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#264069 - 13/08/2004 18:08 What's the best way to report Weatherzone problems?
Laurier Williams Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 01/02/2001
Posts: 2192
Loc: Millthorpe, 970m, Central W NS...
I'm asking this question because I've noticed that over the past few weeks there have been quite a few problems reported (from typos to incorrect forecast charts) that haven't been answered and may have been overlooked by the enthusiastic but busy WZ staff. They have popped up in the New Features sticky thread as well as in other threads.

WZ people have been fantastic in responding to problem reports, requests and wishlists, but they have realtime services to run and can't be expected to monitor every post.

Would it make sense to have a second sticky labelled something like "Site problems and fixes", or alternatively make the New Features and General Notices a two-way street by incorporating the problem-reporting function in its title? Either way, there would be one place to go to report problems and just one place for WZ staff to check from time to time.
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Caution: Any items linked to in this post may change and become irrelevant or expire over time. Use good meteorological practice and ALWAYS check date and time on charts before using them.

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#264070 - 13/08/2004 18:19 Re: What's the best way to report Weatherzone problems?
Mark Hardy Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/01/2001
Posts: 2881
Loc: North Sydney, NSW
The best way to report Weatherzone problems is through the "feedback" email form. This is because the form sends the issue to the right group of people depending on what selections are made in the form drop down. The forum is an OK way to report issues but feedback form is much better as it's more direct.

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#264071 - 14/08/2004 04:37 Re: What's the best way to report Weatherzone problems?
ThD Ht Offline
Weatherzone ratbag

Registered: 02/03/2002
Posts: 4001
Loc: Reynella, S.A.
thats a good point mark but.......
a forum would let other people who have the same or similar problem to post in or may have a potential solution at hand, the feedback is basically a private street where the forun is one in all in trailer park trash. i think the two would compliment each other.
there's nothing fron stopping someone cranking up a thread and it's amount of usefulness would determine if it remained sticky or not.
put up a poll, who wants a sticky 'WZ problems' therad. laugh

TH
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#264072 - 14/08/2004 12:00 Re: What's the best way to report Weatherzone problems?
Laurier Williams Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 01/02/2001
Posts: 2192
Loc: Millthorpe, 970m, Central W NS...
Doh! Thanks Mark -- I don't think the feedback link registered in my consciousness as a means of reporting problems, but it obviously is.

I kind of agree with Thunda Hunta, though, that it doesn't offer the rich communication channel that a permanent thread would. It's one-to-one between the person experiencing the problem and the fixer. But past problem fixes have often seen a collaboration of the techhead users (with which the forum is well populated!) and the fixer, because many web problems need a diversity of internet connections, browsers, operating systems, etc., to diagnose. The other advantage of a public thread vs private email is that problem-reporters can see if the item they are about to report already has a history, thus avoiding repetition, confusion and frustration.

Based on obtaining the best available communication mode, I'd plug for a sticky.
_________________________
Caution: Any items linked to in this post may change and become irrelevant or expire over time. Use good meteorological practice and ALWAYS check date and time on charts before using them.

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#264073 - 14/08/2004 13:51 Re: What's the best way to report Weatherzone problems?
Tez Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 24/02/2004
Posts: 804
Loc: West Kempsey
One of the best groups for feedback is Chris with his Skymap program. He has a group through Yahoo groups. People that have problems can receive an answer direct from Chris or many times off other users. Some rare problems crop up that no one (even Chris) had thought of but another user might have a fix for. If it is a major problem Chris can bring a fix out in a short time span and put on his web site for download. He also has a "What would you like to see in the next version" so all users have a genuine input into the next major version upgrade which he is working on at the moment.

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#264074 - 14/08/2004 13:57 Re: What's the best way to report Weatherzone problems?
Mark Hardy Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/01/2001
Posts: 2881
Loc: North Sydney, NSW
There are several reasons why the email form is the best option from a support point of view.

Probably the most compelling is that the forum is only used by 1% to 2% of people who come to the site. The 98% of Weatherzone users who don't use the forums rely on the email forms for support. A single line of support is essential for effective tracking of issues.

In addition to the features I described in my 1st post above, the email form also places diagnostic information concerning the member's account, OS and PC, into the email. Obtaining this information at the time the support is requested greatly reduces the back and forth diagnostic process when troubleshooting issues. What this means is that when we receive a support email from the feedback form, we already know all the background information we need to know to start looking at the problem. We can't do this with forum posts.

Some of our support staff rarely look at the forum but they do receive and read emails. So the email form has a better chance of reaching somebody who can do something about the issue.

Yes, the email form does initiate a one on one line of communication. But most support issues are personal in nature. Most commonly the issue concerns the user's browser, OS, WZ access level, payment problems, cookies, the JAVA plug in and so on. Most problems need to be solved one on one.

The forum does provide a useful and rich form of interaction with WZ users. But it's such a tiny proportion of the total WZ audience that we have to provide an efficient system of support that is equally accessible to all WZ users.

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#264075 - 14/08/2004 16:53 Re: What's the best way to report Weatherzone problems?
Laurier Williams Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 01/02/2001
Posts: 2192
Loc: Millthorpe, 970m, Central W NS...
That sounds reasonable, Mark. Thanks for the detailed reply.
_________________________
Caution: Any items linked to in this post may change and become irrelevant or expire over time. Use good meteorological practice and ALWAYS check date and time on charts before using them.

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