I always thought the email tech support should be better than that what a call centre provides. After all, in a call centre, most of the staff merely follow a script and heaven help anyone who departs from that script.
But email support should be different.
If a support request comes in by email, the person receiving it should be able to read over the provided information and respond in a reasonable concise manner, either solving the problem or requesting additional information.
There should never be a need for script-based support, as the support person has the leisure of not needing to respond in real-time, as it were.
My lastest experience with support that isn't comes from Linksys.
I use a Linksys wireless router as one of my internet gateways, and noticed a recent problem developing where throughput would slow down until things were crawling slower than dial-up over a 110 baud acoustic-coupled modem (like my first Commodore 64 had). The only thing that resolves the slowdown is to power-cycle the router.
Following is the email sent to Linksys Technical support:
I am using a BEFW11 Wireless B router. I have set the internal network to be 192.168.1.x, with the router WAN as 192.168.1.2 WAN connection is static. My WAN connection starts getting slower and slower until it is virtually unusable (i.e. minutes to load www.google.com). At that point I have to power off and power-on the router then things are back to normal.
I am currently running Firmware Version: 1.44.2z, Dec 13 2002. This is the original version of this router, referred to as the EtherFast Wireless AP.
The response I get is:
Dear Valued Linksys Customer,
Thank you for contacting Linksys Customer Support.
You may need to upgrade the firmware of the router to fix the problem. To know the hardware version of the router, you need to look at the bottom part of the router. It is after the model number. You can download the firmware at www.linksys.com/download, look for the model number BEFW11S4 and the specific version. Click "downloads for this product" then FIRMWARE. Download the firmware, setup wizard and the upgrade instructions. You need to hard reset the router after that then reconfigure it.
Checking their website at the link provided, the latest version is 1.44.2, the same version I told them I am already running. Not tremendously usefull, eh?