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Tom Allensworth

Customer support

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Yesterday, in one of the PSS forums, somebody commented that PSS might to sensitive to criticism. PSS replied that they were not and further stated that they offer the best customer support in the business.Questions: 1) Out of DF734, PIC, and PSS, which one gives the best customer support?2) Which of the 3 companies is most sensitive to criticism?I am asking these questions because I am going to buy of of airliners as a gift for a family member, and because the level of customer support will be a factor in the purchase.Mark

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Mark,I am deeply dissapointed with PSS' attitude with regards to customer support. And just today they closed their unleashed forum, I guess I won't be in need for any "unmoderated" help anymore. Sorry to be so rude but I deffinately purchased my last PSS product, I'm not unhappy with their products, but customer support (again, I mean attitude) doesn't fit my needs as a customer.I am yet to have any support issues with either PIC and DF. Always friendly, helpful and more importantly appropriate. Again, I love the products of all of these developers but being in sales/support myself (for tooo long ;-) ) I just like to be treated as a valued customer.Just my 2 cents,Pete http://home.neo.rr.com/zaehringer/pipersignature.jpgPIII600,512MB,Win98SE,DirectX8a,Geforce32DDR(Det.22.80),SBlive(4.06.703)

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Hi,I have GA737/PIC767 and PSS ABro, I have found the level of supportto be about the same, I ask, they say. I think the real questionhere is when does a question go beyond the 'support stage' and in toothe constant 'blue rinse moaning stage' moaning for the sake off it,moaning that puts a guy center stage, so his ego gets bigger thana HOT AIR BALLON.Net result is the forum has gone, so a few bad apples spoil for therest, to whom I say B :-) ll :-) XJust my 2 cents worth. ;-) and its good night from him :-waveSteve EGMC UK

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I kind of have to take PSS's "customer support" with a grain of salt.I perceive it as being riddled with sarcasm at times. I have purchased PIC and DF as well as 3 PSS products (777/774/A3xx) and quite frankly enjoy all the products but at times have pretty muched just "lurked" in the PSS forums for answers unless I absolutely had to post with a question. I see some of the threads over there and how they turn out and it just makes me shake my head as I have been in a cutomer oriented industry the majority of my life. In PSS's defense, some questions are sometimes repititious however, that is why you have "customer support". What it boils down to for me is that I like the products that PSS produces but if another organization or 2 were offering the same products at the same time that PSS is, I would probably venture to the other side. However, I am a somewhat impatient simmer who likes to get new things :-) so my choices are somewhat limited.Just my $.02Cheers!Richard

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I've never had direct contact with the support people at PSS, so I can't pass judgement on them. But I will make a few observations based on what I've seen and heard, and my own experiences on the business end of customer support. I'm a software developer by trade. I develop software for internal use, but we have a definite customer base within the company that we have to support. And those customers do control our budget. As such, customer support is a part of my job, every day. Can customers be a royal pain in the a**? You bet. Can they be rude and obnoxious? Absolutely. Can their questions be stupid and repetitive? Yep. But that's what customer support is all about. It's not about dealing with the good customers. They're already happy. The secret to customer satisfaction is how you deal with the bad ones. I recently read the results of a customer satisfaction survey which showed that when an unhappy customer feels that his problem or complaint was handled satisfactorly by the company, they will continue to do business with that company 86% of the time. However, if they feel they were not treated properly, that return rate drops below 5%. A company can argue until doomsday that their support is this or that. It's meaningless. Its all about perception. If the customer feels you suck, then you suck, whether you believe you do or not. And you have to deal with that if you expect to stay in business.Mike Stone

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The people at PSS seem arrogant and not wanting to deal with the people who give them money. Their main objective as a supplier is to offer a product to this community and we will give them money for that product.Customer support is part of the equation and I don't think they have figured out that part of the formula yet. I have purchased from them before and found their answers to my questions sarcastic and belittling.I will not give them any more of my money.Larry

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Hi Mike,If I may interject my observation as well. I agree with your observation that every customer feels his problem is important and should be addressed. However in this case we are dealing with a public support forum where customers can usually find the answers to their own problem, if it was previously reported by someone else. It it hadn't then he should state his problem. Most businesses that deal with customer support answer complaints via telephone or other forms of communication that is out of the public eye. I prefaced this to say that PSS has had to address the same problems over and over in their forum, when the customer could have searched for an answer. Yes PSS may have come off as being crude and abrasive, however they have been the subject of verbal abuse and threats, which was uncalled for.We are living in a day and time when people want instant satisfaction. They have a problem with their product and want an instant fix. Most of the remaining problems with the Airbus are beyond the scope of the Airbus design, but with computer opersting systems, configurations or the Navdata which was included by someone outside PSS. The other problems are results of not studying the documentation. That is where I am guilty :)However PSS has decided to look into these problems. They are very professional in their support and DO have respect for their client base. They are a business and their success is a result of satisfied customers. They aren't crazy. My suggestion is try treating PSS with a little respect as you would want to be treated. They are good people to deal with. Brent

