Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Scramjet333

Terrible customer service from X-Aviation

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

 

I believe everyone has experienced their fair share of good (and equally bad) examples of customer service. 

 

Earlier today, the IXEG 737 was updated to v1.0.6, and I scanned through the list of fixes, noticing that the VNAV behaviour was altered, so that it could be used even without a T/D. I excitedly downloaded, installed and applied the update, only to be shown this window, which cannot be closed or moved around otherwise:

 

zdB5iZi.jpg

 

I returned to the changelog for v1.0.6, and then noticed this under the list of 'fixes':

Added warning window if the aircraft is not installed into correct X-Plane folder/path.

 

I then proceeded to the X-Pilot forums, and enquired about this even asking for the technical justification for this hard-coded nature, and while I attempted to maintain my cool, Cameron appeared to become increasingly hostile, eventually ending with:

Just stop. I gave you an answer. It's not changing. I'm absolutely disinterested in getting into a debate with a man who has a problem moving his mouse to a sub folder to select an aircraft. There ARE reasons for this. They ARE very valid. You are NOT the one providing support, and you do NOT have a clue as to why this is necessary. That is OKAY.

I'm disappointed, to say the least. It might be the last transaction I ever do with X-Aviation.

 

EDIT: I understand that some of you might say: 'but Scramjet333, why do you waste your breath? Why not just put the aircraft where they want it to be and be done with it?' But then that just sounds like the customer bending over to the huge multi-national corporation. I very strongly believe in customer rights, and X-Aviation, as has (unfortunately) been demostrated several times, have displayed this 'you're the puny customer' behaviour over and over again. Take that particular line one step further, and imagine if the 737 Classic required to be installed in C:\Program Files\ or worse, C:\Windows\, or for the Mac equivalents - the /Applications or /System folders. Would you accept it?

 

X-Plane's strength is in its directory agnosticism, and X-Aviation's practices are undermining it.

  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm so the whole issue started because you didn't install the aircraft into the required folder?

 

I do recall this question being asked before, and I believe PMDG may be the same, it has to be installed in a certain file path, possibly to do with functionality or maybe other features.

 

Why couldn't the aircraft be installed in he required folder in your setup?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You quoted a piece from Cameron, If your going to do that you should Quote the entire mail,  you as well  


 

 


customer rights

 

To a point............

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JustanotherPilot

Scramjet333,

 

Whilst I understand your view on mult-national companies, in this instance, and for the sake of getting the product to work, would it not be wise to install to the default folder used in the setup program. I would think that other programs and runtime files need to access the 737 to make it work, they would be looking in the default installation folder to do this, particularly the 1.06 update

 

I have installed this update and it works fine with many improvement's.

 

steve s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, whatever the technical issues, the point is the tone of the reply quoted. As someone who has worked, one way or another, in customer-service related jobs all his life, I am always amazed at companies' apparent lack of awareness of how such things, at the end of the day, antagonise the very people who are putting money into their pockets and making their own jobs possible. It simply affects their profitability. You just DON'T talk to customers that way - and face to face it's unlikely that it would happen. Another example of how the relative anonymity of the internet encourages people to believe they can 'behave badly'. It's very sad really...

 

I have, similarly, had it with Aerosoft, at least with AES. I have spent some €200 on AES packs, but any time I post in their forum (rarely, and always politely) about problems, I am generally ignored. I once complained about this on the forum (politely!) and now have two minus points on my Avatar as a result (how childish can you get?!). Still, the issues I have have not been addressed, (in other words, no one at Aerosoft even replies) several weeks on. So I opened a ticket to say I shall never spend another penny on Aerosoft products - AES anyway.

 

What a difference with, say, OnCourse software (I have FDC and PF3), where replies are almost instant, sometimes (in more complex issues) personal to your own email address and where you can see that customer satisfaction is at the bottom of everything they do.

 

After a reply like the one above, I totally understand why this post was created!

