Customer Support

Customer_Service_HeaderDetail from Autolysis (2011 – Oil on Canvas) by Bex

On an ordinary day, I would have ended a chat session like the one you are about to read as soon as I realized I could not be helped. As you read, you will understand why I was compelled to stay with it until the end.

Every word of the following customer support chat transcript is real. I have changed the names to avoid embarrassing any individual or company, although in my opinion this company’s leadership should be flogged in the public square. Other than redacting personal information, I have changed nothing else. The lesson speaks for itself.


Thank you for choosing Dumko. We will be with you shortly.

All agents are currently assisting others. Your estimated wait time is 1 minutes and 10 seconds. Thanks for your patience.

All agents are currently assisting others. Your estimated wait time is 1 minutes and 13 seconds. Thanks for your patience.

You are now chatting with Beth.

Beth: Thank you for choosing Dumko Systems. How may I assist you today?

Steven: Hi. I have a new customer and am being told I need your ConnectMe VPN client. My customer thinks this should be a free download from your web site, but your site is telling me I need a support contract but is not telling me where to go to get one.

Beth: Hi, Steven. I’ll be happy to help you. May I know if you are a Dumko certified Partner reseller?

Steven: No. I am a consultant.

Beth: Will you be part of the purchasing and decision making process for this project?

Steven: No. I am a consultant. I am working remotely to help my customer to optimize some custom database code.

Beth: Okay. Have you contacted us before about this?

Steven: No. I’ve had other customers that required a Dumko client, but they always supplied it internally.

Beth: What equipment/solution do you currently have in place?

Steven: I am not sure I understand the question. I use a VPN client to access the networks at the companies I consult for. There is no equipment or solution involved.

Beth: How many users do you need to have in the network?

Steven: I have no idea how many users my customer has on their network. I just need one instance of ConnectMe so that I can log on remotely.

Beth: Alright. Let me check on that then I’ll be providing you with a link for product information. Just click on it. While I check, may I know how many people does your company employ worldwide?

Steven: One. Me.

Beth: Here is the link for you. [link redacted]. The Dumko ConnectMe Mobility Client enables enterprises to enhance employee productivity by securing their employees’ smartphones and tablets. The Dumko ConnectMe Mobility Client Platforms provides reliable and easy-to-deploy encrypted network connectivity from smartphones and tablets by delivering persistent corporate access for employees on the go.

Beth: This will be an initial recommendation from a presales point of view based on your requirements. Our Dumko Partner will still have to assess what you are trying to accomplish. Final recommendation will be from our Dumko partner.

Steven: All I need is the client. Who is the Dumko Partner and how do I contact that partner today?

Beth: When do you need to be up-and-running?

Steven: About an hour ago.

Beth: We can actually have a Certified Dumko Partner provide you an in depth discussion to help you further evaluate your options on this. A Dumko Partner will be able to discuss to you the product’s features and specifications. He will explain to you how it would work.

Beth: Please tell me about all the people who will have a say in considering Dumko.

Steven: This should be a simple download from somewhere.

Beth: Do you have a service contract or IntelliNet? You will need that to download it.

Steven: No, not yet. That was my original question. Where do I get the service contract and what does it cost?

Beth: You can get it from our Dumko Partner. Just to set your expectation, pricing varies depending on the reseller that you’re going to deal with. What I can provide you is just an estimated price.

Steven: Who is the Dumko Partner and how do I contact them?

Beth: We can also provide you with the contacts of our Dumko Partners so you can call them at your most convenient time. Let me locate the nearest partner that we have in your area. Should there be any product or pricing inquiry, you would know the right contacts especially when you are ready to purchase.

Beth: I believe you will be part of the purchasing and decision making process for the project, right?

Steven: Uh…yes. There is only one of me.

Beth: Excellent. I’m sure a budget will be allocated once the exact amount is defined, right?

Steven: Yes

Beth: Great. May I have your company name, address and your job title?

Steven: [redacted]

Beth: Thank you. May I have your full name, email address, phone number and extension if any?

Steven: [redacted]

Beth: Thank you, Steven. Dumko IntelliNet Service provides the following device-level support:

  • Direct access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to specialized engineers in the Dumko Technical Assistance Center
  • Extensive self-help support through Dumko’s online knowledge base, communities, resources, and tools
  • Smart, proactive diagnostics and immediate alerts for devices enabled with the Intelligent Dial Home feature
  • Operating system (OS) software updates, including both minor and major releases within your licensed feature set
  • Hardware replacement options, including 2-hour, 4-hour, and next-business-day (NBD) advance replacement as well as return for repair (RFR)
  • Optional onsite service that provides a field engineer who can install replacement parts at your location

Steven: I will certainly never need any of that. I just need the client executable. It’s about one MB in size. Maybe I should just call my customer and have them see if they can get one off their network.

Beth: One moment please while I find that information for you. Here are the contact details for the Dumko Partner that you can get in touch with. [redacted]

Beth: I know this will work out perfectly for you. Thank you again. Please call our Dumko business partner. I assure you that Dumko can provide the best solution for you.

Beth: Aside from this, are you looking at getting other Dumko equipment for other networking projects you might have within the next 12 months that you may want to add or discuss today?

Steven: No. Thank you. No.

Beth: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Steven: Thank you so much for your help.

Beth: Before we end this chat, I would like to inform you that you may receive a brief survey about our interaction through email. Your response will be valuable for us to continue improving the service we provide. We would like to extend our appreciation in advance for taking the survey.

Beth: Thank you for chatting with us. Please click the “Close” button (top right) to tell us about your experience.



Okay class, it is time for a Pop Quiz. Don’t worry it’s short. There are only two questions.

Did Steven take the survey? Did Steven call the Dumko Partner?

4 thoughts on “Customer Support

  1. Ray Bannon says:

    I’d been looking forward to a glass (or two, now probably seven or eight) of Merlot all afternoon…I hadn’t expected it to qualify for medicinal reimbursement under ObamaCare….until now. This doesn’t qualify for INactive listening, much less active. I would be amused/horrified to see the sort of script Dumko provides Beth and its other employees for customer service calls…I suspect it presumes Beth knows the various interpretations of the word “client,” when, sadly, it doesn’t appear to be the case. Your patience and professionalism must have been exercised at a great price – congratulations.

    • bimuse says:

      You have to admire her utter tenacity in sticking to that script, Ray. At the time, though, it was difficult to believe that it was really happening. Clearly, the point of that call center is to sell product by getting callers (chatters?) set up with the partners, not to listen to the customer and answer the question.

      Thank you for checking in.

  2. Michael Mixon says:

    Hilarious! Read like an extended version of the endless loop to nowhere that many automated answering systems present you with…only you were presumably talking to a real person. 🙂

    By the way…we’re finally moving up to WA next month. Ever travel down to the Gig Harbor / Tacoma area? I’m sure there’s a Dumko representative down there you could meet with.

  3. bimuse says:

    Yeah, Mike, it was pretty surreal. Every now and again I could tell that it was not automated, but it was pretty special.

    Welcome in advance to the Pacific Northwest. Gig Harbor to Sequim is about a 75 minute drive so there should be no excuse for us not to get together. Good luck with the move.

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