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When customer service becomes customer no service February 14, 2012

Posted by Tom Wells in Tom's Posts.
Missing: Customer Care Specialist

Have you seen this man? He goes by the name, Dima.

As I’ve mentioned before, I write on the go (See This).  My mobile options have evolved from laptops to Palm Pilots with an infra-red keyboard back to a net-book to my current use of an Android phone that connects to a lap dock.  I work in Microsoft Word on my PC’s so for the Android phone (I would have referred to this as a “Smartphone” before this problem reminded me the thing was is dumb as a nail when you get down to it) I was using the Microsoft Quickoffice application.  It worked great for 6 months but something has happened and it affects 4 chapters from my latest novel in the works and the short story I have going for my next Writers of the Future submission.

 I discovered the problem when I synced my thumb drive with my home PC after traveling at the beginning of the month.  I had been stuck in lovely John Wayne Airport in Orange County,California for several hours and I took the opportunity to work on the files I mentioned.  Then returning home I updated my home files as usual and then tried to open one and discovered that something has gone south with the system.  None of the files I was working on open on a PC anymore.  I can open them on my phone using Quick-office but that isn’t worth poop if I can’t print it or send it out to publishers.   I tried cutting the text and pasting it into an e-mail to myself, but the paste removes all returns along with all of the paragraph indents.  When you consider that my chapters are running the 40 to 60 page range or more, that is a lot of paragraphs to have to go and re-insert.  This now happens with any file I open with my phone, not just the ones I was editing when the problem arose.

Which brings me to the customer service part of this post.  I can recover my work the hard way, or as an alternative, I have been trying to work with a service technician with Quickoffice to resolve the issue because my phone is useless as an editing tool right now and that means having to revive my old net-book with all of it’s issues.  I was asked to send copies of the files and explain the situation as expected and after all of that, the reply was, “lets start with removing your application and re-installing it” along with a long bit of instructions for this.  Well, I had tried this already, but I did it again just to say I did it and the result is the same.  New install and I open a new unaffected file from a different source and I still get the same unreadable saved file after opening it on the phone.  That’s frustrating, but now it goes to infuriating when I try replying to the technician’s e-mail and I now get an “undeliverable” message.  WTF?!?  Where did my friend Dima go?   He seemed like a nice enough photo.  His e-mails come with a little picture of him as an amiable Caucasian fellow with a suspiciously eastern asian name, but he is a Customer Cars Specialist, so he can’t have disappeared, right?  But I have tried repeated reply e-mails and they are all undeliverable now.

So I have had to go to the Quickoffice Support Center on-line and thankfully they had a place to give my reply directly for my trouble ticket, which I hope either Dima will see or I if I have to call, I can show that I have had the ball dropped on the service.  Either way, I’m going to have to change what I use to edit document files on my phone, but I still hope I can find the one real technician genius at Quickoffice who can save me from having to re-type all of my lost files.

Unfortunately this also goes to prove that we are nowhere near being paperless.  At least I have my hard copies printed (minus the edits from the airport).


1. sirdracoblight - February 16, 2012


If you are serious about writing on the go, I strongly suggest that you look into a netbook computer with a windows platform. I tried the whole writing on the smartphone thing with the same android program. I had the same issue and lost a crap load of work. Nothing can be as demoralizing as losing a large portion of your work. I actually stopped writing my novel for over 10 years due to the loss of about 8 chapters of it. The netbook I currently have runs windows 7 flawlessly. It has wifi access and all my favorite microsoft office tools, including publisher, which I used to build my own website. It has no cd drive, but it has 3 usb ports and a 10 inch screen. If you truly want something smaller, I know a guy who special ordered a windows pc from Japan that is about 4 inches by 8 inches when closed, though he said it cost him $2000.00. My netbook was only about $350. Best.

Tom Wells - February 16, 2012

Rodger: I did run with a net-book for the past few years. It was o.k., but I had some issues syncing with the home PC still. It is just a problem with on the go. The convenience for me right now is reducing the number of gadgets I carry, especially when I fly. My phone had been working great until this month so I am going to try to make another editing program work.

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