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EDIT: I understand that some of you might say: 'but Scramjet333, why do you waste your breath? Why not just put the aircraft where they want it to be and be done with it?' But then that just sounds like the customer bending over to the huge multi-national corporation. I very strongly believe in customer rights, and X-Aviation, as has (unfortunately) been demostrated several times, have displayed this 'you're the puny customer' behaviour over and over again. Take that particular line one step further, and imagine if the 737 Classic required to be installed in C:\Program Files\ or worse, C:\Windows\, or for the Mac equivalents - the /Applications or /System folders. Would you accept it?

 

X-Plane's strength is in its directory agnosticism, and X-Aviation's practices are undermining it.

 

Cor mate, they're flight sim retailers and coders ... not the Evil Empire. 

It's probably a technical requirement or sumpfink and not an attempt to control and challenge your file structure agnosticism.

I'll be the first to jump the barricades to fight the good fight for the proletariat but even I think you're being a bit of a muppet. 
 
Thanks for the entertainment though, because it IS a wee bit funny and all :Tounge: .
 
The EDIT .. Please note that X-Plane recommends you install on to your desktop. If you have issues with something X-Plane related and you're running Windows, and you ask for help on the Org, the  first thing the old timers will likely ask is .. where have you installed X-Plane, So there goes your XP agnosticism straight out the window (no pun intended). So no one is undermining anything really.
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's probably a technical requirement or sumpfink and not an attempt to control and challenge your file structure agnosticism.

Certainly, if there's a technical requirement, then that's fine. If you head over to that thread, you and everyone else can see the entire conversation (on page 1 - I'm 'SRSR33' on that forum. I asked for a technical explanation, and Cameron dismissed my request equally rudely. I'm really really disappointed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly, if there's a technical requirement, then that's fine. If you head over to that thread, you and everyone else can see the entire conversation (on page 1 - I'm 'SRSR33' on that forum. I asked for a technical explanation, and Cameron dismissed my request equally rudely. I'm really really disappointed.

 

Cameron said in his very first response to you;

 

 

 

by moving it around you 100% guarantee yourself a miserable upgrade experience

 

There is your technical explenation, you will have problems when upgrading-> which again might cause the aircraft not working properly -> which will annoy you -> which will make you file bugreports -> which will have us chasing bugs that do not exists -> which again will delay further progress of the aircraft -> which affects everyone.

 

M

  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread isn't going to end well (Posts like these generally don't), so please try and keep the conversation civil  :wink:

 

I had a look through the thread and I don't honestly think it was rude, he simply stated there isn't going to be a debate on it and to leave it at that, of which you didn't and proceeded to tell them how every other product works and what they should do to their code which seemed like you were looking for a fight. The developers have their reasons for doing things and whilst we might not like their choices, it is as it is. As long as the product works as advertised then I personally don't see the issue and it has been like that since the day of release.

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read the thread ... and thought Cameron gave you a reasonable and polite response to your first query.

 

Then what followed was despite the fact that he said that he didn't want to debate about it you went ahead and did that anyway. 

 

They make the IXEG product .. it's their product, their rules and you're licensed to USE it the way they designed it.

They are not obligated to X-Plane nor are they obligated to explain why it's designed to work the way it does.

If you don't like the explanation don't use the product.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There might very well be technical reasons why it needs to be in that particular folder, such hard-coded paths etc. Or he might just want to standardize the installation paths in order to make troubleshooting easier.

 

I don't know how many times you pushed him for an answer, but it obviously became too much. They are under no obligation to disclose the technical coding details behind their products (EDIT: Looks like he gave you the answer in the first post - the product won't update properly if the files aren't where the update installer expects them to be.). They are not open-source. Also, no flight simulator developer or publisher is a "big multi national corporation". It's a niche market, and most barely make a profit.. especially if they have to customize their add-ons for every possible and impossible folder structure...

 

As for agnosticism, X-Plane only allows you to install Scenery under Custom Scenery, plug-ins must go under specific folders etc. On Windows, even the X-Plane folder itself can't be placed anywhere because the sim doesn't adhere the Windows development guidelines, and needs write-access to its own program folder.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I would never talk to a paying customer in that tone; there are plenty of other ways to get exactly the same message across.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I rate X-Aviation at the top of the list, with Orbx for customer service.  You buy a product from Cameron, and under his umbrella, you get timely updates to their products, sent to your email...all questions are answered, etc.  My 8 cents...a total thumb's up!

