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  1. #1
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    Segue\'s Customer Support still Needs LOTS of Improvement

    I had posted this reply regarding my frustration with Segue's customer support under the SilkTest 5.5 thread, and realized it belongs under a more relevant subject.

    I am starting this topic in the hope that it will lead to some improvements at Segue support - because I am still impressed with the product and hope the company survives it's competition with Mercury.

    Please share your frustrations under this thread so Segue management can read some of the complaints in a unified thread, and try to endorse practices to prevent them in the future.

    Thanks,
    Joe V.
    -------------------------------------------
    I hope someone from Segue is reading this thread - Heidi - are you there ? - or better yet, I will send it to them.

    I purchased Segue stock around > 6 years ago, at ~ $10, when the tool was clearly superior to WinRunner. I watched it run up to ~$20, and eventually back down to where it is now. I definitely know this is in part becuase the company poorly handles support of its existing customers, - both technical and general customer service.

    When a company ****es off its ardent supporters, it must be doing something TERRIBLY wrong.

    I've attempted to contact Segue to get quotes on various maintenance upgrades, only to find out that THEY can't determine what our company originally purchased and is entitle to, not to mention the failure to return calls regarding quotes (i.e. REVENUE) in a timely manner if at all. I don't believe they even realize the extent to which this poor service takes place (no CEO in their right mind would allow it). All these calls (especially requests involving REVENUE) should be TRACKED and Segue should ensure that prompt, clear responses are given.

    I've heard another story where a person attempting to use Segue in their organization called for technical support, only to find out from their Segue representative that their maintenance had expired. What did the representative do ? Why, what any failing, short-sited company representative would do - he disabled their technical support. It's hard enough to find people tenacious enough to overcome the hurdles and show "win" situations to non-supportive managers without Segue putting obstacles in the path of the automation engineers. What would have been done by any client-focused company, both for common courtesy and good customer relations, is to find out if the customer was notified that their maintenance had run out, and prompted them to renew BEFORE cutting off their technical support. In this story, it turns out that the company was NOT contacted to renew their maintenance agreement AND that the person on Segues contact list (i.e. ME) was no longer with the company. The Segue representative did not straighten out who the new contact should be, and establish a relationship with them - despite being given the information by the automation engineer.

    Another poor service story - I know they failed to notify the company I currently work for when the maintenance ran out on SilkPerformer, and now want to make a big deal over whether they will upgrade our initial purchase at the standard maintenance upgrade price. Of course, we have plenty of support in working a deal with Mercury regarding us making use of their products - I'm still waiting for a quote from Segue(> 2 months since I initially asked).


    Segue's slow response times and lack of good client relations with their existing companies directly pushes thier existing customers to that other big automation company that does have their act together in this area. And it's only natural that once an experience automation engineer commits to a new tool, they will be more likely to promote that tool in the next organization they visit.


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  2. #2
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    Re: Segue\'s Customer Support still Needs LOTS of Improvement

    Starting a separate thread was a good idea. From Technical Support - "Your call will be assigned to a technical support engineer and he/she will get back to you within 24 hours." Is that the response where they acknowledge your question/problem and say they'll get back to you ASAP, or the "real" response? Because I'm at 26+ hours now....

    It'll be interesting to see what comes of this thread - at the last Twin Cities User Group meeting, customer service came up and a Segue rep (I will protect his identity in this forum) said that people who say the service sucks have not used it since early '99 when there were some problems. According to this person, all that has been taken care of and users should look to Segue again for resolution of their problems. Well let's find out, uh?

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  3. #3
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    Re: Segue\'s Customer Support still Needs LOTS of Improvement

    I don't believe that allowing people to vent their anger on Segue support in a public forum is a good idea.

    It would be a good idea for us to contact Segue directly or get Segue to do a customer satisfaction survey.

    The problem is that, if prospective companies who wish to use Segue products stumble across this site, what will they think when they read topics like this?

    Yes Segue support is a concern, and for the amount being paid you expect more, and yes it does frustrate me.

    But at the same time I love working with a product that is so powerful and flexible, that in most cases you can find work arounds for the problems encountered... and if not then you stand a better chance of finding a solution by sharing it in this forum.

    I have used Rational products and Segue, and I *really enjoy* using Segue's products.

    The less companies going to Segue means less jobs available for Silk Testers, and I certainly don't want to see that happen, especially when there really aren't all that many at present available in the UK.



    [This message has been edited by Beeblemaster (edited 04-26-2001).]

  4. #4
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    Re: Segue\'s Customer Support still Needs LOTS of Improvement

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>The problem is that, if prospective companies who wish to use Segue products stumble across this site, what will they think when they read topics like this?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I strongly disagree with that statement. If I were considering deploying an automated testing solution using a tool as sophisticated and expensive as SilkTest or WinRunner, I would expect this forum to provide constructive data about the good, the bad, and the ugly of each tool.

