What the heck is going on?!

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by transco, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. transco

    transco

    Messages:
    27
    You took my money:

    The publisher of "Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac Upgrade" has been notified
    and is responsible for delivering this product. Parallels Software
    International, Inc. will provide the service by e-mail within 48 hours.

    I downloaded the update build 3212, installed it, when I tried to enter my new activation key it says it is not valid for this version of the product. I went to the Email support section, entered my Email and password and it says that's invalid. I requested you send my password, and it says my Email address isn't valid (even though I've received dozens of Emails from Parallel to that address!). I decided to register again, I filled out the form (6 times) and each time I hit enter the form went blank. Finally I tried calling your general questions phone line on my dime, and got nothing but an ad pushing V3.0. I even tried pushing '0' to bypass that and the #@!* ad started again. Now what the heck am I supposed to do? :confused:
     
  2. dkp

    dkp

    Messages:
    1,367
    The Update link in Parallels is just that - and update for your current version, not a link to the next version. To get the newest 3.0 version use the download link at the top of this page. Both version 2.5 and 3.0 are being maintained concurrently and it seems this has created some confusion. Give the download link a try - it should provide the newest build of version 3.0.
     
  3. John the Geek

    John the Geek

    Messages:
    74
    1. calm down, be rational, and have some cake.

    2. Build 3212 tells me that you downloaded version 2.5.x, your new 3.0 key will not work with 2.5.x. They are different.

    3. Go download 3.0 and try your 3.0 key.

    4. Your registered email address may be through the company you bought the software from, it does not automatically create an account on anyone else's server. Even Parallels. Your purchanse confirmation email will tell you which eComerce company sold you the software.
     
  4. Rachel Faith

    Rachel Faith

    Messages:
    234
    The advice given to you from dkp should explain it. You downloaded the older version. The other subject matter, the lack of telephone support or clear posted downloading instructions, is a systemic problem. Parallels frankly does not offer any real customer support and outside of a few users who for their own altruistic purposes offer to help... you are on your own... if you run into any other problems during the install.

    Good luck.
     
  5. dkp

    dkp

    Messages:
    1,367
    Actually, many people have good luck using the official support method: support@parallels.com. This forum is for technical discussions on the topic of Parallels Desktop for Mac. That's why there's all that stuff at the top of each page of these forms. They let you know what forum you are in and what the theme is for the particular forum you have entered.

    Sometimes this forum is attended by Parallels staff, and more recently by the forum moderator, and they offer public advice and solutions. That does not mean this is the primary method to request support. A couple months ago the management stated there would be a larger presence of Parallels staff in these forums and that has happened.

    That said - it is a matter of record that a goodly sized body of humanity has not gotten satisfactory results from the support staff using that email address. Not to make excuses, but they were, recently at least, a very small group of people, less than 100, that were doing all the coding, debugging, sales, shipping, help desk, etc.

    My guess is they are overwhelmed by the demand. That has a couple of meanings - they are literally overwhelmed - too much work, not enough hours in the day. And more importantly it appears their processes and management are overwhelmed as well - they are repeating mistakes and they are slow to reorganize and respond, or to at least appear to be in control. This is a train on it's way to a wreck and the problems are popping up faster than they are being knocked down.

    I think they're going to beat the problem but they're going to have to greatly improve the image not of the product but of the product support. There's only one way to do that and smoke and mirrors don't work. They have to improve the metrics by throwing more people at the problem, publicly.

    I know a little bit about Help Desk procedures. If they're using a trouble ticket tool then there are ticket closure notes. These are solutions. They should be reviewing them and they should gather the most common solutions and publish them on the web as a searchable Knowledge Base. This kind of tool puts the most power into the most hands of any method out there, and empowers the end users to participate in their solutions.

    This process should begin immediately before the problem grows beyond Parallels.com and into the blogosphere.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2007
  6. Rachel Faith

    Rachel Faith

    Messages:
    234
    They do not answer emails or PMs any more than they do posts. The effect is the same without regards to the medium utilized in the attempt to make contact. Parallels would be very wise to heed your advice before this IS the news of the day on Digg or other places. And if they ban me, I will spend days on the blogs making sure it comes to said fruition. One simple reply ends it all. I only want their sincere attention.
     
