Part 1 of my support story – http://www.happymillfam.com/kindle-fire-support-part-1-device-logs/
TLDR – Audible made me sad face then happy face. They have Tier 1, 2 and 3 support. The is smarter / more helpful as you move up. A bad Auto download cache on their servers was my root cause. Lessons learned at the bottom has the most relevant words for anyone else needing audible support.
Support story update
I first started my Audible on Kindle Fire support case with amazon support, and they were 90% useless. I opened my case with them directly from fire tablet and they worked with me without any question. After their replies from template bot were not able to help me they passed me off to audible support. Audbile’s first response was we cannot talk to you because you are not emailing from your login email address. Who cares that this case came from my device, and was forwarded from amazon, and that amazon was already talking to me.
Back in November of last year I changed my primary SMTP address. I left my login address for everything as the old address to split them up; it sounded like a fun security thing. Plus I’m lazy. I unlocked / made not private the whois records for both of my domains, screenshot my email address in office 365, and linked to the blog post about my email address change and replied to audible with that – there response was sorry we won’t be able to help you. I then changed my email login and tried again, they still told me nope not going to help you, so I called in for support.
Spent 30 minutes on the phone with Anya explaining my issues and making sure my account has notes allowing audible to talk to me on the email address I use. Anya responded to me about 2 hours after our call with a templated response that had nothing at all to do with the three issues I described to her. It’s like she gave up and said fuck it, he said the word download and cloud so I’ll send him the directions to download books. Then I get my cookie for the day, Anya was covered, and next time the issue “me” comes back it will someone else who has to deal with this Kevin asshole.
My latest response has a screen shot of a search in mint for audible showing – 1,301.76$ spent on audible books over the last 6 months. I might not have a car payment, but I have a commute payment it would seem. I asked if spending a few hundred dollars a month on books rated me able to elevate to maybe tier 2 or 3 support, or maybe even my own tam. I also reached out on Facebook directly – and they seem to have actually read my words and are asking relevant questions demonstrating they are human and not a bot designed to reply based on key words.
When I talk about one of the best parts of my job in my Customer service is the new marketing post – I mention being able to feel the customer relax and calm down on the other side of the phone when I make smart words. The Facebook messenger people just made me feel that feeling as a customer, and I can say, it’s gosh darn bitching. Now let’s see if they help me.
Next day more things happened. Finally, good things
I’ve been moved to Tier 2 with email support and Cleo has restored my confidence in audible / amazon support. She actually read things and responded directly to my issue. <movie quote>she gets me, she really gets me</movie quote> I took the shot gun approach yesterday and pinged Facebook as well. Both Facebook support who gets me and Cleo Tier 2 support who gets mehad the same advice for me. I followed it and am now testing.
They had me kill the audible service (Force stop), clear the data, deregister my device then register it again. After that I have downloaded a few books, played one then unplugged my headset and let the device turn off. In an hour or so I shall try some more. Facebook support further suggested that I let them know when this is done and they will disable automatic downloads on the end. – Sad face did not help.
Thinking from audible is the auto download feature, where you tell audible on the web to download to the device, might be redownloading the books I delete when I am away. I had not thought of this before. If my work machine would stop blue screening I’d log into home and look at the bandwidth utilization of my kindle fire over the last month, which should answer this question right off. Thanks Obama for bad builds, and busy day at work. Checking with ubiquiti the next morning sure enough my device is downloading while I’m sleeping. 1.7 GB worth over night and all of my books are back.
Few days later – A ticket number
A few days later The Tier 2 support person gave me an official ticket number and escalated me to Tier 3. It does not look like you have an official ticket until you’ve made it Tier 3 support. Carlos contacted me with more intelligent words and questions, and he let me know he fixed one of my issues. He deleted the Queue on the server that keeps trying to tell my device to download the books I delete. He also indicated there should be a software update shortly to address this issue – SCORE one problem solved and bug fix in the near future.