 

MPO.

 

Ses

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for agnosticism

This is the most interesting part of this discussion here.

 

I think in the future users will need to adjust to or to accept changes to a more "rigid" way of how custom addons are installed (although this "rigid" is still very flexible in contrast to FSX/P3D). In the last few years, we already got:

 

  • introduction of scenery_packs.ini, which is now the preferred way of controlling how scenery is prioritized and (de)activated, in contrast to the earlier way where it was controlled only by the alphanumerical sorting of folder names. The latter still works, as scenery_packs.ini is built based on that, but I would not be surprised if one day X-Plane itself has a user interface like FSX/P3D for sorting scenery, making the alphanumerical sorting on the file level obsolete.
  • installers for scenery have become very common -- esp. for developers who come from the FSX/P3D world like Aerosoft, Drzewiecki or TropicalSim. Although the installed folders can be handled as any other scenery by the users, the installers (and uninstallers) still leave their traces in the X-Plane folders.
  • installers for aircraft so far were only used by X-Aviation, and their products ALL go into their own aircraft folder, whereas their Gizmo plugin is installed globally. The PMDG DC-6 is also confined to its own path. From a developer's point of view, this is much easier to maintain.

I think this trend will continue.

 

Although I personally also prefer manual installs and patches from .zip files (because I like the "old" X-Plane way of being portable), for many users this is not as easy. Many people do not understand how a file system works and do not want to waste time to learn such things. It should "simply work" for them. So I understand why developers provide installers to make everything more simple. As always, simplicity (in terms of "you don't need to think"-usability) comes in exchange for less flexibility, and you have to find a balance. For example, X-Aviation's hotfix system (which got a lot of praise since it is active) would not work so reliable if it had to deal with custom aircraft paths and multiple Gizmo installs.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scramjet, what do you hope to accomplish by bashing a developer and the publisher in a separate forum, for something that cannot be changed.  

The 737 is, by far, the most detailed add on for X Plane.  For this, developers need to work with what they have as far as the sim platform is concerned.  And taking that into consideration, IXEG have done a hell of a job!  

Installing a custom add on, that is this code heavy, into a separate folder, will cause problems for the customer. Cameron told you that.  And when problems arise, Cameron gets support tickets from people reporting things like "My 737 doesn't work properly.  Help!".  Cameron doesn't normally suspect the customer installs the add on in a different folder than is required, so he starts troubleshooting.  What a waste of time, when all that needed to be done was install it in the correct location.  So in effect, the customer has taken time away from other, more legitimate customer support issues, simply because he/she didn't follow simple instructions.

Something to think about.

And yes, installing to a specified folder has a lot to do with code.

Also, to address this section in your OP...

and imagine if the 737 Classic required to be installed in C:\Program Files\ or worse, C:\Windows\, or for the Mac equivalents - the /Applications or /System folders. Would you accept it?

No, I wouldn't expect anyone to accept it, unless they installed X Plane in their Program Files folder.  In any case, it's a moot point.  The installer does NOT ask you to install into those directories.  It installs into the X Plane Aircraft folder.  

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

more legitimate customer support issues, simply because he/she didn't follow simple instructions.

 

Of course this is THE number 1 issue you have to deal with in technical customer service :P

 

I do this the whole day for three different companies (two of them in the X-Plane world, another in the "real" world), and even at the 1000th repetition of the typical, absent-of-useful-information "It does not work!!" ticket or call, customers have to be pampered, politely and patiently, because they are the customers, and because as a developer you can't expect users to read manuals, or to understand them in the way the manuals were intended. (I did part of my PhD thesis about this challenge.)

