

Flash forward to yesterday (pardon the pun). I try to download yet again. No pop up thing and no download. No nothing. I try this across Firefox/Safari and I/E across windows/linux and Mac. Nada.

I go to the website. If you want support for your purchase of a Flash product you have to go to another website that only allows customer support for corporate customers. I go back. I try multiple navigations and realize that I just have to call.

I call the main number from the speakerphone at my desk and continue working as I suspect that the call will take a while. I couldn't have imagined what a while meant. I wait in queue forever. I get to talk to a friendly Adobe rep who decides that it is not a problem she can help me with. She transfers me to someone else. After a long delay and a couple of questions this person determines that it is something a download tech has to help me with. I get transferred to the download tech. After another significant hold time he quickly decides that he can't help me and that it is a flash problem. He sends me to some hold queue where I keep the phone on for the next 30 minutes or so before I hang up on my way home. I think I may have burned through that $9.99 in customer service time so I am starting to understand why they charge people.

This morning I had a long meeting scheduled in my office so I thought I would continue where I left off. I call the main number. Long hold. Talk to friendly rep. Explain long sordid story as detailed above. She sends me back to download guy. Slight hold. Download guy. New Download guys says its a flash problem. He proceeds to transfer me to the same disconnected number from the previous week. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Go back to start. I am in tears with laughter.

I continue on. Friendly customer service guy comes on after about a 10 minute hold. I tell him I have a really long story. I detail all the above in a painful recital. This guy is actually better than friendly. He is smart. He says, "How about I try to download it." Great idea. I give him my account information and he tries. He asks me to hold. Disappears for a while. He comes back and asks me if I was able to download 1.1. Yep, no problem. He says he can't download either. Ouch. He tells me that they are going to email me the binary in the next 24-48 hours.

I am sure that there will be some more to come but I hope not. It seems astonishing to me that their site would be down for almost a week like this and they hadn't figured it out but given the march of death customer service circle of hell I could see how they might not be getting to the root cause more quickly. Just a thought.

I want to like Flash, I really really do...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really agree with you that Adobe customer support front line is very horrible. We have purchased their Full Product Silver support plan for the ColdFusion MX 7 Enterprise. For over many months it has taken them no less than 45 minutes to verify my account and get my questions down for technical support. The ColdFusion technical guys are pretty good at answering/solving my problems.