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Hey Mike...I was going to agree 100% with you, but...then I read Brent's comments. 100% here too. What to do?Its a fact we all have to get along. Developers can be pompous at times, and customers can be cretins. Name of the game. I

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Larry,I concur with your opinion about PSS. I once asked a question about a problem resizing the panel after attempting to add an icon to their 747 panel and Graham's response was, in so many words, "why would you want to change our (perfect) panel anyway?" In my opinion the 747 panel is one of the most beautiful works of art that has ever been produced, but with an attitude like that, I'll do without. If they produce a free update for the 747 for 2002, I'll download it, otherwise, forget it. I did not purchase the Airbus.Customer service is what it's all about and bad attitudes don't get it.

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Mark,In my experience PSS service is poor and their attitude to customers leaves much to be desired. DF are excellent. If you are into GA Aircraft Try FSD as well - they are also very good at customer support.Keith Cocker

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This is a two street here.They have a forum that is moderated because they got tired of reading post that only degraded their hard work.I understand wanting to moderate but this is a internet forum.There is only so much you can do.I have read some responces from PSS that make me bite my tongue.However I have read the same from customers who sole purpose is to "flame" PSS.So i think personally both parties are to blame.If there was phone support I know what we hear would be totally different from what we read.I take it with a grain of salt because Iam only seeing text on a screen.I do think they make good products for the average flight simmer.As far as DF and PIC goes .I do believe both have set the standards as to what a flight simulation company should be.They go beyond the call of duty for a "online" company, espically one that does not being huge net gains .I very much respect all of the 3 companies we have talked about.I do not want to sound like iam degrading PSS because I know that seemed to be the foucs of my post.I guess i was just tring to point out a different angel.I do not think there is a BEST for CS though.At the respect of all the companies mentioned.I do not think it's fair for me just to assume one is the best but i do have "one" company i perfer for my flight simming needs now.It will proboly stay that way unless PIC says they are going to make a MD90 or DC-10 Richard Dillon KATLSr First Officer www.jetstarairlines.com"Bill Grabowski's"ERJ-145 panel Beta TeamMD-11 panel Beta Team____________________________"Lets Roll" 9/11 Specs AMD 1600 XP 512MB DDR GF3 ti 200 64MB SBliveCh Products Yoke and Pedals(usb)Windows 2000 SP2

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Customer Support comes from more than one source. If you had been in contact with me or any of my staff I doubt very much if you would have the same opinion. We have what I think is the best and the fastest support of any of the companies on the net. Yes the forum can be testy sometimes, but some of that unfortunately is the nature of the forums. It is hard when there are 50 posts concerning an issue and they all ask the same question and you are asked it again. What we see as brief to the point answers or humorous responses are sometimes taken as being rude. They are not intended that way. And our responses to the attacks and rude posts are often in the same tone. One tends to receive back what one gives.All of us get testy when somone comes in that can't design starts telling us how easy it is to make this change or that. Those that post a question with no specifics and expect you to solve the problem are hard to handle. Often when you ask for specifics uou get blasted with nothing wrong with my system why didn't you anticpate this problemWe get really agitated when somone comes into the forum and starts the following:1- Telling us how to run the company. 2- Demanding additional features be add. And after being told that we are not adding the feature starts screaming it is a bug over and over again.3- Attacking any of us personally4- Bad mouthing the product, when they have not purchased it.5- Bad mouthing us and the product with no specifics. It is hard to deal with someone whose only comment is it sucks.So sometimes we are like everyone else and respond in kind. PSS is both a hobby and a business to us. We love simming and always have. Most of us have aviation related careers in our backgrounds. I have spent more than 35 years managing people and dealing with customers. I own and operate my own business where I come in contact with 100s of people every week in person. And in that time I have never seen a situation where a small group of people with absolutley no manners can so heavily influence the entire tone of a forum.We moderate out forum to get rid of that and I think it has worked. Anytime you are personally offended by something we have posted. Let us know we will be happy to address the situation with either an apology or an explanation.Try us for yourself before you judge us. I do know that 1000s of satisfied customers can tell you about the quality of the customer support we have given them over the years.Robert KirklandPSS SUPPORTsupport@phoenix-simulation.co.ukhttp://www.avsim.com/pss/phoenix.jpg

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