 

HOWEVER, sometimes we (i.e. people working at customer care) have to make clear statements that some things are not possible, not planned, not feasible, not free of charge and not going to change -- without explaining all the technical detail. And sometimes even a blunt "end of discussion" message is needed. This does not feel good (neither for the customer nor the person having to do this), but it's still necessary. Sometimes, in rare cases.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course this is THE number 1 issue you have to deal with in technical customer service :P

 

I do this the whole day for three different companies (two of them in the X-Plane world, another in the "real" world), and even at the 1000th repetition of the typical, absent-of-useful-information "It does not work!!" ticket or call, customers have to be pampered, politely and patiently, because they are the customers, and because as a developer you can't expect users to read manuals, or to understand them in the way the manuals were intended. (I did part of my PhD thesis about this challenge.)

 

HOWEVER, sometimes we (i.e. people working at customer care) have to make clear statements that some things are not possible, not planned, not feasible, not free of charge and not going to change -- without explaining all the technical detail. And sometimes even a blunt "end of discussion" message is needed. This does not feel good (neither for the customer nor the person having to do this), but it's still necessary. Sometimes, in rare cases.

 

Pampered, politely, sure.  And Cameron would agree with you.  It's when they start telling YOU that YOU are wrong, and they want it done THEIR way.  And if they can't do it THEIR way, they keep asking "Why??".  And if they are told why, they don't like the reason.

That's when it can get irritating.  Especially when a reason was already given.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is where it probably started to go awry:

 

 

 

How hard is it to code an extra dozen lines or so to scan the entire Aircraft directory for the B733.acf file, and for good measure, throw in an MD5/SHA1 check-sum check? Do we need hard-coded file paths in this day and age? Is the 737 Classic add-on so fragile that a different parent directory will break functionality? 

 

I appreciate the fact that you wanted a slightly more technical answer to your query. You might be more code-savvy than the average user. I don't know you or your technical background (I'm not digging! I don't need to know :) ) X-Aviation don't know you either, but with all due respect, asking a developer how hard it is just to do "X" could be interpreted as a direct slur on their capabilities. Forum speak (i.e. what we type) is at risk of being read in many different ways, some worse than others.

If we were sat around a table face to face, then things may have been different.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also having a hard time seeing what the problem is with not being able to install the plane exactly where I want to. It's not like you have to give away your first born to use the IXEG...? It's basically a non-issue and pestering the devs about it takes away time from legitimate issues that might exist. 

 

EDIT: For example the Gizmo soft crashes I'm getting now with 1.0.6... :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


It's when they start telling YOU that YOU are wrong, and they want it done THEIR way.  And if they can't do it THEIR way, they keep asking "Why??".  And if they are told why, they don't like the reason.

 

That's part of my "HOWEVER" paragraph ;) Sometimes, you have to make perfectly clear that a further discussion won't change anything, even if the customer is not happy with that. Of course you always need to find a balance between user wishes and developer possibilities, but, so bad as this sounds for the customer, in the end developers are not obliged to accept every request for change, and they are also not obliged to explain the reasons behind request rejections.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ladies and gents, thank you for all your replies. Before you get out your pitchforks/tridents/assault weapons/ballistic missiles - please hear me out. I have nothing against X-Aviation as a whole, or their products, which I know are truly superior to what other X-Plane developers have offered since. Their customer service, when it comes to updates, is spot-on, and when we request for a downloads reset, barring server issues, is responded to quickly and professionally.

 

However, I have personally seen smatterings of elitism and pompousness from developers and support staff there and even at the x-plane.org forum, who simply say, 'you're the customer, we do it our way, and if you're not satisfied, don't use our product'. Unfortunately, I'm not even an adult yet with a fairly large salary to just write off a purchase and move on with life. I'm in my late teens, and am a conscript who is given a paltry $400 in allowance. I spent nearly a quarter of that in purchasing the IXEG 737; I can't just stop using it or not notify the developers if I feel a decision they've taken is, I feel, wrong - I'm obviously not getting my money's worth, then.

