Tag Archives: service desk

Business customer support: C-

Recently, a partner portal suddenly vanished: The DNS name (say http://www.acme.biz) was there but no web server was there. A call to our partner confirmed that they had changed the IP address of their portal since they upgraded their CRM, but such a problem was not reported by others. Their portal was up and running. The problem was on our side.

Indeed, http://www.acme.biz was alive and well from other uplinks. Time for nslookup, which showed that acme.biz was served by its own DNS servers. Yet, when our service provider’s DNS servers were queried for acme.biz, they responded as being authoritative for that domain. So, our service provider had effectively hijacked the domain and http://www.acme.biz does not point to the new IP address.

OK, that’s weird. We are a business customer. We have a pool of static IP addresses. We are entitled to decent DNS services, right? Anyway, let’s call their support. Oh joy, we cannot login to their customer portal! OK, let’s send an email to their helpdesk – wait, there is no helpdesk email address. The portal happily says

To provide its subscribers with optimum service, XXX has set up a Corporate Customer Technical Support Department. You can call 800 XXX XXXX (free of charge) or 69X XXX XXXX (from a mobile phone at a charge) on a 24-hour basis.

Yeah, let’s give them a call. “Dial 1 for english” “Dial 1 for product information, 2 for customer support” etc etc etc, wait a couple of minutes, a human replies. Apparently, they do not know us by company name, so they ask for our VAT code… Seems that it’s a primary key in their CRM. Found it, described the problem, “we’ll investigate it”, goodbye. No service ticket ID, no email address to reach them directly, nothing… “We’ll call you back”. Three days later nothing is resolved and nobody bothered to call back. 

So, we are a business customer of a service provider that cannot do IP address management, their self service portal does not work, their CRM is not integrated with their OSS and they do not have a mail or web gateway to their service desk… Gone with the wind.