Showing posts with label technical support. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technical support. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pebble E-paper Watch Display Problems

Last year, on April 27, I wrote a review of the Pebble E-paper Watch that I got through their Kickstarter project. You can read that posting here.

Since that time, there have been a few firmware updates, all providing additional features and functionality. I love this watch, up to now.

In December, I clicked a button to get into the settings and the settings menu had a little bit of display corruption. It cleared up quickly simply by backing out of the menu and going back in.

Sadly, it was not the last time it happened.

Since then, it has also occurred for various notifications, as well as the default watch faces.

Option, Settings, Display menu.
Settings menu.


Options menu.

A default watch face?

Another default watch face.

Notifications.

Default watch face immediately after turning
the watch on, I think.

A Google search brings up quite a few hits from others experiencing the same problem. Oddly enough, most of them appear to have occurred after the last firmware update. I concur.

From what I've read, the only solution is to contact their support, provide requested photos indicating the corruption to get an RMA, and get the watch replaced.

I contacted their support, via the iPhone app as someone suggestion, on January 1, 2014. To date, I am still waiting for a reply. I did get an automated reply the same day, telling me that someone would be contacting me "soon".  I guess their idea of "soon" is a little different.

I should note that the display corrupt does clear up after a few button presses, and the watch face remains clean for the most part, so it's not entirely useless — it's just very annoying.

Coincidentally, Pebble has recently announce their "Pebble Steel" for $249. The firmware update that will accompany it looks pretty sweet, but until these display issues are resolved I'm not interested.

This last photo is kinda funny... they tout the original Pebble as having a "scratch resistant lens". Click the photo and you'll see exactly how scratch resistant it is. :)

The scratch resistant lens after normal
daily wear.
An update can be found here.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wi-Fi-less


This is how my weekend started.

I got home from work on Friday and checked in on FourSquare on my iPhone (ya, I added my home) :) I noticed that I wasn't connected to my home Wi-Fi. It happens sometimes. I launched the Wi-Fi configuration and it didn't show any Wi-Fi networks in my neighbourhood. There are usually at least 5 or 6 of them.


I toggled the Wi-Fi off and back on again. Nothing changed. I toggled Airplane mode on and off. Still nothing. I turned the phone off and back on again. Nada.

This is where things got really ugly. When I went back into the Wi-Fi settings I found... oh wait... I couldn't get back into the Wi-Fi settings. It was disabled.

Img_0001
I hopped onto Google and discovered that this is actually a fairly common problem. For most people, it seems it happened right after updating to iOS 6.0.1, and it only happens with the 4S and iPad 3. Some say it can happen after dropping your phone. There are many different suggestions (including something called "the freezer trick?)

I tried some of the more sane suggestions, like resetting network settings. Resetting all settings. Nothing.
This is the point where I began to hate technology. I used to thrive on technical problems. I found them a challenge. That's why I once had a job in technical support. Those days are long gone. My years in technical support wore me down.

Back to my phone. I did more searching and found that I may have to do a restore to factory defaults. I did not want it to get to that, but what other choice did I have?

I first made sure I had a backup in iTunes and then started the process. It downloaded the latest firmware (6.0.1), which I had already installed and it proceeded to install it.

Once it was done, the phone setup started and it asked me to connect to my Wi-Fi. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was as happy as I should have been. If this happened once, what are the chances it would happen again? I went through the setup and chose the option to restore all of my data from the backup. I started that and set the phone down to do its thing.

At some point during the restore I noticed that it was no longer connected to my Wi-Fi again. I went back into the Wi-Fi sett... disabled, again.

By now I'm on my 2nd or 3rd beer.

I decided to once again restore it to the factory defaults, but I was prepared to not restore my data. I was secretly hoping that it wouldn't work because I didn't want to lose my data.
It didn't work. Wi-Fi was still disabled.

I recalled that when we bought our iPhones, the Telus rep told us that for support we'd have to deal directly with Apple. But the Telus trouble-shooting web site said to call Telus, or visit one of their stores. So I called them.

I explained the situation and the tech had me check a few things and told me that I'd have to contact Apple. I questioned why the web site said I can go to their store and she said that was if I wanted them to send my phone back to Apple for me and/or if I wanted a loaner until I get the replacement. Seriously... what's the point?

Anyway, she transferred me directly into Apple's phone queue. After about 5 minutes listening to hold music, the tech came on. Once again, I explained my predicament. She walked me through checking a few things (or trying to) I mentioned that it appeared to be a common problem that was hardware related. She agreed that she did find the same article on the web and asked if she could put me on hold while she consulted with her supervisor.

