Support Timings

35 posts, 0 answers
  1. Julian Voelcker
    Julian Voelcker avatar
    156 posts
    Member since:
    Jan 2006

    Posted 13 Feb 2006 Link to this post

    Hi,

    It's very brave of you to open this up  - I hope you don't get too much of a rough ride from the customers.

    Anyway, my personal beef so far is with the timing of the support.  It appears that the support staff only seem to visit the support forums about once a day which makes it very difficult to resolve problems, espescially if several messages go back and forth taking up several days causing major headaches for customer's development schedules.

    I have posted some issues recently where I have had to wait upto 20 hours for a response that has then required me to provide more info (which I did almost immediatly) and then wait another day for a response back, etc, etc. 

    Obviously this isn't helped by the fact that one Telerik support person responds one day and then another responds the next day so there is very little continuity.

    It would be ideal if the support staff could actually subscribe to the threads they respond to and then they can deal with the on going support issue as the messages are posted, this would lead to a much quicker resolution time and better continuity.

    One final thing is that it would really help if the support staff were checking for new messages at least three times a day and that they bear in mind that you have customers all over the world in different time zones.

    I'm finding that I am posting messages late in the afternoon UK time and they aren't being responded to until mid afternoon the next day.

    Having said all that, when the support does come through it is very good.

    Is anyone else experiencing the same?

    Cheers,

    Julian
  2. Robert Swafford
    Robert Swafford avatar
    134 posts
    Member since:
    Jan 2006

    Posted 14 Feb 2006 Link to this post

    I've experienced a similar delay -- posting a question any time of day (Central US time) results in at least a day's delay in an answer from support.  The quality of support is good, just the turnaround time, especially with problems that require several back-and-forth exchanges, could improve some.
  3. Vassil Petev
    Admin
    Vassil Petev avatar
    1765 posts

    Posted 15 Feb 2006 Link to this post

    Thank you for your post, Julian.

    To be honest, this was planned to be a blog post, but I decided to share it here.

    Some people may consider our decision to open up a forum where people can actively give feedback on what's good and what's bad as "suicidal". The reason is simple - most people would take time to complain but would not share their positivity about a software vendor.

    So, why did we do it? Again, the reason is simple - we want to be transparent and we want to be honest with customers. This has been our policy since day one. If there's a problem, we don't want to hide it. We want to eliminate it as quickly as possible and keep you guys happy. Will we fail at times? We definitely will:) But we can wholeheartedly promise you that you will see constant improvement from us.

    That said, we acknowledge that we are a little slow in our responses lately. In my belief, there are several general reasons for this:

    1. Hype around our AJAX technology - we were first to offer a quite comprehensive AJAX-enabled suite for ASP.NET. The excitement that our product offering created resulted in increased support incidents but we are working on a variety of resources to streamline the education of customers.
    2. ASP.NET 2.0 -  we were one of the first to provide official ASP.NET 2.0 support. This framework seems to be quite a success - Microsoft is pushing hard and their marketing activities pay off. telerik is also impacted quite a bit - we are seeing more and more non-ASP.NET developers trying to migrate to it. As those of you that are familiar with ASP.NET 2.0, Microsoft have introduced some great new features but not all customers know how to use them effectively and they require our assistance. That is one of the reasons for creating a new category for discussion of strictly ASP.NET issues - we want to teach customers how to use not only our products but the platform as well.
    3. Team reorganization - recently the internal teams at telerik were reorganized in order to be more effective and to provide better products and services to customers in the future. Needless to say, this was an endeavor that would not pay off immediately but to some extent it disrupted the established workflow and this inevitably affected our response time (currently it's about 11 hours).

