You Can’t Install A Patch To Fix Incompetence

, , , | Working | December 27, 2019

(This is a story that my dad told me. My parents decide to visit my father’s mother, so my dad calls ahead to see if she’s home and has time, but when she picks up the phone, she can’t hear him. He can hear her, though, so they decide to go. When they arrive at her home, he does some troubleshooting and finds out that the problem must be with her landline. After driving back home, on a whim, he tests their own landline, as well, and finds the exact same issue. Curious, he contacts some of their friends and finds out that all those who use the same landline provider as them have the problem. The next day, my father calls the provider:)

Agent: “Hello, this is [Agent] at [Provider]. How can I help you today?”

Dad: “Hello, there seems to be a problem with our landline.” *describes the issue* “I asked around and found that other people are experiencing the same problem. What’s going on there?”

Agent: “Oh, yes, this is a known issue. About two weeks ago, we outsourced some of our services to [Large Competitor] and they changed some of the software. Since then, it’s not compatible with [Specific Router Brand] anymore, so if you use that for your Wi-Fi, you’ll experience this issue. [Competitor] is working on it, but we don’t know how long it will take. You can manually install a patch, though, and then change some of the settings to fix it. I can walk you through it.”

Dad: “Wow, hold on. You’ve known about this for two weeks and didn’t inform your customers at all? We didn’t get mail or anything! I even checked your website; there’s nothing there!”

Agent: “Well, we outsourced this part of our technology. [Competitor] changed the software, not us.”

Dad: “I don’t have a contract with [Competitor], though. I have a contract with you, that you have failed to fulfill for apparently two weeks already.”

Agent: “Yes, but [Competitor] is responsible for the change in software.”

(This goes around in circles for some time.)

Agent: “But [Competitor]—”

Dad: “Oh, for heaven’s sake! No! Listen! I pay you, not [Competitor]! You take my money; you make sure the connection works! If not, I will cancel my contract and find another provider!”

Agent: “I didn’t think about that before. You can install the patch, though, and then your landline will work again!”

Dad: “Well, yes, mine. But what about everyone else’s? What if I needed to call, say, a plumber because a water pipe broke? If the plumber has the same issue, I can’t reach them! And they won’t even know because you didn’t inform your customers of the issue!”

Agent: “That’s because [Competitor]—”

Dad: “NO!”

Agent: “Okay, but still, it only happens if you use [Specific Router Brand]—”

Dad: “Which happens to be the most frequently used router in all of Germany, by far! This probably concerns about three-quarters of your customers! Also, do you realize that [Competitor] is currently running an aggressive marketing campaign in this area? You’re giving them the best argument to change providers they could ask for.”

Agent: “Huh? How’s that?”

Dad: “Your customers will miss a lot of calls, which causes problems for them. You didn’t inform them about the issue, or the patch, and you don’t even know when it’ll be resolved. A lot of people will want to cancel their contracts. There’s a good chance they’ll go to [Competitor], instead.”

Agent: “I never thought about that at all.”

Dad: “Yes, I noticed that. Now, how does this patch work?”

(The agent tries to walk him through the setup process but it doesn’t work. It turns out that my dad’s very old computer doesn’t fulfil the requirements for the patch.)

Agent: “Umm…”

Dad: “Yeah. Great. Could you at least open a ticket for me so I can be informed about the progress?”

(The agent obviously struggles, but finds out how to.)

Agent: “And we’re finished! I hope I could answer all your questions today!”

Dad: “Are you serious?” *click*

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