December 31, 2005

Two Wonderful Phone Service Calls - How Odd

This past week I had two wonderful experiences. The first was with Adobe customer service and sales support. I have been trying to do a "cross-platform upgrade" from my Windows Photoshop to the current Mac version. I have been trying this for a couple years. The phone services has been miserable and often would take over 45 minutes for them to pick up.

Not this week. The phone was picked up by customer service by Adobe in less than 3 minutes (I seriously thought I had dialed the wrong number). They fixed some problems with my account information, but I needed to talk to another department to get the upgrade I wanted completed. They transfered me to the sales group, which had all the information I had just changed and we started working through what I wanted (ultimately the Adobe CS Premium Suite). We found I could not directly do that going the cross-platform route, but I could upgrade to Photoshop CS and once that was installed and authenticated do the upgrade to the package I desired. All of this was less than the full price, not the optimal price I had been hoping trying to get.

What impressed me was the competence, speed, politeness and the working through their arcane rules to get me what I desired. In all I was done in 20 minutes.

The second also involved the phone and a voice automated solution. But after trying to exchange airline flight miles for a magazine subscription on the web, which seemed not work in any browser I had to verify my frequent flier number and extra authentication code. I first called the help number for the magazine people, which took me to a human, who seemed very confused with the information his computer was providing him (he had at least eight addresses and name variations for me (there was a more button to see the rest). He asked how I heard about the program and said I was on my preferred airline site and was linked to theirs to get magazines. That seemed confusing as he asked how long ago I got the software. A couple minutes later I could not give him answers that fit his check boxes and our conversation ended.

I then tried the airline's number to complete the magazine transaction if the web did not work or a person needed assistance. It was a voice interactive system (I loathe these). It asked some simple questions and I responded and it understood. It authenticated me very easily and quickly by me reading my needed information. I authenticated by telling it my address and it understood (this is a beautiful task given my street name and city). Next it started reading the magazine offerings and said I could interrupt and just tell it what I wanted. I interrupted (this never works with the local phone company for information) and it understood what I wanted. My transaction was complete and in under 5 minutes. I was completely impressed, which happens very rarely.

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