    There are quite a few other issues apart from difference in geographic location, ticket assignment and the above mentioned reasons for the slower response time and these things are fundamental:

    1. It's been our policy to fully support both trial users and clients  - we do not discriminate between them.
    2. We try to help with questions, not related to our products. Time has seen several vigorous discussions on basic ASP.NET rules, where our user(s) failed to understand some basic principles until proven otherwise. Such discussions take time but they push our clients to think positively when contacting telerik, as they are certain that they will get the needed guidance.
      Additionally, every day we solve problems which are not related to our controls, but to the customer's solution - at first the issue seems to be related to our products but the problem turns out to be a problem in the implementation. It is not our responsibility to support such questions, of course, but we are trying to help you be more productive.
    3. As ordinary as this may sound, we take our time when reviewing each ticket and make extra effort to answer it properly. This includes offering advice on things which are not related to our products (such as links to blogs, Google searches, custom solutions on the web, links to MSDN, etc).
    4. We often debug customer projects. The reviewing and debugging is not an easy task. It usually takes time before we find the problem (try this in an 8MB project with 10,000 lines of code where a telerik user has passed us little information on what the problem actually is:).
    5. We respond to more than 97% of all tickets on time (see the Support Options for details on the support options we offer for different licenses). The rest are answered within a couple of hours of their guaranteed response time.
    6. We respond to 99% of all Forum posts, even though forum posts do not guarantee a reply. In other words, the Support Forum posts receive similar treatments as if they are support tickets.
    7. We take bugs seriously and fix them as soon as possible. We often even offer custom fixes.

    We do have a plan on how to improve the response time and we are currently working on implementing it. We specifically want to address the issue with slow replies to tickets that simply require extra information for their successful resolution.

    I sincerely hope that the results will start showing up in the next 2-3 months. I again want to assure you that we are not deaf and blind about your problems guys and we will approach every single issue with dedication.


    Yours truly,

    Vassil Petev
    Client Service Director
    the telerik team

  4. Robert Swafford
    Robert Swafford avatar
    134 posts
    Member since:
    Jan 2006

    Posted 15 Feb 2006 Link to this post

    Vassil, thanks for taking the time to reply to this thread.  I appreciate the honest explanation, and am glad to see that telerik is working to improve the situation.

    I can say from experience that the quality of customer service and support that I've received as a trial customer has been outstanding.  My company has been testing your products for a new application we're developing, and the answers we've gotten just while testing gives me great hope for the level of support now that we've bought the full product.

    Thanks again for taking the time to listen to your users' concerns and address them.

    Cheers :)
  5. David Dimmer
    David Dimmer avatar
    5 posts
    Member since:
    Jan 2006

    Posted 16 Feb 2006 Link to this post

    Obviously you have to work off of a queue, but what are your thoughts on flagging messages that you send that are seeking more information, and once that information is sent that post regains its priority and moves to the top of the queue. 

    I just spent 4-5 days working out a file path issue that was a bug, a patch was issued and life is all good; but realistically had I not been diligently trying to find a solution I'm 90% positive I would have returned the product.  Had I not laid out 2 scenarios that worked, and two different scenarios that failed, I don't think we would have found the problem any time soon. 

    Part of it probably has to do with I had to sell Telerik on the concept that my permissions were correct, which is probably a major  sticking point that gets screwed up.  Once I sold that through with my theory for the bug it was fixed next business day.

    I think a adding a priority weight on purchased users, vs new trial users should be in place.   Clearly new clients are important, but I would think client retention is worth more in the long run. 

    My last comment would have to be in effect to the times of the responses from Telerik, they seem to be between 2am and 10am US Central time; do you have a US support team that can look at things during US business hours? 
  6. Vassil Petev
    Admin
    Vassil Petev avatar
    1765 posts

    Posted 16 Feb 2006 Link to this post

    Hi David,

    Straight to your points:
    1. Clients are offered better response times and are replied to faster than trial users - see the Support Options page for details on the support options we offer for different licenses. This is the way our queue works as well.
    2. Questions which are not descriptive enough will be flagged and answered right away, asking for additional information. This helpdesk feature has been in the works and will be operational in a week. We hope that it will speed our responses somewhat as nearly 25% of all support tickets (and Forum posts) are incomplete.
      In this line of thought, a new Support Forum post will get the same form that is currently in the support system which will ask the user to enter information about his development environment (.NET version, OS version, browser, etc.). This will help us in addressing the problems better.
      Additionally, we recently added Guidelines to starting a support ticket to help our customers provide us with the needed information upfront. Unfortunately, we have not seen the benefits of this step so far, and we plan to extend the idea further by either adding an extra step when opening a new support ticket and/or making it more visible.
    3. We also plan to extend our working hours to cover for a better part of the American workday. This will probably happen with the release of r.a.d.controls Q1 in March.

