Tech support with MindVision Software

I’m having a tech support experience with MindVision Software, so I thought it would be helpful to the company and to their customers to write it up here.

I need an app to create a DMG for my Mac software. So I asked here what to do, and got back several answers, and decided to blow the $20 to purchase a copy of FileStorm. I tried it out first, it seemed to do what I wanted, and when it was time to actually pay the money, I went for the $79 version that also creates installers.

I pasted the activation code into the dialog, and it hung. I force-quit the app after waiting over a minute. Then when I tried to relaunch, I got a dialog that said Product Activation error, blah blah blah and offered two choices, Run Demo or Reactivate. Both options cause the program to hang and require a force-quit. After doing this a half-dozen times, reinstalling the app, trying a few more times, I decided it was time to call the company, in Lincoln, Nebraska, 402-323-6600.

After going through a few messages, I found out that I would have to read their FAQ on the website, because they didn’t provide phone support for FileStorm or FileStorm Pro (the one that I purchased). I pressed 0 for operator, and started to explain what was going on to the operator, she interrupted when she heard the error code, and said that’s all she needed to know. I waited on hold for a minute (at least it wasn’t longer) and was told that the tech support manager said I would have to send email. I asked to please speak to the tech support manager. She put me on hold, and then a minute later the line disconnected. Since I was going to have to write up the problem via email, I decided to write it up on my weblog and send them the URL.

8:45AM Pacific: After writing up the description, I wrote and sent an email to the address they provided for support (yeah, it’s the sales address, oy).

Postscript

1. As of 12:30PM Pacific, still no response from MindVision. 2.5 hours ago, Jim provided the solution that worked. If I had been depending on the company, well I probably would have written off the $79 by now.

2. The answer came, via email, at 2:30PM.

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Andrew Lasey on March 10, 2006 at 8:36 am

    First, I really like the new look on the wordpress blog.

    Second, well, you know as well as anyone how hard it is to provide support for software. Even at $79 bucks support and scammers will eat your profit fast. That said it sounds like a pretty glaring bug! Bummer.

    Reply

  2. Andrew, having run a couple of software companies myself I know how the costs mount up. I also know, as a customer who just spent $79, and buys things other than software, that the software industry still is the worst at dealing with customer problems. Imagine, hanging up on someone who just spent money with you. That’s gotta be bad for business.

    And they were really easy to work with when it came to paying them money. The process was streamlined and simple, and very nicely debugged I bet. Worked the first time and it was fast. In other words, someone there knows how to make a system that works. My guess is that the product isn’t very good, and requires a lot of support, and if they actually provided the support they would lose money. That’s just a guess, but they have my money, and I’m losing a day’s work here, and that’s more than $79.

    Reply

  3. If the manual creation of disk images is slowing you down so much that you’re purchasing software, you might try automating (or “scripting”, if you will) the process.

    The following page implies that you could probably make XCode automatically generate a .dmg for you in the build phase.

    http://www.objectpark.org/buildDMG.html

    Reply

  4. [...] Narrative: Tech support with MindVision Software.  [...]

    Reply

  5. Posted by Jim on March 10, 2006 at 9:58 am

    In the interest of getting up and running (despite the customer service problems) it appears there is an update which “fixes intermittent product activation errors.”

    http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/9848

    Reply

  6. Jim, thanks that worked.

    The company still hasn’t responded to my email request for support.

    Reply

  7. Jeffrey, I bought this because I am not a Mac developer, and don’t do the builds of the app. I need something easy to use.

    Reply

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