Our help desk has been hammered this week with more than 400 calls from our newsagent clients having trouble accessing data from magazine distributors. The problem came about because XchangeIT, the company owned by the magazine distributors had not renewed encryption software. Their help desk (of 1 or 2) went into meltdown and they put the answering machine. That soon became full. So, newsagents turned to their software companies. On top of the 400 support calls we took, at least another 200 of our customers accessed advice from our website.

All this activity took resources away from our main focus – supporting our users with queries about our point of sale and home delivery software. The poor communication from the suppliers and inadequate backup support meant we had to fund their mistake. Then, once the dust had settled, they had the audacity to engage in spin, claiming that the problem was minor and that few were affected.

There are very few industries where suppliers would cause data problems in such a magnitude and then succeed in turning their back on helping their customers resolve the problems. Such are the challenges of the newsagency channel.

What XchangeIT does for newsagents is fantastic. My complaint always has been that a help desk supporting newsagents needs to operate 24 hours a day. The XchangeIT coverage is inadequate – hence the calls to our office on matters not related to us. There is a lack of respect from the XchangeIT team for what companies like mine do for them.

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