    Of course, better documentation will always help :) This is one of the improvements we also plan for Q1.

    Sincerely yours,

    Vassil Petev
    Client Service Director
    the telerik team

  7. Alfred Ortega
    Alfred Ortega avatar
    193 posts
    Member since:
    May 2005

    Posted 16 Feb 2006 Link to this post

    Like many others I have purchased 3rd party controls and have found telerik (despite the time-zone difference) to be among the best and most accurate in helping resolve issues.  This is not to say that they are perfect but there is a noticable difference in quality.  I recently renewed my subscription with telerik, I have not done so with most others.

    On CodeProject's forum there is a lead message to every forum that offers guidelines on what you should/shouldn't do to best get your question answered perhaps telerik could do something similar so that faster support can be provided.

    Keep putting out excellent products and providing your great support,

    Al

  8. Vassil Petev
    Admin
    Vassil Petev avatar
    1765 posts

    Posted 16 Feb 2006 Link to this post

    This is a very nice idea, Alfred! Thank you for sharing it with us - you will see it implemented tomorrow. I will be glad to include your name in the posts, being the founder (with your permission, of course).

    Some points go to your account.

    Kind regards,

    Vassil Petev
    the telerik team
  9. Julian Voelcker
    Julian Voelcker avatar
    156 posts
    Member since:
    Jan 2006

    Posted 16 Feb 2006 Link to this post

    Hi Vassil,

    It's great to hear about the planned improvements to the support.

    It would be good to be able to provide a bit more info when posting to the forums because on a couple of occasions I have been provided with sample code in VB.Net, when I use C# - in future by providing this info it should be avoided in the future.

    Actually it would be handy if the questions about platform, etc were stored in a cookie or some sort of profile so that we don't have to keep on entering it each time we do a post (it would be nice to add a signature to this as well).

    I notice that I am not the only one complaining about the timings of when you answer questions on the forums - being in the UK, not too far (timezone wise) from your head office I am still having to wait until late afternoon to get messages answered.

    Keep up the great work.

    Cheers,

    Julian
  10. Vassil Petev
    Admin
    Vassil Petev avatar
    1765 posts

    Posted 17 Feb 2006 Link to this post

    Hello Alfred - the needed guidelines are being applied to all Support Forums. Again, thank you for the idea.

    Julian, we usually provide VB.NET code in the Forums as nearly 80% of all telerik users develop in VB.NET. Nevertheless, you can always ask for a C# version and we will send it to you.

    Your idea about keeping the ticket information in a cookie has already been implemented, but not for all fields. For example, if you start a new support ticket, you will see that the browser used and the OS will be filled already.


    All the best,
    Vassil Petev
    the telerik team

  11. Josef Rogovsky
    Josef Rogovsky avatar
    144 posts
    Member since:
    Sep 2012

    Posted 08 Apr 2006 Link to this post

    There's simply no doubt that the quality of telerik's support is second to none.

    I've always received excellent advice in my support tickets and while most companies use their forums as a place for their users to help each other and/or vent (check out the paypal dev forums), telerik staff's active participation in their forums speaks volumes about their overall commitment to the success of their customers.

    One request I'd like to make regarding telerik's support is that they extend the support hours to include Saturday and Sunday.

    I often have to work weekends and there have been several times that I've submitted a support request on a Friday and had to wait until Monday to get an answer.

    I would even be willing to pay an additional fee for weekend support were it offered.
  12. Vassil Petev
    Admin
    Vassil Petev avatar
    1765 posts

    Posted 10 Apr 2006 Link to this post

    Hello Josef,

    Thank you for the nice words and your suggestion. We will consider adding weekend support to our services, although we have one support guy or another working on weekends.

    But before doing this we will try to provide extended support hours to cover for American working hours. Actually, we are currently researching our options and we hope to be able to provide this services, free of charge, in the next months. With this move we hope to minimize the impact of the current time difference and to offer better support on Fridays.

    Please, do not hesitate to let me know what you think about this.

    On a side note, are you guys willing to pay a little extra for "extended support" (either per incident or per Subscription), i.e. faster response times, dedicated support person for your case and guaranteed problem solving, within, say 12 hours? We do escalate most problems currently, but it is not an accepted practice at this time, especially if the ticket comes near the end of the workday. Please, share your opinion so that we can consider our options and provide even better services in the future.


