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Thread began 4/30/2009 1:18 am by jeff150879 | Last modified 5/11/2009 9:25 pm by joe159765 | 3513 views | 16 replies |

jeff150879

WebAssist Support

I have been a loyal customer for years and own most of the WebAssist products. I am satisfied with most of them. But my post today is about my dissatisfaction with WebAssist support.

When I have a problem with a product, I need assistance today, not 2-3 days from now. I also can't afford to wait another 2-3 days after every response. If it takes 6 messages back and forth to resolve my issue, it may be two weeks or more. I don't have the luxury of that kind of time.

I opened a support ticket on 4/27/09, late in the day regarding problems with CSS Menu Writer 2. I received a response the next morning, which was OK, but basically it was a canned reply, which the technician spent no more than about 15 seconds telling me my problem is a known issue on pre-release versions of CS3. Well, I have the latest build of CS3 which I said in my immediate response. I'm going on 2 days waiting to hear back.

BTW, your sales department sent an email today wanting to sell me the "CSS Menus Starter Kit for Photoshop." The sales emails always get sent in a timely manner.

This kind of thing has been a chronic problem at WebAssist since I've been a customer. There are too little resources devoted to support for the folks who have already bought your products.

Support tickets should be answered same day if received before noon. If received after noon, they should be addressed before noon the next day. Follow-up responses should be answered within the same time frame. There should be a toll-free support number to call as well, that someone will actually answer. Online chat for support should also be available.

The new website is beautiful, and the sales & marketing emails are gorgeous too, but it's time for WebAssist to step up and start supporting their products like a real world-class software company.

I'd like to hear what others think on this issue and what the decision makers at WebAssist have to say about their "it takes forever" support practices.

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Ray BorduinWebAssist

I would be interested to hear other people's opinions of the support too.

We actualy spend a large percentage of our product sales price on support because of the complexity of our products and flexability of what they are capable of. We already put 100% of our profits back into the products and thier updtes and support, so we would have to raise or prices to afford more support, so it would be a risk, but if that is the overwhelming opinion we could try to put more resources into support.

I think most people feel that WebAssist goes above and beyond in their support, but you obviously have voiced a different opinion. I guess I'll wait and see who else chimes in.

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jeff150879

Originally Said By: Ray Borduin
  I would be interested to hear other people's opinions of the support too.

We actualy spend a large percentage of our product sales price on support because of the complexity of our products and flexability of what they are capable of. We already put 100% of our profits back into the products and thier updtes and support, so we would have to raise or prices to afford more support, so it would be a risk, but if that is the overwhelming opinion we could try to put more resources into support.

I think most people feel that WebAssist goes above and beyond in their support, but you obviously have voiced a different opinion. I guess I'll wait and see who else chimes in.  



I wanted to post an update to my support ticket regarding CSS Menu Writer 2. Today I remembered a fix I needed to do for an issue I had long ago with an eCart upgrade. The issue was resolved by deleting the Dreamweaver WinFileCache file and re-starting Dreamweaver. I tried that today, and it solved my issue with Menu Writer.

This afternoon, after already fixing this issue myself, I finally heard back from tech support suggesting I try this very thing. Too bad it took support until Thursday afternoon to suggest this fix on an issue I submitted a ticket on last Monday.

Ray, your statement about having to raise prices in order to provide proper support is one I don't buy into. It's like having a company motto of "Quality, Service, Price...Pick one."

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Ray BorduinWebAssist

I understand your perspective, but that is not really what I am saying... I was trying to explain to you that Quality, Service, and Price are a balancing act. We are a small company, without public funding, without a government bailout and we put 100% of our profits back into updating the product, creating documentation, and support.

I know it is our burden to make these hard decisions, and I don't want to bore you with the details. I'm not saying pick one. I'm saying we already provide all three using 100% of our resources. If and when customers have issues we can either bolster the engineering so that the products are fixed and work better, bolster the documentation so that the customer can be successful on their own, or bolster the support. Unfortunately when you are using 100% of your resources, adding to one area necessarily means reducing another unless you are able to increase profit.

Of the three options engineering and documentation are usually where companies concentrate. The clear reason is that you fix it once and everybody can take advantage of it. I think Adobe, Microsoft, and in fact most software companies do not have as much dedicated support as WebAssist and in general our support is more thorough and knowledgeable. My personal opinion is that WebAssist should concentrate on engineering and documentation so that support isn't needed. Maybe that opinion came through to clearly in my tone without complete explanation it rubbed you the wrong way.

