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It's funny.  Laugh. Microsoft

10-year-old Microsoft Ticket Resurfaces? 257

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the still-faster-than-your-mortgage-banker dept.
Ian Lamont writes "Microsoft is apparently taking seriously a blogger's claim that a Microsoft tech support employee called back to check on a 10-year-old BSOD trouble ticket. The anonymous blogger suspects someone at Microsoft typed "1/8/08" into their tracking system for the date of a follow-up call, instead of "1/8/98." Microsoft told Computerworld support cases "are reviewed regularly so that we can ensure we're resolving customer issues in a timely fashion — regardless of the callback commitment set by the agent. Nonetheless, no system can ensure complete accuracy."" To be fair, this is all unverified, so choose to believe at your own risk.
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10-year-old Microsoft Ticket Resurfaces?

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  • I don't believe it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oni (41625) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @11:43AM (#22067912) Homepage
    Let's think about all the things that would have to happen for this story to be true:

    1. Microsoft must have no mechanism for tracking work order/help requests. Come on. Every manager has daily/weekly/monthly reports that show the number of requests opened/closed/carried over and it flags old requests, and it sorts by age, so the oldest issue shows up at the top of the list. A manager would have seen this.

    2. When the help desk guy was assigned to make the followup call, he didn't notice and find it odd that the original call came in 10 years ago? He didn't call his supervisor over and say, "hey I think somebody made a mistake here! Maybe we should just close this out."

    3. Somebody has the same phone number of 10 years.

    Or we could go with theory B: a blogger made up a funny story.
  • This seems fishy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Wing Lover (106357) <awh@awh.org> on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @11:45AM (#22067946) Homepage
    I can't exactly put my finger on it, but there is something about the blogger's story that does not ring true. Maybe it is the lack of any personal information, or the implausibility of the ticketing system just cheerfully accepting a 10-year-distant callback date, or the implausibility of the tech who called his parents failing to notice that he was responding to a 10-year-old ticket.

    In any case, I would hope that Microsoft actually verifies the claims before making a big deal of them.
  • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @11:45AM (#22067954) Journal
    (2) is reasonable. Depending on the workload and setup, it is very reasonable the support agent didn't even look at the date field before making the call.

    (3) I know some people that have had the same number for 10 years. Some for a lot longer than that.
  • No way (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dtolman (688781) <dtolman@yahoo.com> on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @11:46AM (#22067980) Homepage
    I have worked in tech support at other companies, and we used to get regular reports about the oldest outstanding issues. And that was 10 YEARS ago - the same time this issue was opened. I can understand fat fingering the callback date - but no way an issue that old would get by for that long without being flagged by someone...
  • by nullCRC (320940) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @11:48AM (#22068004)
    1. Why is this considered "news"?
    2. Who cares?
  • by LMacG (118321) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @11:48AM (#22068010) Journal
    > 3. Somebody has the same phone number of 10 years.

    This comes up on /. fairly often. I can think of dozens of people who have had the same number for at least that long. Heck, my aunt in Pennsylvania has had her number so long, I remember when we used a named exchange (OSborne 5) for it. I don't get the collective perception that keeping a phone number is unusual.
  • data entry is fun (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @11:59AM (#22068190)
    yes, its true. some people have to work for a living and do things like type in bunches of numbers between incompatible systems. sometimes after 10 or 11 hours on a friday when you are late to pick up your kids and your weird supervisor said your shoes are not 'professional looking' enough, and you skipped lunch break to meet deadlines and the coffee machine was broken, and the printer jammed for the 8th time and someone told you that you should have filled out a problem report, and it was your responsibility, even though you have already filled out 5 problem reports all of which were completely ignored....

    sometimes you might make a typo.
  • by croddy (659025) * on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:16PM (#22068446)
    It's inevitable that a ticket will fall through the cracks once in a while. My first reaction was "Wow, impressive. They retain trouble ticket data for 10+ years."
  • by VagaStorm (691999) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:39PM (#22068764) Homepage
    lol, the interesting thing her is that even tho they whant me to spend a fortune on not so backwards compatible upgrades evry 2 or 3 years, they them self have a system that goes back 10+ years :D :D
  • by jhRisk (1055806) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:40PM (#22068786)
    Although I can understand how crazy things do indeed sometimes happen, but I don't know of a single "decent" trouble ticket system that by default doesn't mitigate such occurrences. Although the call back date could be set for any time whatsoever, there's always a date for resolution. Normally it's entered automatically based on the type of ticket, severity label as per the tech's discretion or any number of criteria and often not able to be changed by the tech him/herself. This prevents techs from trying to escape being listed on the "overdue" or "open tickets" reports managers pull up. If the tech can modify it then normally the managers pull reports on "time to resolve issue" or other such reports that would have eventually shown a ticket open for a long period of time.

    What this reminds me of is a disturbing trend in bloggers that any traffic is good traffic and since they have little to loose they'll do just about anything. Gamecocks, Gizmodo and if we dig perhaps others recently, too. After all, when MS closes tickets they like to send an email (in fact one time I couldn't tell them I simply wanted to close a ticket, put no resolution and not receive an email but they were not allowed to just "drop it.) So why wouldn't the blogger get it as definitive proof of the event?

    At the end of the day maybe it did happen... maybe it was data corruption... who knows but it smells fishy.
  • by serutan (259622) <snoopdoug AT geekazon DOT com> on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:40PM (#22068798) Homepage
    The solution is still the same: Reinstall Windows.
  • timestamps? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info@devi n m oore.com> on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:48PM (#22068894) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft built a system without timestamps, where you have to manually enter a date? I dunno whether calling that believable or not believable is more flamebait, but it's sure a wild story.
  • by bhsurfer (539137) <bhsurfer.gmail@com> on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:18PM (#22069268)
    i wonder if the perception of phone numbers as something that frequently changes has any correlation with job-hopping. it would seem to me that the type of person who jumps jobs every 2 years would probably also be the type of person who moves frequently and thus doesn't always get to keep their phone number, and i'm going to take a wild guess that at least some people here fit neatly in that category.

    of course, i've only been in my current job for about 7 months and my landline number is 6 years old, so obviously it doesn't always match up, but still...

    really kind of a pointless post, now that i look at it, but there it is anyway.

  • by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:58PM (#22069816) Journal

    The article is critical of Microsoft. Of course they will believe.

    Well, I think you're missing an important point that may swing the credibility of this story the other way.

    The crux of the story is that Microsoft followed up on a problem ticket. And that strains the belief of almost any intelligent observer.

  • by ConceptJunkie (24823) * on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @02:00PM (#22069850) Homepage Journal
    Actually, I don't find this outrageous or obnoxious or anything. These things happen. It's like the U.S. Mail delivering a letter decades after it was posted. They handle billions of pieces a year. It's bound to happen eventually.

    What I want to know is whether the BSOD problem was ever fixed in those 10 years?

  • by fataugie (89032) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @02:25PM (#22070210) Homepage
    If employees pay peanuts they can only expect monkeys!

    Woooha, slow down cheif.

    Employers, not employees pay...
    and, monkeys work for bananas, not peanuts.

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