Email of the year…. or how NOT to get support! -> FAIL

We just received the following email and i post it here as an example of how not to do things:

Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 15:33:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: *** ******** <***_********@***>
Subject: Error on the forums
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=”0-1692796537-1287700384=:52477″
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

I downloaded the game but it dosen’t show up in FSX. Thanks for your help.

0 Responses

  1. How much more information than this do you need to help this poor customer? Jeez, you want it handed to you on a plate. When I was a lad…

  2. Hey at least we do know its (probably??)for FSX…that narrows it down to 1000 or so add ons..!

  3. This looks to me more like “How not to give support”… if I was your client I don’t think I’d like this publication. It might as well be a 12 years boy, so why not send an email back saying “please send the following details: bla bla bla….”. Just a point to think about 🙂

  4. if I was your client I don’t think I’d like this publication. yes i agree nothing fun…you could just check the email of the customer and see what ordered..instead making humourus staff (but only for you)

  5. guys… sure we can have some fun!

    1. the email is directed to the webmaster of simFlight: we don’t sell anything at simFlight

    2. the subject refers to an error in the forums

    3. the text of the message refers to maybe one of thousands of products available for FSX and has nothing to do with the forums.


  6. When I was 10 years old I had an information pack which I ordered from the back of cereal box. The pack had lots of information on how to write a variety of letters. I’ve never had any support problems from any company brought on from my inability to provide the relevant information in a polite and concise way, mainly thanks to that little pack. Sadly this can not be said of so many people, many of who are old enough to know better. This is one of the reasons so many fantastic freeware developers have hung up their virtual gloves.

    Email and the digital era have made the majority of the world lazy!

    Simon, care to add something?

  7. Yes.. I was thinking the same thing. You cannot laugh at something like this becuase you don’t have a crystal ball as to who is actually creating the email. Maybe it is a rude and abrupt user… or just maybe it is a young enthusiast still learning the ways… or someone who has difficulty typing and needs to be concise… etc etc.

    Customer service is all about being able to respond in a polite way without assuming the person at the other end is a jerk..

    You might want to make a note of that

  8. Hmm, I say let this be a lesson to all who think:
    1: There’s no such thing as a stupid question
    2: That our right to enjoy visits to FS forums extends to having fun at others expense, when they’re dumb
    3: That the insistence on Lowest Common Denominator level for fora is reaping its inevitable result…

    But on the UP side:

    IS this the industry finally showing some brass ones and asking the customers to step up to the level required of them..?

    Christ knows we ask for more and more complexity in the sim and the products, and get it. Is it not both right and proper to expect the market to keep up, or get off the boarding steps? Step UP or step off.

    So what if he’s eight or eighty?

    There’s the SAME requirement for lucidity and clarity if they want help, we don’t make or expect excuses based on racial or social discrimination, why should we for age..?

    My 82 year old uncle is teaching an eight year old neighbour (and his father!) about flying, through FS2004. That eight year old is already capable of an ILS driven approach and landing and understands the importance of preflight and load planning. And can ask questions lucidly.

    So this person has no excuse – even if they only use crayons, are kept in a room with carpet on the walls and have their food on a plastic spoon.

    …but it is bloody funny! 🙂

  9. Sigh –

    Quote “2: That our right to enjoy visits to FS forums extends to having fun at others expense, when they’re dumb
    3: That the insistence on Lowest Common Denominator level for fora is reaping its inevitable result…”

    As a website service offering a forum in this case, the responsibility lies with the administrator to act with due diligence and, I would argue, all care and restraint.

    If say you, as the forum admin, choose to publicly publish a less than comprehensive or offensive question to you, just because you can.. you are essentially violating a standard operating ethic. So you have the option to respond,and to prove a point you do – so then, where does it all end? Who is going to be lauded out next as providing a bad example of a support question? Please define where it ends. You could hesitate here and say of course not. We would not sink to that level. But I would argue we all do once the challenge arises. You either have a set of standards and rules and live by them, or degrade into a morass of slings and arrows.

    The choices of the forum moderator, admin whatever, is to ignore the email, respond requesting more detail for more or a better understanding, or, as I see here, take a less than aspirational approach and publish the email as a poor example of communication.

    My current postion involves dealing with the airport public through all aspects of travel both airside and landside and this ain’t nothing to what I have seen nor heard. I have also worked in the IT industry and if you want to know about questions from users that show a huge lack of understanding of computers in general then you can appreciate this sort of question is common. Yes, I do share these experiences with work colleagues and we do chuckle about them. But there is a difference. Neither in the IT industry nor Airline industry would this email be published to set an example of how not to do things so why should it be any different here?

    Do you think for a moment that this type of question is going to go away? Of course not.

    The administrator is an overseer who monitors and maintains the board – both guiding and directing should keep in mind; The publishing of a poor example of a question cannot possibly serve any purpose but to humiliate the originator – intended or not.

  10. So what you’re suggesting is that it is not in the forum operators interests to make use of such a post to prove to other potential cretinous posters that absence of thought is not sufficient criteria for not posting?

    Surely then you prove only that there IS such a thing as a dumb question, and vindicate the very points I made. Your admission you share your `dumb` experiences with colleagues is exactly the same, but without the educational merit to others as long as you keep your sniggering private… you would do well to consider your own hypocrisy.

    `Learning` and `Teaching` are two entirely different philosophies, but for each to coincide to make for an `educational` (or `solution` in this case) experience requires a certain level of application on BOTH sides.

    Unlike you, I am a qualified teacher (a highly qualified teacher, as it happens, but that’s not really relevant) but what I teach is for my students to learn, else they be seriously hurt or even die. While I accept my responsibility to make the teaching as accessible as possible, it will never be to the detriment of other students when faced with a recalcitrant who cannot – or will not – learn. The choice to learn is not mine. The choice to cut the dumb one loose to save the learning experience for the others most assuredly is. I rarely need to thanks to those teaching skills but if necessary, it is done without qualm. And I most certainly ALWAYS use the experience when talking to other students.

    What I see here is nothing more than the forum operator making use of the public arena to educate and inform for the benefit of the many to the detriment of, well none actually, as the eedjit is not identified.

    Merely the level of their idiocy.

    And surely knowing that we are among idiots is something we all need to be aware of, whether teacher or learner..?

  11. Simon,
    If your re-read my post you will see I am asking a question over the use of Forums to publish this type of interaction with their clients and discuss why I feel that this is not a good thing to do. I then go on to explain why I feel this way. You clearly think forum members benefit if we do publish these things – as a learning experience.

    Your right Simon, your qualification is not really relevant in this debate unless you feel it adds weight to your argument – which you clearly do and hence the reference. Unlike you, I am not a highly qualified teacher, – however my wife is , does that have an impact?

    As for sharing – The only reason I attempted that paragraph was to acknowledge aspects of human nature. And to be fair, I don’t believe I used the words “dumb experiences” and “sniggering” at all – I believe that is your attempt at (possibly),belittlement.

    My point in that paragraph was, that incidents that are shared internaly are not made public because our Airport adheres to a set code of conduct. We do not assume people who make mistakes, are confused, or presumptive are all idiots. (not that I suggest you do). They are shared internally to relief the stress more often than not. Using the forum to show an example of a poorly worded email is not the answer in my opinion because of the reason I have listed above – but I will spell it out further. A forum as such; is an impersonal remote thing. Without a face to face experience with the user – or multiple emails over a period of time, you have no way of knowing whether this person is a “idiot” – whatever label you would wish to attach.

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