Sunday, December 2, 2012

Security and Tech Support

A few years back IBM's advertisement in some popular tech magazines showed a company who's tech guru had installed lasers to ensure security resulting in substantial obstacles for the employees to access the system.  My employer hasn't installed lasers...yet, but we definitely have layers of security and unfortunately I was a victim of "access denied" recently when one security update did not play nice with another security update... so much for working remote... after 3 calls to the "Help" desk, I was told, "you have to bring it in."

I suspect the buying decision for security software is something that could be well illustrated by Scott Adams in a Dilbert cartoon, resembling:

Vender:  This software slices, dices, toasts and roasts... (rambling on with incredible features)

IT Manager:  I'm not so sure... it sounds expensive and it might be a lot of work to install...

Later that night at Hooters after filling with Beer and Wings...

Vender:  ... so what did you think of our Security Fantasmo Suite?

IT Manager:  ugh?  Is it really that good (thinking that now that the truth serum of beer has kicked in, the "real deal" will emerge).

Vender:  Well it sort of stops everyone dead in their tracks; we're confidant that nothing will get through...

IT Manager:  Nothing?

Vender:  Nothing and no one, not even your users (...whoops)

IT Manager:  We'll take it (thinking... if my users are so buggered up by security, they won't have time to bother me....)

Unfortunately, the bane of security woes is not confined to work.  All of us are under assault with account and password overload... this account requires at least one capital letter, a lower case and a number, this one requires a special character, this one requires no special characters, this one requires 6 characters,  this one requires between 7 and 9... enough already.  Often I find that I need to resort to the "I forgot my password" link and a prayer...  The problem I've found is that sometimes security has been built up AFTER the account was initially created.  This sometimes results in a security question that you've never heard of being thrust upon you.  Recently such an event happened when trying to update an iPad app whereby I received a message saying I needed to answer 2 security questions because I'd never installed an app on this device before (which was really bizarre as I had installed a multitude of updates).  The good news is that after hunting and sending a message to Apple help, the update mysteriously performed on its own accord.  Thereafter, I received this long winded (and likely well meaning), but frustratingly unhelpful response from Apple:

Good day, G!

 Thank you for contacting iTunes Store Customer Support. This is Niño and I'm glad to be of service for your concern.

 I understand that you are having issue with your iTunes store account due to security questions. I can certainly appreciate how eager you must be to see this situation resolved. It is my pleasure to assist you in any way that I possibly can.

 I am sorry for the difficulties you are encountering.

 Apple takes the security of your account very seriously. For security reasons and to make sure only you can access your account, I may suggest to contact our specially trained Account Security Advisors to reset your security questions and help you access your account.

 As much as I would like to assist you in resolving this issue, iTunes Customer Support does not have the necessary tools to address these kinds of issues. For the security of your account, your best bet is to talk to an Account Security Advisor because they are the best people who can have this sorted out for you and to make sure only you can access your account.

 You see G, as an iTunes Store Advisor, my access privileges is limited because we mainly handle questions about billing, downloading purchases, and iTunes Store content.

 The sooner you give them a call, the faster your issue will be resolved.

 Please note that this is an account security issue that is best dealt with the assistance of an Account Security Advisor. Don't worry, there is no fee for calling. In case you are informed or notified that there is, your call may have been routed to the Technical Support Department. Ask them to transfer you to an Account Security Advisor.

 Here is how to get in touch with the Account Security Team:

 When that page loads, the "Lost or forgotten Apple ID password" option will be selected. Click "Continue".

 On the next screen, you will have the option to call Apple Support now or have them call you later about your account.

 From the page, please click from the selected issues and choose continue, you will be given the options to Talk to “Apple Support Now” or “Call Apple Support Later”.

Please choose the option that works best for you. If the hold time is long, you might have only the option to talk with them later. If you chose “Call Apple Support Later” and click it, you will be given a new case ID and phone number that you can contact for faster support.

 Here is the number you can contact:

 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Central

 I hope you find this information helpful, and I apologize for the length of time it has taken to resolve this issue. Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions or concerns regarding the iTunes Store, and I will do my very best to assist you.

 Take care, G!


 iTunes Store Customer Support

 Please Note: I work Tuesday - Saturday CST

 Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.
In my previous post, Sicilian dementia and customer care, I ran the gamut of customer service.  If I applied a letter grade to this illustration of customer service, I would give it a "B."  Niño is thorough and if you wade through the superfluous and gratuitous verbosity of the response, the "next step" is identified.  However, given that "Niño" is with Apple and the "Account Security Team" is also with Apple, my vision of superior customer service would have been that my initial query be routed to the proper department within Apple followed by a "I can help you" response.

Hey Apple, why shouldn't your customer service be as easy to use as your terrific product, the iPad?

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