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Adobe Technical Support Woeful

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I like Adobe Acrobat Connect. The Professional version has a lot of advantages for enterprise conferencing use. I even appear as a frequent guest speaker on Adobe’s public educational webinar series.

But fair is fair, and it is time for Adobe to face up to a glaring deficiency in its offering. Technical support for the product is woeful.

Mind you, what is available is pretty good. The online documentation for how to accomplish common tasks is clear and well written. The problem comes when that documentation doesn’t satisfy your needs as a user.

Let’s start with the main login page for the hosted product. The single "Help" link on that page takes you to a page titled "Macromedia Breeze Support Center." The first paragraph on the page has a link to "the Breeze Support Center."  Huh? The bottom of the page proudly proclaims that it was last updated on 25 July 2003. Maybe they could take a look at updating the company and product name. Following the offered link gets you to the "Acrobat Connect Support Center." There you will find the documentation that is available, with links to other resources. These include an FAQ with all of 6 entries (one of which is "How do I cancel my account?").

A search box at the top of the page lets you look through the online knowledgebase for the product. I did a blank search to see how many entries were available. I got 67 results. Then I noticed there is a selector for which product you want to search under. It has entries for: Acrobat Connect, Breeze, Breeze Meeting, Connect Enterprise Server, Acrobat Connect Professional, and Adobe Connect Events. You’d better be very familiar with Adobe/Breeze naming distinctions to run an advanced search!

Your next resource is a community forum. Unfortunately this contains only 14 entries, so you are unlikely to happen upon a tidbit matching your question.

No problem… Adobe has a page with telephone contact information specifically for "customers using Acrobat Connect in North America." I called it. I was greeted by a dispatcher who asked for my name and customer ID. I said I didn’t know my customer ID… how do I look it up? They asked if it was my first time calling support and I said yes.

"Oh, then you need to call Customer Service first and request a customer ID. Then you can talk to support."

So I was transferred to Customer Service. After asking me a few questions, I got assigned a customer ID. Then they transferred me back to Support. Once again I supplied my name and the new customer ID number, along with the name of the product I was calling about.

"What is your product serial number?"

"What? Where do I find a serial number?"

"It is on the CD label of your product."

"I don’t have a CD. I’m using a hosted service."

"No CD? Really? Hmmm… (pause, pause, pause) Okay, I am going to transfer you to a technical engineer. Please hold."

And at that point I stayed on the line for 25 minutes, listening to truly awful 70′s-era bubbly pop-jazz. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and hung up.

This is unacceptable, Adobe. I shudder to think of this scenario in a live event situation where something was going wrong. You need a way to deal quickly with event hosts and participants who are having troubles.

Part of the decision process in selecting a technology vendor involves support. ‘Nuff said.

(Reference link for children of the 70′s who grew up with the glory days of Saturday Night Live. Lily Tomlin frames things unambiguously for you.)

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About Ken Molay
With a background in software development and marketing, Ken has been producing and delivering business webinars since 1999. His background in public speaking, radio, stage acting, and training has given him a unique perspective on what it takes to create a compelling and effective presentation. Currently Ken offers consulting services through his company Webinar Success (www.wsuccess.com). WebProNews Writer
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