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reporting to customer reports.

    Date: Wed, 5 Dec 1990 14:36-0500
    From: cook@RIVERSIDE.SCRC.Symbolics.COM (Kimberly L. Cook)

	Date: Tue, 4 Dec 1990 09:24 EST
	From: dmitchell@APCTRC.trc.amoco.com (Donald H. Mitchell)

	    Date: Mon, 3 Dec 90 17:15 PST
	    From: CStacy@STONY-BROOK.SCRC.Symbolics.COM (Christopher Stacy)

		Date: Mon, 3 Dec 90 19:32 EST
		From: pc@ctt.ctt.bellcore.com (Peter Clitherow)

		I've sent a few (3 or so) reports in to
		over the last two weeks or so.  i've had no response at all from them,
		not even an acknowledgement of the form ".... has been assigned incident
		number <90-12-03....>".

	    Your reports are being received, and are waiting to be handled by some
	    (slightly backlogged) software support person.

	Sometime last summer Symbolics changed their software support categories to
	basic, basic+, and red phone where there's an additional $200/month charge (my
	cost, yours may vary) for basic+ and it "guarantees" a 24 hour response and a
	$500/month surcharge for red phone with a "guaranteed" 2 hour response.
	Seeing that under my current support I've almost never seen quicker than 3 or
	5 day response and often no response (I am paying for support), I wonder what
	quality and quickness of response people who are purchasing the new surcharged
	packages are seeing?  Paying $6M per year over and above the basic $4.5M for
	software support to cover my 4 hosts seems painful unless people really are
	seeing quality and timely response.  I'm afraid that all I'll see is that they
	will pass the problem to the developers and get back to me whenever the
	developers respond (which is almost always what I hear now).

    We generally respond to phone messages with the two hour limit.  Certainly all
    calls are responded to within the 24 hour response time.  With mail reports, we
    try very hard to respond - with as least an acknowledgement - within the 24
    hour limit.  

    As you know, most of the bug reports we receive from you pertain to  UX and
    x-windows.  Unfortunately, these are both areas where we are lacking in expertise.
    We have hired a new support person who is knowledgeable in this area and have plans
    for training other staff.  Hoepfully, you will see a large improvement in the
    speed of responses to these questions.

	A related question is whether the people not purchasing the guaranteed
	response packages are guaranteed to ever get a response?  Is it up to
	Symbolics to decide whether to respond to a bug report?

    We always respond to every question unless told to cancel the incident by the
    customer.  I realize that sometimes the answer may not be one that you like,
    such as "fixed in the next release", but not all problems are susceptible
    to an easy solution.

	Don Mitchell			dmitchell@trc.amoco.com
	Amoco Production Company	(918) 660-4270
	Tulsa Research Center
	P.O. Box 3385, Tulsa, OK 74102

I sent out a simple network question November 27 and still haven't
received a response.  In the last few months I rarely get an
acknowledgement that Symbolics actually receives my mail let alone that
I hear anything within 24 hours (all I expect is confirmation that
customer-reports received my mail).  Normally, I have to wait from
several days to a couple of weeks before I hear anything.  Once a
specific individual grabs my request from customer reports and starts
working on it then response time is very reasonable.  I am downgrading
our service contract from a premium service contract (the old contract
designation for phone + email) to basic (email) because the phone
response has been no better than email.  Obviously Symbolics is
understaffed right now and doing the best they can but we're suffering
for it.

Don Kaiser

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