McAfee tech support WTF



  • I'm running McAfee SaaS on a Windows 2003 SBS server (my admin skills on Windows are probably the source of plenty of WTFs, but that's for another day). After the last McAfee update, we started getting errors from the McAfee updater. This happened to us with the last release, which took forever to resolve, so I wasn't really excited.

    I logged a tech support request with McAfee (including a note that since this is a production server, I can't just reboot on a whim). Their initial reply was that I should manually uninstall and reinstall the software. Detailed steps included:

    1. Log on to the security center from www.mcafeeasap.com

    2. Click on the tab utilities-> select the sub tab Migration & Optimization.

    3. Under the Cleanup Utility --> select the download option.

    4. Download and save it to the desktop and run this exe to uninstall.

    5. Delete all the entries from start->Run->temp and then select all the files and folder under that and delete. (Ignore the files that you are not able to delete)

    6. Delete all the entries from start->Run->%temp% and then select all the files and folder under that and delete. (Ignore the files that you are not able to delete)

    7. Delete all the entries from start->Run->prefetch and then select all the files and folder under that and delete. (Ignore the files that you are not able to delete)

    8. Reboot the computer.

    I replied right away to thank them and to indicate that I would not be able to try this right away, due to my aforementioned desire to not reboot a production server without arranging for the downtime. McAfee replied:

    "I read your reply. I really apologize for the inconveniences you had with McAfee. The McAfee which you are going to install is the new version 5.2 and this won't create any problem."

    "Moreover this new version doesn't require a reboot to work as per its functionality. You can carry on your work when the installation gets completed. Please let me know if you have any other queries and I will be assisting you further."

    After that, I started getting daily "I really apologize" emails, until I didn't reply to one of them with a daily "no change, still waiting for a maintenance window" message. After 23h without a reply, McAfee closed the &*#$ ticket due to "no response from customer". Let's count the WTFs:

    1. "you are upgrading to 5.2" -- No, the system was already upgraded to 5.2, I'm reinstalling.

    2. No reboot is required. -- No, YOUR INSTRUCTIONS told me a reboot was required on step 8!
    3. I'm supposed to delete files from "start->Run->temp". -- I used to think they followed a fault tree and spit out auto-generated emails, now I'm not so sure.
    4. The customer responds to instructions by saying, in effect, "ok, but I can't take down my server right this moment, it will have to wait". When the customer doesn't respond to a daily "we're really sorry for your inconvenience" email, they auto close the ticket. (note that the emails never included any request for status, timeframe update, etc.).



  • Leaving tickets open is bad for glossy managerial reports.

    When I worked tech support we we told to close tickets asap to minimize average time-to-solve.  If the issue wasn't actually solved, open a new one at the next customer contact.  That way the glossy reports show TWO closed tickets.



  • That's exactly the thought process I assume they're using. I don't even have a problem with the desire to close the tickets. However, it would be one thing if McAfee sent me an email that actually looked for a response (status update request, request to close with the assumption the instruction will fix it, asking what the weather is like, etc.). No, instead their daily emails are "gosh we're sorry for the inconvenience" followed by boilerplate contact information. 

    Ironically, they're creating an inconvenience, since I need to give them a love letter every day to tell them that I'm still alive.

    If I ever have to open another ticket with them, I'm just going to create a cron job to email them a ticket update once per day. Problem solved.

     



  • @RichP said:

    If I ever have to open another ticket with them, I'm just going to create a cron job to email them a ticket update once per day. Problem solved.

    Or make the assumption that their solution is going to involve you rebooting, and open the ticket at a time when rebooting the production machine is within the realm of the possible.



  • That would make some sense. Although the last issue dragged on for months while Service Pack 1-3 were "going to fix the problem for sure", so I wasn't anticipating a quick fix.

    There's also the part of me that wants to raise the issue right away, in case the problem is more widespread, so that they can try and resolve it quickly.



  • @RichP said:

    That would make some sense. Although the last issue dragged on for months while Service Pack 1-3 were "going to fix the problem for sure", so I wasn't anticipating a quick fix.

    There's also the part of me that wants to raise the issue right away, in case the problem is more widespread, so that they can try and resolve it quickly.

    See, there's your problem - you want to resolve issues.



  • @HighlyPaidContractor said:

    When I worked tech support we we told to close tickets asap to minimize average time-to-solve.  If the issue wasn't actually solved, open a new one at the next customer contact.  That way the glossy reports show TWO closed tickets.
     

    The old "open a second ticket and close the first one as a duplicate" ploy is a classic.  (As I mentioned in a previous thread I had dealings with one vendor who would do that but close both as duplicates.  While I admired their boldness I did hate everything else about them, their product and my life between 8:30 and 5pm Monday to Friday.)



  • Reminds me of something a friend told me. After company merger the new management decided, that every support employee must fix $n bugs a year (for some global fixed value of $n). Soon there were bugs:

    1. Change logo on first screen of installer.
    2. Change logo on second screen of installer.
    3. Change logo on third screen of installer.
    4. ...


  • @Bulb said:

    1. Change logo on first screen of installer.
    2. Change logo on second screen of installer.
    3. Change logo on third screen of installer.
    4. ...
    1. Complete code
    2. Compile program applicaion project solution whatever they're called these days
    3. Read emails
    4. Debug code
    5. Recompile
    6. Close this ticket
    7. Finish yearly goal of $n tickets


  • @Xyro said:

    @Bulb said:

    1. Change logo on first screen of installer.
    2. Change logo on second screen of installer.
    3. Change logo on third screen of installer.
    4. ...
    1. Complete code
    2. Compile program applicaion project solution whatever they're called these days
    3. Read emails
    4. Debug code
    5. Recompile
    6. Close this ticket
    7. Finish yearly goal of $n tickets

     

    You left out the steps where you ensure that your fixes will cause other bugs that won't be apparent for a month or two, so that when someone reports the new bugs you know right where to go to fix those bugs too.

     


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