15 March 2012

Working with Interspire Email Marketer Technical Support

We'll be posting here some of our correspondence with a certain company's technical support. Rather than commenting on it, we'll just let it speak for itself.

  1. 7.
    Reply by Andrew Thomas Blake on 8 Mar 2012
    --------------------------------
    Supporting Information
    --------------------------------
    Severity: The application is down or experiencing a major malfunction
    Support Type: I'm having a problem with the application
    Product Version: 6.1.2
    Operating System: Not Applicable
    Web Browser: Not Applicable
    Screen Resolution:
    License Selected: #88827 - http://interspire.true...

    --------------------------------
    Problem Summary
    --------------------------------
    hello hello we need help with our open ticket please

    --------------------------------
    Problem Description
    --------------------------------
    we have an issue that has been open for weeks -- can we please get help with it

    the technical support is down or experiencing a major malfunction 
  2. 6.
    Staff Reply Reply by Stephen Maeder on 8 Mar 2012
    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for your patience regarding your support ticket.

    Support tickets are answered in the order they are received. Response times may vary depending on the number of pending tickets in the queue. To help eliminate delays resolving your issue, please provide as much detail as possible to recreate the issue.

    Please note that tickets are sorted in our support queue by the last activity date. Any reply by you or our technical support team will reset this date. Please refrain from excess replies to check the status.

    You can check the status of your ticket by logging in to the Interspire Client Area and selecting View Your Tickets. Please note if the ticket status shows 'Active' there is no action required from you.


    Best Regards,

    Stephen Maeder
    Interspire Partner/Affiliate Manager
    http://www.interspire.com

    US: 1-800-939-5570
    International: +1-512-758-7578 
  3. 5.
    Reply by ######@######.###on 8 Mar 2012
    Hello Stephen

    Thanks for your response. However, I have to call into question some of the
    information you have provided: if it is true that tickets are addressed in
    the order that they are received, how come you have answered this one while
    we are still waiting for help with one which is now weeks old?

    Could you please let me know what is the average time your clients wait for
    support tickets to be resolved?

    Thank you

    Andrew Blake



    On Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 10:44 AM, Interspire Email Marketer <
    emailmarketer@interspire.com> wrote:

    > Hi Andrew,
    >
    > Thank you for your patience regarding your support ticket.
    ...


  4. 4.
    Staff Reply Reply by Scott Smithwick on 8 Mar 2012
    Customer service issues are different than support issues. The customer service team tries to pull out any non-support issue so the technical team can focus on actual support.

    The wait depends on the type and number of issues that were submitted before you.



    Regards,
    Scott Smithwick
    Interspire Customer Service

    Toll-Free: 1 800 939 5570
    US: 1 512 758 7578

    P.S. Have you tried BigCommerce (the hosted version of our shopping cart software) yet? Go here for a 15 day free trial: http://bit.ly/bcfreetrial 
  5. 3.
    Reply by  #####@######.###  on 8 Mar 2012
    Hi Scott

    Thanks for explaining my first uncertainty. That makes sense.

    However, I don't feel that my last question has been answered. Obviously
    resolution times differ; that is the point of taking an average value. I
    would be grateful if you could let me know what it is.

    Or at least -- if you don't have precise figures to hand -- please give me
    a ballpark idea by letting me know which one of the following terms best
    describes it: 'hours', 'days', 'weeks', 'months', 'years'. This is just so
    that I can have a better sense of how patient to be.

    I hope I don't come across as antagonistic, I certainly don't mean to seem
    that way. However, please bear in mind that the time I spend in the
    exchange of these emails is not anyone's free time. Interspire have been
    paid to provide technical support for their product; I myself am also being
    paid to engage in the process, and I feel an obligation to make it as
    efficient as possible.

    At the moment I am wondering if help is on the way at all, which is why I
    am asking for information. I would very much appreciate your help in this.

    Andrew






  6. 2.
    Staff Reply Reply by Scott Smithwick on 8 Mar 2012
    Typically Email Marketer support tickets are answered within 24hrs with either a resolution or additional questions to help troubleshoot the issue. Currently we have an abnormal backlog of support issues (close to double the normal) so things are slower than usual.



    Regards,
    Scott Smithwick
    Interspire Customer Service

    Toll-Free: 1 800 939 5570
    US: 1 512 758 7578

    P.S. Have you tried BigCommerce (the hosted version of our shopping cart software) yet? Go here for a 15 day free trial: http://bit.ly/bcfreetrial 
  7. 1.
    Reply by #####@######.### on 9 Mar 2012
    Hi Scott

    Thanks for the information.

    I'd like to underline that our ticket "XME-769-62473 excessive disk usage
    during mailings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" has been waiting for a response from your
    technical support team since March 2nd.

    This ticket was originally opened on January 26th.

    Please could you encourage tech support to at least touch base with us
    regarding this issue.

    We have upgraded to the latest version of the software (even though there
    was no indication that the problem we are having was addressed in the new
    version), and we have run a mailing in test mode to see if the excessive
    disk use still occurred (even though it would have been 'unlikely',
    considering test mode does not send any emails).

    John Tuck of Interspire Technical Support has confirmed that 100% disk I/O
    utilization is not the expected behavior when Interspire is sending emails.

    The problem persists.

    We are undergoing a period of server instability that we think might be
    related to these periods of excessive disk use.

    The monitoring software that we are using to help us track down the cause
    of the instability is called New Relic. Every time that Interspire sends
    out a mailing, New Relic sends us an alert warning us that our disk I/O is
    abnormally high.

    Here is a sample:

    Critical problem (1 during this alert) Start time Duration End time
    Disk IO > 90% on vs3 Today, 13:03 16 minutes In-progress


    You will agree that together, these elements constitute valid grounds for
    worry that Interspire is interfering with the operation of our server, and
    I think you would be best advised to look on our Support Request as
    offering Interspire an opportunity to come up with a reason why we should
    not just try a different email marketing software.

    I might suggest that I would be interested to know if any other Email
    Marketer users have problems of excessive disk usage. Are any other
    customers using Email Marketer in conjunction with New Relic? And -- as I
    have asked before, without response -- I would like to know whether the
    rate at which our system sends emails (e.g. 18,843 in four hours) is fast,
    slow or normal.

    Thank you for your attention. You may close this ticket -- and I leave you
    in the hope that our ticket XME-769-62473 will be addressed soon, with
    answers to the questions above.

    Andrew


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