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I should have learned by now not to check the Lab’s latest notices while drinking my first cup of coffee. There’s a statistically significant risk of spraying it everywhere.

Today, we’re told, “Concierge support hours are now available at our high-traffic hours which are 8am – Midnight (PST), M-F, and 8am to 8pm (PST) on Saturday and Sunday.”

I was taken aback by the… audacity. That’s spun ‘round so hard that it surely crosses the line into misrepresentation. It’s on the order of Sweeney Todd’s, “I guarantee to give you, without a penny’s charge, the closest shave you will ever know.”

Previously, of course, Concierge and livechat support hours were 24×7. If you don’t actually subscribe to the blogs, the notice is placed off in the “don’t look here” sections, where you are least likely to actually see the post. Even so, the notification itself seems a little delayed.

You see, I contacted the Lab about this over a month ago. At the time, there were also reports of support operators who did not have access to current user information.

Yes, livechat support hours have recently changed, based on the volume of incoming support requests received. Livechat support is now available (Monday-Friday, 8am-12am PST and Sat-Sun, 8am-8pm PST).

As part of implementing some recent changes to the support system (Rountree Linden blogged about here), we changed the backend system, and user information was migrated to a new database. User information was not lost, but was transitioned over in segments, so if a support case was created during that transition, it’s possible that only some of the user information would have been available at that instant. However, the transition was completed over the course of a couple days.

I immediately latched onto the phrase “based on the volume of incoming support requests received” because of its ambiguity.

It could mean that the volume of requests outside of the nominated hours had fallen, or it could mean that the Lab was cutting back on hours and leaving only the busiest hours covered.

Which was it?

The overall volume of incoming support requests has not significantly declined, but livechat support availability was changed in alignment with the times that see the highest volume of those requests.

Okay, so not primarily about improved service, then. Obviously a cost-cutting measure, and probably also directly related to trimming support assets on the other side of the world. The notice also fails to mention that wait times for Concierge livechat appear to have increased.

So, it presently seems to be a degraded service over fewer hours. Has anyone had improved experiences with it?

It’s hard to say when Concierge livechat service got cut back exactly (as opposed to regular livechat service). It certainly pre-dates this notice, and I’ve been told that it has been running on reduced hours for some time already.



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