Quality and The Epsilon-Kra-Oz Constant

It is always fun to blame support organizations and use amusing quotes to make them look stupid. Sometimes I’m standing on the other side of the fence , so I try to avoid it. But when I get idiotic answers from fortune 500 companies It really makes me mad.

Here are a few answers I got recently , from very large and respectable, best of breed companies.

We admit this is a serious bug, we can’t tell you when it will be fixed,because our accountants prohibit us from  disclosing  the information to our clients.

Weird Accountant

Really, I swear to god that’s what they said. The damn accountants cannot stop Meryl Lynch and Enron from stealing  billions of dollars.So ,in their spare time, they refuse to let the customers know when their broken product is going to be fixed.

Now I’m really happy that I have an MBA. I can explain the bizarre logic. If they inform the customer of the fix, the customer future orders can not be recognized in the books because maybe the damn developers will miss the schedule. The result – it is better to hide the information from the customer.

I’m soft closing the tickets ,as the customer has not responded for three weeks.

Really? We just did a one hour webex and reproduced all the bugs for you so even Britney Spears in one of her bad days could understand them. Maybe your defunct support system lost our emails again ? How is this soft ?

SDK ? George, I never heard about something called SDK. Is this related to UNIX ?

We opened a ticket to a large vendor whose SDK has an overflow and returns long int instead of short int, or something similar. not only their support didn’t know they had an SDK ,they didn’t know what SDK stands for.

Please reproduce the server crash in your production environment so we can have better logs.

Enough said.

We don’t know how to sign our Java Applet. We are checking with R&D.

For a Java applet whose security certificate is not valid for more than a year.

Please open an RFE (Request For Enhancement ) so we will support multiple tabs in Internet Explorer 7.

One and half years after IE7 was released and few months before IE8 is about to hit the market.

In many of the cases the problem is not within support, but it actually comes from the CEO. It seems that the market leaders are willing to invest in quality just EKO ( Epsilon-Kra-Oz ) dollars above the level required to keep customers from changing the supplier. Since they are the market leaders and change is extremely hard for Enterprise Software the value of EKO is pretty small. It is about the same as Paul Young’s latest record.

In many cases I wondered “Is This It? Is this the best ,Three Letter Acronym Goes here, product in the market “? “It is so slow, and awkward and has so many bugs”.

The answer lies in the EKO Constant and that’s why a new start-up has a shot. At least until it hires top tier accountants  🙂

SDK, What SDK ?

SDK, What SDK ?


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