Nothing frustrates me more than requesting specific information or providing the answer only then to face a debate. Much like “Log Files: Why is this so hard?” – if I’ve exhausted my use of analogies or provided tutorials to help explain the technical reality, there really is no sense in keeping the support ticket open. Staying on the phone or web conference while you drown out my attempts to interject, only convinces me that you no longer care for or respect my professional opinion.

I often wonder why people open tickets with our technical support group only to then argue with the technical explanation -or- worse still dictate to us how to handle troubleshooting the matter. I can’t tell you the number of times a customer has told me to bring someone else in on the call that can fix it when the “someone else” is someone in their company. Instead, I’m harangued with the urgency of the matter only to be told the “someone else on their end” can’t come to the call. How is this so urgent I have to spend every waking moment on it but the individual(s) that can actually resolve it – within your own company – have no urgency whatsoever? “Severity” and the Art of Fairness proves raising this to a severity 1 with me still won’t resolve the issue. I can bring in any number of co-workers on my end to tell you the exact same thing I’ve already told you and that’s only going to waste more of my time and yours – and the issue still won’t be resolved.

If the issue is understanding basic protocol principals (HTTP, HTTPS, AS2, FTP, FTPS, SFTP etc. etc. etc.) or database concepts, it isn’t our job to educate you on these matters. Still, we often try including providing links to tutorials. Beyond that, when we’ve provided a cogent response that someone with basic technical skills would understand,  the matter has been explained.  At some point it is up to you, the customer, to seek out educational and self-study resources to become more proficient at understanding the standards and technical concepts incorporated into this product upon which your business is dependent.I can’t explain it any better than I already have (most likely multiple different ways).

I confidently speak for my peers: we are not a trying to baffle you. We sincerely want a happy customers but sometimes no matter how hard we try “we can’t understand it for you”. If we explain that the issue is at the network layer and offer to point this out to your network team in a packet trace – that is all we can do. If the network layer points to problems with your customer’s system, we cannot diagnose it any further. Your customer needs to engage their network team (back to Opening the Ticket with the Wrong Team).

Likewise, if the issue is pointing to your database and you’re not following the recommended maintenance it’s time to have a conversation with your Database Administrator.We can’t fix your database we can only tell you what the data is showing.

The simple fact of the matter is – we can only fix issues with our software. Once it’s outside that realm, we do the best to provide you with the solid information you need to work with the right folks ELSEWHERE. We’re good but we’re not magicians. Oh and “I’m sorry” or “Thank-you” sure goes a long way prior to agreeing to close the ticket.