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Update on Issues with Platinum Club Renewals
Posted: 07 June 2012 01:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Many PC Members are not showing up as a PC Member in their account, is that across the board or could those members have an issue that needs checked into?
We need email addresses for those who are affected. The web developers believes most of these should be working now. Please log a bug ticket in our bug tracker so we can take care of it. Login here:  https://bugs.daz3d.com/  Now in the top right corner under Project, select DAZ Web Search, and then select Report an Issue. Give as much information as possible of the problem and we will dive into fixing it for you.

The above is saying to please submit a Bug Report if when you go into your account it is not showing or saying you are a PC Member as it should be showing. This specific issue is a bug, hence needing to put in the bug report on it.


If you are experiencing other issues such as PC Prices not showing up for you in the store, being double billed for your PC Membership, you tried cancelling and then re-renewing your PC Membership because you thought it would resolve issues you were having etc, those things all need a Support Ticket and to be put through Customer Service.


Also please note, on the previous page I had mentioned we were working on getting some additional clarification on a few things and those things have yet to be finalized and updated to the original post (some of which are things you all are currently discussing)  Please bare with me just one more day as they work out some of the remaining details and post.


On the communication issue, Blaine, the moderation staff, and myself have been trying our very best to keep you all as informed as we possibly can as we all realize effective communication is a necessity especially right now and it is something we are working very hard at improving. I apologize if it isn’t quite up to par with expectations but we are making every effort to improve that issue.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 02:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Okay, I’ll speak as someone who has been involved in painful IT projects that have gone wrong, in small companies.


I agree that whoever is in charge of communication should push forward news, even if the news is “yeah, this is going to take longer than we thought”. Communication includes sharing the bad news too, after all.


It is not coders who should do this communication—perhaps they should have someone whose sole task is to check what code has been written and fixed, and who then reports the changes to community in common language. As in, “Wishlist bugs are currently being worked on. Status of PA Tools is X, estimated to be ready by Y of Z. “


The purpose of a coder is to develop code. Now, people might ask—“why do they take weekends off when code is such mess”. The answer is that a coder is never off a coding project, even when his or her body is not present at workplace. I know I have coded in my dreams, eight hours solid (which resulted me calling in sick, because I wasn’t rested when I woke up). The coder’s thoughts circle around code pretty much all of the time, and flashes of insight occur at the weirdest moments. While showering. While on the loo. While trying to fall asleep. Even so, they need this downtime just as much as people who pull solid 8 hour days shoveling crap. The difference is that those who shovel muck can truly put the shovel down, and enjoy their time off without thinking about shovels, new shoveling techniques, new shoveling solutions and so on. Coders often can’t and won’t do that.


There also should be someone who collates bug reports, and delivers them to coders in a language they understand.


Now, here’s an another crucial thing that the bug reporter should do: strip off user language before delivering bug reports to coders. Because users can often get hot under collar when something is not working, and since they will never interact with the person who does actual fixing, they aren’t afraid of unleashing barrage of abusive language. Coders are humans in a way you, me, everyone else are, and they are not unfeeling machines moving on from bug to bug, unaffected by cursing, passive-aggressiveness, snideness, name-calling, mockery etc.


And here comes the bad part: in a small company, there are often not enough people for all these tasks, and it all befalls on one person to act as communicator on what’s done, collate bug reports, and fix the bugs too. I have worked in two companies where they had less than ten people employed, and I recall fairly well who got to deal with the customers, their abuse and who got to fix it too (tip: me).


I also worked in a Big Scandinavian Telecom, where as a part of my duties was to go through customer contacts, and relay bug reports to final level of coders and repair people if I could not get it fixed myself. If it seemed like the actual coder or repair person had to contact the customer directly for further details, it was often appreciated if there was some advance warning that the “customer is hot under collar” even if I didn’t share what exactly they had said on phone or in e-mail about people working for Telecom, their prowess in bed, legitimacy of their birth etc. Even so, dealing day in, day out with incredible levels of abusive language—both in e-mail and on phone—wore out my energies, and in the end I did not even bother to ask if my contract would get extended. And I was there to help people to get things fixed; the said telecom company was #1 in getting things fixed as fast as possible.


Once again, I beg that whenever you contact or report a bug, please please please, just report the damn facts, and leave out negative commentary. The coders are well-aware of the fact that things suck like nothing has sucked before, and they want to set things right again. They are problem-solvers, after all. And negativity does nothing to get things solved; if anything, it depresses and reduces work-efficiency.


