Support is frustrating. On-line chat support goes beyond that into the realm of “infuriating” by using even less equipped employees who are given little or no training and a click driven interface for providing robotic responses that are at their best ingenuous or, at their worst, simply insulting. Rhapsody, which I love but am frequently frustrated with, uses this means of support for their web service (the only way I can use their service on my work Mac). I was feeling punchy after their player plugin, which seems to suffer frequent problems, was keeping me from repeatedly playing the songs I need to learn in order to further my Rock Band career.
After my first session was interrupted by the instructions of the support person (clearing cookies, of course, destroys the cookie the chat application depends on), I was in a poor mood. As is my tendency, I drifted toward sarcastic and cynical. So, I present to you the following complete chat log with only three minor modifications. First, I removed the email account information I use to log in. Second, I changed the named of the support engineer to “Eliza” to protect the innocent. And third, I reordered two lines so that it reads more easily (Eliza was very quick with the automated platitudes).
Eliza: Hello. Welcome to Real’s Live Chat. How can I help you?
Kyle: First: make a note to your colleagues that “Clear Private Data” isn’t a very good answer for troubleshooting browser problems, since it disconnects the chat
Kyle: Second, I still cannot log into Rhapsody online
Eliza: I’m listening. Please go ahead.
Eliza: Am I correct in understanding that you are having problem in sign in to the Rhapsody.com?
Kyle: email/password combo works fine to log into my account details via “My Account” on real.com
Eliza: Sure I can help you in providing the information regarding this issue.
Eliza: Please give me a couple of minutes while I check your account.
Kyle: And thank you for the dehumanizing and demoralizing use of canned, pasted responses identical to the last support person. It makes me feel like a unique and beautiful flower.
Eliza: Thanks for your time and patience.
Eliza: I could see an active Rhapsody Unlimited subscription under this email address: REDACTED
Kyle: … though “Unlimited” seems to be a misnomer given the frequency of authentication problems.
Eliza: Now can you please let me know what is the error message you get when you try to sign in Rhapsody.com?
Kyle: “There was a problem logging you in. Please check your username and password and try again.”
Eliza: Now can you please let me know the what is the web browser you are using to sign to the Rhapsody com?
Kyle: Firefox 3 on a Mac, RhapsodyPlayerEngine 1.1.0
Eliza: May I know the version of Windows (98, ME, XP, 2000) that you are using?
Kyle: No. Because I don’t run Windows on my Mac.
Kyle: It runs Mac OSX 10.5.3
Eliza: Thanks for the information.
Eliza: Now in order to resolve this problem I suggest you to perform this below listed steps.
Eliza: Please follow the steps for uninstalling & installing Rhapsody online in Mac operating system:
- Open up your Main HDD (Where OSX is Installed)
- Find and open up the “Library” folder
- Then open the folder “Internet Plug-Ins”
- In this folder, locate the file “RhapsodyPlayerEngine.plugin” and drag this file to the trash
- Once this file is deleted, please visit http://www.rhapsody.com again and click on sign in to download the plug-in again.
Eliza: Are we in progress?
Kyle: Yes. And it’s working as well as my last experiences installing the plugin.
Eliza: Great! I’m glad it worked.
Kyle: Don’t get too excited there, Eliza.
Kyle: My last experience were not “good”.
Eliza: I see.
Kyle: I shall now restart Firefox, since your guys’ plugin seem to the the only .xpi packaged plugin that silently fails during install
Kyle: But restarting things several times will often do the trick. It’s a very sad user experience, and great motivation for me to cancel my account.
Kyle: I shall leave you now, to solve the problems of other people.
Eliza: Now can you please try to sign the account and check.
Kyle: And hope that someone in Rhapsody operations finally notices the giant blinking red light that says “authentication is hosed”.
Kyle: Thank you Eliza, it has been robotic and unfruitful. Have a great day!
Eliza: You are welcome.
Eliza: Is there anything else that I can help you with today?
Kyle: Certainly not.
You have disconnected.
Thanks, Eliza. I know you tried. It’s your boss’s fault for providing you with bad tools and no information. Having reinstalled, restarted, rebooted and sacrificed a chicken I am again listening to music. There’s no way for me to tell if I solved a problem or if the time I wasted allowed them to fix a problem on their side. But, if history teaches me anything, I’ll get more data in a few weeks when this happens again.