Wednesday, 25 May 2016

M&S, could have been good, failed badly.

Tried ordering a shirt, that is all!



Welcome to M&S Live Chat. An adviser will be with you shortly.
You:

I can't order. Watch https://www.facebook.com/thrall.horde.9/videos/1043375019075478/
Thanks for your patience - an adviser will be with you soon.
Thanks for your patience - an adviser will be with you soon.
Thanks for your patience - an adviser will be with you soon.
Thanks for your patience - an adviser will be with you soon.
Magdalena has joined the session
Magdalena:

Hi, this is Magdalena, welcome to M&S Live Chat. How may I help you today?
You:

I can't order. Watch https://www.facebook.com/thrall.horde.9/videos/1043375019075478/
Magdalena:

Sorry to hear that.
Magdalena:

Please can you confirm whether you are able to login to your M&S.com account?
You:

Have you watched that video?
You:

It shows the whole problem
Magdalena:

Unfortunately, I am unable to view the given video.
You:

Well, I have gone to the bother of recording the exact problem, the fact the login button does nothing, the fact that trying to register again says my login failed, the fact you lost my order totally, all to make it easy, and have now published to a few thousands twitter and Facebook followers, and you cannot even watch it. That sucks
You:

I'll just put on my blog, that has been known to get over a million hits a month. Maybe someone at M&S will be able to watch the video then.
You:

Don't they let you have access to the internet?!?!?
You:

If I give you a youtube link, does that help - uploading there now
Magdalena:

I have raised an alert to the relevant department. Who will contact you within 24 to 48 hours. 
You:

Ha, OK...
Magdalena:

You can surely provide that. I will send it to the relevant department.
You:

One moment
Magdalena:

Ok.
You:

Youtube stuck at 95% processing, will have it in a moment
Magdalena:

No problem.
You:

https://youtu.be/-WOADyX2olQ
You:

And my blog http://www.revk.uk/2016/05/m-could-have-been-good-failed-badly.html
Magdalena:

Thanks for providing that.
You:

I'll look forward to their response...
Magdalena:

Definitely our team will contact you within the given time frame.
Chat session ended

P.S. Apparently, for security reasons, their customer service team cannot view the video. I have been buying M&S shirts for decades, and I thought I would try one of their made-to-measure ones. Sounds like I'll find somewhere else to get shirts now.

27 comments:

  1. 'Magdalena' being a big hairy bloke in downtown mumbai..

    It'll be interesting to see if you get any contact. I'm betting no.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pune actually :) Some stuff is done on-shore, but most of it is off-shore.

      Delete
    2. It's not unlikely that some of their support is done from Eastern Europe - M&S already have stores and infrastructure in Poland - where 'Magdalena' would not be an uncommon name.

      Delete
    3. They don't have anything in eastern europe currently that I'm aware of.

      Delete
  2. What keyboard is that? It sounds awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IBM model M buckling spring. Unicomp make them.

      Delete
  3. Frustrating live chat support sessions has probably contributed to my high blood pressure.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Who wants to give odds on the reply coming back as "Ahh the problem is you need to use a real email address"? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The correct response is "the one I used is not imaginary", I guess.

      Delete
  5. I appreciate that you are frustrated but is there any real point in being so nasty to the support operative that is trying to help you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What? I was not nasty? I asked if she had watched the video, explained why that would have been helpful, offered and provided youtube link as well, and said I looked forward to the response. Nothing at all nasty in there...

      Delete
    2. It certainly sounds rude as it's written, and the stuff where you threaten her with your millions of viewers doesn't come across well at all. What's the "?!?!?" bit about? Is that the bit where in real life you raise your voice incredulously and jab your finger at the shop assistant's chest?

      You must know that a lot of people work at computers which don't have access to Facebook, and that whatever you think of that policy, it's nothing to do with 'Magdalena', and nor is it like to be a significant impediment to her ability to help most people get their
      shirts ordered.

      It's not even as if your own ordering system is bug-free - there's a strong sound of stone-on-glass-house about the whole business.

      Being snarky to people at this level in big organisations is *never, ever* helpful to getting your problem fixed, and merely makes their life miserable.

      Delete
    3. Well, sorry you thought it rude. I was being factual - I did post to the blog and Facebook and twitter. Yes, we have bugs too. I would like to think we would have replied by now, and would have actually looked in to the issue and come up with a sensible response.

      Delete
    4. Your whole conversation is very confrontational. It comes across more as you having a go for having a go's sake than an attempt to resolve your problem or merely report it.

      The paragraph with several bits starting 'the fact' and the paragraph after read a bit like someone throwing a tantrum. Where you say Ha, OK is very much like laughing at them accusing them of fibs. 'I'll look forward to their response...' comes across as sarcastic.

