Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tech Support, the Ubisoft way

As you can see in my previous postings, I love Rocksmith.

However, Ubisoft's technical support leaves a lot to be desired.

I posted a problem in a message thread in their support forum. They have a "sticky" thread there titled: "Rocksmith Official Bugs and Issues Thread". The "forum manager" made the first post, saying:

Please post all bugs, repeatable crashes and any major game play issues in this thread. Do not make new threads since this can result in your problem getting lost and the Topic getting closed.

This is not a means of Direct support but a means to collaborate all issues. You should also report any bugs or glitches directly to Ubisoft Support. The direct link is in my Signature.

Thank you for taking the time to report any issues.

Toward the end of the very lengthy thread, they advised users to submit support tickets for their issues.

I did that, on December 4:

I am unable to pick Tone Slot 2 in the Amp. When I tap the directional pad or left stick on my Xbox controller, it skips Tone Slot 2 and goes straight to Tone Slot 3. So I try to go back and it skips 2 and goes to Tone Slot 1. I thought it was my controller, but if it were the controller, you would think that it would go past Tone Slot 3 to the guitar picker... or it would skip past songs when trying to choose one. I also tried another controller just in case and it does the same.

I posted this same problem in your forum and it appears that others have the same problem. I'd love to see this fixed in an upcoming patch as it makes this feature somewhat useless.

As you can see, it has nothing to do with my guitar or playing the guitar. It has to do with selecting an option in the game's menu.

I first received an auto-response from the support system with various links to commonly asked questions (aka FAQs)

The next day, I recieved what I believe to be a human response from a rep:

Hello Scott,

Please follow the instructions in the following FAQ for assistance with this configuration issue: http://ubisoft.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/15549

I'll save you a click and tell you that their suggested solution explains how to adjust my guitar's intonation. This is completely unrelated to my problem. Not to mention it could result in me messing something up with my guitar. The issue was also closed as "resolved".

I reopened it with this response:

Your suggested solution has absolutely nothing to do with the problem I reported. In fact, my problem has nothing to do with actually playing the instrument. The problem is with selecting an option in the game's menu, using the game controller. Please re-read the problem that I reported and perhaps try it yourself. Like I said, it has nothing to do with the guitar.

A couple of days later, they closed the incident as resolved, without explanation.

That's right around the time a new thread started in the Ubisoft forum, titled WTF kind of answer is this Ubisoft support criticizing the response that someone else had received. I replied with my experience. The Ubisoft Forum Manager replied, telling me to re-open my incident if it wasn't resolved, and they explained that the first response may be a simple FAQ. Why there's a need for multiple FAQ responses is still a mystery.

So I did, with a strong suspicion that it would be closed again within days, without a response. I sent:

This problem is not solved.

It was closed a day or two later.

I posted an update. The topic died off after a few people responded to my update.

Yesterday I decided to re-open my incident. It irks me that some companies feel it's ok to treat their customers like this. I used to work in tech support and this was never acceptable. I sent the following message:

I don't know why you keep closing this. Closed means resolved, and as you can see, there is no resolution posted by you in this incident.

Surprisingly, I received a response the same day.

Hello Scott,

Please follow the instructions in the following FAQ for assistance with this configuration issue: http://ubisoft.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/15549

Deja vu? It's the exact same thing that they sent me the first time.

I responded with:

Is this a joke? You can't be serious. Did you even read what my problem was? Or read the reply I made when you first suggested this same "solution" which is completely unrelated to my problem?

My problem is NOT a configuration issue. If you feel so strongly that this is a solution to my problem, can you please explain to me how adjusting the intonation of my guitar affects TRYING TO SELECT AN OPTION in the game with a game controller.

Thank you.

I couldn't hold back. I posted a complete summary in their forum with an admittedly sarcastic  ending:

I have a sneaking suspicion that the link they sent me is also the solution to world hunger.

