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AuthorTopic: "Technical Support"  (Read 1417 times)

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Offline X-ray

"Technical Support"
« on: September 09, 2004, 10:24:26 PM »
Well, I thought I had encountered the worst technical support ever when I contacted Ad*ptec about a legacy SCSI card that won't recognise internal and external devices simultaneously on my PC. They bounced me around, asking the same questions even after I answered them. This went on for a total exchange of about 7 emails and I ended up getting nowhere. They were fixated on my SCSI IDs.

As bad as Ad*ptec was, they at least asked questions about their own product.
Not so with Ahe*d/Nero. I recently had a problem with a brand new NEC DVD rewriter (dual layer) that wouldn't write 8gb discs in Nero, but would write 4gb perfectly. Last Saturday I sent them my error log and posted a few questions here about the 8gb problem. Only today I got a response from Ahe*d. You know what they recommended? That I immediately uninstall my R*xio software because it "always causes conflicts with Nero." They even linked me to two programs they supply: one supposedly kills drivers no longer used by the CD/DVD writer and the other cleans registry references to these drivers.

Now I ask you with raised eyebrows and wide green eyes: what the f*ck has my R*xio software got to do with the fact that I couldn't burn 8bg discs on my NEC with Nero?
They are so concerned about people using their rival's software that they have lost sight of the problem. I specifically asked them if there was an issue with the media or the drive, on Nero. I appended this information to the mail with the error log. Even I could tell (and I'm not sharp on these matters) that there was either a problem with the drive and the media, or the software and the drive, but I knew it had nothing to do with any other software.

As a matter of interest I tried Ahe*d's driver and registry cleaners today and the result was that my R*xio software was no longer functioning. No change to Nero. I had to reinstall the R*xio (I need 'Drag-To-Disk' because I have a damaged digital camera that cannot finalize CDs and the USB method is slow).

By the way, this DVD problem was solved on Sunday by Etho, right here on AO. It was a problem with the NEC firmware not liking Traxdata or Ridata discs. I got my firmware patched and all is now well. The problem had nothing to do with any other software or drivers.
I'm just waiting to see what the next bright idea is from Ahe*d's 'Technical support'...or should that be 'Prospective Monopoly Department?'

  • Guest
Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2004, 10:39:14 PM »
First, keep in mind that most tech support people -- unless you're talking to a senior support engineer, aka "third-level support" -- aren't programmers, and can only depend on the random bits of information they are given by others to diagnose a problem.

There really is some s*it tech support out there, but quite often in companies, there is a big rift between programmers and customer support.  Generally speaking the only time programmers help customer support is when they have no other alternatives.  The better the company, the smaller the rift, but it's always there, and tech support people are ALWAYS looked down upon by just about everyone in a tech company.  Tech support staff is pretty much treated like the equivalent of a janitor in a lawyer's office.

In reference to the issue, their answer is probably wrong, but not so far fetched.  Windows programs often (if not always) load libraries in a resident form.  I know that nero for example has "InCD" loaded at all times by default.  Therefore, it's not entirely unreasonable to think that two libraries from two different companies designed to do pretty much the same thing might fight it out in memory or even inside the bus controller for control of the hardware.

In any event, glad you got it sorted (what was the answer?), but please stop to consider the other side of the conversation when talking to tech support people.  They're usually doing the best they can with what they're given.  If you do anything when encountering such things, you should write to the company suggesting that they should provide better training to the customer support.  Don't mention names, because you really could cause someone to lose their job.  9 out of 10 times, it's a breakdown in the structure of the company which leads to such incidents, not the fault of the employee.  

On the other side of the coin, when you get truly exceptional technical support (which does happen more than you think), stop and write a note to the "Technical Support Manager" of the company, noting the incident and the employee.  Doing so helps the employee, helps the company, and helps you because they could review the case and use it to train other CSR's to provide better support in the future...

Just a thought...


Offline X-ray

Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2004, 11:02:45 PM »
@ Wayne

I haven't complained to Ahe*d about the support I have received because it won't achieve anything, I was just {bleep}ing about it here because I needed to vent. All I did was tell them my problem was not solved by that recommendation.
My main problem with this DVD error is that I specifically told them that I could burn a 4gb DVD disc with no problems at all, yet I could not burn 8gb, because I got a 'no seek complete' error.

For tech support to tell the customer to run driver cleaners and uninstall a competitor's product in that situation, seems ridiculous to me. Even I can see that other drivers have nothing to do with this: both programs run together and it is not true that R*xio 'always causes conflicts with Nero.'
Who told the tech support guy to get me to uninstall the other software and clean the drivers?

The problem was actually firmware in the drive, not liking the 8gb Traxdata and Ridata discs. I fixed it with patched firmware for the drive. But I'm not going to tell Ahe*d that, because I want to see what else they reccommend.