  7. dkp

    dkp

    Messages:
    1,367
    It is not possible for you to know this so we're left with supposition, rumor, and conjecture. I'd rather work with hard data if you please. Overruled! (judicial humor :) ) And while I have nothing to gain personally, I do try to help out here. Hysteria is counter-productive to the success of the product and acting on supposition comes pretty darn close to hysteria, would you not agree, Madam Barrister?
     
  8. Rachel Faith

    Rachel Faith

    Messages:
    234
    I stand corrected Sir. And I submit that it is my experience that they have not answered any of MY PMs or emails, and that there exists significant commentary of witnesses who testify to the same regard of their own experience. Further, that we can agree that at least in the retail world, perception is reality and they would be far better served in dealing with this perception than avoiding it.

    Lastly, in the other thread, as the Admin has asked I did PM him directly. We shall indeed see if there is a substantive reply or if it is yet another in a long string of avoidances.

    PAX
     
  9. transco

    transco

    Messages:
    27
    Somehow I think I must be stuck in an alternate reality. I have tried support@parallels.com many times. Good luck?! Here is what I get for my effort:

    Thank you for contacting Parallels Support!
    Unfortunately we provide email support for the issues submitted to us through the request form on our website only.


    If there is some magic to this I which someone would please explain it to me! As said earlier, I can't request support through the web site since it says I'm not registered. Every attempt to (re)register has failed. :confused:
     
  10. parallels support

    parallels support

    Messages:
    50
    Good news! We have been fleshing out a searchable Knowledge Base have just recently posted it to the Parallels web site. You can access it at http://kb.parallels.com/

    As version 3.0 gains maturity and problems/questions/concerns are collected, new topics from basic functionality to known problems and bug fixes will be posted there.

    Again, many thanks to our community forum members for supplying valuable and useful information to help us expand this Knowledge Base!
     
  11. dkp

    dkp

    Messages:
    1,367
    Redmond? KB? Who is this really? :) I'm in Bellevue - you guys are getting closer. Anyway, this is excellent news. I'll have a look.
     
  12. wingdo

    wingdo Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    314
    I will disagree with this. My e-mail to support was answered (with a correct answer no less) in about 48 hours, and all my PMs have been answered. One of the devs has been working with me to resolve several issues that many are facing on the boards. Many things have been tried and logs have been sent.
     
  13. Sagaces

    Sagaces

    Messages:
    15
    Activation key for Parallels 3 does not work.

    I purchased an upgrade to version 3 around the 1st of June. Around the 7th of June I downloaded a trial of version 3 and applied for a temporary activation key.

    Unfortunately the key I was given wouldn't work even when copied from the email I received.

    I emailed Parallels and was told that I should copy and paste the activation key. That also didn't work.

    Since then my emails to Parallels have seemingly been ignored.

    This, to me, is totally unacceptable and irresponsible product support and leaves me in a "not thinking well of Parallels" attitude.
     
  14. wingdo

    wingdo Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    314
    Sorry no one got back to you ever. Somewhere buried in this forum was a post by either Andrew or Tim that there were issues with the keys generated during the early part of June. I'd apply for a new trial key (not sure if you will have to supply a different e-mail address). When they updated the builds to 3.0, they forgot to update the key generator so it was still generating keys for 2.5. It's quite fixed.
     
  15. bkingbking

    bkingbking

    Messages:
    14
    Here's some hard data

    I have sent two emails to support@parallels.com, both last year. I've still heard nothing back (issues were resolved from trial and error, Google and these boards). Separately, I did get a call from a Parallels sales rep asking if I wanted to buy more licenses, so obviously they have the bandwidth, but have chosen to treat their customers like cr*p through non-support and poor management & processes.
     
  16. dkp

    dkp

    Messages:
    1,367
    The good news is this does not happen 100% of the time to everyone. The bad news is it happens 100% of the time to some people and you're one of them. And that is certainly not acceptable.

    My analytical view of it is they are not fully up and running, or at least were not fully up and running with a proper ticketing system complete with nag screens to reprioritize open tickets that remain open beyond a reasonable threshold period. This is a 30,000 foot view, of course, but those are the symptoms.

    There is also a common problem that software engineers (including me) do not like responding to ticketing systems because it is an out-of-sequence activity for them and their already busy schedules. This results in dangling tickets and poor ticket handling. This is remedied by having a qualified first tier response team handling tickets through the life cycle and keeping the customer in the information loop when a problem turns out to require a new release before a fix is available. Tickets that have procedural solutions should be open no more than a few days assuming the communications channels remain open. Vacation schedules and traveling users are examples of such interruptions.

