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Mike Patton, Help Desk Guy

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Things are progressing well. Revenue has increased and I’m now ready to purchase or subscribe to a performance reporting tool. I’m currently looking at Morningstar Advisor Workstation Office Edition. This tool requires a 12-month subscription but before committing, I’m taking advantage of their 14-day free trial offer. I need to make absolutely sure it will meet my needs. I’ve had this in mind for some time but until now the cost has been a roadblock. Not that it is overpriced, more that my revenue wasn’t adequate to justify the move. Now I am ready.

I had a bit of difficulty at first. Let me explain.

Again, I’m in the 14 day free-trial period, but had a technical issue where I was unable to view some of their training videos included in the program. The salesperson was trying to help me but it was really more of a tech support issue. The problem, it seems, is that tech support is only available for subscribers and not for those in the free-trial period. I became frustrated and was ready to walk away from the whole thing.

I am very interested, but prior to committing, I needed to watch the training videos. I tried to do an end around by calling their tech support number for Advisor Workstation Enterprise Edition (my current tool) but I ended up right back where I started, with the salesperson. It seems the salespeople are instructed not to allow any trial period users access to tech support.

I have been using Morningstar products for over 15 years and their service has always been exemplary. They have always solved my technical issues in the past. Now, though, I am faced with a first, a policy put in place to maximize service to paying subscribers was about to cause them to lose a new subscriber. Like Paul Harvey would say, “Now for the rest of the story.”

After reaching a moderate to high level of frustration, they finally got tech support on the phone. Problem solved, right? Wrong. It seems they have never seen this problem before and they didn’t have an answer in their book. This went on for a day and a half until I made a suggestion, quite out of the blue. The tech person didn’t think it would have caused the problem but we tried it anyway. Guess what? It solved the problem. It was such a simple fix and frankly I just got lucky. I then asked, “Maybe I should come to work for you.” We both laughed and that’s the rest of the story.


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