A few minutes later she returned to say that her supervisor confirmed that they have seen the issue and the only solution is to replace the phone, which she said she could arrange to do since it was still under warranty.

So now I await the replacement, which will have a box and information to send the old one back to them. She said it would take 3-5 days.

I suppose I could have called up an Apple store and made an appointment to see someone there and maybe get it swapped out.

I didn't bother restoring all of my data back onto my semi-functional phone. It's going to suck the life out of my provider data plan if I keep using it without Wi-Fi.

It's a little disconcerting to know that there's a chance it could happen again, or even to my wife's phone, and there is no other official solution (yet?) other than swap the phone. I wonder what would happen if it was out of warranty? I mean, this doesn't sound like something that occurs with age, it could happen at any time.

Here are some articles about the problem:

http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/28/3422024/ios-6-disabled-wifi-issues
http://www.zdnet.com/apples-ios-6-wi-fi-problems-linger-on-7000004799/
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2012/092512-ios6-wifi-262787.html
http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1559

And the long thread in Apple's community forum:

https://discussions.apple.com/message/19619592#19619592

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.

 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No ink level monitoring for Epson Workforce 633

We bought a new printer a couple of weeks ago: an Epson Workforce 633. It's a multi-function printer. For the most part, I got it up and running via wife and all our computers printing, scanning and faxing with it in no time.

I had one tiny problem, and the problem existed only with my PC. The driver preferences allow you to see the ink levels. With my PC, that didn't work.

I couldn't find any answer to the problem on Epson's web site. I did find references on the web from of other people with the same problem using other Epson printers. Nobody seemed to have a solution.

It wasn't a critical problem. It didn't prevent me from using the printer. But I can be pretty picky about things. If something is supposed to work, I wanted it to work. If it doesn't work, I want to know why.

I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the printer, updating the driver, and changing firewall settings. Nothing worked.

This morning I submitted a support request via Epson's web site before leaving for work.  I received a step-by-step reply at during my lunch hour. I connected to my PC remotely and tried the solution. It worked.
Although the instructions worked, they did need a little tweaking. I decided to post them here for others to find, along with my comments.

The solution was to remove and reinstall the printer, but I also had to remove the port that was created during the original installation, and then recreate the port.

If you already know the name or IP address of the printer, the first 4 steps can be skipped.
  1. Press Setup button. (on the print panel)
  2. Use the up or down arrow buttons to select Network Settings, then press OK.
  3. Use the up or down arrow buttons to select Confirm Network Settings, then press OK.
  4. Write down the IP address displayed on the LCD.
  5. In your computer click on Start menu > Device and Printers.
  6. Under Printers and Faxes right click on your printer icon then click on Remove Device.
  7. Click on Microsoft XPS document writer icon then click on Print Server Properties. (this is a button along the top of the window)
  8. Click on Ports tab.
  9. Look for EpsonNet Print Port that indicate the IP address of your printer. Select it then click on Delete Port.(My printer's IP address was NOT listed, but it did have EPSON in the port name. Also, when I tried to delete the port it wouldn't let me because there was another print device, the Epson fax, using the same port. I had to remove that printer before getting to this point)
  10. Click on OK. (aka CLOSE)
  11. Click Add Printer (select "Add Local Printer") then click Next.
  12. Select Local Printer attached to this computer and unchecked Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer then click Next. (this entire step wasn't even needed)
  13. Click Create a new port and on Type of Port select EpsonNet Print Port.
    • If you see your printer select your printer then Next.
    • If you don't see your printer select Manual Setting then click Next
    • Enter your printer's IP address then click Next (if you know the name of the printer, you can enter it instead)
    • Click on Finish
  14. Under manufacturer select Epson and under printer select your printer then click Next. (Even though my printer is the Workforce 633, the driver is listed as Workforce 630 series)
  15. Select default Printer then click Next.
  16. Select do not Share this printer then click Next.
  17. Select Yes to print a test page then click Next.
  18. Click Finish.
Somewhere between step 14 and 18, I was prompted to allow the printer access through the Firewall. I chose Private network.

That reinstalled the printer and I had access to the print levels in the driver preferences. However, I also had no fax printer because I had to remove it before it allowed me to remove the port. I wasn't provided any instructions for reinstalling the fax printer. A couple of minutes of poking around the Epson software I had installed got that fixed.
  1. Click the Start Menu > Epson Software > Fax Utility
  2. Click the Add Another Printer (Fax) button and follow the prompts. If you had this set up previously, you'll be clicking Next throughout the entire setup.
That's it!