I do appreciate good tech support, but the advice I received was more aimed at Ahe*d steering me away from R*xio than helping me with my problem.
Maybe Boing Boss works for Ahe*d...I can just see it now: "You shouldn't have bought R*xio. That is junk software. Everyone knows that German software is the best. I had R*xio and I deleted it after one day. Nero does everything you could possibly want. DELETE THE R*XIO NOW!!!"

Offline adolescent

Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2004, 11:14:24 PM »
Voice of reason here:  

Having an old or incompatible version of ASPI can and will cause trouble.  I'd guess that your system is using the Adaptec/Roxio ASPI which is why the Ahead people wanted you to remove it and install theirs.  It's a matter of supporting what you know works, versus others products.
Time to move on.  Bye Amiga.org.  :(

Offline adolescent

Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2004, 11:15:39 PM »
Oh, and calm down.  :-D
Time to move on.  Bye Amiga.org.  :(

Offline Brian

Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2004, 11:17:57 PM »
Good to know someone actually stand on the little mans side once in a while. It's easy to vent ones frustration on the guy in the other end of the line when things don't go the way one planed (partly because one tossed away the manual before reading it).

Not only that but Ahe*d software is milspec!

  • Guest
Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2004, 11:18:57 PM »

Fair enough.  I also had a similar problem with 4x discs when 4x DVDs were new, because of a firmware issue.  Upgraded the firmware and it worked first try.  

You'll always find better suggestions on public forums and the site that sold you the discs (in my case shop4tech.com) than you will from a usually poorly-paid first-level technical support person.


Offline FastRobPlus

Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2004, 11:19:52 PM »
I very much doubt they were tyring to get you to remove a competing product on the grounds that it was a competitor.  That is not a function of tech support and may even be illegal.

Either what they asked you to do has a history of fixing problems that they don't understand too well, or you got some call center guy who was winging it.

Offline FastRobPlus

Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2004, 11:22:42 PM »

Wayne wrote:
You'll always find better suggestions on public forums and the site that sold you the discs (in my case shop4tech.com)

Generally, if you are tech savvy, you can help yourself as well as a tech support agent could help you, since companies publish thier entire knowledge database online.

You could also save me some money.

Offline X-ray

Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2004, 12:49:18 AM »
Hmmmm...some of you make me out to be a bad guy, trying to put 'the little guy down'.

Firstly, this wasn't a call center, it is an email-based tech-support. I don't know what rank the individual holds and I don't care. He could be the CEO, chief software engineer or the janitor, it makes no difference to me. The fact of the matter is that he made a false statement:

"R*xio always conflicts with Nero and you should uninstall it"

Not true. And Ahe*d knows this, don't try to convince me otherwise.
Now in the grand scheme of things, whether via email or written correspondence or in any communication, if a company provides support for one of their products they have a duty to not mislead the customer or offer information that is outright untrue. Speculating about the qualifications or rank of the person who gave me those instructions is irrelevant: they were sent to me under the company's direction and the company is responsible for the quality and effect of those instructions. So, by omission or misdirection or outright lying, I got advice that not only didn't solve my problem, but was harmful to my system. What would you say if you were the 'little guy'working at R*xio and you heard about this?

On a different note: do you not think (and maybe I'm being a little weird here) that it is odd to suggest that there is a driver problem when the software burns a 4gb disc perfectly with an Ahe*d aspi driver from 22/7/2004? This is in line 7 of the log. The DVD drive and the Nero software are brand new. All the other aspi drivers (for the CD writer)are older and have nothing to do with this error. I tell you what, have a look at the log and tell me I'm being unreasonable:


(deleted serial number prior to posting on AO)

Windows XP 5.1
WinAspi: File 'Wnaspi32.dll': Ver=4.71 (0002), size=45056 bytes, created 17/07/2002 11:03:20
ahead WinASPI: File 'C:\Program Files\Ahead\Nero\Wnaspi32.dll': Ver=, size=160016 bytes, created 22/07/2004 17:33:44
Nero version:
Recorder:             <_NEC DVD_RW ND-2510A>    Version: 2.16 - HA 1 TA 0 -
 Adapter driver:                         HA 1
 Drive buffer  :      2048kB
 Bus Type      :      default (0) -> ATAPI, detected: ATAPI
CD-ROM:               <_NEC     DVD_RW ND-2510A >Version: 2.16 - HA 1 TA 0 -
 Adapter driver:                         HA 1

=== Scsi-Device-Map ===
DiskPeripheral       : WDC WD800BB-00CAA1               atapi Port 0 ID 0  DMA: On
DiskPeripheral       : ST3120026A                       atapi Port 0 ID 1  DMA: On
CdRomPeripheral      : _NEC DVD_RW ND-2510A             atapi Port 1 ID 0  DMA: On
CdRomPeripheral      : OPTORITE CD-RW CW4002            atapi Port 1 ID 1  DMA: On

