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rsrandazzo

PMDG to Cease All Email Support...

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Captains-Yes- I wrote that in such a way as to cause folks to do a double-take. :( During the past two years, PMDG has been on an aggressive program to upgrade our development and operations capabilities. Our goal has been to improve the quality and capability of our products, and to improve our ability to better service our customers.Most of these upgrades have been largely invisible to you, but have included the recruitment of skilled new developers, expansion of our product lines, retiring old servers, bringing new servers online (five of them so far- with three more online before the NGX release!) upgrading our data processing capabilities, adding simpler licensing controls to our software, upgrading our ecommerce suite, and more recently upgrading the website itself...The final phase of our operations overhaul is about to take place, with the unveiling of a new suite of tools designed to improve our after-sale support for retail and corporate customers!During the next week-to-ten days, we will unveil the new PMDG Customer Support Center. This center will include news feeds, a robust Knowledge Base, Live Customer Support Chat and Ticket-Based customer support processes.The news feeds will serve as an efficient way for us to communicate support related items quickly and efficiently. The Knowledge Base will serve as a search enabled, index enabled, data driven application that will provide accurate solutions to most customer question questions in a real-time environment managed by the development and technical support teams. The KB will replace the to-be-retired wiki system that we installed in 2006, as feedback has told us that Knowledge Base methods are more appropriate for our customer needs.The most important aspect of this new system will be the Ticket-Based Support methods that will come available to all of you. As SPAM email has become an increasingly bigger problem, we have been frustrated by the number of customers who fall-through-the-cracks when SPAM filters block two way communication. With Ticket-Based support, these worries will disappear since you will be able to initiate a request for help from the new PMDG Support web-portal knowing that a support technician will receive the communication on the other end!This new process is flexible in that you will receive an answer from within the Web-Portal *and* by email- allowing you the option of multiple methods by which to continue communication if needed. On the back-end, the new support portal will automatically direct your Ticket to the individual best suited to help you, and a suite of tools on the PMDG side of the portal will allow us to help you in a fashion that is FAR more efficient and certain than email based communication!(Example: For certain technical questions, Paul forwards the request to specific people for handling, leading to multiple processing steps in-house before you get an answer. Sometimes this internal back-and-forth can add many days to the reply time! With this new system, questions will get directed immediately to the most qualified answerer- and the reply will come directly to you, rather than being communicated through a third party.)We are very excited to bring this new process online- and think that it will eliminate a significant number of frustrating exchanges caused by SPAM filters and false-positives.We haven't determined precisely how we are going to integrate live chat technical support- but this added capability only serves to increase the opportunities for us to serve you more efficiently!We are putting the finishing touches on the Knowledge Base, and I am hoping to see us roll the new system out during the next 7-10 days...Now- in the category of truth-and-fairness, I anticipate well probably be a bit slow answering support requests for the first few days as everyone gets used to the new system. While we have tweaked and tested the setup, I fully anticipate that during the first Live-Fire exercise we'll discover some changes that need to be made in order to deliver the efficiency we all want...We thank you for your patience in advance!Since the question will invariably come up: Is PMDG moving to fee-based-support? NO! Technical Support will remain free to all licensed customers. Besides- with the new proposed amendment allowing us to charge $10/event for failing to sign posts in this forum, we really won't need to move to fee-based-support. :(

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Something the likes of Jira? That is great news.Can I suggest, if it's feasible, to embed the chat here in the boards? Could also help when members discuss solutions on certain topics without bothering the support staff when not necessaryJust my 2 cents

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Besides- with the new proposed amendment allowing us to charge $10/event for failing to sign posts in this forum, we really won't need to move to fee-based-support. cool.gif
What a brilliant idea Robert, and it will stop those forum members who are not part of the PMDG team hounding wrong doers ad nausea :( Ooops, nearly forgot :( Dave

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What a brilliant idea Robert, and it will stop those forum members who are not part of the PMDG team hounding wrong doers ad nausea :( Ooops, nearly forgot :( Dave
Hi Dave. Could you please explain a bit more what you mean with "members who are not part of the PMDG team". Is there by any chance a members fee wee have to pay in addition to the prodct wee already paid for.....or...? :(

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I think those steps will be a huge step forward for all of us. Though I had never problems with the Support here, I am glad to see that your superb support is going to be enhanced.Thank you for your Efford PMDGbest wishes,

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LIVE SUPPORT? Please confirm, 6am here and Im speechless. Rob and PMDG, you've done it again.

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Besides- with the new proposed amendment allowing us to charge $10/event for failing to sign posts in this forum, we really won't need to move to fee-based-support. :(
OK so where do I send my $10? :(

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So who will be manning the 24/7 hotline then? :D
It's not something that's going to be available all the time, it's something that we can log into when we have the time. Likely it'll be me since I volunteered to try it out ;)

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since I volunteered to try it out ;)
I assume you like going to the dentist and hitting your thumb with a hammer is a lot of fun??

