[nSLUG] [OT] ISP support (was ISPs in NS)

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Mon Oct 15 22:36:47 ADT 2007


On 10/15/07, Ian Campbell <ian at slu.ms> wrote:
>
>
> They're not 'pushing' anything. They're not recommending he only use
> Outlook Express, nor are they forcing him to use it. It's just that
> their techs are (likely) only trained to do the setup on Outlook
> and/or Outlook Express.


This is indirectly pushing the Microsoft product.   Aliant support refused
to
guide him to set his email up unless he used Outlook.  He pushed,
they pushed back.  My Dad is old school.  He can make
Bell helicopters fly, but when I know he has been in the CMOS
I get out the jumper to clear.  He believes the Aliant tech support guy
holds all of the magic values to enable his email client somehow.
His computer knowledge has not developed to the point
of knowing which terms are generic and which terms are literals
specific to a particular software product, and how to match the
fields of configuration in one product with different field labels
in different locations in another product.

It's a fair amount of work to support the other ones. He'd want
> Thunderbird, someone else would want Eudora, then there's Opera,
> Mulberry, The Bat!, Pegasus, Incredimail, Sylpheed, i.Scribe, Foxmail,
> Pocomail... I'd be surprised if they even supported older versions of
> Outlook or Outlook Express.


I've done tech support before for an HTML editor.  If we had said
we only support issues with IE we would have been dead.
Well actually that company is dead now, but that isn't why.

You can't get sympathy from me with that rationalization that
all email clients would need to be supported.  First off,
half of these email clients would only be run by pure geeks
and they don't need walk-throughs.  Secondly, the ISP would only
need to support a choice of the top 4 or 5 email clients used
by ordinary mortals - which are all easy to master or even
figure out on the fly.  The only reason for the Outlook push was
to close the support call in under 31.6 seconds or whatever the
call center standard is for them (probably not even run by Aliant).

In a perfect world, all they'd have to do is make server and login
> information visible, and the user could just run through the client's
> setup wizard.
>
> "100% virus and worm compatible" ... what, was he going to switch to
> Linux or OS X before Aliant told him they'd only setup Outlook?
>

No, I was hoping for something like 60% virus and worm compatible
as with non-Outlook Windows clients.  It would be a little improvement.
I'm thinking of specific worms and viruses in history which made
specific use of Outlook features, to load and spread.  If you recall,
Microsoft's initial response to Melissa was that the problem wasn't
Outlook, but the bad guys who should be arrested and then
the problem will go away.   It is about as impressive as the Sony
VP who said root kits aren't an issue because most people don't know
what they are anyway.  Isn't it natural to wish some unpronounceable
disease on people who believe this type of logic?

--Donald
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