29 Jun 2004 3:18 AM
|This is not writen by flip218.....
READ THIS......Confessions of a 321 Employee
I have a strong feeling that if you dish the dirt i'm about to tell you all, you might get banned as well. On the other hand, they can't delete your accounts, as you paid for yours
Rebates - Rebates were never intentionally a sham, but it was a debockle. I believe the department was just understaffed. Anyway, when we (the call center upper staff) began to devise a tactic to organize and complete the rebates, it was almost overwhelming. There were stacks upon stacks of U.S. mail crates overflowing with unopened rebates. When they booted me, they appeared to have the situation under control. I like how I read that Moore is still intending to pay all rebates, even when they file Chapter 11. Mabye he will, who knows.
Software - I am truely sorry for anyone having trouble with it. Here's my conclusion. The software simply will not work on some peoples systems. Period. You may not believe this, but we never figured out why. Pretty good for a prefessional software company huh. Crappy programming I guess, plain and simple. It works for most people, but it doesn't work for an overly large number of people.
If you all only knew just how shady and uncaring the company really is. Not all, not even most, but a few key people make the decisions (it's not Moore, it's 1 guy I know in particular and one other i'm pretty sure of). Our tech support procedure was the most unprofessional thing I have ever seen. From September to March, we were not allowed to use the solutions we found on our own. We had to submit it to our R&D department. I cannot remember one fix we submitted to them that came back approved. One solution we found was if you were having major troubles burning, uninstalling and reinstalling your secondary IDE channel. This was never approved, but many of us did it anyway. You will never believe how much stuff we solved by our own methods, only to be told that if we get caught doing it again, we would be written up.
The best anology for our tech department is this. Someone asks you a question, but the only responses you can give are on a sheet of paper. You know the answer, but it's not on the paper, so you make up something that sounds good.
This is how it was like from 1 week after Platinum came out in September until about the end of April. It's not the agents faults, it's was all in the policy. No matter how many times I pointed this out at meetings, nothing ever changed. They asked for our advice, but never did jack about it. It was sooooooooo frustrating. Eventually, the inevetable happened, most of us just stopped caring, and that my friends is what will wreck a call center. From the moment you walked in the door, it was like a pair of handcuffs was slapped on you. You had the knowledge to help people out, but you couldn't use it for fear of termination.
Here's another great one from our Tech Department. Platinum, Show, Maker, and Point were all released on the same day, yet NO ONE in the call center had any information about the software. We got our first copies in the call center about 3 weeks after the release, but it didn't make much difference because no one had time to use it, we were all to busy making up bull answers to get the customers off of the phones. There was no communication lines between Development and R&D, and the call center. They just didn't care, and the customers are the ones who suffered. This one specific guy was supposed to be the go-between, but all that guy knew how to do was lie. No one ever liked him, but we all acted like it. If he only knew what EVERYONE said about him behind his back.
Our procedure for replying to tech support emails, TS forms, and bug reports was a joke. Well, not the Bug reports. I outlined the procedure, and for a long time it was just one guy that did it. It worked great, until more people started getting involved, then it was like all the rest. Most of the time, people replying to these things(emails and such) barely even read the questions. We were instructed to copy and paste canned responses, and do as many as possible as fast as possible. If you didn't do enough, you would get yelled at.
I swear to you that all of this is true, I have no reason to lie. I have seen many of you on the boards for a very long time and feel 321 owes you an explination.
Oh yeah, one last thing, you know how 321 is always talking about a plan for activation after the collapse? If they do have one, it's funny that no one has told you how it will work. Mabye they have one, mabye they don't. All I know is that when i was kicked, not a soul in the call center had even a remote idea how they would do it. Our best guess is a registry cleaner of some kind. They software itself is programmed to not function without proper activation. It is highly doubtful that a patch would get released that would allow you to upgrade for 2 points. 1- no one is left in development to create it, and 2- wouldn't distribution of such a thing violate the lawsuit? My best guess is that we are all out of luck. Just a guess though, they might be all over this
Someone mentioned traitor on another board, and that made me chuckle a bit. 321 top management doesn't bive a rats behind about the people they laid off. When they came through with the 200+ layoff round, here is a conversation "more or less, i can't remember the exact words" that happened between and employee that knew he was getting laid off and a boss. This was during a company wide Q&A session during a meeting.
lay-off - "Sir, will their be any kind of severands package given to this group of Lay-offs. I know last group got something?"
Boss - "Uh, at this time we are not giving severands packages, but you can work until the end of the month, we are giving you a 2 weeks notice."
Something else was said, but I can't remember, all i know is you should have seen the masses of people with rolling eyes and looks of disbelief. Wow, we get to work for 2 more weeks..........and then get the boot, hooray! We actually did get the severands, through the efforts of a truely caring, hardworking guy. This guy bent over backwards for us and made them realize that the privilage of working for this company for 2 more weeks was hardly fair treatment for those who had worked so hard. One Manager even gave his $1000 employee of the month check to them right on the spot to donate to the severands fund.
I'm not really sure why I am enjoying telling you all this stuff. I think it is because 321 Studios was a pro at portraying prefessionalism and customer satisfaction, but the reality was so much different.
I mean, for crying out loud, 321 is a TEXTBOOK example of a software company that knowingly releases imperfect software with intentions of patching it up later. Many video game companies do this as well, but how many computer games cost $149.99? And how many other companies releases "patches" that actually make their program worse? During the earlier versions of Platinum (3.1.1) Dvd X Rescue worked great! Then we released 3.2.1 (the supposed greatest patch) and it totally corrupted Rescue. Get this, we were constantly fighting this issue with that.........
If you were attempting to copy a movie with Rescue and your temp directory was full, once in a while the extra data would spill over onto you C: drive and stop on critical system files!!!!!
Anyone ever seen error writing disk? Error writing disk was a generic error message that represented over a dozen possible conflicts. Ever have the problem where it was incredibly slow burn times? We blamed other movie playing software, but I'm pretty sure is was our stuff that locked your computer into PIO mode. Ever have the software want to connect to the internet? There is about 4 or 5 fixes for this, but none of them are a sure fire fix, and we never found out why it was doing that. Splitting was a complete joke. It never worked right, and they never worked on fixing it. Guess it was considered low priority. Games is just Daemon Tools reskinned. Most of the programs in Extreme are freeware programs reskinned (some aren't even reskinned!) We used to sell Ben-Q dvd burner drives, but eventually we deemed these are incompatible with our software.
Perhaps the most flagerent false advertising was TDF's. We hyped them so much, yet they don't really do anything! Hell, you didn't even get the TDF option in platinum until several months after it's release. We had our original TDF library, then abandoned it until Quiltface began creating them again. He got to do it for about a week, then they pulled the plug on that idea as well, and now they are a thing of the past.
Oh well, that's life.
This message has been edited since posting. Last time this message was edited on 1 Dec 2005 9:42 AM