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By Josh Leffler Josh Leffler lives in Chapel Hill and is in sixth grade. He's a big fan of Apple and other technology. His favorite book series is Harry Potter, and his favorite food is sushi. He also loves chocolate.

A Tale Of Two Help Desks

By Josh Leffler Posted April 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm

As most of you who read my columns know, I’m the tech support for my family (and many other people too). That means, when my mom’s email stopped working two or three weeks ago, she asked me to fix it.

The problem was that she couldn’t delete email. I took a look at it, then figured that there was a problem onGoDaddy’s end. Annoying, but understandable – every computer has problems.

So I called GoDaddy. I went through all of the normal menus and hold music, and then I finally got to a real person. I explained the issue, and the person, who was very pleasant, went through all of the settings and connections, then told me that there was nothing wrong on their end and the credentials were all correct inApple Mail, so it must be some other problem with Mail. I had my doubts, but I thanked him and calledApple.

I got a wonderfully helpful man named Joseph. I talked to him for about an hour and a half. We worked through just about every setting and option. After that time, we thought we had fixed the problem – but only on the Mac. So he sent me over to the iPhone and iPad department.

I was on the phone with Bea for about another 45 minutes. During that time, the Mac stopped working again. Finally, Apple sent me back to GoDaddy, saying that there was nothing wrong with Mail, and this type of issue was usually with the server.

So, I called GoDaddy again. This time, I got a slightly nasty person. We talked for about 20 minutes until our connection got really bad. I gave him the call back number, and he repeated it back to me, making sure it was correct. He said he would call back in a minute. One minute later, he hadn’t called. Okay, he was running to the bathroom quickly or something. Eight minutes later, he still hadn’t called.

I checked my email and saw a message from Bea with her email address if I needed help, and an article that might be of interest to me.. Wow – that’s very nice!

Later that afternoon, Joseph from Apple called. He wanted to check in and see if we had fixed the issue. No, not yet – GoDaddy hasn’t called back. Could he help in any way? No, not at the moment. Well, here’s his email address to let him know if he could help!

To me, that’s pretty good when a customer service representative calls back on his own accord to check in and gives his email address in case he can help, and the other representative gives her email and sends a possibly helpful article.

Anyway, two days later – you guessed it! – the man from GoDaddy still hadn’t called back. I knew he had the correct number – he had repeated it back to me – so why wasn’t he calling back?

So I called GoDaddy again. This time, I got another pleasant man who told me that the protocol the email used doesn’t support deleting emails from other devices. Now, when my mom used to be withRegister.com, she used the same protocol, and she was deleting emails fine. So I told the man exactly that. He, grudgingly, said that he would try something called a “resync”, but it wouldn’t do anything because of the protocol. I told him to go ahead and try it. He told me that it would take up to 24 hours to take effect. I thanked him and hung up.

I tested it on the hour for about five hours. On the fifth hour, I asked my mom (whose email I was fixing) to help me test. Lo and behold, it worked!

After a few minutes of celebration, and a thank you email to the two people at Apple, I thought for a moment about my experience with the different support teams. With GoDaddy, I got a man who said it wasn’t them, a nasty man who insisted the same and never called back, and a man who said the protocol couldn’t do it, when I knew it could. But at least that last man tried the resync, when no one else at GoDaddy was willing to try.

Compare that to Apple, where I got two incredibly helpful people who, on their own accord, gave me their email addresses so I could ask them for help if I needed it.

At least to me, it’s not hard to choose which one I liked more…

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