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Author Topic: Support System  (Read 2687 times)

6233638

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Support System
« on: April 07, 2015, 05:26:38 am »

My only beef is the support model. I would like if every paying customer should had their issues addressed and an feature requests/improvements accepted or declined with an explanation. For issues it would be nice if there was an (internal) trouble ticket system/quality control system that assigned a status to any problems reported and fed back to the post.
Some kind of system like this would be nice. Sometimes posts go a long time without getting a response until the change is made and we get an "It'll be in the next version" reply several months later.
 
I feel like a nuisance when I keep having to bump topics for attention, but unless someone responds there's no way of knowing whether it was noticed, whether someone is looking into it, if it got added to a list somewhere, or if the devs decided that they don't want to add that feature for whatever reason.
 
Of course, I would rather that their time was spent working on these features, but if they took the time to look over it, spending an extra 10 seconds to say "it's on our list of things to do" or similar is all that I ask.
 
I would prefer an issue tracking system similar to what madVR uses, but the forum system is fine I suppose as long as posts get acknowledged.
Even then, I find that I'm sometimes creating new topics for the same issue/feature request because I've lost track of things.
 
Having another forum section to keep bugs/feature requests separate from technical support would be nice.
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JimH

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Re: Support System
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 09:15:50 am »

We don't have time to run a perfect system.  What we do works pretty well, in my opinion.

Quote
I feel like a nuisance when I keep having to bump topics for attention, but unless someone responds there's no way of knowing whether it was noticed, whether someone is looking into it, if it got added to a list somewhere, or if the devs decided that they don't want to add that feature for whatever reason.
I read every post.  You don't have to repeat your requests.
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Skeet

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Re: Support System
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2015, 11:24:24 am »

Hi Jim,
Good to hear you read every post - that in itself must keep you busy  :). However If we don't get a reply to a request for help on an issue or problem, what should we take from that? Should we assume there is no resolution? Is it not worth bumping it again in case it gets spotted by fresh eyes?
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CountryBumkin

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Re: Support System
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 11:34:46 am »

Some product forums just use a "sticky" post to identify the items to be worked on (only moderators can write to the sticky). They usually assign a number to the item so it can be referenced. The item could be a known/discovered bug or a feature request.

IMO, it makes it easier (and nice) to see what is going on (in Developers queue) and probably would help cut down on repeat posts for the same request/issue. At least it is easy to find when its a sticky.

+1
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JimH

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Re: Support System
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 11:57:01 am »

If we don't get a reply to a request for help on an issue or problem, what should we take from that? Should we assume there is no resolution? Is it not worth bumping it again in case it gets spotted by fresh eyes?
It could mean a lot of things.

1.  We don't understand the request.
2.  We think it's interesting, but not enough to commit.
3.  We might do it.
4.  We'll never do it.
5.  We think it's silly.
6.  It will be in the next build.

It's hard to be precise and verbose for every idea.  There are a lot more of you than there are of us.

We also have our own list.
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kstuart

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Re: Support System
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2015, 12:29:30 pm »

I think that 6's request would be good for bugs, but not for feature requests.

I have some feature requests that would save me an aggregate of several hours of my life per month.  Mostly these are moving some buried sub-sub-menu choices that I use several times a day, to the top.  (A good example of this was when "Television" was finally moved to the top recently.)

Conversely, I find that the majority of feature requests are "wouldn't it be nice if..." - e.g " Please add the capability to automatically change all text color based on what genre is being played. "

If you read the feature requests, there is a vast number of frivolous and cosmetic requests.  Often there are 10 or 20 in one post.

So, I don't blame JRiver for not replying "we do not have time for that" to every one of those.

But a bug tracking system would be helpful, and in fact, helps on the development end, such as when someone reports a bug and a tracker search lets you know that the same bug was reported in MC19, so you then know it is not due to a recent code change.

JimH

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Re: Support System
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2015, 12:35:56 pm »

I view bug tracking systems as a way to turn every customer into a teacher assigning us homework.  I've never used one that was even close to being as good as our current method.  

We look for multiple reports of the same problem, and these tend to show up very quickly.  One-off reports may be bugs, but they often turn out to be new entries for the Weird and Wonderful thread.
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jimm2

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Re: Support System
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2015, 12:39:46 pm »

What we do works pretty well, in my opinion.

Maybe a user poll would be helpful to see if your customers agree with your assessment.
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JimH

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Re: Support System
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2015, 12:45:55 pm »

Maybe I should give everybody a chance as CEO for a Day.

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CountryBumkin

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Re: Support System
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2015, 01:27:04 pm »

I view bug tracking systems as a way to turn every customer into a teacher assigning us homework.  I've never used one that was even close to being as good as our current method.  

We look for multiple reports of the same problem, and these tend to show up very quickly.  One-off reports may be bugs, but they often turn out to be new entries for the Weird and Wonderful thread.

