Friday, December 11, 2009

Tech support kudos

It can be a complicated world. and we all need a little help from time to time and I am certainly not an exception to this. In the real world, I could not do my job, without the assistance of the many marine technical support groups, and I am most indebted for the high quality assistance I receive from them.  It has been a tough year in the boating business, and despite this, the quality of the technical support has been maintained through all of the cut backs. The following are "Kudos" and comments about some of these fine groups.

You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable device on your boat than an Airmar transducer. These devices live in rapidly moving salt water, get scraped on by divers, and run for years without touching them. I mostly deal with Irene when I have an issue. She is smart, a transducer goddess, and always a pleasure to talk to. The  phone is almost always answered quickly, and if you have to leave a message, it is quickly returned.

The tech staff at Raymarine are the best in the business. They know their  products forward and backwards, are always easy to talk to. Trevor, Mark, Winston, Linda, and the rest of the crew have been of immeasurable assistance to myself, and my clients through the years. There is rarely a long wait, and the phone menus are short and sweet. Thanks for the help.

Garmin continues to do an excellent job of tech support, and gets a special "Kudo" for being the only company that actually custom wrote software to correct a clients software issue. They sent me a N2K data logger to collect the info, and within ten days sent me a software patch. Way to go, and we both have a very happy client. The phone wait time has improved, but I wish the interaction didn’t sound so scripted. "Have I answered all of your questions about Garmin today?"

Every boat has a stereo, and most have Clarion. What color pair of RCA cables is the Is the aux input I am going to use for the audio feed from the weather module? John always knows the answer, even for the antiques. Rarely a wait, simple phone menu, and always helpful

Quick, and responsive. You sometimes have to leave a message, but call backs come quickly. The manuals are sometime a little inscrutable, but Ron and Jeff are there to help.

This group and been bought and sold a couple of times, but the support has been seamless. My namesake Bill has a good sense of humor, and always has the answer.

Searay, Boston Whaler, and Carver
These builder’s still get the support job done, despite the cutbacks. They also have some of the best configuration control in the business. Need to know what the matching fabric was in a 2004 vessel, or a battery wiring diagram? They have the info. It sometimes takes a few days to get the data, but you always get it. There are doing a great job on short staff. Thanks for the effort.

Beede Instruments
This is another special "Kudo" for Ken Lepage who was able to find the original software, and custom program a pair of engine instrument/engines interfaces to replace the units that were damaged by a lightning strike, and to Mike at Carver who remembered the boat, and what had been done to it. The work around to correct the problem had both of these gentlemen not gone to some extra effort, would have cost thousands of dollars. Thanks for the help Ken, and Mike, my client is tickled pink.

I have a huge set of tech support numbers in my phone, and they are my most important asset. Whether the issue is the NMEA colors for legacy equipment, software communication problems, or even my occasional dumb questions, these many support organizations are there to help all of us. Although the wait can be irritating at times, always be grateful for the people who help you, and don’t forget to say "Thank You".