=== CDRom-Device-Map ===
_NEC DVD_RW ND-2510A       D:   CDRom0
OPTORITE CD-RW CW4002      G:   CDRom1

AutoRun : 1
Excluded drive IDs:
WriteBufferSize: 83886080 (0) Byte
ShowDrvBufStat : 0
BUFE           : 0
Physical memory     : 1535MB (1572336kB)
Free physical memory: 1115MB (1142272kB)
Memory in use       : 27 %
Uncached PFiles: 0x0
Use Static Write Speed Table: 0
Use Inquiry    : 1
Global Bus Type: default (0)
Check supported media : Disabled (0)

ISO compilation
15:19:47   #1 Text 0 File Isodoc.cpp, Line 6065
   Iso document burn settings
   Determine maximum speed : FALSE
   Simulate                : FALSE
   Write                   : TRUE
   Finalize CD             : TRUE
   Multisession            : FALSE
   Burning mode            : DAO
   Mode                    : 1
   ISO Level               : 1 (Max. of 11 = 8 + 3 char)
   Character set           : ISO 9660
   Joliet                  : TRUE
   Allow pathdepth more than 8 directories : TRUE
   Allow more than 255 characters in path  : TRUE
   Write ISO9660 ;1 file extensions        : TRUE
15:19:47   #2 Text 0 File DVDR.cpp, Line 5367
   Booktype counter: 500, Booktype selected in EEPROM, command version 2
15:19:47   #3 Text 0 File DVDR.cpp, Line 5367
   Booktype counter: 500, Booktype selected in EEPROM, command version 2
15:19:47   #4 Text 0 File Reader.cpp, Line 126
   Reader running
15:19:47   #5 ISO9660GEN -11 File geniso.cpp, Line 3899
   First writeable address = 0 (0x00000000)
15:19:47   #6 Text 0 File Burncd.cpp, Line 3173
   Turn on Disc-at-once, using DVD media
15:19:48   #7 Text 0 File DlgWaitCD.cpp, Line 247
   Last possible write address on media:  4173823 (927:30.73, 8151MB)
   Last address to be written:            4167855 (926:11.30, 8140MB)
15:19:48   #8 Text 0 File DlgWaitCD.cpp, Line 259
   Write in overburning mode: NO (enabled: CD)
15:19:48   #9 Text 0 File DlgWaitCD.cpp, Line 2162
   Recorder: _NEC DVD_RW ND-2510A, Media type: DVD+R9 Double Layer
15:19:48   #10 Text 0 File DlgWaitCD.cpp, Line 420
   >>> Protocol of DlgWaitCD activities: <<<
15:19:48   #11 Text 0 File ThreadedTransferInterface.cpp, Line 813
   Setup items (after recorder preparation)
    0: TRM_DATA_MODE1 (CTransferItem)
       2 indices, index0 (150) not provided
       original disc pos #0 + 4167856 (4167856) = #4167856/926:11.31
       relocatable, disc pos for caching/writing not required/required, no patch infos
       -> TRM_DATA_MODE1, 2048, config 0, wanted index0 0 blocks, length 4167856 blocks [_NEC     DVD_RW ND-2510A ]
15:19:48   #12 Text 0 File ThreadedTransferInterface.cpp, Line 984
   Prepare recorder [_NEC     DVD_RW ND-2510A ] for write in CUE-sheet-DAO
   DAO infos:
    MCN: ""
    TOCType: 0x00; Session Closed, disc fixated
    Tracks 1 to 1:
      1: TRM_DATA_MODE1, 2048/0x00, FilePos             0             0    8535769088, ISRC ""
   DAO layout:
          0 |  lead-in |   0 |   0x00 |  0x41
          0 |        1 |   0 |   0x00 |  0x41
          0 |        1 |   1 |   0x00 |  0x41
    4167856 | lead-out |   1 |   0x00 |  0x41
15:19:48   #13 Phase 24 File dlgbrnst.cpp, Line 1855
   Caching of files started
15:19:48   #14 Text 0 File Burncd.cpp, Line 4183
   Cache writing successful.
15:19:48   #15 Phase 25 File dlgbrnst.cpp, Line 1855
   Caching of files completed
15:19:48   #16 Phase 36 File dlgbrnst.cpp, Line 1855
   Burn process started at 2.4x (3,324 KB/s)
15:19:48   #17 Text 0 File ThreadedTransferInterface.cpp, Line 2344
   Verifying disc position of item 0 (relocatable, disc pos, no patch infos, orig at #0): write at #0
15:19:48   #18 Text 0 File DVDPlusDualLayer.cpp, Line 369
   Disc finalized, LBA total Image size: 4167856 (8140MB), Last LBA L0: 2083935 (4070MB)
15:19:49   #19 SCSI -1093 File Cdrdrv.cpp, Line 1188
   SCSI Exec, HA 1, TA 0, LUN 0, buffer 0x034D8000
   Status:     0x04 (0x01, SCSI_ERR)
   HA-Status   0x00 (0x00, OK)
   TA-Status   0x02 (0x01, SCSI_TASTATUS_CHKCOND)
   Sense Key:  0x03 (KEY_MEDIUM_ERROR)
   Sense Code: 0x02
   Sense Qual: 0x00
   CDB Data:   0xBF 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x20 0x00 0x0C 0x00 0x00
   Sense Data: 0x70 0x00 0x03 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x0A
               0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x02 0x00
15:19:49   #20 Text 0 File DVDPlusDualLayer.cpp, Line 451
   L0 Data Zone Capacity set to 2083936 (1FCC60h, 4070MB) -> ERROR, capacity different:
     L0 Data Zone Capacity on disc:             2086912 (1FD800h, 2038MB)
     L0 Data Zone Capacity requested to be set: 2083936 (1FCC60h, 4070MB)
15:19:49   #21 CDR -1093 File ThreadedTransferInterface.cpp, Line 1614
   No seek complete
15:19:49   #22 TRANSFER -27 File ThreadedTransferInterface.cpp, Line 1614
   Could not perform start of Disc-at-once
15:19:49   #23 Text 0 File dlgbrnst.cpp, Line 1713
   Set remaining time: 0:00,000 (0ms) -> OK
15:19:49   #24 Phase 38 File dlgbrnst.cpp, Line 1855
   Burn process failed at 2.4x (3,324 KB/s)

