But with his crisis averted, Dean had a chance to look back at all the time he had just wasted solving that problem. And he got mad. "My company paid a lot of money for VMware licensing and maintenance," he says. "But when I attempted to take advantage of that support, I was told to call back later -- through no fault of my own. Yes, I could have resolved the issue by resetting my password back to its previous incarnation, but the problem would have come back when I needed to change my password again." And anyway that isn't the point. "I was never even asked what my issue was," he says.
Dean asked me if he should he have handled the call differently. Been less polite? Made a bigger stink? Should he have insisted someone call him when the support portal was working again to confirm his credentials and offer help?
All good questions. I forwarded his letter to VMware for answers.
A spokesperson said the fault certainly did not lie with the way Dean handled the call. "VMware reached out to this customer to apologize for the way his issue was handled," explained a spokesperson. "The VMware Customer Service team has processes in place so support requests can always be filed. Unfortunately, in this instance, those processes were not followed. We take this matter seriously and have reviewed this situation with the Customer Service team to ensure it will not happen again."
What if you find yourself in Dean's shoes -- in need of help and told to call back later? "The VMware management team is always available to assist our customers, so please request to speak to a manager if any situation has not been handled to your satisfaction," explained the spokesperson.
Dean confirms that VMware did call him directly to apologize. In fact, the company went further than that. The global support manager who contacted Dean gave him her number to call directly if ever he found himself in need of help again. "She also told me," says Dean, "that she had personally conducted training for Global Support as a result of my experience and that she would perform random checks via anonymous customer calls to the support desk. She explained that her group's policy is to err on the side of the customer. She apologized, took personal responsibility for the incident, and explained they have many new people in support without using that as an excuse."
Dean is ready to put the indecent behind him -- and to remember those magic words: "May I speak to a manager, please?"