I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I have also learned that being an independent advisor can sometimes be as challenging as it is fulfilling. This week I had an experience which I call “the week from techell” (tech-hell). This happened after a CMS upgrade.

Two weeks ago I discussed how I had acquired an additional user license with ACT, my contact management software. During installation we had to get a tech on the phone as we encountered issues which exceeded our knowledge (contrary to popular gender norms, I like to ask for directions). After an hour the tech had us up and running. That was the end of the day before the Thanksgiving break. When we returned to work and opened ACT, it ran about as slow as the old dial-up Internet on Valium. Click here, go get a cup of coffee, and maybe it will be ready when you return. All the “efficiency” we had hoped to obtain was gone. Efficiency down = frustration up! Surely there must be something we could do.

I called ACT tech support. I waited on hold for over an hour before reaching a person. I was on the phone with him for another 2.5 hours and he was unable to resolve the situation. He said it seemed the problem was with my particular database and recommended that I speak with their database maintenance group. He e-mailed my database to them and asked me to fill out their online form. What he failed to tell me was that they charge for this service. Since this problem manifested when I upgraded to their new version and added an additional license, I took issue with that. So after wasting over four hours on the phone, I wasn’t any closer to resolving the issue. Moreover, the tech changed many settings on my computer to try and improve its processing efficiency even though the problem wasn’t with my computer, it was with the program.

Twice during the call I suggested getting another tech on the phone that may be more familiar with this issue.

The next day, I was seeking one of two outcomes, fix the problem or give me a refund. I called sales reasoning that I could get to a manager quicker through the sales department than through service. When they answered, I immediately asked for a manager and told them I had already spent way too much time trying to debug the program and was not about to spend any more time with a lower level tech. I asked for their highest level tech and they granted my request. Twenty minutes later my problem was fixed and now ACT runs faster than ever! I suggested they train their level I techs on this issue to minimize situations like this.

A few days later my assistant could not open her Microsoft Outlook (#&%#^#!*%)! We eventually fixed it, but she lost a lot of her personal data! Fortunately, our business data was preserved. Oh, I also had an issue with Excel which reformatted a lot of cells (which were not dates) to the “date” format.

Like I said, it was “the week from techell.”

Hope this week is better for me, and you . . .