    Greetings,
    Vassil Petev
    the telerik team
  13. Josef Rogovsky
    Josef Rogovsky avatar
    144 posts
    Member since:
    Sep 2012

    Posted 10 Apr 2006 Link to this post

    I'd be willing to pay more for additional support as part of the subscription.

    If I had to pay per incident you guys would bankrupt me! ;)

    Longer support hours during the work week and better coverage on weekends would be of benefit to me.
  14. Vassil Petev
    Admin
    Vassil Petev avatar
    1765 posts

    Posted 11 Apr 2006 Link to this post

    Thank you for the feedback, Josef.

    I would be happy to hear what the rest of the community thinks of these ideas.


    All the best,

    Vassil Petev
    the telerik team
  15. Martin de Ruiter
    Martin de Ruiter avatar
    99 posts
    Member since:
    Jun 2005

    Posted 12 Apr 2006 Link to this post

    Longer support during the work week, and also extended support in the weekend would be very nice indeed.

    About paying for extra support, well only if it has really added value. Like now you know you have a reply within 24 hours (if all goes well), if I would pay for extra support, I certainly would want a reply within something like 4, maybe 8 hours or something similar (as a reply doesn't always mean problem solved...). What I'm saying here is that you now know you have an answer relatively quick (24h), so paying for extra should also mean something really extra. And certainly not per incident, but per subscription, per incident would be way to expensive for me too (also especially for new customers I think).
  16. Vassil Petev
    Admin
    Vassil Petev avatar
    1765 posts

    Posted 12 Apr 2006 Link to this post

    Thank you for the feedback, Martin, we will have your thoughts in mind. I will agree that some customers will not be able to handle paid per-incident support, especially if they are a small development house with limited resources. However, we will always keep the current support service, i.e. the purchase will always come with an year of free support. The paid services may be used if a problem is very urgent and needs immediate attention.

    Again, thank you for your response - much appreciated.

    Regards,

    Vassil Petev
    the telerik team
  17. Tim Larson
    Tim Larson avatar
    14 posts
    Member since:
    Apr 2006

    Posted 18 Apr 2006 Link to this post

    I think the products are great that you offer but I am finding the support to be a hinderance that I do not get responses after 10:00 AM CST.  So I must wait until the next day to hear back.  Frustrating!  If I was to pay any money for support above and beyond the subscription price I would say that telephone support would be a must.

    Being a new user to the controls I find it frustrating when I look through the forums and find others that have had the same issues but they are told to submit a support ticket and then that is the last of the public posting of the resolution.  Was it fixed? work arounds? hot fix?  I never get to know and spend more time trying to dig in and find the answer.

    Tim
  18. Brad
    Brad avatar
    110 posts
    Member since:
    Jun 2004

    Posted 18 Apr 2006 Link to this post

    Well, down here in Australia we also have to wait for responses to tickets, but we generally only have to wait 12 to 24 hours which I think is good compared to other companies. It would be nice to have the option for marking a ticket as “high priority” or “mission critical”, but there is also a risk that that could be abused.

    I strongly agree with Tim Larson about posts that are not followed up. It is very frustrating finding someone with the same problem then having to submit a support ticket.

    Could you add a create support ticket button to the forum which links the ticket to the thread? That way the support people involved would know that a response to the thread is also needed once a solution is found?
  19. Vassil Petev
    Admin
    Vassil Petev avatar
    1765 posts

    Posted 20 Apr 2006 Link to this post

    Hello Bradley, Tim.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with our support services.

    When we first started the Forums, they were intended for a place where people will exchange thoughts, solutions, ideas, etc, i.e. a community place. At one point however, our customers started asking support questions in the Forums, which we could not ignore so we started addressing most questions.

    Still, we stand behind our initial idea - we would prefer the Forums to be a place where our customers communicate with each other (actually, this is noted in the WELCOME TO THE TELERIK SUPPORT FORUMS instructions). This is one of the reasons why we do not follow up in the Forums - we address one's particular concern, ask for a project, solve the problem, and move on to help other customers. If the person is willing to follow up with the resolution, he/she can do so. On the other hand, you can always ask what was the resolution and get a response either from us or from the person who started the thread.
     
