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tech support policy Silly!


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Does anyone else find Dantz's tech support policy unfair? I mean you spend a decent chunk of change on a product and then have to pay to talk to a tech support person? Why not a system such as for the first month you have free tech support or my problem (501 error client activation) error showed up on the very first day, now I have to waste a lot of time coming and checking the bulletin boards to see if there is new information or something else that I can "try".

 

 

 

IreneS (Dantz moderator), who appears nice and knowledgable, messaged me and states that dantz will refund the charges if the problem was the result of a bug. On principle, I think this is an unfair approach, how about if I pay if the problem is NOT the result of a bug?

 

 

 

Sorry for the vent, but I am frustrated.

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Actually, I'd call it outrageous. I'm still trying to resolve a 519 error, depending on the guesses of other volunteer posters here.

 

 

 

What other product can you think of that you get no support from the seller?

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I think it stinks. I write database software for a living, and I give my clients 30-60 days free tech support after installation. I posted a problem here two days ago, and I have gotten zero responses -- not even a moderator has bothered to respond, so I will probably have to shell out 70 clams just for the privilege of speaking to a tech support engineer, even though I just upgraded a week or two ago. For something as critical as backups, a more solicitous approach to its customers would behoove Dantz greatly.

 

 

 

Dantz knows that they are the only Mac show in town for backup, but that will probably change soon, since there is a tried and true backup method via tar and cron in Unix. All it will take is for some enterprising soul to write a nice GUI wrapper for it. If Dantz wants to hang onto their customers, they might do well to revisit their policies.

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It is no longer practical for software companies to provide unlimited, free technical support. Competitive pressures keep the software price low enough that it isn't economical. In order to keep our costs in line and our support quality at its customary high levels, Dantz now charges for technical support.

 

 

 

All Dantz customers can choose to receive expert technical assistance by purchasing an annual subscription or by paying on a per-incident basis. New customers are entitled to a limited (30-day) period of free installation and setup support as described on our website:

 

 

 

Q. Are new customers entitled to free support?

 

A. New customers are entitled to 30 days of free installation and set-up support after registering. This includes customers who purchase the full product through any retail channel, or who receive and Retrospect product bundled or included with other software or hardware. Upgrade purchases do not entitle users to additional free support.

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

 

 

Irena Solomon

 

Dantz Tech Support

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I agree that it would be impractical to supply "free, unlimited technical support." However, when you release a MAJOR upgrade like this one, you should provide free support for a LIMITED time -- 30 days would be adequate for most people. Did you get all the bugs out of the product? Unlikely, since I appear to be seeing one. Can I count on Dantz calling it a bug and refunding my money? No, of course not, since it's discretionary on your part, and you obviously have a strong desire to have my money. Will I continue to use Retrospect after a new, competing product has come out? Probably not. Why would I want to, when it is unreliable and I have to pay for the privilege of getting it working properly? I have used Retrospect for the entire life of the product (including large site licenses for several companies in which I managed IT), and the reward for my loyalty is that I DON'T get any tech support after I upgrade. What kind of message are you trying to send here???

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have to agree that the new tech support policy is a serious problem. I'm a long time Retrospect user and one of the things that kept me loyal to the product was being able to contact knowledgable people if I had a problem. I just payed $199 for an upgrade that has very little new functionality other than support for a new file system. I have problems with memory leakage that were not fixed in 5.0.203. I have error codes returned when I think what the program is trying to tell me is that the current CDR disk is full. It would be nice to be able to speak to someone directly about these problems and resolve them all at once, but instead I'm reduced to poking around this message board trying to find appropriate topics to post each problem in.

 

 

 

It's frustrating and it signifigantly erodes what had been fierce loyalty to the product. I'm asking about real issues with Retrospect, not how to set up a network or what the internet is, or how exactly should I set up a script. I do feel that for the money I've paid I should be able to speak to a professional and get my problems resolved quickly. My time is valuable too.

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> Does anyone else find Dantz's tech support policy unfair?

 

 

 

(NB: new customers do get free tech support.)

 

 

 

I also don't like paying for an upgrade, and getting no free personal technical support.

 

 

 

However, I've been taking a look at other companies I deal with. Some are like Dantz and only offer personal support for new customers. Some do support paid upgrades, although for a shorter period than a new customer. Some have unlimited (and often poor) technical support.

 

 

 

Perhaps no free personal technical support for upgrades is actually best because it keeps the upgrade cost as low as possible? I have no complaints about the quality of the free support, or the quality of the personal technical support. Trouble is, it doesn't feel fair having just paid money and not getting any personal support!

