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Posted Thursday, July 29, 2010 6:20 PM
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A familiar story Steve; I've often experienced problems similar to your wife's. But when it comes to feeding this information back to the organisation concerned I try on three different 'hats':

1) my tester hat: "it would be great to get this sort of direct feedback because it helps me to improve my test cases"
2) my developer hat: "knowing this would help me to improve my code"
3) my business analyst hat: "ah! a problem that we need to find a solution too. I know you coding guys love an SQL emergency but let's not jump the gun and assume it is a coding issue. It could be a simple data entry issue."

In the end I always opt for the last approach: present the organisation with the actual user's problem as experienced, don't try to present a solution because, as 'CirquedeSQLeil pointed out, you don't want your staff deluged with false positives. As a developer I demand the same from my BAs: "give me a problem, don't tell me (what you think is) the solution".
Post #961073
Posted Friday, July 30, 2010 12:53 AM
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Couldn't agree more, Steve.

Two personalities in the SQL world, I'd most like to meet. Steve and Steve's wife!

In France, where I live, (and I wouldn't be surprised if it was global) a majority of the major utility companies (especially internet service providers) go out of their way to make it impossible for you to provide any feedback.

To cut their customer service costs, they oblige you to loop recursively around their online help. But when you're up against something not covered in the help, then there's often no way to email / telephone anyone or even fill in a form.

There's an upsurge of 'virtual customer service assistants', where you see a slightly animated face stuck on top of a text box, inviting you to tell them about your problem. It reminds me of "English Query" in SQL Server some years back (where did that go?!)
Post #961159
Posted Friday, July 30, 2010 8:22 AM


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LOL, that's funny. Actually a friend from the SQL world is coming to the SQL Saturday in Denver, and bringing his wife to meet mine


Some companies in the US had gone to online help, but that has started to switch as they realize they can't cover all bases. Google is the most difficult company I know, but they have some places you can send in a note and get a response, albeit slow. They get away with it because they're so large, but it's a crappy business practice.







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Post #961418
Posted Friday, July 30, 2010 9:52 AM
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To emphasize your point about a CS person passing along the note to IT. I had an issue with a certain brand router. Whenever there was a power failure or a firmware update some settings were lost. I opened a support ticket and asked them to inform their developers that said settings were not being saved.

Instead of passing the information along they proceeded to follow the troubleshooting script when there was nothing that could be done. After 5 e-mails I just gave up and just ended up replacing the router.
Post #961509
Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2010 1:17 PM
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I like to build in error logging/reporting directly into an application.

If the application knows an error occured, it should log all pertinent info (depending upon the info, there may be some security concerns here) and report it.

As a developer, I could often have a problem identified, fixed, tested and ready for roll-out to production before the help desk even knew there was a problem.

Handling error reporting when the application doesn't know something is wrong is a bit harder. I would love an easy framework solution for that!
Post #963084
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