Wow, was this a meeting. Talk about being a messenger of bad news Here is some history. W&M is installing a new Student Information System (SIS) which is the project I am a part of. As part of this project there are a large number of web-based interfaces for students to register for classes and other activityies. W&M purchased a portal package (lets call it WP) from a comapny called CP that would simplify things and also offer features like webmail, online calendaring, and campus announcements among other things.
We also were grandfathered into CP’s new package L. L was released at the end of June 2002, and we wanted to use it. We have been trying to get our hands on it to no luck. CP kept trying to sell us professional services along with the product. So today we had a meeting with our sales rep B. In addition, we had the professional services group representative on the phone with us (lets call him R).
Before we got R on the phone we made it very clear that we were not interested in buying any more services, we just wanted to have them ship us L.
So we got on the phone and R started running through his market-speak speach talking about how we should be implementing this system and all of the services they could offer us. As we started to get through to him that all we wanted was to have them ship us the product (which they are contractually obligated to do for no extra fee), he started telling us how complicated it was and how basically “we couldn’t handle it.”
Finally Will, my coworker who is doing the project management stuff on our side asked:
Will: “So, what you are saying is that you won’t ship us L and let us install it?”
R: ::silence:: “Yes.”
HOLY SHIT! What it basically boils down to is they started shipping L, then got so innundated with calls for help (one would assume because their product is so unreliable) that they are no longer shipping it and are making their customers pay to have a CP technician come to your site to set it up.
Wow. I am just speachless. I actually feel bad for our sales rep B. But I guess she should be thankful we didn’t rip into her.