What is your incident number? It is very rare for a submitted incident to not be answered the same day. Expecially when for something as common as the winfilecache issue. I will look into it further.

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bobweber377579

following support thread

Ray I agree with you putting money into engineering and documentation so less support is needed. Yes my concerns are probably more product related. My expectations were very high from reading the glowing description of Menuwriter and its features on your site.

I have now solved my problem by switching to another style in Menuwriter. Next week I am going to go back to menus when I start adding pages to my site.

BTW those commenting on support dont ever go near DW Extensions from f-source.
Another company project 7 - excellent, excellent support I bought DW slide show magic from them.

Ray thank you for your help and listening to your customers comments.
bob

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glmcps295424

support

Ray,

Your support policy has changed if I'm not mistaken in that the support through service tickets is now free. True?

I think the support pertaining to standard documented features of your products should be free. However, support that involves creating solutions that are not part of the current spec for a given product should be charged for in many cases.

For example I have a support ticket in process at the moment. It involves my lack of understanding of php sufficient to create master/detail order entry pages that function the way I want. I don't expect that this should automatically be a free support ticket.

Getting this working correctly is absolutely necessary to what I'm trying to accomplish. If I have to pay to get it working so be it.

I don't think it's WA's job to teach me PHP.


I suppose it's human nature for the customer to assume that your products will do everything.

Perhaps a disclaimer stating that coding data-driven web sites is a process that involves a degree of programming and that while WA has done the bulk of it, there is no way that you can anticipate the needs of every developer.

I'd like to see more videos created. That takes time and money and they are outdate and less useful following any major product upgrade so that probably is not a sound solution either.

I have found the attitude of you and your techs to be excellent. I can't ask for anything else.

You asked for opinions and there's mine.

Regards,

Gregg

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Ray BorduinWebAssist

We do try our best. I think you may have pointed out the flaw in our system though. All support incdents are free and unlimited. We had tried having them expire after a year and giving a certain number in the past, but customers complained, so we changed our system.

As a result we get a lot more incidents, and a lot of them do involve teaching our customers general concepts about PHP, mySQL, HTML, CSS, Dreamweaver, or the web in general. We do take on a heavy burden when we try to not only make sure that our products work, but we actually try to make sure our customers are successful with them. Very few companies go as far as we do to ensure our customer's success.

However there is a valid point that we end up spending a lot of time in support helping people do things that they can't do not because our products don't work, but because they don't know how to use them. As a result someone that has an obvious question or bug reported may not get an immediate response as we are working to help other customers.

There is another delicate balance we keep between answering all of the questions thoroughly and answering all of the questions quickly. We certainly spend a lot of time thinking about support, a lot of energy providing it, and have a lot of resources working on it, but support is a pretty thankless job I did it for over 10 years so I know.

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jeff150879

Originally Said By: Ray Borduin
  I understand your perspective, but that is not really what I am saying... I was trying to explain to you that Quality, Service, and Price are a balancing act. We are a small company, without public funding, without a government bailout and we put 100% of our profits back into updating the product, creating documentation, and support.

I know it is our burden to make these hard decisions, and I don't want to bore you with the details. I'm not saying pick one. I'm saying we already provide all three using 100% of our resources. If and when customers have issues we can either bolster the engineering so that the products are fixed and work better, bolster the documentation so that the customer can be successful on their own, or bolster the support. Unfortunately when you are using 100% of your resources, adding to one area necessarily means reducing another unless you are able to increase profit.

Of the three options engineering and documentation are usually where companies concentrate. The clear reason is that you fix it once and everybody can take advantage of it. I think Adobe, Microsoft, and in fact most software companies do not have as much dedicated support as WebAssist and in general our support is more thorough and knowledgeable. My personal opinion is that WebAssist should concentrate on engineering and documentation so that support isn't needed. Maybe that opinion came through to clearly in my tone without complete explanation it rubbed you the wrong way.

What is your incident number? It is very rare for a submitted incident to not be answered the same day. Expecially when for something as common as the winfilecache issue. I will look into it further.  



Hi Ray,

Sorry for the delayed response to your question. My ticket number is 91107 if you still want to look into it and view the timeline of responses.

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Joe Lowery

Jeff - fyi, Ray is on vacation this week, so you likely won't hear from him until next.

Best - Joe

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Ray BorduinWebAssist

Thank you. I will look into that incident further. I appreciate the feedback.

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