Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Support and how it should work.

During our XE to XE6 upgrade project, we felt it was time to redo our build process.

We are using FinalBuilder and ContinuaCI produced by VSoft Technologies in Canberra, Australia.

During the process we ran into some minor bugs, in the product.    We also had some major and minor feature requests.

Anytime I ran into one of these, I would shoot off an email to the product support email address.  

Sending an email to them would result in a automatic Ticket Number response email from the FogBugz software they are using.   I don't know much about FogBugz, but as customer I love the interaction and being able to see the status of the emailed ticket at any time.

Then after sending the email, I would then leave for the day,  the next morning I would come in and have a response to my ticket.

What made me happy about these responses was most of the time they contained a link to a build with a fix to the problem I was experiencing.     If I had made a minor feature request, that commonly was also implemented in the same time period.     For major feature requests, I was informed that the request was placed on the list to implement, some times with follow up questions to ensure they knew what I was asking for.

Typical response time for a bug fix: < 24 hours.
Longest I remember waiting on a bug fix < 2 weeks.

As a customer I have never felt my opinion or bug was under valued or should be discounted because of some other mitigating factor.    A behavior I commonly get from other companies.

I could be getting lucky with my requests, but I highly doubt it as we have seen this behavior several times over the years we have been using their products.   I am sure sooner or later something nasty will come up that will take longer, but I know it won't just be sidelined, it will be worked on, and I will be kept informed of what is going on.

My point is, VSoft Technologies really has support covered.   I wish other companies, I work with had that level of support.


  1. While I have no personal experience with VSoft tech support, as a developer I can understand the value of timely support and bug fixes and can only imagine to whom you might be referring to when wishing for that kind of support ;-) If a small company like VSoft can do it, what possible excuse could a larger company have for not providing the same level of professional support (other than possibly not caring to)?

  2. Hi Larry,


    If a small company can fix a bug and put out a release in a day, do you expect a large company can?
    If a small company can update their website in a day, do you expect a large company can?
    If the CEO of a small company can call you on the phone to ask you a question about your bug, do you expect the CEO if Microsoft to do it as well?

    Have you ever worked for a large company? You would know there are a lot of answers aside from "not caring to"

    Larger companies products are (usually) much more complex. And there is not a single person who knows all aspects of the product, like at a small company. Large companies have complex processes and scheduling priorities. i.e. at VSoft, if you report a bug, someone may be able to drop what they are doing and fix it on a whim. At a large company, these things need to be evaluated, prioritized, scheduled etc.

    It is one of the reasons small companies can survive. Big companies can do things of a complexity that a small company never could. Small companies can be responsive, flexible etc.

  3. I've interacted with companies that perform this mindless sort of customer response. In one build, it is fixed the way I need. The next build? Changed for another customer or just plain reverted. Rinse, repeat, hate. Reactionary bug fixes are OK in the short term if you have 1 or maybe 2 customers, after that it is a horrible way to manage a project.

    1. I could see how this could happen to some companies. But, the quality of the VSoft products has always been high.

    2. I'll bet those companies had never heard about regression testing.

  4. Hi Robert I've been using VSoft products for a long time too and there support is really good. Every bug reported gets fixed in a few hours or a couple of days. Never had problem with their products. Currently we are using finalbuilder and continua to, I've nothing to complaing about it.