 

 

 

The current policy has certainly got the forums off to a busy start... ;-)

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It's obvious from the sheer number of posts here that there are serious problems in the 5.0 version of Retrospect. From what I've read, these are mostly experienced users who are looking for practical solutions and answers to basic questions, not newbies who can't figure out where the "on" button is. If you can't charge enough to compensate the corpration for adequate tech support, then who is the competition that's challenging you to stay competitive? Certainly every single person I know who backs up uses Retrospect! The 30-Day new user tech support offer is fine, but what about those of us who have supported Dantz for many years by continually upgrading. How is it that an upgrade for use on a completely revamped operating system (OS X) merits no free tech support?

 

 

 

As much as I respect my peer users here in the forums, the best I can hope for is that after days of waiting, I'll get a reply that may help me. Until (or if!) that happens, I'm left with no answers for an absurdly slow network backup issue that's been running now since Saturday.

 

 

 

Thanks for nothing, Dantz.

 

 

 

 

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I also agree that Dantz's support policy is terrible. The only way you can justify charging for support (especially after a major upgrade) is releasing a bug-free product, which you obviously haven't.

 

 

 

Eventually, companies like yours will realize that customer support is what generates repeat sales. The chances of my company upgrading to Retrospect 6 are basically zero.

 

 

 

Someone else will come up with a dependable backup solution, and have the customer support to stand behind their product.

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The Dantz CEO recently posted the following to Retro-Talk, which I think is appropriate to this thread:

 

 

 

Your point about how to communicate with Dantz is a good one. We've been putting quite a bit of effort into figuring out what to do in this area and "customer contact" in general, and you'll see the results of those efforts in stages over the next few months.

 

 

 

Providing a channel of communication is, really, a commitment, and one that we can't control. If we put an email address on our website that says "contact us with your suggestions" then we have to respond to everyone who does. That takes a lot of time, which means people, which means money. We have to put our resources where they can have the best effect for the most customers. For example, we just hired a truly great tech pubs manager. Getting better docs and online help is vital to reducing the need for contact with Dantz. We hired a human interface consultant for future

 

products that has a gift for improving the user experience. These are but two of many examples.

 

 

 

We know communicating with our customers is vital. Much of our past success was built on paying attention to that. It became baked into our culture, the free tech support, a CS department that was highly staffed, upgrades at barely above break-even, and while our market, and we, were growing, it was exactly the right thing. But we kept doing it even after our market, and we (at least the Mac side of the business), stopped growing, and even started shrinking. As I said, it was baked into our culture. And we lost millions of dollars. (That is where the real arrogance was, that we knew better than the rest of the industry.)

 

 

 

Dantz is now quite a different company than it was, and all-in-all, a much better one on good financial footing. Our commitment to Macintosh is strong, our future products are going to be innovative, even 'disruptive', and, most importantly, the team, over 100 people, working here is so good as to make me pinch myself.

 

 

 

Larry Zulch

 

President & CEO

 

Dantz Development Corporation

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Interesting how Dantz decided to delete my reply to this thread. In my reply there was no profanity or anything of an innapropriate nature included. I've seen letters that are heated on here before, and what I had to say was very mild. Sure it was negative testimony of the product, but on the other hand it's useful information for any perspective buyer. People are entitled to hear opposing views. When Dantz decides to censor information it provides a filter. It could be said that these filters that don't allow people to see opposing views are dangerous to society as a whole. A deliberative democracy requires that people see opposing views weather they like it or not (this way they make informed choices). When people only see one perspective they hear echoes of their own beliefs which causes them to become more extreme in confident in what they believe. This is Dantz's web site, and it's thier choice wether or not to allow an opposing view, but when they pick and choose replys that offer differing views they might see it as a benefit to not allow perspective customers from seeing it. What they should keep in perspective is trying to keep current customers. When you moderate a customers view without addressing the issue, then you've lost a current customer, and possibly others. Perspective customers are just that, they aren't customers yet, learn to deal with your current customers issues if you want a loyal customer base.

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

David

 

 

 

PS Your phone support is excellent although overpriced

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There have been very few posts on this forum that did not meet the posting guidelines and thus had to be removed.

 

 

 

If your reply meets the rules of conduct, such as not qualifying as false, defamatory or inaccurate, please post.

 

 

 

We do welcome feedback, and do want this to be a place for community support on the

 

Retrospect Backup software. It's not a place to pan Dantz or our products.

 

 

 

If you'd like to seek answers here to problems that you are experiencing with Retrospect, that's great. If you'd like to offer reliable advice or suggestions to others on this forum, then that's great, too.

 

 

 

This is not, however, a place to pan Retrospect. This is a place for constructive community support.

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

 

 

Irena Solomon

 

Dantz Tech Support

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