    Still, the idea of us following up in the Forums is very good and we will discuss it. However, most questions/cases are either unique or very custom, and we following up to all may prove to be an overhead/burden for us. But we can do so on selected posts, so we will see what we can do.

    Bradley, regarding your suggestion of marking a ticket to be of higher priority - we currently escalate some tickets and solve critical problems faster than other, especially when strong reasons are laid out by the customer. However, our willingness to help is abused even now, so I am not sure that we will provide our customers with the freedom for marking a ticket as “high priority” or “mission critical". If we manage to decrease our response times more, this won't be necessary.

    Your last suggestion, Bradley, is excellent and very constructive - I gladly updated your points for it. A button in the Forums to start a new ticket and link the Forum post to the ticket will ease our clients quite a bit. This button can also serve as "Followup required" reminder for us. Expect this feature in the upcoming months.


    All the best,

    Vassil Petev
    Client Service Director
    the telerik team

  20. Josef Rogovsky
    Josef Rogovsky avatar
    144 posts
    Member since:
    Sep 2012

    Posted 21 Apr 2006 Link to this post

    Hi Vassil,

    Just one more comment...

    Whenever I'm heavy into a project cycle I'll often create multiple support tickets or bug submissions in one day.

    I've gotten used to the fact that I have to wait until the next day to get a response and have actually made a routine out of it.

    I start my day with a steaming mug of green tea and a casual sort through of the half dozen or so responses I've received from you guys.

    I think that I would miss my "telerik mornings" if they ever went away. The code samples and other advice I receive are always well thought out and enlightening.

    I think that for Christmas I'm going to send you guys a box of mugs printed with the following motto: "telerik, we do more before 4am than you'll do all day!"

    ;)
  21. Hugo Augusto
    Hugo Augusto avatar
    55 posts
    Member since:
    Jul 2004

    Posted 11 May 2006 Link to this post

    Hello Julian,

    I totaly agree with you. I'm paying almost 500$ for the Gold Subscription and the fact is that its not worth because i still have to wait 4 days(!!!) for a problem to get fixed because i only get an answer per day! They sure answer on time but they do not solve problems on time.

    Telerik is starting to sink. They have to many controls and they are not handling the amount of problems. Has i said in another Post, they should stop with the release of new controls and improve the existing ones to stable versions. That would concentrate the team in the existing problems.

    But i'm not the boss so all we can do is complain... or perhaps not renew the subscriptions.
  22. Vassil
    Admin
    Vassil avatar
    66 posts

    Posted 12 May 2006 Link to this post

    Hi Hugo,

    On the contrary, you are the boss - you are the one who has the final say whether we have done a good job or not and you are the one paying the bills. This gives you the right to complain when we are not doing something right and we are not meeting your expectations. As you said, you can decide not to renew if the quality of our products and service is unacceptable and that's a pretty bad penalty.

    We value your opinion, and that's why we are open about problems and we are open about what we are trying to do to solve them. That's actually why we created this forum and why we are not deleting/hiding posts in which customers are criticizing us. By all means, behind telerik are real people. As such, we make mistakes and sometimes we do not make the best decisions. What is certain, though, is that there is a lot of determination on our end to listen to customers and to continuously improve our products and services.

    From what I have read, I believe that most of your frustration stems from problems with a specific control, namely r.a.d.dock. I noticed that you have opened a new thread on the topic and I will comment r.a.d.dock in that thread.

    I do acknowledge that at some point the quality of telerik products started to fall. The good news, though, is that we realized a while back and, as you may have noticed, Q2 will be a second quarter in a row without any new controls. Our focus has been solely on reworking our products so that they meet the needs of our customers. No fancy features, no bells and whistles; rather, better performance, smaller footprint, cleaner APIs and so on. We are doing exactly what you want us to do - concentrate on problems and bug fixing before moving on to new features and new products.

    As everything takes time, we needed to prioritize our development effort and we started this company-wide product improvement program with the most widely-used telerik ASP.NET controls. We will probably need some time till Q3 to polish the complete product line, however, we are working in that direction and we hope all telerik customers will be very pleased with the end results.

    Vassil Terziev
    CEO
  23. John S.
    John S. avatar
    90 posts
    Member since:
    Aug 2004

    Posted 30 May 2006 Link to this post

    Hello Vassil,

    Sometimes I don't need 24 hour response in regards to a problem and other times I could really use an answer immediately.

