Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Baddest Beat of All: Blame the User

If you've been reading Internet Poker Player you will know there's been an ongoing conversation with poker.com tech support about some problems with the client software.

Recently, the software crashed in the middle of a tournament hand costing me about 500 chips which was almost half my stack. I restarted the software and got back in the game in about a minute but I never recovered and was out shortly after. For some reason my concentration wasn't there. I kept wondering if the software was going to crash again.

I got tech support on the live chat and the ensuing conversation has caused me to uninstall the poker.com software permanently.

Not only did the tech support person not recognise how annoying having the software crash mid-game is, the inconvenience and lost money wasn't something he was going to talk about, nope the whole thing was caused because not only do I not know how to use the software, I don't know how to get help properly.

===Begin Live Chat Transcript===

On 7/15/06, Charles Rowe < charles@pokercs.com> wrote:Hello xScrewballx,

Below is the complete transcript of your chat session:


Company: Poker.com

Department: Poker.com Support

Operator: Charles Rowe <charles@pokercs.com >

Visitor: xScrewballx <-@-.com>

Chat Info: Sun 07/16/06 11:15 am


xScrewballx (Verified): Chat Request from PlayerAdmin Welcome xScrewballx! Please hold while we contact a representative. If a representative does not respond in a few seconds, then he/she is not available at this time.Currently 2 chat request session(s) before you.

You are now speaking with Charles Rowe of Poker.com Support.

Charles Rowe: Hello xScrewballx! How can I help you?

xScrewballx: Can you keep my client from crashing in the middle of SNG's?

xScrewballx: on the bubble no less

xScrewballx: in the middle of a hand against the big stack?

Charles Rowe: One moment

Charles Rowe: It appears you have been having issues with your connection to our server which is causing you to be sat out of hands. This lag can occur at several routing points between your ISP and our servers.

To resolve this matter please try implementing the following measures to allow your computer and connection to cope better;

1) Click the "settings" button in the software.
2)Click on the "Window" tab and select "Lobby Window"

If you still find that you are experiencing poor performance then;

3) click the "settings" button then click the "performance" tab and slide the button further towards the "performance" side until you find that the software is running more smoothly.

xScrewballx: I did that. [The slider] ... was halfway with all the bells & whistles turned off

xScrewballx: I will turn it down the rest of the way

xScrewballx: that crash took me out of that tourney

Charles Rowe: Ok, no worries

Charles Rowe: Good luck

xScrewballx: I lost a good chunk of my chips and never recovered

xScrewballx: Have you received any new Audio support requests?

xScrewballx: I am worried

Charles Rowe: Audio support?

xScrewballx: one monent

xScrewballx: http://internetpokerplayer.blogspot.com/2006/06/blinking-tabs-audio-tech-support.html

xScrewballx: My problems with this software have been going on too long

xScrewballx: I don't have problems with other poker rooms or apps I use for work

xScrewballx: I am basically on the computer all day

xScrewballx: the problems are most decidedly not with traffic or performance

xScrewballx: For awhile I was e-mailing you daily

Charles Rowe: Have you uninstalled and reinstalled lately?>

xScrewballx: no I haven't

Charles Rowe: i would suggest you try that, it could help.

xScrewballx: so could sacrificing chickens :)

Charles Rowe: Awesome, look I understand you are frustrated but the way you are going about this is not going to get you better support.

Charles Rowe: I would try uninstalling, if it still doesnt work, live chat us again and we will look into it asap.

xScrewballx: thanks

- Your party has left this session. -

- Your party has left this session. -

Thank you

====End Live Chat Transcript====

===Begin E-mail Response====

Well done Charles,

You've done it. I won't be complaining about blinking tabs or anything else about poker.com to tech support but I will continue to complain on my blog. I won't be complaining becausing I am only taking the first half of your advice. I'm uninstalling the poker.com software but I'm not re-installing it.

I started out honestly trying to help and the Blinking Tabs Audio Tech Support Request was an attempt to bring some levity to a difficult situation.

Even though I follow all the suggestions from poker.com tech support (or should I say the suggestion) and turned the graphics quality down and killed background apps the tabs still blink and the software has even developed new problems where the listings (tables, tourneys, contacts, etc.) overlap the buttons used to act on them at the bottom.

Want to add a contact? You have to guess which button is which because a lot of the time I can only see the bottom edge of the buttons and don't use them often enough to know which one does what from their position.

Not a huge defect and I can work around but, to me, indicative of a poor QA process that lets defects like that out in the wild. If we were talking about some inconsequential app with local data files I wouldn't be concerned but we're talking about people's money here.

I know, I know it's somehow my fault. Those pesky customers eh? What a great business Internet poker would be without them.

My 25 years of experience in IT means nothing. The fact that my machines are spyware and virus free and have been for almost 2 years now is irrelevant.

The fact that I sit in front of this thing for hours and days at a time editing photos and playing poker on other sites and only have a problem when I'm on poker.com is meaningless.

I never put a lot of money into poker.com at any one time because I have just never ttrusted the software and that raises questions about poker.com's management that I don't want to think about when i'm confirming a big deposit. Questions like; do they have the same carefree attitude about my money as they do about their software?

You've fixed the problem though Charles. The user 's at fault and you've ensured that this user won't cause problems for poker.com anymore.

===End E-mail Response====

Absolute Poker!