Hostile user support

There is a growing trend in startups to outsource their help desk / tickets to third parties. I’m a user and I just had to deal with one of these help desk ‘solutions’. In order to file a support request I had to create an account on the 3rd party site. This was fun.

I have the option of using Twitter, Facebook or Google to log my request, all of which require too many unnecessary permissions. I also have the option of creating an ‘e-mail’ account. Another account I don’t need. Just to post a little support request. I have to give my e-mail, and pick a password, but not just any password, an enforced complicated bastard of a password which I’m guaranteed to forget. In fact, I probably already have an account for this site that I can’t remember. Then I had to enter a captcha, and then I finally get to post my question! Yay!

Then I get to confirm my e-mail address by clicking on a link in an e-mail that they send me!

I’d be interested to know how many people abandon a question at the forced account sign up? I know I’ve done it a few times. This time, I actually need the product I’m looking for support on and don’t have a choice. If I wasn’t invested in the product I’d nearly have cancelled my paid account and just went elsewhere. It was easier than asking for help.

Is there a solution to all this? E-mail only password-less log-in! If I want to become a member of a community, I will. If I just want to figure out what “Can’t load project” means, then just let me use my e-mail address as a reference and stop bugging me. Please.

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