    If it was possible to have a requested response day/time perhaps issues that were not immediate in nature could help reoranize your queue.

    Best regards,
    John Stewart
  24. Vassil
    Admin
    Vassil avatar
    66 posts

    Posted 02 Jun 2006 Link to this post

    Hello John,

    It's a good idea and we have given it some thought. We decided not to implement it as we feared that everyone would put URGENT priority to his/her ticket and the end-result would be the same as today - everything would have the same priority.

    Let's make a quick poll in the forum here - would you abuse the system or not?:) If you believe that such an approach will not be abused, we will make the necessary changes to the support system.

    Greetings,
    Vassil
  25. Josef Rogovsky
    Josef Rogovsky avatar
    144 posts
    Member since:
    Sep 2012

    Posted 02 Jun 2006 Link to this post

    Hi Vassil,

    I wouldn't abuse it, but I can easily see how it could be abused.

    I've given this some thought and my personal preference would be to have the option to buy "immediate support tokens" for something like $20-$40 each with the guarantee that they will be refunded if the issue turns out to be related to a bug or something lacking in the documentation.

    The ability to get realtime assistance via IM or telephone would be a nice, cost justifying advantage too.
  26. Vassil Petev
    Admin
    Vassil Petev avatar
    1765 posts

    Posted 09 Jun 2006 Link to this post

    Good points, Josef. However, this will require some major reorganization of our current support setup, in terms of people location. Nevertheless, this is on our plans and we are considering our options to have support people in the US so that we can reduce the response times and provide paid support services. Time will tell, though.

    We are now working on introducing direct customer support through GoToMeeting sessions. All will be live in the course of the next 30 days, so this will help a little. The online meetings will be free of charge and will be offered to our customers in the following cases:
    1. urgent matters.
    2. problem cannot be reproduced by telerik support staff.
    3. customer cannot provide a sample project due to its size and/or complexity.
    We have decided to offer one GoToMeeting per question/incident so that we can provide similar services to as many of our customers as possible. Additionally, we will evaluate each case before offering a GoToMeeting session and the service will not be available upon client's request. If all goes well, we may provide a paid GoToMeeting service, which goes hand in hand with your idea.


    Kind regards,

    Vassil Petev
    Client Service Director
    the telerik team
  27. JesusReagan
    JesusReagan avatar
    2 posts
    Member since:
    Jun 2006

    Posted 12 Jul 2006 Link to this post

    Well, that's a good move.  The GoToMeeting idea, that is. 

    I am a business owner, and we have 25,000+ clients.  We have support issues as well, so I know what you are up against.  I say that because I hope you take what I have to say as constructive, and I say it as someone who has some experience in customer support.

    I have been waiting (and hoping) for 15 years that some third party control company would finally get it right.  Like most developers, the expanded feature set of third-party controls is enticing to me.  The dream of rapidly building sophisticated applications has led me to try and try again with third party controls.  As of yet, the dream has been just that - a dream.  The support for third party controls is at best slow, at worst non-existent, and the install base is small, so generic assistance is minimal.

    Ok, so I know you guys aren't Microsoft.  I can't Google "R.A.D. Grid Template column returns old values using EditItemTemplate" and expect to get 3,000 pages of related information.  That being the case, you have to make up for the install base being comparatively small by being on the ball with your support ticket system.  Before I submit a support ticket, I have researched all the knowledge base articles I can find on your site that are relevant.  And, that's not easy.  I don't know if it's because I am halfway round the world, but the knowledge base section of the site is slow, and the full-text search is not well optimized.  I have to wade through slow-loading page after slow-loading page to find something that I can sink my teeth into.  Be all that as it may, as I stated earlier, I still research everything well before I submit a support ticket.  And, I give a *great* deal of information in my support ticket in an attempt to avoid additional mail cycles.  I recently submitted a ticket regarding an issue, and in the ticket, I stated that I had read all the relevant knowledge base articles and still did not have a resolution.  The response I received was "Here are the links to some knowledge base articles that might help.  If you still have questions, let me know."  Very, very frustrating.

