Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Canned responses

I sent the Xbox email support a message last night using their support submission form. I chose the “Other” option from the drop down list, thereby eliminating all of the more common issues they help with the hope that I’d get a human to read my message.

Because the form is limited to 1000 character, I suggested that they visit my blog where all of the details are posted, or forward my message to a manager or someone higher up as I had already dealt with support.

Seemed simple enough. Or so I thought.

This was in my email this morning:

Hello Scott,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft online support for XBOX. I am Kody and I will be assisting you today with this issue.

I understand that you are encountering problems with your Xbox 360 console.

As our dear customer we are committed on giving the best possible service. We know how unsatisfactory your situation is when your console is not performing correctly.

In order to check what is causing the problem and give you the correct steps to resolve the issue, please provide us further with more specific details such as:

  • Exact error message or error code as seen on the screen (if there are any).
  • Games (Original Xbox games or Xbox 360 games) that are affected.
  • The number of red lights flashing on the Ring of Light (surrounds the power button light), if any.
  • The color of the indicator light on the power supply unit while the console is turned on.
  • Please include other details that can help identify the issue.

You may also include other details that can help identify the issue.  I look forward to hearing from you again and helping you resolve your problem.

If you need to reply to this e-mail, please reply 'with history' (include any previous e-mail) or reference to Service Request Number 1133432296 so we can expedite our service to you.

Thank you for visiting We hope that we were able to assist you, and that your experience with our customer service was positive - something we constantly strive to improve. If you should have future questions on Xbox products or services, please be sure to revisit our Web site as we are continually adding information to enhance our service.

Best Regards, 

Microsoft XBOX Support Services

That’s a canned response if I ever saw one. And based on the time I received it (6:19am) in comparison to when I sent it late last night, it’s not an automated canned message. A human, whether it really was a “Kody” or someone else, had to click a button to send it to me. Do I assume they simply didn’t read my message and just blasted through a bunch of “Other” flagged messages with the same canned response, or did someone actually read it, not give a damn, and then send the canned message in hopes that I’ll go away?

Is it any wonder why Tech Support gets a bad rap, often being compare to monkeys, when all they’re told to do is act like monkeys?

I was originally going to reply with a simple one-liner pointing to my original request, but the more I read this canned response, the more it bothered me. The temptation was too great, so this is what I sent:

Hello Kody,

Thank you for replying to my online support request for XBOX. I am Scott and I will be replying to you today with more details on this issue.

I understand that you are encountering problems with reading my original support request pertaining to my Xbox 360 console.

As the the dear customer you say I am, I am committed to giving you the best possible reply. I know how unsatisfying your job must be when upset customers, like myself, send long-winded support requests with very little detail.

In order be as clear as possible about what my problem is, I will again provide you with a link containing all of the information necessary so that you can provide me with the best possible service. I know, that you know, how unsatisfactory my situatuon is when my console is not functional.

Here, once again, is the link containing the information about my issue:

Thank you for visiting my blog containing all of the details you need. I hope that you are able to assist me, and that my experience with your customer service will be positive - something I'm sure you constantly strive to improve. If you should have future questions on my problem, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards, 

Microsoft XBOX Customer

Hey, if they can do it, so can I. :)

I’m still chuckling.

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