I just meant that after JRiver team determines it is something the Devs (you) are going to work on, then you add to the sticky list. Members would not be able to add to sticky (it would be read only).
So the member would create a post in main forum just as done today, and if Dev team found the idea had merit (or agreed there was an issue/bug to be looked at) then you would add the item to the sticky. When the item is complete, you would mark it in the sticky as "finished" or such.
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Al ex

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Re:
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2015, 01:29:42 pm »

We have decided you can keep the CEO even if its just for one day, if we get the polling feature.
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JimH

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Re: Support System
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2015, 01:32:46 pm »

I just meant that after JRiver team determines it is something the Devs (you) are going to work on, then you add to the sticky list.
We have our own internal lists, but we don't publish them.

I think we're about as open as we can be and still get anything done.  I realize that others might do it differently.
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lepa

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Re: Support System
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2015, 01:37:49 pm »

I think that for 20$/year the level of support and the product is quite good.

No offence 6233638 but that "it only takes 10 seconds" comment made me laugh a little.  :)  
That's management level talk  ;D
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Matt

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Re: Support System
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2015, 01:42:07 pm »

Maybe I should give everybody a chance as CEO for a Day.

Oh boy, I like the sound of that.  It would be a glorious one day when I was in charge!
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Matt Ashland, JRiver Media Center

JimH

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Re: Support System
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2015, 01:46:52 pm »

I suppose you think you could get me to program and you would put your feet on the desk.
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mojave

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Re: Support System
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2015, 02:19:35 pm »

Oh boy, I like the sound of that.  It would be a glorious one day when I was in charge!
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kstuart

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Re: Support System
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2015, 03:08:50 pm »

We have our own internal lists, but we don't publish them.

I think we're about as open as we can be and still get anything done.  I realize that others might do it differently.
And in fact, the bug tracking systems that are public, are all for open source or freeware programs.

So, it is true, commercial companies keep their bug tracking systems private.

6233638

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Re: Support System
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2015, 03:48:12 pm »

It could mean a lot of things.

1.  We don't understand the request.
2.  We think it's interesting, but not enough to commit.
3.  We might do it.
4.  We'll never do it.
5.  We think it's silly.
6.  It will be in the next build.
That's often enough. At least the posts are being acknowledged if you respond with something like that.
And I know that you try to read everything, but more than a few times it feels like I've requested a feature/change, not heard anything, then someone else posts it and it gets a "that's a good idea" type of response.
 
I don't mean that there's any malice there, just that with the volume of posting that happens here at times, it's easy to overlook things. Or mark things as "I'll come back to that later" and then forgetting about it, or never finding the time for it.
 
As I said, I have enough difficulty keeping track of my own topics for features/issues here, while trying to keep up with the forums, so I don't know how you manage it.
Just today I found out that there was a post back in January asking for help in one of the topics I had responded to, which had gone unnoticed. (I've since contacted the user to see if they still need help)
 
I have managed to not only create two topics on the same issue before, but forgotten that I had already determined what the cause of the issue was (the way that Zone Switch rules are evaluated) and wasted time investigating it again, forgetting that I already had my answer for why it doesn't work.
 
We look for multiple reports of the same problem, and these tend to show up very quickly.  One-off reports may be bugs, but they often turn out to be new entries for the Weird and Wonderful thread.
The problem is that it can be easy to ignore genuine problems if you only look at the number of responses they get to determine whether something is an issue or not.
 
There are issues which I have reported that have largely gone ignored because it was deemed to "not be a problem" though every month or so there is a post or two from someone else reporting the same thing. They're not show-stopping problems, but issues that just don't seem to have that critical mass behind them to be noticed or actually get something done.

In recent memory, those CUE file changes took a long time to get a response that was anything other than "deal with it" - which I'm sure was not your intent, because I understand that when you have to deal with this volume of issues it is very easy to be curt in your response - but even as more and more people reported issues, it seemed to be getting ignored because your personal libraries were not affected.

After roughly 18 months of reporting problems, the high DPI rendering issues are only getting looked at now that Matt has decided to buy a 4K monitor.
I can understand how this happens, but when every single person buying a device with a high DPI screen had these issues and it was getting ignored... that's a big problem.
 
It took several months (6 if I recall correctly) of me reporting a bug where SACD playback would always skip part of the audio during playback before it got any attention, despite that being 100% reproducible and seemingly a quick fix once someone actually took a look at it. I don't know how no-one else noticed it (or at least why it went unreported - which is not the same thing) but if I'm spending the time to set up test cases on a problem and document them, it's probably a real issue.
 
There are still severe performance degradations in certain areas of the program due to changes made several versions ago. You may not be directly receiving reports about them because users are under the impression that "that's just how it is" or their use-case means that it's not a problem for them (e.g. a PC dedicated solely for music playback) or they are unaware of why it happens - because they have not spent a lot of time investigating it. I still have to use MC18 if I want to do multi-room SACD playback. (v18 can handle 18+ channels, v19/20 choke with 6)
 
And when it's all down to one person, you can run into what amounts to "well I would never think to use the program that way, so why would anyone else?" (i.e. we think it's silly).
Well what I say to that is that there have been features implemented that I have basically thought "why would anyone want that?" and then several months later I find myself using it. (at the same time, it's often true that I still can't understand why X was added to the program or still exists)


It was certainly not my intent for a post like this to end up here when responding to that original post, and it probably comes off as being a lot more negative than I intend it to.
But the time I have to spend on the forums here these days is increasingly limited, so it is what it is.
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