Existing drivers:
File 'Drivers\ADPU160M.SYS': Ver=v3.60a (Lab01_N(johnstra).010529-2218), size=101888 bytes, created 17/08/2001 14:07:32
File 'Drivers\CDRALW2K.SYS': Ver= , size=24839 bytes, created 13/01/2003 10:19:26
File 'Drivers\ASPI32.SYS': Ver=4.71 (0002) built by: WinDDK, size=16512 bytes, created 17/07/2002 10:05:10
File 'Drivers\PXHELP20.SYS': Ver=2.02.62a, size=20016 bytes, created 28/10/2003 11:02:00 (Prassi/Veritas driver for win 2K)
File 'Drivers\atapi.sys': Ver=5.1.2600.1106 (xpsp1.020828-1920), size=86912 bytes, created 29/08/2002 01:27:50 (Adapter driver for rec)

Registry Keys:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon\AllocateCDROMs : 0 (Security Option)

@ Adolescent:
Calm and rational enough for you?  :-D  :-D

Offline yogisumo

Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2004, 12:51:52 AM »
The biggest problem is that WinBlows doesn't have good support.  They used to distribute aspi layer ( written by Adaptec ) but they stopped.  Now everybody writes their own and they can and do cause problems with each other.  You're also not supposed to have more than one dvd playback software, etc... Codecs cause problems with each other.  Welcome to WinSlows...

Offline FastRobPlus

Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2004, 01:07:48 AM »
Uh.. Yogi, this is about venting on Adaptec today.

Do please try to stay focused.

  • Guest
Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2004, 02:40:57 AM »
Sorry.  Can't speak for anyone else, but I wasn't trying to suggest you were the bad guy.  I could simply empathize with the customer support person in this case, because I had seen pretty much the exact same type error before.

In any case, glad you got it fixed.


Offline Argo

Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2004, 04:46:01 AM »
Firstly, this wasn't a call center, it is an email-based tech-support.

Where do you think the email went? I've interviewed at a local small call center, er technical support center. They do the support call for their clients by phone, email, web based chat, IM, IRC, etc. for their various clients. They use this monstrously large database system. Sort of like Windows Help. Input a question, it searches, you choose most relevant problem matchin the question. They input your responce and read you the computers answer. Basically a flowchart script. It a position that can mostly be filled off the street. The higher up you can get in the heirarchy the more knowledgeable they techs get. Now these frontline "Support Specialists" also have to watch the "call" time and call queue. The place I way had digital displays for both, of  which the supervisor drew their attention to when they got too high. Yeah, "efficiency" over quality.
Really, these people are just stuck in the middle. You want your problem solved to your satifaction and the company wants high "efficiency".

Offline adolescent

Re: "Technical Support"
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2004, 05:34:20 AM »
File 'Drivers\ASPI32.SYS': Ver=4.71 (0002) built by: WinDDK, size=16512 bytes, created 17/07/2002 10:05:10

See Roxio stuff!  :-)  Heheh, I see you used hacked firmware.  How is Ahead supposed to help with that?  You should have contacted NEC because it was a hardware issue.
Time to move on.  Bye Amiga.org.  :(