I also agree that maybe, maybe they should take the store off for the rest of this week, so no further sales-related problems accumulate, and they can stab at store’s functionality in peace, and give time to solve those accumulated tickets. Maybe keep the forums open, maybe not. As long as there’s a notice on offline message that the store and forums are closed and reopen on Monday blah blah blah. Sure, sales would take a hit and it would suck, but sales are apparently already taking those hits. Sometimes you gotta do the painful thing (like peel off that stuck band-aid to replace it, no matter how much it hurts) so things can be fixed.


So, Powers That Be? Please listen to coders. If coders are saying “we totally need to take things offline so we can fix it”, then do it. Swallow the pride, and just freakin’ do it. It is faster and better that way.


Me, I’m gonna go and render some helpful chickenwire in meanwhile… smile

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Posted: 07 June 2012 02:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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So, my account shows my PC membership, but no voucher…. There is a sale on supersuit items that I want to grab, but I’m not grabbing them without the monthly voucher. How is this going to be handled?

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Posted: 07 June 2012 02:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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I am really sorry to say this, but I have not in all my years as a daz member been so upset at how everything is working out.

I cannot order anything since it is always saying I am someone else, I do not appear to be a platinum club member, then I am, then I have 110 items in my wishlist, then 3 then one, then none, then 7 (including an Item that was in my wishlist)

I cannot order anything (paid for) it keeps rejecting my credit card details. I would like super suit with voucher at the agreed for discount price for the bundle but it keeps displaying wrong prices when I put it into the cart, and then says I am someone else!

Please can you fix so that I can buy the Supersuit pro bundle at around $60 with my voucher, can you renew my membership to annual membership as it had been unbroken for the last few years, and can I have some form of compensation for the feeling that the new system is not working and has caused me several hours of stress.

Thanks

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Posted: 07 June 2012 02:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Wiccancowboy2000 - 07 June 2012 02:27 AM

So, my account shows my PC membership, but no voucher…. There is a sale on supersuit items that I want to grab, but I’m not grabbing them without the monthly voucher. How is this going to be handled?

In short:


There are no vouchers, coupons have replaced them. The coupon system isn’t working the way it should, so it hasn’t been issued yet.


DAZ has already said that once they have the coupon issues sorted, they will extend the super suit sale. Hopefully that means other items on sale too, but no official word on that that I have seen.


As much as it sucks, your just going to have to wait along with everyone else in the same boat as you.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 02:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Skiriki thank you for your helpful - if long - post. It was insightful and allows a view on the coders and customer support point of view. I am wondering what your position is on those higher up - who ironically do not have to bear the brunt of negative energy. To what level does their decision to deploy a website with this level of “hiccups”, merit respectful but valid criticism? The coders and customer support are just attempting to carry out the impossible. Shouldn’t the decision-makers be ones to assume responsibility?


Also, I would like to try to achieve a certain level courtesy in my communications. Is it reasonable to request the same for the embattled customer service people ?

I think that people are getting emotional because they love DAZ. Is this a good thing or bad ?

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Posted: 07 June 2012 03:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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I’ve got nothing under My Subscriptions either, despite being an annual member with a year to run. I was going to submit a bug report until I read DAZ_bfurner’s post at the beginning of this thread, regarding us annual members: “Only if their accounts have had issues will they be given a free month of membership.”
A non-working store, no PC discounts, no monthly coupon, Daz breaking its contract with us over what the PC coupon will buy, a non-working forum where every other thread I subscribe to vanishes - you bet your @$$ my account has issues. And if I can’t spend my coupon on what I want to buy, the Platinum Club is pretty much worthless. I don’t want a free month’s membership to a worthless club.
So I decided not to submit a bug report. I submitted a request for a full refund instead. I’ve had enough.
Mods, you’ve been wonderful - thank you. I know you’ve doing everything you can to keep us in touch and informed. I’m sincere when I say that Daz does not deserve you. The willful lack of communication and woeful lack of professionalism on the part of Daz management has cost them my membership. And it’s going to cost them much more: without my PC discount in the future, I’ll be buying a lot less. No more impulse buys, no more “I’ll probably find a use for it sometime.”  Daz management, you should be ashamed of how you’ve treated your customers and hidden behind the mods. I’m disgusted with you.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 03:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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ParisGranville - 07 June 2012 02:57 AM

Skiriki thank you for your helpful - if long - post. It was insightful and allows a view on the coders and customer support point of view. I am wondering what your position is on those higher up - who ironically do not have to bear the brunt of negative energy.

