Monday, February 10, 1997

Best Customer Support Ever

Around '96 or '97, Softimage was taking pre-release orders for XSI at one 
of the entertainment conferences. I ordered a copy, and I then had to wait 
four (yes, count them, 4) years for the actual release of XSI. 
In the mean time they released pathetic updates following 3.5, like 3.51.
(Remember, this was when Microsoft owned them)

Finally, in 2000, they got it together and released v1 of XSI.
At first, they wouldn't give me a copy, claiming that I had not paid all 
of the annual "milking of the customer" updates and customer support fees.

I threatened legal action, as my receipt clearly said, XSI v1, and I was still 
waiting for my copy, regardless of the usual software 
company billing shenanigans.

They coughed it up reluctantly, and as one would expect, it was not a stellar install.
Every time I would start the program, it would hang because of a "Service" error.
Calling Customer Support, they pointed out that what needed to be done every
time I wanted to use the program, was to go to "Services" and turn the 
FlexLM software Off, and then back On.

For those of you that dont know what FlexLM is, it's just the anti-piracy app.

This is one of the things I find most unacceptable about software today, the idea on the part of the manufactures that their needs override that of the paying customer, to the point of
serious inconvenience to the paying customer. (Paying $7K in this case)

The first Customer Support robot actually thought that I should live with
the program is it is, always having to go to "Services" before I could start XSI.

So I called back again and got a surprisingly helpful individual, who first sent me 
three patches, ...... but they didn't work.
At that point, I got what can only be referred to as 
"The Best Customer Support Of All Time"!

He told me, as I had paid for one copy of XSI, I should feel free to go online
and get a Cracked copy of XSI. Cracked software will bypass the FlexLM garbage
software, allowing me to use the app that I had paid for.
Yes, you read correctly, he said, download the Crack.
(he could have been fired for that sound advice)

Well, he specifically said "a" crack, as in one, but you get the message.
Don't waste your time with the narrow minded tunnel vision attitude they have
about their needs over yours. 
You are the "Paying" customer, exercise your rights.