 

As for why I brought this up, the reason was simple - I wanted to keep all my large tube-liners in one directory, simply for organisation's sake: GA planes in one place, fighters in another, props in yet another, and so on. Certainly, as a few of you have mentioned - a relatively minor issue. I just felt that requiring to have a plane in a particular directory was strange, and completely uncalled for at that point in time. I've used X-Plane for six years now, and this was the first time I'd ever encountered such behaviour.

 

I then realised that the 737 installer as well as the updater also placed the Gizmo64 folder in /Resources/plugins/ which was probably the cause for all this. If the Gizmo64 folder had been placed with the 737 aircraft folder, and was installed with the 737, à la how SASL works with Flight Factor's planes, then we wouldn't be having this discussion at all, since the plugin would simply go to its parent directory and perform the update. Now, however, Gizmo64 goes to one place, the 737 must go in another, and we have the uninstaller for the plane in yet another place, in the X-Plane root directory. If anyone has run Skyrim (or any other recent Bethesda game) with mods and add-ons, you might understand why I am being pedantic about directories - a seemingly minor matter. Until a virtual-directory manager came along called Mod Organizer, mods would tinker directly with the game files and result in a terrible mess when several different add-ons, changing conflicting files, were used.

 

In fact, we can look even closer - I (and probably several others of you here) have heard horror stories of how people wanted to change disk drives, or clean-install an operating system, and how tedious it was to migrate their FSX install with all their tweaks, plugins and add-ons over. With X-Plane, we have it simple. Even in this very forum, a short while ago - Tony expressed amazement at how easy it is to transfer an X-Plane install from OS X on one system to Windows 10 on a newer one. I am just afraid that with the advent of installers in X-Plane, we will lose this immense flexibility we have. It's one short step from requiring custom directories, to writing to the registry, to installing in a different directory altogether. 

 

I meant no offence to any of the staff and developers at X-Aviation, some of whom have been genuinely pleasant to see in action (specifically Captain Jan Vogel). However, some of Cameron's ad-hominem attacks (calling me lazy, ignorant, borderline stupid, etc.) were genuinely hurtful. If I were truly lazy, I'd simply have changed directories and moved on with life, instead of even bothering to type out such a post. 

 

Mario, thank you for a developer perspective, but I really hope that you understand where I'm coming from. My (a customer's) view is simply as such - if many developers do it this way (use .zips, stick to one folder location and keep things tidy), and it follows X-Plane's ideals, then why does X-Aviation have to do it differently and result in headaches for itself and others? Your post here, Mario, puts perfectly into perspective what I'm trying to say.

 

I likened X-Aviation's actions to MNCs because this reminds me of a highly anti-consumer and even anti-OEM policy that nVidia implemented with a driver update last year: notebook GPUs were locked from overclocking. This caused a huge uproar, causing nVidia to go back on its tracks and release a patch to re-enable overclocking. nVidia's reason: laptops are too poorly cooled to allow overclocking to happen. Users' reply: No, we have thick, powerful, well-designed laptops (something like this) meant to push hardware to its limits; some of our products were even advertised for overclocking.

 

To be clear - X-Aviation's actions are nothing like what nVidia had done, but it felt restrictive. That's all, everyone. I hope you understand why I made this post and the one at X-Aviation. Now, obviously, I'm resigned to moving the 737 Classic out of Heavy Metal, and creating a 'X-Aviation' folder just for one plane, or create some sort of symlink. Oh well... you gain some (now we have VNAV without needing a T/D! Excellent!), you lose some.

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, I'm not even an adult yet with a fairly large salary to just write off a purchase and move on with life. I'm in my late teens, and am a conscript who is given a paltry $400 in allowance. I spent nearly a quarter of that in purchasing the IXEG 737

 

Best money you ever spent.

:wink:

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok ScramJet . .. I gave you a +1 completely by mistake. I meant to hit the selective quote button ... roflmao

 

You said this .. " I just felt that requiring to have a plane in a particular directory was strange, and completely uncalled for at that point in time. I've used X-Plane for six years now, and this was the first time I'd ever encountered such behavior." 

 

That's elitism right there lol. 

I'm done with this thread, your sense of entitlement is staggering. Grow up kid.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...