      All of which does nothing to help get the problem at hand resolved.

      Delete
    5. Just my turn to be the stroppy customer, I guess.

      Delete
    6. If you have spoken to me like that, I wouldn't have bothered to put your request through to the right department. Customer Service in the UK sucks a lot of the time but you can't prejudge the service until you have tried to use it in the way it was designed.
      The video is rather helpful to explain what is happening but totally useless to a CS person and I wouldn't open it anyway, who knows what is really at the end of that URL.
      I know a lot of people that read your blog and that find the services from A&A to be very good, I find your site and products next to useless for me and more hassle than they are worth. That is not saying your products are bad as you have lots of happy customers but, everytime I have considered giving you another go it has been a waste of time for me. The problem is likely that I am not techie enough to understand what I need and that is fine, I have other options so rather than complain about your site or services, I just go elsewhere.

      Delete
  6. I appreciate your frustration, but in a workplace where Facebook is blocked to those in similar departments, surely subtituting the video with a description of the issue is not unreasonable?

    I am not trying to be antagonistic, but Magdalena h as probably had to raise it with some 'social media team' who can deal with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, we'll see if they every reply or fix it - if it had just worked, I would have spent £80 on a shirt, and probably bought more. At the end of the day it is their loss if they don't fix it.

      Delete
    2. Absolutely. Plenty of other places will relieve you of £80 for a nice shirt.

      Delete
    3. They have very little access to anything external - they can't even write things down on paper... they use whiteboards. This is all for security :)

      Delete
    4. Yes the access they have is probably very limited. For some things it would need to be in order to be PCI compliant.

      Whilst you seem to love the concept of "open" internet, the reality is that "open" is not how it goes.

      I suspect the second error is because you were trying to use an e-mail address that is already registered (because it is). The message is poor, but pretty typical of most systems I encounter.

      I think the real question is... why on earth would you want to spend £80 on a shirt?!? :)

      Delete
    5. I agree with Mr Heavy goods in that the problem you have in some regards here is also that whilst at A&A you're small enough that there's a good chance the person they speak to can directly, or has the potential to know who can sort something (which does beg the question why you do have so many ordering system and control panel bugs... cough...)...

      ...the same won't be true of M&S. They turn over a considerably larger amount of money, and the odds are the person on the live chat has absolutely no idea who could fix that issue whatsoever.

      Your house is indeed made of glass, and you can throw stones. It just happens to be the size of a small tent by comparison to the mansion of M&S.

      Delete
    6. Agree, this just makes you out as an ass. Yes the website wasn't perfect. But, this behaviour to the first line guy trying to help you isn't helpful. He/She is looking for key words in your request so they can forward the incident to the right team.

      Delete
  7. The sentence "Definitely our team will contact you within the given time frame." sounds very Indian in phrasing. There are lots of Indian here at work so I'm used to hearing this sort of thing.

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  8. I have some sympathy for Magdalena here, on two counts: first, Internet access probably isn't part of her work environment (nothing unusual or unreasonable about that: she's working in a call centre, not as a web designer), and secondly, any time someone tries to duck out of providing useful information by pointing to a video instead of speaking English, I'm reminded of the need to implement http://www.marz.ca/2013/09/30/a-standard-for-the-delivery-of-face-stabbing-via-ip-datagrams/ fully.

    I can't find it right now, but there was something like an XKCD comic recently on the subject, listing possible ways to provide information in order of preference, from a web page, a PDF, ..., written on the side of a rabid goat, or a video of it. The number of times a technical issue is actually best described by a video can surely be counted on the fingers of one foot.

    Is "I can't log in using foo@bar because of an error 'Blah'/button missing/not responding" really too much to type?

    (I did have what seems a similar issue recently with eBay: changing to my new personal email address appeared to fail. It turned out the "invalid email address" error was just a bug - the change had already been accepted, which is why trying again wouldn't work. No video involved of course, I just cut and pasted the error.)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm surprised to see so many people defending M&S here. Their system is broken, and providing a video/screenshot/whatever is a perfectly acceptable method of showing a problem. If Magdalena genuinely cannot access videos from work, she is not equipped to do her job.

    I will say that having a go at the frontline support is not the best option, as it's not their fault they're contracted to work for incompetents, but I absolutely understand the frustration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A video was, I thought, a lot easier than trying to explain it, and showed exactly what happened in detail with all the subtleties that are not obvious in text. We get that when people report an issue to us at A&A, we try it and it all works, then we find the person was pressing enter not clicking the OK button or some subtlety we were not trying. A video really helps provide that crucial detail, IMHO.

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