Being a helpful netizen costs too much sometimes.
I found a very tiny bug in McAfee’s latest version. In Eudora, instead of ‘McAfee Anti-Spam’ in the menu bar, the latest update has caused those words to read ‘%COMPANY_NAME_NEUTRAL%Anti-Spam’.
To be a helpful netizen ﬁling a bug report (and I am used to that taking two minutes all up), here’s the process I followed today.
11.30 a.m. GMT: Search for McAfee Support in Duck Duck Go.
11.30: Arrive at http://www.mcafee.com/us/support.aspx.
11.33: Unable to log in, despite being a McAfee customer.
11.35: Unable to create a new account, because it has asked for a ‘Grant number’. All the guys called Grant that I know are asleep.
11.35: Go to the ‘Contact Us’ page to give feedback and ﬁnd a link to service.mcafee.com. I click on that.
11.36: I select the affected product. McAfee offers me the choice of ‘Free Technical Support’.
11.36: McAfee insists I download and run the McAfee Virtual Technician. I do.
11.48: McAfee Virtual Technician has completed its scan and claims all is well.
11.49: I am taken to the FAQs where I have to search for my error.
11.50: After ﬁnding that none of them ﬁt the bill, McAfee presents two options: ‘Click the Continue button to go to Chat, or Finish to close this session.’ I select the former, as the matter is not concluded.
11.52: McAfee prompts me to enter my country and language.
11.52: McAfee gives me the options of chatting or emailing. I chose the former as it says the wait time is 2 minutes, versus 24 hours, plus the 11.50 a.m. prompt said the option was to ‘Chat’. I enter the bug report into the comment box, and expected a tech would get back to me within two minutes to conﬁrm receipt.
Below is the transcript of the next 20 minutes, with one edit made for privacy reasons.
Thank you for contacting McAfee Consumer Support. An agent will be with you shortly.
Hi there: I don’t actually need to be walked through anything. I wanted to make sure you got the bug report I just filed. The only button available after writing my report was ‘Chat’, so I pressed it.
Jack, thank you for contacting McAfee Online Support Center. My name is Sangeetha.
Your Service Request Number for this chat session is 700641817.
Is this your ﬁrst contact with McAfee Technical support in this week, including today?
Yes. I wonder if you received my bug report just now.
McAfee will communicate with you through the email … please confirm if this email address is valid.
It is correct, thank you.
Thank you for conﬁrming.
Is there anything else you need from me to complete the report?
As I understand, you have sent the bug report and it prompted to chat?
Yes, that is correct. I just want to make sure the report arrived there.
Thank you for conﬁrming.
I apologize for the inconvenience caused. I will be glad to assist you with this issue.
May I know when you got the bug report?
I sent it immediately before this chat session.
I imagine that was 11.50 GMT.
When did you get the bug report?
No, I didn’t get a bug report. I sent one.
Why did you send the bug report?
To be helpful to McAfee so it could remedy it for its next update.
Did it prompt you to send the bug report while updating McAfee?
No. I found a bug in McAfee. I then went to your website to tell your company about it. I simply want to make sure you received it.
May I know if you are using the same computer to chat with me?
Yes, I am.
Okay, I would like to obtain system information from your computer. Please accept my request and grant me access to this.
Sangeetha, I am not sure why you need to do this.
I just to check your system information.
I think we have to stop there. I do not believe this is relevant to whether or not your company received a message from me.
You might have sent it to McAfee engineering team.
I may have. I used your website and entered in the issue at: https://service.mcafee.com/UserInfo.aspx?lc=1033&sg=TS&pt=1&st=CHAT
It is the only place where I could enter anything to report a bug, after the FAQs revealed nothing.
I would request you to send the report through email instead of chat by logging in to the same website.
What is the correct email address?
There is no particular email address. likewise you did the chat.
OK, how do I send this email to you in that case?
Is there a web link that takes me to an email form?
Instead of chat you can select email option.
I will look for it now.
Is there anything else that I can do to assist you with your McAfee products today?
You can contact us back if any issues further.
Thank you, Sangeetha. Have a nice afternoon.
You may receive an email survey asking for your comments on this chat experience. Your feedback will help to ensure that I’m providing the highest quality service possible.
For all of your Customer Service and Technical Support needs, please visit http://service.mcafee.com Thank you for visiting McAfee Online Support Center. Have a great time.
Thank you for choosing McAfee. We appreciate your business and your feedback. Have a great time.
I found the email link, and maybe I should have opted for that to begin with. I can’t fault Sangeetha for being polite and helpful—it has come a long way since the beginning of the century, when McAfee had pretty rude forum techs—but surely it can’t be too hard to give us an easy-to-ﬁnd bug report form that would take a minute to ﬁll in? All this nonsense with grant numbers, downloads and Virtual Technicians (which, I might add, does work quite well when there is a set-up cock-up) makes little sense, especially as all software has bugs and there should be room to report them.
I want my 50 minutes back.
PS.: The email response has come from Nagaraj. Sounds he has exactly the same script as his colleague. Here we go again. What is the bloody point?—JY