August 15th, 2007

The Librarian

The joys of computer ownership

My Norton security package subscription expired yesterday ... it's been a great product with none of the minor annoyances of McAfee (which had a habit of blocking its own updates with the firewall), but at this crucial moment it got a little freaked out, repeatedly telling me to download a bunch of updates quick before my time was up, while warning me that I must resubscribe but not actually providing the means to do so (even so, still preferable to McAfee's frequent renewal emails that start three months before expiry and try to fool you into losing part of the cost of previous year's by offering a tiny discount if you renew that early). Got the last-minute uploads in just under the wire and finally managed to hit a key/mouse/something combination that got me a subscription message with a link (yes, I did visit the Symantec site, but while other products were prominently displayed, I didn't have much luck finding subscription renewal info). Made the renewal purchase, got my renewal activation code, went through the steps to use said code, and was repeatedly told it was invalid. Got the alternate instructions for entering code in case of difficulties ... invalid.

So jumped through all the hoops to finally get to a technician in a chatroom ... I will say that Symantec scores very well in that department, compared to other technical help chats I've done. A live countdown to show you where you are in the help lineup (I started out as number four and was at number one and connected in less than two minutes), the tech had actually read my case notes before making contact instead of signing on first and then telling me to wait while they read, took my word about what I'd already tried and shoehorned my renewal through from his/her end immediately. And then, instead of the usual "fixed, you can carry on now, bye" (understandable if there's a long queue of customers, but bound to result in repeat sessions with half of them), stated that they would stay online until I had checked everything over and run/installed all the waiting updates and checked that they were all okay too. A couple of extra minutes on his/her part, but to me an excellent customer service gesture ... dunno whether that's company policy (and if it is, good on 'em!) or just this particular tech, but doing that little extra thing goes a long way and in this case the tech earned my complimentary comment in the chat log, and I requested a supervisor email for repeating it (sure, one puts such things in the automatic service survey that pops up in the email after these sessions, and I did, but real humans don't often look at those).

'twas all very time-consuming though, the good and the bad, so, being thoroughly sick of the site of the computer after all that, spent the evening with a VERY young Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (I must say that Mr. Fry was one helluva dancer back then ***GRIN***)and a pair of knitting needles. And the hope that "Analyst Nishant" had a well-deserved shift full of easy, non-cranky customers. :-)
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