I should'a known better!
- From: "Doug Phillips" <dphill46@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 11 Aug 2006 10:58:40 -0700
Warning: A lengthy and what some might consider off topic narrative.
How much time should one waste trying to buy a $298 piece of paper? A
two-user license for something that is no longer being developed:
Advanced Server for OpenVMS Alpha.
Stupidly, I called HP and wasted at least one hour. Having experienced
a couple of decades fighting (DEC) licensing issues I should have known
better, but hope springs eternal.
After searching for a way to order on line, I called HP, with the
product list and SPC web pages before me showing the part numbers and
price, and navigated through the menu... (here's an abbreviated &
paraphrased version of the "experience")
Machine: please hold for the next available representative --- (line
opens, people talking in the background, time passes)
Person1: Can I help you?
Me: I'd like to buy a 2 user licence for Advanced Server for OpenVMS
Alpha, part number QM-5SUAA.
Person1:(keys clicking) Sorry it's taking so long, everything's
running real slow today.
Me thinking: (???? And you're telling me this why ????)
Person1: I can't find that part number.
Me: (repeated part number) There's a dash suffix; try either -AK or
-AB after the number I gave you.
Person1; Oh, did you say QM? I thought you said 3M, just a minute....
no, I don't see that, what was it again? Sorry, I'm not having a very
Me thinking: (Hmm, Eeyore or Marvin?)
Me: (repeated part number spelling phonetically:
Quebec-Mike-Hyphen-Fife-Sierra-Uniform-Alfa-Alfa, and repeated product
name using best radio voice)
Person1: Oh, I'll transfer you to someone who can help you with
Me: No, not OpenView, OpenVMS.
Person1: You'll need to talk to Enterprise; I'll transfer you.
Me thinking: (hmmm, I thought I pressed that button.)
(music plays, time passes)
Person2: How may I help you?
Me: I need to buy a 2 user license for Advanced Server for OpenVMS part
number QM-5SUAA-AK or -AB.
Person2: Who is your rep?
Me: I don't have one
Person2: What is your zip code, please.
Me: (gave zip code)
Person2: Thank you. Your rep is Mr.(gave name) I'll transfer you.
(music plays, time passes)
Person2 again: I'm sorry, Mr. (rep) is on vacation. I'll transfer
you to that department and you can press 2 for the first available rep.
Me: Thank you.
(music plays, time passes --- I liked the open line with people talking
Person3: Hello, how may I help you.
Me: (repeated request)
Person3: Name and address of company?
Me: (gave name and address)
Person3: Your zip-code is (repeated zip-code)?
Person3: I'm sorry, your rep is on vacation.
Me: I know. I was told that by the last person I talked to and now you
are the third person I've talked to. I was instructed to press 2 for
the next available rep and I guess that's you. Can you help me?
Person3: We're assigned to territories and you'll need to talk to
him about your OpenView order.
Me: What OpenView order???? I need a two user license for Advanced
Server for OPENVMS!
Person3: You could try your Microsoft dealer.
Me: (becoming slightly annoyed) It's an HP product. Why would I talk
Person3: You'll need to talk to your rep, sorry.
Me: Is there no one there who can help me?
Person3: Sorry, I can give you Mr. (rep)'s voice mail, or I can give
you another number to call and maybe they can help you.
Me: Give me the number.
Person3: (gave me a number).
Me: Who's at that number?
Person3: The people who can help you when we can't.
Me: Okay, thank you. (click.) (congratulating self for maintaining
control, dialed number, wishing I hadn't drank that 6th cup of
Person4: Hello this is (name) how may I help you?
Me: I'm trying, so far unsuccessfully, to buy a 2 user license for
Advanced Server for OpenVMS Alpha, part number (gave part number, then
spelled it phonetically)
Person4: Hmm, that looks like a Microsoft product. I don't believe we
can sell that.
Me: No, it's an HP product.
Person4: Oh. Hold one moment please. I'll check with someone.
Person4: It looks like we can't sell that product. I think it's
Me: It's a piece of paper.
Person4: Yes, I see. It's a license. You should talk to one of our
Me: Could you give me a reseller's name?
Person4: Try CDW.
Me: CDW??? Do they sell Enterprise stuff now?
Person4: Uh, no. I'll give you the number for the Enterprise group.
Me: They sent me to you. Apparently there's only one person in the
enterprise world who is allowed to talk to me and he's on vacation.
Person4: I don't know much about VM-ware, but I'll give you a number
for someone who might be able to help you, it's (gave me a (925) area
Me: (defeated) Who's at that number?
Person4: It's a lady who can probably help you.
Me: (thinking: Psychic hot-line maybe?) Thank you for your time.
(click.) (Oh well, at least I tried. On to plan C.)
Conclusion: The more things change, the more they remain the same.
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