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FANTASTIC - Great stuff!Please tell me though.... that it won't be like the Captain Sim Ticket system. I nearly fell off my chair the first time I had to use that. There's a whole screen of info you have to fill in about your PC. Trouble is..... I can't always remember when my PC last farted :(

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Phil-no... nothing like that.Depending upon what you are seeking help with, you'll have to give us some information to help us determine which product you are talking about- but we aren't going to be as concerned about your hardware...If you are asking about a specific charge on your account, then you'll only be filling out information related to that specific order, etc.Contextually speaking- the information we require will be well tailored to the point of the inquiry...

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That sounds awesome! This sounds like it will be the best support system of any company that I needed support by.PS. I am hoping the 737 comes out on April 15th(Not only tax day but my bday and that would be a great birthday gift :))

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That sounds awesome! This sounds like it will be the best support system of any company that I needed support by.PS. I am hoping the 737 comes out on April 15th(Not only tax day but my bday and that would be a great birthday gift :))
April sounds good to me. 7S3 for FTX this weekend and FTX PNW next month, hmm would love to fill my list of once a month add-ons till April :(

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I would suggest that you use the live chat as a "by appointment" type thing where the support staff can arrange a mutually agreeable time with the customer to be online together to discuss a solution when normal methods of support prove to be inadequate. Otherwise you may be inundated with pointless chat when your online.

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Sounds great. I think the support email could use a face lift, or SP1 if you will ;-)Spam is insane in the comp world and I wish there were some type of laws that were international to help slow it down a bit. It's really out of control, and am tired of servicing computers because of what spammers get away with now a days...On another view of this news, I would say do as the title says and stop email entirely. Seriously, it's easy to track new posts in the forum and Paul could just spend his email time here. That coupled with the questions I'm sure he answers on an hourly basis that could (and would) most likely be answered by some of the many forum helpfuls here I don't see a down side to it really.Just a thought. Otherwise, I love the sound of it and look forward to it. :(

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At my company (I work for an ISP) we started using a quite simple freeware livechatprogram called Livezilla. Not that many of our customers have actually realized we have it, but those who do and have used it have been very enthusiastic about it and prefer it to all other means of support we offer (email, phone, visit our office). Of course with PMDG having customers from all over the world "opening hours" may be bit of an issue, but I'm sure Ryan doesn't mind the 24h a day shift! :D

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RobertHaving used your constumer support frequently in the past with great success, PMDG has taken customer support to the next level. Congrats.Richard Churchill

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[...]most likely be answered by some of the many forum helpfuls here[...]
Reading your post now I don't think my idea is that good anymore. A problem solved in a post is there for everyone to see ever after, while a chat simply vanishes.As many others I've found answers to lots of questions using the search function.Whatever, I'm sure they'll come up with something handy

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Fantastic development!Reading between the lines, folks, what I see is PMDG strengthening every facet of their operation in order to support the flurry of great new aircraft about to come our way over the next few years. I couldn't be more excited about Robert's news of this major investment in time, talent and equipment - It means nothing but good things for us customers!!Bravo, PMDG Team!Cheers!

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Reading your post now I don't think my idea is that good anymore. A problem solved in a post is there for everyone to see ever after, while a chat simply vanishes.As many others I've found answers to lots of questions using the search function.Whatever, I'm sure they'll come up with something handy
We'll be adding solved problems to the knowlege base system.

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I got that :( . That's to replace the wiki. What I mean is that I'm not sure that my original idea of letting us use the live support platform (be it a chat or whatever) to contact other users for help, is actually a good idea.The forum is more suitable for that I guess.Who cares what I think anyway? I don't :(

We'll be adding solved problems to the knowlege base system.

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I got that :( . That's to replace the wiki. What I mean is that I'm not sure that my original idea of letting us use the live support platform (be it a chat or whatever) to contact other users for help, is actually a good idea.The forum is more suitable for that I guess.Who cares what I think anyway? I don't :(
Haha, I agree with another thing you pointed out as for the question and answer being seen others, and therefore would (or in theory should) lower support questions. I know most users won't spend more than 1 minute on using the searches since that is seen even with regulars here, but regulars here that have read answers could recall the solution or at least help with the asist.Anything to what is in place is great and I agree that PMDG definitely seems to be doing a great job with what appears to be a complete rework from the ground up and look forward to the near future :)

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We'll be adding solved problems to the knowlege base system.
That's excellent news.A Knowledge Base is a superior solution for initial problem-solving. With a KB, you get authoritative, vetted solutions/tips/tweaks to issues most commonly encountered, and to questions most commonly asked, in a much more user friendly format. No need to search a forum and then have to wade through every wacky opinion on a topic to get a simple answer (not saying the ideas and solutions found on the PMDG forums are wacky - quite the contrary! But, you simply must read some of the stuff flying around the forums outside the confines of PMDG...I mean, whoa, some folks oughta get out more often :( ...).But I digress - suffice it to say that the addition of a PMDG-hosted Knowledge Base will be a boon to the customer/simmer! The PMDG Forum can coexist as well - a place where the true fanatics (yeah, I'm one of them :( ) can come to discuss and exchange opinions on some of the more 'arcane' tips and tweaks :( .A Win-Win if there ever was one!Cheers!

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Well, and being a jester as I am, I can't help but post this as a tribute to all those spammmers who are just about to be left behind by the new support platform

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