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Tech support heroes DO exist

Ahhhh, tech support. It's either really, really good, or it sucks. Usually, all we hear about are the situations where somebody spent four hours on the phone with someone in Mumbai who was reading a script, or the know-nothing person who decided to hang up on you after you suggested that they might want to actually learn something about the product they're "supporting." I recently had two completely different -- but very positive -- tech support experiences that showed me that some companies really do care about customers and go out of their way to make sure customers are happy.

Securifi (Almond Router)

I've owned a Securifi Almond Router for about 10 months now, and it just chugs away doing its job faithfully. A little over a week ago, I was working on a "how to" post for TUAW and it occurred to me that I hadn't checked for any firmware updates for the Almond since I bought it. So I walked over to the router, tapped on its built-in display and started the update process.

Well, the Almond downloaded the new firmware, began loading it and then froze... Of course, it's not a good thing to unplug a device during a firmware update, so I waited. About 30 minutes later, I was beginning to get quite irritated since the router was down and I wasn't getting any work done, so I did the unthinkable and yanked the power cord. Big mistake -- after I plugged it back in, the device was stuck at the Almond startup screen.

I called Securifi's support number and was talking to Ashok within seconds. I explained what went on, and then he walked me through a few possible fixes. At one point he asked me to unplug both the device and the AC adapter and leave them unplugged for about 15 minutes, and he called back in exactly 15 minutes to walk me through the next steps.

Ashok quickly decided that a replacement device was in order, explained the replacement process to me and then verified my address. Within a few days I had the replacement, and a prepaid UPS shipping label was emailed to me to return the bad unit. Throughout the situation Ashok was the consummate professional, listening intently, asking the right questions and being very polite. This positive support experience made me much more likely to buy Almond's next-generation Almond+ when it arrives.

Motrr (Galileo)

Motrr's Galileo robotic iPhone mount is a great tool for taking moving time-lapse movies or taking immersive spherical photos using the Sphere app -- that's why I was upset when the darned thing decided to fail while I was on a vacation. It didn't seem to be holding a charge, and the usual "connect" process to pair with the iPhone (you twist the bottom of the Galileo) showed no results. No connection meant no automated Sphere images.

Motrr doesn't have a phone number you can call, instead using a few support pages on its website as well as the Zendesk support ticket system. I turned in a request when I got back from my trip, and after a slight delay brought on by the holidays, I was asked by Eliza if I was plugging the Galileo into a wall socket or a computer USB port (it doesn't support USB port charging). I responded that I was using the wall socket and a standard USB AC adapter.

At this point there was a bit of a delay, but I was so busy with our new editorial schedule here at TUAW that I really didn't even remember that I hadn't heard back. On Sunday, I thought about the Galileo again, pinged Eliza via email, and got a response yesterday morning with a sincere apology and a suggestion to check out the reset procedure on the support page. Hmmm... I hadn't seen that when I went out to the Motrr website.

Sure enough, the reset process -- which is kind of odd as it requires you to short out a few pins on the bottom of the device with a bent paperclip -- worked, and the Galileo is now humming perfectly. As with Ashok at Securifi, all of the online encounters with Eliza were professional and to the point.

Do you have any tech support hero stories?

Now it's your turn. Honestly, we don't want to hear any stories of bad tech support nightmares because they're so prevalent, but if you've had an experience that made you wanted to jump up and cheer, let us know about it in the comments. Let's give those tech support heroes their gold medals, OK?

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