Saturday, December 20, 2008

Symantec NAV Saga: The Third & Final Episode

Last month I blogged about my second episode with Symantec's Norton Anti Virus (NAV) support. At the time I was to recontact their technical support in about a week's time. The season being what it is I did not get to schedule the 1-2 hours that this contact will require until about a month later. As I logged in to Symantec's chat, I was quite confident that with this extra time the brilliant people at NAV would have found a solution to the issue.

I completed once again the pre-session form, dutifully entered the case number given to me, and when I finally had "Analyst Mamta" joining my chat room, here is how that conversation went, literally:

Mamta> Could you please elaborate the issue for me?

Me> I guess your case file did not include info on what your 2 previous colleagues did with me over 2 sessions of couple of hours each?

Mamta> I'm trying to look for the information.

Me> In the last session I was told that Symantec did not have a solution for this and had escalated the issue. I was asked to re-contact you in a week's time. It has been a month since. Is there any new information from the party it was escalated to?

Mamta> Please confirm if you have worked on this issue with a case manager.

Me> I don't know if the previous 2 "analysts" that worked with me on this are "case managers" or not.

Mamta> It looks like you have contacted us multiple times about this and it’s still not resolved. I’d like to transfer you to a Case Manager who will study this case and investigate further possible solutions. Is that okay with you?

At that stage it became clear to me that there was no recording of information in the case file and hence no hope for progress on resolving my problem, so I asked for a refund. I was told that for a refund I needed to contact Symantec's customer service (CS), again chat only unless you pay for their time!

Long story short, I connected by chat again to "Radhika" of Customer Service (Returns). She asks me again what the issue is; have I re-installed the product; am I getting error messages etc. Thirty minutes into that conversation Radhika asks to connect remotely to my machine. I feel the need to reiterate that I am using a Mac and Firefox browser, to which she then states "I am not dealing with Mac operating system". If I needed any further proof that no case file of any significance exists, that was it!

Now I am transferred to "Analyst Lakshmikant" who of course starts by asking me all the same questions again! To shorten the process, I actually copied segments from my blog on the second episode describing what his colleagues already tried and sent them over chat line. Finally, he recommends that I completely remove and re-install the software (the fourth time in this process!). As I have to leave to my next appointment by then, he provides me with the instructions to do so and we agree that he'll call me by phone next day at 11:30 am EST to check that everything went as planned. Next day I spend an hour following his steps and waiting for his call. To add insult to injury, no one calls me at all.

So tonight I took the time to connect once again with this wonderful organization. It took half an hour and two representatives until I was promised an email spelling out terms that once I agree to, would start the process of refund that usually takes "5 to 7 working days".

Needless to say that as of the time of this posting no such email has arrived. I am nominating Symantec as one of two finalists for the 2008 worst customer service experience. If you're curious about who the other finalist is, read subsequent posting in this blog.

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