mom who works

the joys and challenges of being a working mom trying to find "balance"

A tale of two companies … February 12, 2010

Filed under: general — Deborah @ 10:44 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I recently posted about how my new employer uses Lotus Notes and my frustration with the To Do function of Notes. Okay, I’m being kind to myself, I was pretty adamant about how much Lotus Notes sucks. And to my surprise and amazement (thank you Google!), I received a comment from Ed Brill, the person at IBM in charge of Lotus Notes. How cool is that?

Ed and I corresponded back and forth about the issues I was having with the To Do function, and how it couldn’t do what I wanted it to do. He engaged in conversation, he listened, he didn’t get defensive, he truly wanted to help and figure out why I was frustrated with his product. Needless to say, I was very, very impressed with Ed and a culture at IBM that would cultivate someone at that level to engage with a lowly little user like me and my little blog.

Now, let’s contrast that truly engaged customer service experience with the service we’ve experienced from Microsoft on our Xbox 360. Hubby (really the whole family) got a new Xbox 360 console for Christmas. After about 2 weeks we started having problems with the controllers not connecting with the console, and after about another week of trying to troubleshoot on our own, we finally called Microsoft’s customer support line. They said to send the console in for repair, so we did.

After 3 weeks, we finally got word our console was coming back. Hubby and daughter were very excited to finally play some games with our NEW console. Imagine our disbelief when what we received was NOT our 2 WEEK OLD XBOX 360 CONSOLE, but instead a beat up REFURBISHED one.

Am I the only one who believes it is NOT acceptable to replace a BRAND NEW product with a beat up used product? Yet I have been assured by about 10 different people on Microsoft’s customer support line that never in the history of the company have they done the right thing, which is either to replace the BRAND NEW console with another BRAND NEW console, or give me my money back so I can go buy another BRAND NEW console. I’m on the 4th level of escalation so far (Dante’s Inferno anyone?) and I will not give up (you hear me Steve Ballmer?). So far, all I can say is Microsoft sucks, Microsoft sucks, Microsoft sucks. It’s down now to a matter of principle. Microsoft, this is not the way to treat customers, no matter how big you are. Just remember, David did bring down Goliath.


4 Responses to “A tale of two companies …”

  1. David Leedy Says:

    I’m glad you had some good dialog from Ed regarding your Lotus Notes To Do issue. He’s “the man” when it comes to Lotus Notes. 🙂

    In my opinion Lotus Notes is a truly wonderful platform when it’s used correctly. But it can be frustrating at times, especially for someone new to it.

    If you have other questions or need some help advice regarding Notes – feel free to drop me a line as well. I don’t work for IBM but if I can I’ll help you.


  2. Ed Brill Says:

    Very flattered by this post. I can’t imagine not helping, really, and yes, IBM’s culture is one that supports such outreach. Hopefully we can find some ways to improve the product, the market, the perception through such interactions, which make them all worthwhile.

  3. Great article. There’s a lot of good information here, though I did want to let you know something – I am running Mac OS X with the circulating beta of Firefox, and the design of your blog is kind of quirky for me. I can read the articles, but the navigation doesn’t function so well.

    • Deborah Says:

      Thanks for the comment – I have a Mac at home so I will have to check it out. This is a “theme” that WordPress provides, so I’ll forward them your feedback as well.

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