Keyboard[Editor’s Note]I received an interesting essay from someone who does Customer Support for a BlackBerry software company.

They didn’t want to reveal their identity, or their company identity. But I thought the essay offered an interesting perspective, so I agreed to publish it for the greater good of the BlackBerry software community. The links in the essay below are mine. And so here it goes…

Hi, my name is Cynthia, and I write applications for BlackBerry and answer customer support emails for a BlackBerry software company. I’m here to tell you that despite what many of the people who write in with angry letters think, no software company makes money by intentionally ripping off customers. No one tries to sell incompatible software in order to collect your $5.00 and laugh maniacally at your installation troubles.

No, we are actually here to help, and we do our best to make our software install as painlessly as possible. When you encounter a problem, it’s most often the result of a configuration issue that can be solved by updating your device software or your Desktop Manager. Many times, the errors are a result of not reading/following installation instructions. This isn’t really helped by the often confusing error messages that you will see from RIM, which don’t accurately explain the problem or offer a solution.

I’m here to help, and I’m happy to do it. But the emails I get don’t make it easy for me to do so.

Often I’ll see support emails that say something like, “It doesn’t work.” End of message. OK, well, to start with, it would really help to know what software you are trying to install, since the company I work for offers multiple products. From there, it might be helpful to say what you are trying to do, like installing the software versus using some specific feature. And if I may suggest, the text of any error message you see will go a long way in helping me to respond quickly and accurately to your problems.

What would a great support request look like? The golden nugget, the first place winner and grand poobah customer support request would look something like this:


I just bought your software Blah, and I’m having trouble getting it installed. I’m using the RIM Desktop Manager, and I see the message, “No additional applications designed for your handheld were found”.

I have a BlackBerry 8800 with OS version When I ordered, they gave me order number XXXXX.

Thanks for your help, George

See how they named the software product, they said what they were trying to do, and they gave me an error message. In addition, (oh joy of joys!) they gave me their BlackBerry model number and their OS version number. And of course, their order number, so I can look them up. The icing on the cake is that they weren’t rude, they didn’t call me names, and they said thank you. If I received a help request like the one above, I think I might just shed a tear. Alas, I’ve never seen a real one of such beauty.

My name is Cynthia and I’m here to help. When you have a problem installing 3rd party BlackBerry software, help me help you. Thanks.

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