*snortgiggle* Ahem. Sorry, I was just recalling one of the bosses in one of those small companies I mentioned. (She was very good at avoiding everything negative and refused to see it or accept consequences. Which is probably why that company is no more, and why I celebrate yearly by watching “Office Space” and listen to “Take This Job and Shove It” for a week prior to anniversary of my last day at work.)


Here’s the problem. I am not fully certain how intertwined the roles at DAZ are. Based on what I’ve gathered so far, they’re a reasonably small company, with many overlapping roles. So this is where it gets tough.


But, you are right—it is the management and upper echelons who should step forward and say “things are gonna suck for a while longer, we’re sorry and we’re going to revise our plans to find out how to make them suck less, announcement at eleven”.


Then there’s the case of Nokia, for example, where one of the problems is that the CEO does open his yapper (“Our product sucks and why does anyone use it, let me show the One True Way.” Watch the market shares plummet.).

To what level does their decision to deploy a website with this level of “hiccups”, merit respectful but valid criticism? The coders and customer support are just attempting to carry out the impossible. Shouldn’t the decision-makers be ones to assume responsibility?

Correct. Better communication, or temporarily getting someone who focuses on examining issues at hand and who relays news to public would be a right step and make things easier to everyone involved.

Also, I would like to try to achieve a certain level courtesy in my communications. Is it reasonable to request the same for the embattled customer service people ?

It is not a balanced situation. Here’s also something from tech support/customer service end:


There’s one of you (tech support/customer service), and a hundred (increase as needed) of customers, each with their own complaint and attitude. It is not helped by the fact that the Internet makes it so anonymous and faceless. (NSFW language deployed in this example.)


All that one customer sees is you; to a customer, this is from-one-person-to-another-person. The customer is unlikely to understand or see that s/he is a part of a big mob coming to get the techies/customer services. Because people do not contact those services unless there’s a problem.


And if seventy of hundred customers come in guns blazing, and pouring out abuse, it is a mob. One armed with pitchforks and torches too. Tech support/customer service are going to have hard time, because they cannot run away from the mob, but work on mollifying it and finding out what went wrong. Certainly, you could say that it is their job… but to be honest? Abusing people just because (general—not you-you) you can, because they cannot run away but must do their best to help you is a dickish thing to do.


It is like a boss fight in a video game, except there’s one of techie/custom service you, and a hundred boss-customers to fight. Or that Matrix scene with Agent Smiths pouring out of woodworks.


It does not need to be an antagonistic relationship. But getting heaps and heaps of excessive negativity from customer end is likely to turn tech support and customer service snippy. It does not excuse it, but it does explain it.

I think that people are getting emotional because they love DAZ. Is this a good thing or bad ?

It is both—good and bad. There’s a reason why “fan” is derived from “fanatic”. It is okay to desire to get things fixed because you like or love it. It is not okay to descend into screaming, yelly fits because you lurve something forever and it is ruined unless everything is going just as planned. Using a fictional example, Stephen King’s “Misery” is an example of a bad sort of fan: so utterly devoted and fixated to object of their love that they fail to see what they’re really doing and what kind of harm their love can inflict.


I like DAZ. The program is good, I just recently joined to Platinum Club on annual basis. I would like to think that my opinion is because I’m genuinely interested about the whole thing, rather than being captured by sunk costs. I cannot say for sure, but I do try to keep various psychological traps in mind whenever I discuss this stuff.


What I do know… when I try to fix something, something that broke, maybe because I did it or didn’t do it… I don’t like being yelled or cussed at. It will not motivate me to fix it, quite the opposite of it. I find genuinely positive attitudes encouraging when trying to fix a problem. I also come from a different place and culture, and often find some USA specific behaviors, attitudes and customs startling; I find them even more startling as they’ve spread to my corner of the world too. I think people should read more Not Always Right.


I guess that’s the best I can say?

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Posted: 07 June 2012 04:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Skiriki, I love your posts on this subject. They’re thoughtful, fair-minded and reflect a maturity that’s too rarely seen on these (or any other) forums. I would add a thought to what you wrote, though. A big part of the problem here is that Daz manangement are stoking the customer dissatisfaction by refusing to communicate adequately. A lot of the people who are getting angry didn’t start out that way: they started out asking perfectly reasonable questions about when they were going what they’d already paid for. Sadly, Daz management has consistently refused to engage with the customers so it’s no surprise that people are getting mad.
You’re absolutely right that customers abusing the staff makes things much worse. There would be a lot less of that if the people who employ the staff would honestly engage with their customers and remain engaged, instead of using over-worked volunteer mods as a blast-shield. Customers are angry because they’re being kept in the dark. Positive engagement from the Daz managers would result in a lot more positivity from the customers. Yet again, Daz managers have the perfect opportunity to help themselves and they’re failing.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 05:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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We have a fantastic team of adminstrators and moderators who are trying desperate;y to keep everything under control. Personally I think it is unfair to them for them to have been put in this situation. I know we are all grateful to them they are going above and beyond to keep us happy - but this should not be happening.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 05:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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maddaz111 - 07 June 2012 02:31 AM

I am really sorry to say this, but I have not in all my years as a daz member been so upset at how everything is working out.

