As you know I work for a TV station, and TV in this modern age has captions, and that’s handled by software so you might correctly deduce that this sort of thing might be my problem.

I just had the most astonishing thing happen.

I just set up a machine with Computer Prompting And Captioning’s software, that does this captioning thing. Problem: it won’t open the caption files that we have, and since that’s sort of the whole point, well, I don’t know how to proceed. Could it be a licensing problem? I try this “upgrade my license” thing, follow their instructions and send it to their provided email address.

I get a reply back a few minutes later, saying “Sorry, I don’t understand this; could you explain what you’re looking for?”

Now, I thought that was a little ominous – I followed the instructions, what do you want? So, I sent him back a note saying, this is what we’re doing, this is why we’re doing it, and this is what isn’t working. How do I fix this, how do we proceed from here?

I clicked send, thinking about how long it’s going to take to sort this out.

The astonishing thing: two minutes later, I get a phone call. From a guy at the company! I told him what the problem was, we walked through the solution together, and that was it. Done.

I was not aware that this sort of thing ever happened. Customer service like that is a myth, a fairy tale. Something that ISVs tell their children about at night before they tuck them in; “In that magical kingdom, people’s problems get solved by courteous professionals in minutes! Also, it rains chocolate milk!”

Anyway, I was so surprised by this that I thought I should remark on it. You rock, CPC.


  1. me
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    And it’s good that you praise them in public. We excoriate the awful but sometimes we forget the praise.

  2. Mike Hoye
    Posted February 8, 2007 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I seriously didn’t know how to react to that phone call at first. It was like the Corporate IT Edition of “Letters To Penthouse”; “I wouldn’t have believed this if it hadn’t happened to me, but I got a prompt, effective callback from a genuinely concerned company representative today!”

  3. Posted February 9, 2007 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Aside from it being a relatively small customer base, I’m guessing there are a decently large number of zeros on the support contract. (This has been my experience with specialized computer software, also – if there aren’t many users to support, or the support contract ranges into the thousands per year, service is prompt, and surprisingly helpful. It seems to take a mass-marketing mentality to really screw up tech support.)

  4. mhoye
    Posted February 9, 2007 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    It’s a niche market, sure, but we don’t have a support contract with them. Dude just phone me, just ’cause.

    I don’t in the fullness of my life expect to have much call for their services, but if I ever do I’m definitely calling them first.

  5. Posted February 9, 2007 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    They were probably just happy to hear someone was actually using their software.