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Erwin Edel wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 3:26 pm
Luckily in about 15 years we've never been treated like this by support from our local reseller, so not all of them are bad!
Erwin, I have a very good local reseller, who is quite knowledgeable with general issues, but he isn't really working with AC on a daily basis, so he often doesn't know about more subtle issues. I usually give him a try first, but know that ultimately I'm going to be calling tech support, which is GS North America -- providing tech support for the entire U.S.
I have to give credit where it's due. I got a call today from Nick Cornia, who turns out to have been promoted to Technical Support Manager. We had a frank discussion where he mostly just listened to my concerns, and responded completely non-defensively and openly. I can only applaud GS for recognizing his customer service talents which were on full display during this call. Good job, GS! (And Nick, too.)
Hi Richard,

Our team is sorry for the frustation you encountered. It was pleasure speaking with you and wish to thank you for your valuable feedback to improve our process in the future. And thank you for the compliment.

For the benefit of all who read this post, our goal at Technical Support in North America is to provide all clients with an excellent service experience and to assist in helping everyone find resolution to issues in a timely manner. It is true for questions regarding training, where a client wishes to have someone walk through a particular set of steps one on one, we in North America, offer a paid on-demand bespoke service. 

Providing this option allows clients who need help with software processes to be connected with specialists who have expertise in these areas.  This also allows our technical support team to prioritize clients who are experiencing connectivity and software failures. We provide these options to expedite your resolution and provide a smooth process and connect you with the correct team. The paid service our North American BIM advisor team is also provided complimentary if the issue is deemed a bug or shortcoming on the part of GRAPHISOFT.

In this case, the interaction of building materials under a particular set of circumstances was not obvious. It might be deduced after some testing, but as James pointed out, a clarification on our Help Center for this particular type of condition is in order and we will let our documentation team know.

If you do have an experience which does not meet your expectations, we want to understand why and hear what your expectations are so that we can correct where necessary. We want to work with our clients and continue to build partnerships with you as you build your business. 

Thank you for being a part of the GRAPHISOFT community and we really appreciate you posting about your experience here.

Best regards,
NCornia wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 12:50 am
The paid service our North American BIM advisor team is also provided complimentary if the issue is deemed a bug or shortcoming on the part of GRAPHISOFT.
This is the part that makes me quite uncomfortable. Who is deciding whether this is a shortcoming or not? We call in with an issue like, "Why isn't this one interior elevation showing the heavy wall outline like all of the others?" If we are met with a response like, "The wall profile behaviors are clearly shown in the (3,744 page) Reference Guide. We will be happy to TRAIN you to get the results you want, though, for a price" personally, I would be more than a little upset. If I want to get training in how to generically draw interior elevations, that's one thing. If I have to pay more money because GS has made the program so complicated that a reasonably smart guy can't figure it out after using the program for decades, that's another.

Perhaps it would be helpful for others to opine. I just don't think this path is helpful to the GS user experience.
Richard Morrison wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 6:21 pm
If I have to pay more money because GS has made the program so complicated that a reasonably smart guy can't figure it out after using the program for decades, that's another.
Well 25 years with AC and guess how I spent most of my day... trying to work out why beams were showing in some views & not others. Eventually tracked down to the Renovation filter and similar named settings applied to some beams. Most of the time I assumed it was a new case of buggy beam display settings after the latest update.

I also pay GSUK a substantial chunk of money each year. Based on their supporting documentation, part of this covers the provision of "timely solutions, fixes and workarounds to customer problems and queries, all without quotas". I appreciate it's probably a difficult thing for support to say but there will be occasions when clearly a customer really does need training, however, this should be an offer explained to the customer after providing a solution to the initial problem, not a judgmental assumption of skill or an immediate financial confrontation.
Thank you for the additional feedback. We do our utmost to provide fair and reliable service to all of our clients. Most cases follow a just path to resolution and if a situation arises where there is some disagreement, we are open to feedback. Although we try our best, if there are unexpected bumps in the road and we are flexible and willing to course correct where needed. We hope your future interactions with us meet this expectation. If you have any follow up questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to me directly.

Best regards,
So, after looking into this some more, it appears that this is how the new tech support scheme works, at least in the U.S.:

1) Crashes or error messages. No problem, you can still call tech support no charge.
2) If you can't find the solution to your issue on this forum, Googling, the online reference guide, or Youtube videos, you have to book a 20 minute session with a BIM Advisor for $50. (You do get a slight discount for ArchiPlus membership.) No mention of what happens if you can't get it resolved within the 20 minutes allotted.

This new approach to the "premium technical support" that GS is still advertising as part of the ArchiPlus subscription benefits has been pretty much just slipped into existence by stealth. Yeah, it's now on the ArchiPlus website, but certainly I never saw any notifications to subscribers to indicate that the policy had changed. This new policy explains why there was a difference in expectations when I called originally, and so much friction. That the change was never explicitly mentioned probably indicates that GS realized at some level that the customer experience was not going to be enhanced by this support structure and are trying to keep it as low profile as possible. Personally, I think it stinks.
Hi Richard,

In discussing this matter with you I understand now, what is desired is a clearer written statement of our services clearly outlining the extents of support and protocols. We reviewed some of the existing online materials surrounding the roles of Technical Support and our BIM Advisor department and the language on the page requires adjustments for clarity. I will work to get this information updated and made clearer.

Best regards,
Hi Nick,
I thought I would chime in with my 2 cents worth on this issue. I have been a user since V4.55 so about 25+ years now. With the yearly version release and having taken part in several Beta testings I know that there are usually quite a few "issues" with the program on release date. It is just too quick of a schedule if there is a new tool being added, IMHO.

Perhaps a compromise might be that any support issues relating to new features after the release are just assumed to be growing pains and that support would generally be offered free with few questions asked for at least 4-6 months after the release date. As we know the new tools do not always behave the way they are advertised initially. It is also true that new bugs seem to get into existing tools that were working fine before the new release. Therefore after a new release the initial period often becomes an extending Beta testing period for GS and could be considered a free service from users.