    A forum like this is a valuable place to exchange *constructive* anecdotal data regarding technical support issues and concerns.

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    Tony Mrozinski
    Sr. Software Test Automation Engineer
    Residential Access Division
    Intel Corporation

  5. #5
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    Re: Segue\'s Customer Support still Needs LOTS of Improvement

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Beeblemaster:
    The problem is that, if prospective companies who wish to use Segue products stumble across this site, what will they think when they read topics like this?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No problem with what you are trying to get across, Beeblemaster, but playing devil's advocate, what will prospective buyers think when they find out on their own? That everybody in this forum lives in a vacuum?

    I think the original intent was to compile somewhat of a list of CS grievances to pass along to someone at Segue who might be able to do something about it. This as opposed to individual complaints may shed light on the magnitude of the problem. Maybe you are right - maybe there is a better way. Pass an email? Fill out some kind of form or survey and send it to 'em? Nothing can happen unless a consensus is reached through discussion, though, because I don't think Segue is going to do it on their own.

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  6. #6
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    Re: Segue\'s Customer Support still Needs LOTS of Improvement

    QAForum Users,

    The announcement made by Segue's Technical Support relates to recent improvements.
    In October 2000, all of technical support at Segue Software moved from Lexington, MA, to Belfast in Northern Ireland. While this transition occurred in October much of the planning and expertise was being fostered over a two year period between Belfast and Lexington.

    Many of the commentaries and samples posted here relate to past and not recent experiences by individuals, and are far from a true reflection of Segue's Technical Support department today.
    In order to put some of the commentaries read into perspective, I have provided examples of how we measured technical support at Segue in Feb/March:

    - 98% of all telephone calls get live answer
    - 94% of 1st line questions issues resolved same day
    - 48%+ of 2nd/3rd line questions resolved same day
    - 74%+ of 2nd/3rd line questions resolved within 72 hours
    - 91%+ of 2nd/3rd line questions resolved within one week
    - Segue Technical Support hours of coverage extended in March to 18*5 M-F i.e. 4am - 10pm EST
    - a new and more effective escalation process for all current customers
    - all email call notifications received a live and not automated response within one business hour

    I guess the only way to determine an opinion for yourself is to use Segue's technical support and make your own judgement.

    As a current and active Segue customer you should be assured that Segue's Technical Support department represent your success in using our technology.

    Best regards

    Stephen Jennings
    Director, Technical Support
    Segue Software Inc.


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  7. #7
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    Re: Segue\'s Customer Support still Needs LOTS of Improvement

    I've had some initial problems getting Segue support but, now that I have established a relationship with them, I'm having no problem at all.
    I've had a local Segue representative "assigned" to me. He has even flown in an EK specific consultant, at their expense, to my work site to better ascertain our specific requirements and SilkTest's ability to work for us. Now, when I have a question, I know who to ask, I have good followup and I usually get a prompt response (an hour or two until reply via phone, after an initiating email inquiry).
    Just yesterday, I had two Segue reps gathering details on two different problems for me.
    Also, Segue makes use of a web site that allows them to create virtual meeting rooms on the net. I have recieved support on this site by starting a conversation with a Segue rep via the phone. He wanted to specifically see what I was talking about, so he set up a room and I met him there. He then relinquished control to me and I allowed him to share control of my desktop through the site. He was then controlling my desktop machine and working with my apps, while I outlined my problems to him over the phone. Pretty cool.
    I now regularly deal with Segue support, primarily in Lexington and Austin.
    The only downside is that the answers are not always what I want to hear. As often as not, I'm finding that Silk cannot perform in the manner that we require. CustomWins, functionality quirks and the inability of development to change their code for EK compliance may add up to a suite of apps that may not be completely automatable.


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  8. #8
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    Re: Segue\'s Customer Support still Needs LOTS of Improvement

    Why did Segue move their support from the US to Europe when 90 % of their business is here?

    I think it was a bad move since customers would like to be close to the support center

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  9. #9
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    Re: Segue\'s Customer Support still Needs LOTS of Improvement

    I asked that question at Quest 2001. The answer was that the cost of people in Europe is less then in the US. Also, it is easy for Segue to keep their support reps. If they were in MA with the main office, then after a year or two, the techs will be looking to get into development and away from the phones.


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  10. #10
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    Re: Segue\'s Customer Support still Needs LOTS of Improvement

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tlvranas:
    I asked that question at Quest 2001. The answer was that the cost of people in Europe is less then in the US. Also, it is easy for Segue to keep their support reps.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't care where they keep their reps as long as they're there when I need them. But they should teach them to speak with an American accent so I can understand what the hell they are saying! (Of course, they probably don't understand what I'm saying either).

    .Grace



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