I cannot order anything since it is always saying I am someone else, I do not appear to be a platinum club member, then I am, then I have 110 items in my wishlist, then 3 then one, then none, then 7 (including an Item that was in my wishlist)

I cannot order anything (paid for) it keeps rejecting my credit card details. I would like super suit with voucher at the agreed for discount price for the bundle but it keeps displaying wrong prices when I put it into the cart, and then says I am someone else!

Please can you fix so that I can buy the Supersuit pro bundle at around $60 with my voucher, can you renew my membership to annual membership as it had been unbroken for the last few years, and can I have some form of compensation for the feeling that the new system is not working and has caused me several hours of stress.

Thanks

You need to open a support ticket or bug report, as appropriate, for many of these issues - but if the wishlist numbers keep changing I suspect you are being semi-logged out, and therefore seeing the “Not ... ” page. If that happens the only fix I’ve found is to go to a page where you are actually logged in and log out, then log in again. This is extremely frustrating - it happens to me far too often when replying to a thread or going to the enxt page of a thread in Members Only - but it does seem fairly successful in the short term.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 06:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Skiriki—
Your recent posts are excellent—and provide sorely needed insight.


That being said, I’ll add a few thoughts.


In effect, this thread has been highjacked. What was started and intended as an “Update on Issues with Platinum Club Renewals” has evolved—devolved—into repetition of the same complaints, requests for free extensions of PC Membership, and opinions on DAZ’s alleged stupidity. If there would be useful information, how would a person find it or see it?


People have stated—rightly so—that there is a need for better communication from DAZ. However, in this (and other threads on the problems) we are giving them a disincentive for that communication. They have a full plate on their hands of problems to fix. They have a huge backlog of support tickets. Yet we expect them to take time out to wade through the sort of thing that appears in this (and other) threads. If we want communication, let’s not chase them away.


Over the years, DAZ has treated its customers fairly—frequently better than fairly. Sometimes it has taken a while, and there have been times when it required a few restarts of the effort. I am confident they will do so this time. However, it would make no sense to make plans (or announce them) until they have a store working. It would make no sense to release coupons which won’t work.


This situation is a nightmare for DAZ. It is sucking their personnel and resources into a black hole. They have no doubt lost considerable revenue. Let’s cut them a little slack and let them do what they need to do. Yes, they should keep us informed. Let’s not create a situation where doing so would only invite additional complaints and abuse.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 07:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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I agree with whaggett, but I’ll go one further, why not take the site down for a few day’s and try to see if you can work with out all this fuss. Sales most likely are suffering already so the losses would be inherent even if you did not close the site temporarily. It would also allow you guys (and Gals) to work on this without having to answer or put out fires here as people fume and vent their frustrations and work themselves into the complaint mode. It’s time to make a DRASTIC DECISION (unfortunately).

p.s. if you do decide to close for repairs I promise to support that decision and will be here when you come back on line if at all possible.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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lithomantis - 07 June 2012 04:06 AM

Skiriki, I love your posts on this subject. They’re thoughtful, fair-minded and reflect a maturity that’s too rarely seen on these (or any other) forums.

Aww, shucks. Now I blush.

I would add a thought to what you wrote, though. A big part of the problem here is that Daz manangement are stoking the customer dissatisfaction by refusing to communicate adequately. A lot of the people who are getting angry didn’t start out that way: they started out asking perfectly reasonable questions about when they were going what they’d already paid for. Sadly, Daz management has consistently refused to engage with the customers so it’s no surprise that people are getting mad.

Here’s something that makes me wonder: like I said, in lots of small companies duties often overlap. Is the person who does website coding + maintenance also someone who should be doing the communication? I do not know, honestly—old-timers to this site probably know better. This is why I’m rather cautious about saying something definite and judging; for all I know, they could be the same person, and I know that right now in order to maintain coder sanity and work efficiency the best thing for them is to put some filter between customers and themselves.