    Another case in point - I have a currently submitted support ticket.  This ticket is regarding an issue that I mentioned earlier; I can't seem to access the edited values in a template column.  I'm using InPlace editing, an ItemTemplate and an EditItemTemplate and try as I may, I can't get to the edited values.  I tried all the suggestions I could find in the knowledge base - nothing has worked.  When I submitted the support ticket, I gave a very detailed explanation of my project setup, how I was sourcing the radgrids, and I included the .aspx code of the grid in question.  The response I got back was "Please send us a small, working project".  My project has reached a fair size; how do I decide what to include and what to leave out?  And, why can't suggestions be made to me as well as just requesting a "small, working project"? I can then, at least, pursue resolution on my own while you try to reproduce the error with my "small, working project".  Now, if you can't reproduce the problem, I have to send another "small, working project" that includes additional, arbitrarily selected code.  So on and so on.  Rapid Application Development is just a pipe dream at this point. 

    So, we are left with the decision: Try to push through the Slow Application Development and adhere to the third party controls, or settle for a plainer, more bland site with reduced functionality but can be finished quickly.  Referring to the template column issue stated earlier - I have already proven that I can use a GridView wrapped in an Atlas Update Panel and all works fine.  It doesn't look as good, and I can't do alot of the things I want to do, but it works.  And, I know if I have a problem, then I can Google the exception message and get a couple of thousand sites that might have the information I need.  Plus, thought Microsoft is not king of documentation, at least all the properties are listed.  They don't have properties listed that are no longer supported, and the don't have properties that exist that aren't documented like Telerik does. 

    At the risk of being repetitive, I know that you don't have resources enough to be just like the big boys.  Though it's hard to believe after 15-20 years of Microsoft-centric development, the 3rd party control market is still wide open, and it's open not because there aren't alot of clever people making cool controls, it's because no one has yet done the hard, unglamorous, non-fun stuff right, mainly support.  In your defense, Telerik is the closest to achieving what no other third party control developer has managed - making true, sophisticated RAD a reality.  Though you are closest, you are still very far away.  I know you are growing fast and that's very difficult to manage, however, if you are going to sell well out of your timezone, you have to staff to support those timezones.  Hire some more technical writers and get the documentation up to snuff.  If you do those things, you can leave your competition pretty far behind.

    Sorry to be so long winded - but I feel better ;-)

    Scott Ellis

  28. Hugo Augusto
    Hugo Augusto avatar
    55 posts
    Member since:
    Jul 2004

    Posted 13 Jul 2006 Link to this post

    I would like to suggest one thing that could perhaps minimize the "anger" that we all (paying subscribers) feel when we don't get the announced 24h support or even don't get support that solves our problems in a one day period. Why not offer points? That would be a way of telling "you got a problem, but we were not able to solve it in a an acceptable time so we would like to offer you some points because of that."

    That would be a nice gesture...

    And because we should also talk about the good things, congratulations for the new RadAjax control! It's a 5 star product!
  29. Robert Swafford
    Robert Swafford avatar
    134 posts
    Member since:
    Jan 2006

    Posted 13 Jul 2006 Link to this post

    I'll second Hugo's comment about rad Ajax -- I've been slowly converting one of my larger projects over to using it, and have yet to have any difficulties with it.  Kudos to telerik for a fantastic product!
  30. Vassil
    Admin
    Vassil avatar
    66 posts

    Posted 27 Jul 2006 Link to this post

    Thanks for the suggestions guys!

    While the idea to offer points to people whom we don't manage to serve well is at first glance appealing, I, and the other people handling customer issues, believe that it will lead to negative results over time. Essentially, we will have a way to "buy" ourselves the mercy of our customers. I really don't want to see our company in that position.

    My preference is to focus on improvements in our practices and ways of operation that will ensure that customers always get what they expect from us. I would like to thank Scott for the extensive feedback he provided as he has nailed some of the problems that we're experiencing due to the different time zone and the quick growth of our company.

    Lately we've done quite a few things to improve the customer experience such as: creation of better help, creation of more intuitive examples, better search on telerik.com, better categorized resources, addition of new resources and learning materials etc. I perfectly understand that there's a long way to go but we're working on all of the problematic areas you have identified.

    Last but not least, we are also setting up a US support center that we hope will further cut down the response times on our end.

    Vassil Terziev
    CEO
    the telerik team

Back to Top