I’m much less annoyed and moving to being a happier customer after finally making it to a support tier who can talk smart talk to me and fix my problems.
Sometime later after A baby was born
We had a baby this week, I took a week off of work for the baby, and my books have not been top priority. After removing my cloud download queue the crashes on boot have stopped and my books coming back have stopped. My speed has reset a few times since the error went away, but it is not every time. I have a feeling that once the next software update drops I should be totally fixed. I’ve moved from thinking audible is Comcast to being happy with them again. My one wish for others out of my experience is that Audible learn to recognize people like me sooner and elevate us to a tier capable of helping with the issue.
Going to send an email audible now and let them archive my case.
Things I’ve learned
Things I now understand about Audible customer support after dealing with them for a week and getting nowhere, then being elevated to a better Tier and making it to resolution.
- See issue, do one thing, then next | Audible front line support agents work the next ticket in the queue for a single step, and will most likely never see the ticket again. They are not able to actively attempt to go back to a ticket and work it later.
- No one OWNS issues | Audible support engineers do not work a single issue until it is fixed, they only get to a see the cases while they have it in their queue until they do something with it and pass it off. Given the nature of most of their fixes and questions this seems like an effective way to manage the queue. I cannot blame them for being an arrogant special snow flake with unique issues.
- Call you for all things | Audible is not into email support because of the first two bullets. They want to keep you on the phone so the engineer can dedicate their time and your time to dealing with the issue. Which is not a horrible idea, but I consider it disrespectful of my time to attempt to force me to engage on the phone while I am waiting for the engineer to research my issue when I’ve supplied them with verbose error logs, screen shots, and a detailed problem statement. It’s a persona time management thing for me. I prefer email to phone for almost all support.
- Templates are only replies| The default goal for replies from audible front line email support appears to be templates. If they cannot reply with a template it appears to be difficult for them to assist at all over emails. Most of my replies for issues have looked like bot replies “find key word” – reply with template based on keyword. – Again I bet this hits an 80% solve rate so not horrible from a metrics / management view.
Email address format | When you contact audible support you’ll send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will reply to you from that address as the display name with a reply to address that has the support number in it for tracking – customersupport+A8WCMTWZO1FM3@audible.com – the unique identifier appears to change with every correspondence. Their Tier 2 and Tier 3 help desks have slightly different address formats:
- Tier 2 -Techtier2@audible.com is the main / reply to address – one of the messages I received from them had a replay address of techtier2+A1I71EBCE2BNX0@audible.com
- Tier 3-
email@example.com is the main / reply to tier3 address. One of their messages to me had a reply to address of techtier3+A24FIPGX7WF4X9@audible.com –
NOTE|| none of the ID numbers are same in any of the messages yet I’m the same person working the same issue. Also I only received a “we got your message and will respond later” auto reply from the first message I sent to any of the unigue messages. Not 100% sure my second emails made it into the case notes.
- User verification | Email support uses your account login email to verify who you are – if you are not emailing them from the email address you login to audible / amazon with they will tell you to fuck off. – Literally, I was sent these words “We won’t be able to provide further insight or assistance for your request or write us back from your associated email account with the concern” – and they would not talk to me until I changed my login email address to match my new primary SMTP address. This one sure set me off on a rampage.
- Phone verification | When you call in Audible sends you a text message to verify who you are. Well, everyone might not get that, they do this for me because I have 2 factor authentication enabled for my account because it makes thing secure. – EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE THIS enabled.
- Names | they sign their emails with first name, but do not provide their manager, or direct contact data, or hours of shift, ETC – further reinforcing bullets one and two. Names I’ve received emails from so far – Ritu R, Myron, Charnjeet, Bala. M, Tushar, Jatin, Bindu, G, Aadil, Anya. T, Raajkaran, Carlos, Cleo
- Facebook | Audible is right snappy responding to direct messages on Facebook.