Of course, if that’s the case, they should assign someone to take care of communication: they don’t need to file full reports down to code nitty-gritty, but they could, once per day, send a mail which says “Fixed X, Y and Z. Starting to work on A, B, and C.” and person who is put to communicator role takes care of being a filter barrier and news-relayer (translates potential tech speak to common parlance).

You’re absolutely right that customers abusing the staff makes things much worse. There would be a lot less of that if the people who employ the staff would honestly engage with their customers and remain engaged, instead of using over-worked volunteer mods as a blast-shield. Customers are angry because they’re being kept in the dark. Positive engagement from the Daz managers would result in a lot more positivity from the customers. Yet again, Daz managers have the perfect opportunity to help themselves and they’re failing.

Yes, all you said is true, but at the same time I am not going to allow the customer base—or fan base, or heaven forbid, fanatic base—get off the hook this easily. Because all this started already before the store + forum were getting swapped. The attitude existed before actual change happened.


That said, right now the only thing that’s going to vent out steam is communicating with the customer base. DAZ needs to put a human face to current situation (because there’s no way to know if delays are caused by undocumented code difficulties, or people being AWOL because a freak accident involving them and their families and a dozen pink sheep, ice cream truck and Zuul happened yesterday) and improve telling what is going on.


What you probably don’t see reflected in my text is that I am fairly upset with things that have been going on. I am upset about a whole lot of little details, the biggest one that disturbs me is that persistent “Not Person X” problem, because that one is a genuine security problem in the sense that shops should not divulge names of their customers that way, even if I can’t see the rest of their information.


But… at the same time, I have to ask myself: If I unleash a barrage of bad language and negative attitude, will it help me to get this thing fixed faster?


The answer is obviously “no”. If it doesn’t motivate me to fix things, why the hell it should motivate anyone else? I do not need to be a jerkface in order to express my problems; I can use the tools provided to register them in a professional and supporting manner, without resorting to abusive language. “This is a problem. Please do something about it, so it isn’t happening anymore.”


So that’s why I force myself to examine my levels of upset versus what I say. Honestly, I am getting Tech Support Jitters something fierce in these threads, because dammit I want to help, and make the world full of sunshine again. I’m having horrible empathy gusts towards both customers and DAZ side and I just want to fix things. *sigh* I think I’ll just update my servers this weekend to get rid of the urge.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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whaggett - 07 June 2012 06:33 AM

Skiriki—
Your recent posts are excellent—and provide sorely needed insight.

Aw. *blushes more*

In effect, this thread has been highjacked. What was started and intended as an “Update on Issues with Platinum Club Renewals” has evolved—devolved—into repetition of the same complaints, requests for free extensions of PC Membership, and opinions on DAZ’s alleged stupidity. If there would be useful information, how would a person find it or see it?

This is a problem, yes. My own experience suggests “make an uber-sticky that is locked and where information is updated, and a separate thread where people can mull their problems and where they get told that the uber-sticky is updated, go look at it”.

People have stated—rightly so—that there is a need for better communication from DAZ. However, in this (and other threads on the problems) we are giving them a disincentive for that communication. They have a full plate on their hands of problems to fix. They have a huge backlog of support tickets. Yet we expect them to take time out to wade through the sort of thing that appears in this (and other) threads. If we want communication, let’s not chase them away.

Huge yes on this one. Lots of threads around here seem to suggest that heads will be demanded on platter, if the answer is less than satisfying to the mob. This makes me sad, because on tech divide side, they need the room to breathe and work on issues. On customer side, they hunger for information tech side can provide.

Over the years, DAZ has treated its customers fairly—frequently better than fairly. Sometimes it has taken a while, and there have been times when it required a few restarts of the effort. I am confident they will do so this time. However, it would make no sense to make plans (or announce them) until they have a store working. It would make no sense to release coupons which won’t work.

Again, yes. Coupons that don’t work properly are going to generate more bad blood, as evidenced by the test coupon thread. BOGO did not work, test coupon did after some fixes, but obviously not to full satisfaction because DAZ is not using it at the moment.

This situation is a nightmare for DAZ. It is sucking their personnel and resources into a black hole. They have no doubt lost considerable revenue. Let’s cut them a little slack and let them do what they need to do. Yes, they should keep us informed. Let’s not create a situation where doing so would only invite additional complaints and abuse.

It is, but closing the store for a single weekend might give that needed slack. Alternatively, getting more temporary workforce capable of handling Zendesk tickets might also help. But DAZ is the one with facts (such as budget etc), and we’re not, so it is at this point pure speculation on our part.

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