Within a couple of hours, I received a private message from someone whom I assume is directly involved with the development of Rocksmith, apologizing for the lack of response from support and reassuring me that my problem was a rare issue related to DLC and said that it would be fixed in the upcoming patch.

I thanked them for the reply.

Now when I posted my "summary", I admit that I did do a faux pas, and named the rep in my posting. Only their first name, and to be honest, I'd be extremely surprised if it was their real name.

The Forum Manager didn't like that, and edited my message and the replies of a couple of other people. They also posted:

Like I have stated previously, the first reply may be a simple FAQ. If your question has not been solved there may not be a solution to your Ticket. Even if the answer is not to your satisfaction, the details have been logged and if others report the same situation a fix is more likely.

Trying to call out Ubisoft Staff whether it be Forum or Support will only lead to further action.

Can you please PM me your Incident Ticket number?
Thanks

Here is my entire reply to that:

First, I apologize for naming the rep, there was no intent to "call them out". I was simply putting a name to the "bizarre" responses I received.

Secondly, what purpose does sending a completely unrelated FAQ response serve, AFTER the support system has already sent an auto-response with links to FAQs? That's rather pointless, don't you think? The only thing it does is make the company look like they don't care about the customer.

I worked in software technical supprot for 6-7 years and we used the same support system that Ubisoft uses, so I know how the back end works. I know the real reason why they close them off, but I won't get into that.

If there was no answer to my problem, then they should be straight forward and say so and at the very least reassure me that the issue was forwarded to their engineers. The incident should not simply be closed with the hopes that I'll just go away.

Having said that, I did receive a private response from someone at Ubisoft (or from Rocksmith) shortly after I posted my message, apologizing for the trouble and they reassured me that my problem is a rare issue somewhat related to DLC and will be fixed in the upcoming patch. I thanked them for their assistance.

That is how support should work and if it did work like that, this entire message thread wouldn't even exist and you wouldn't have to threaten your customers with further action for being rightfully upset.

If you still want the incident number, feel free to PM me, otherwise I no longer need a response as I did get one from someone who cared enough to give me one.

I wasn't sure if I should post that because I thought it might touch a nerve, but thankfully it didn't. I received this response from the Forum Manager within the hour:

We do care and I understand your frustrations. This is why I asked for you Ticket number. I still have to uphold the rules though.

I am glad you were contacted about your issue and given an answer. Please let us know if you are still affected after the patch release.

Seriously, Ubisoft, you have to do something to improve your technical support. Why couldn't I have received an answer the first time I submitted the support ticket? Surely, your first level tech support people must have some kind of escalation route for problems that they can't resolve or at least provide some assistance for?

I suppose it could be worse — I could be a PS3 user. The PS3 version appears to be plagued with problems. There are endless reports of crashes and lost progress.

This is the second Ubisoft game that I've had a poor technical support experience with. My patience is wearing thing, Ubisoft.

 

1 comment:

  1. We have the PC version of Far Cry 3. We needed a simple question answered. Why do we get a MAJOR ERROR SCREEN when playing the game. Our side works just fine but the SERVER ERROR message says we can't connect to the Far Cry 3 SERVERS. So we sent a message to Ubisoft tech support website. VERY POOR and deceptive Ubisoft support website! Everyone seems to be getting a person named "Matt", we are not sure there really is a person with this name it sounds like an "auto-responder". Anyway the website auto-responds with a prompt to call the east-coast direct Ubisoft number (Area code 919) and that means we PAY FOR THE CALL or USE OUR Minutes! This is WRONG. What no toll-free number ... with all that money there should be a toll-free number. This has been going on for over 10 days now. We finally found out (NOT from Ubisoft the games plays "offline" just fine; which is why we were calling. Kept getting ERROR Msg saying the game Far Cry 3 can't connect to the servers.) A simple answer would be fine but Nooooo they give you the run-a-rouund and want you to PAY for a QUESTION! We will NOT do this and we feel you should not as well. The tech support is USELESS. Don't bother. The game is good. The support is NOT (or should we say...NON-available) Thanks...

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