Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Evolution of Autodesk Support

At some point, Autodesk started using non-Autodesk employees to respond to customer support tickets. I personally never saw any formal announcement of this. As a customer, if you submit a ticket directly with Autodesk via manage.autodesk.com you will receive the following email:


I am not sure who Directly is exactly, but the links in the email go to their website. The contract...
language appears to be more applicable to the person providing the support than to the customer. For example, it sounds like I automatically agree to their terms and conditions if I view their reply to a support ticket. Or, does this just apply to the person providing the support?
"You accept this Agreement by creating, viewing or completing Requests, registering as a User, or by accessing and/or using the Platform."
My friend Dave Plumb, from BWBR Architects, raised a related question on RFO a while back; read that here. When I first head about this I was more interested in privacy-related issues, but Dave make a valid point too. On my point, here is another quote from the terms:
"you acknowledge and agree that each Request may contain private, proprietary or confidential information"
May contain? Everything we send to Autodesk should be considered confidential unless stated otherwise, and in writing. Firms have projects they are working on or chasing, as well as client relationships and such, I am wondering if they would rather not have someone who likely works for a competing firm, having access too.
"You will keep all Confidential Information in strictest confidence"
 So, if some content "may" not be confidential, they can share and use "some" stuff?
"Upon the termination, cancellation or expiration of your Directly Account for any reason, you will destroy all Confidential Information, together with any copies that may be authorized herein."
This implies they can keep material beyond the completed support ticket.

Opt Out

The two images below show what you see if you choose to opt out. But, if your re-seller submits a support ticket on your behalf, you do not get an Opt Out option,



Conclusion

Obviously everyone needs to make their own call on this... I am just sharing this post so you have a little more information in which to make it with.

One last comment; based on the list of things the third-party person has access too, I am unclear if they immediately have access to any files you have attached to the support ticket. Maybe someone can comment below. If they do not get direct access to files, that would certainly give customers more control over sharing outside of Autodesk.

Related links (from the email above):




2 comments:

  1. Last year, members of the Autodesk Expert Elite team were asked to participate in the pilot study, which eventually became a full-fledged program. All of the Autodesk Expert Elites are covered under an NDA as part of our participation in the program. The concept was to take users with advanced experiences, and have them reduce the wait time from they typical Autodesk support system.

    From both the forums and the Directly program, Autodesk Expert Elites already answer about 30% of all support issues through both of these forums, but if an item comes up that we can't solve, we can re-route it quickly to an Autodesk agent, where they will evaluate the case and determine how to respond. It does have its limits - like no direct emails, phone calls or web-support. When a case gets to a point where this is necessary to solve the issue, we re-route to the agents that can use those tools.

    Let us know what you think, and if the program has been helpful to you. I'm a part-timer on the site, but there are some users from around the world that participate, giving us closer to 24 coverage than ever before.

    Thanks - David B.

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  2. This is quite concerning - particularly as it has happened by stealth. What also concerns me is who is being paid (or not) for handling these support calls? I don't think that the Expert Elites are paid for this task - they just do it for the glory and love of Revit? Basically it doesn't seem much different that using open forums, except that you have the option to decline any more help from an Elite Expert and forward the request to an Autodesk employee. My only experience of the new system was just like being on a forum: the 'Expert' treated me like I was an inexperienced newbie, when all I was trying to do was report a cast-iron bug. I doubt if I'll ever bother to report one again, as its now so hard to get through to an Autodesk employee.

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