    Another issue I see that is a PR problem is that some users consider this forum to be a concurrent support function, or an extension of the Help Desk process, and it is certainly not. The users may or may not open a case at support@parallels.com, or worse, they open a case there but continue the discussion here, and there's not any way to track work progress "officially" here. And issues raised here but closed in the ticketing system appear here to remain unsolved when in fact they have been solved and closed with a happy customer. This is a bit more of a sticky problem to solve as these forums have quite a bit of momentum for venting and ranting users who, legitimately or not, have given up on the official support channel.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  17. Rachel Faith

    Rachel Faith

    Messages:
    234
    While your analysis is pretty much spot on for a good guess... nevertheless, any forum on any company that is either ignoring or just so backlogged as to make it seem like they are ignoring customers, is going to get the spillover by default. What we are seeing here, is just a fraction of the scope of the real problem. This forum and it's co-option as a support forum, is symptomatic of the greater failure... nothing more. If the greater failure had not occurred or if it was handled better, the events would never have spilled over to the forum to the degree in which they have. This forum is, then, the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
     
  18. dkp

    dkp

    Messages:
    1,367
    Those are derivative conclusions of my exposition. We're back to "res ipsa loquitur" :) I hope Parallels also sees it that way.
     
  19. wingdo

    wingdo Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    314
    Great observation dkp. These are user forums (notice the forums are not listed under the "support" tab on their homepage) and as such are not a direct form of official support. I think Parallels is lucky that there are a few determined users who do try to help out by offering suggestions as best they can. You are also correct that some people have much better luck than others in regards to the support e-mail address. I've been lucky that I have had decent support from this address, the down side is I have had to duplicate my primary VM so that I can run different tests / configurations / ideas that are asked of me by different developers.
     
  20. Pat_Murr

    Pat_Murr

    Messages:
    6
    Let me start off by saying Parallels as a program is a great product. Parallels as a company is about as bad as I've come across.

    Here's my story:

    I purchased Parallels on June 1 from the Apple Store (first mistake, paid too much, oh well). I tried to load it and got a message that my activation key "seemed" to be invalid. I sent an email to support@paralles.com and got a very prompt return email that asked me for a screen shot of how I typed in my activation key and the error message. In the mean time I downloaded a temp key to help me get up and running. It took me a day or so to figure out how to get to the activation page again but I did and sent the screenshot.

    The install did not go well and it kept freezing at a certain point. So, I purchased the $29.99 one time phone service to try to get the insallation issue resolved. When I called I got a message that said they were experiencing trouble with their phone system and I might be on hold for a long time, please be patient. After about ten minutes a recording came on that said nobody was available to take my call and then I was disconnected. I tried the phone service for the next three days several times a day and got the same result. I then found this forum and thanks to some helpful threads got the software installed and runing smoothly.

    I then tried to call the main number to cancel my phone support and ask for a refund of my $29.99 and see what was up with my activation key. After navigating through a bunch of menus I finally got to customer service. It went straight to voicemail. After the recording said "please leave a message" and the beeb sounded I got a recording that said "you may not leave a message.

    I started getting messages at start up of Parallels that my key would expire in 5 days "please purchase a permanent key". So I emailed my screen shot again explaining that temp key was about to expire. At 3 days to go with my temp key I emailed them again.

    Yesterday my temp key ran out. I sent another email with my screen shot and followed Diana's advice at the top of this forum to PM her with key trouble. Granted it's "only" been a day, but no response. I also sent an email to info@parallels.com explaining my situation and asking for a refund of my phone support.

    Now I have a worthless piece of software on my computer. I have files that I need that I can't access. I take responsibility for working with a temp key, but who would have thought that they couldn't get me a key that works within the 15 days that the temp key worked.

    Now I get an eamil that says I'm eligable for a free upgrade to 3.0. A lot of good that'll do me without a key that works. As I understand it you have to put in your key along with the upgrade key.

    I'm not being hysterical not really even venting (my wife got the brunt of that). I'm just stating the facts as they pertain to me. Somebody please advise me what to do as I'm out of ideas.

    Love the program. Don't much care for the customer service.
     

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