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March 15, 2005

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No Chumps at Chumpsoft

I've been very happy with our purchase of phpQuestionnaire, a PHP + mySQL set of scripts that have allowed us to easily create, admin, and export dat for online surveys. It's been a champ, not a chump.

Today I was doing a CSV (comma separated value) export for a recent survey, somthing I had yet to use. This was so I could put the data in Excel for a project manager at one of our coleges. I was disappointed to find that in the open response questions, any RETURN characters entered in the text area input fields was NOT stripped out on the CSV export. this cause major havoc, as on import to Excel, the RETURN indicates the end of a data row.

As an end around, I resorted to a series of BBEdit search and replaces. The data first record was easy to spot as it was always a number that began with a "1" after a new line. So first I did a search on "\r1" and replaced the newline with a characteristic string, or "|%*%|1". This makes a place holder for the RETURNs I wanted to keep. Then I could replace all remaining "\r" with a " " to remove the errant newlines in the middle of data fields. Lastly, I do a search back replacing all "|%*%|" with a "\r".

Then I completed an email error report on the Chumpsoft site, and in less than 30 minutes "Hoyoul" responded with a fixed set of code to replace a PHP function library. And it worked perfectly.

Now that is service, can you hear me now, Qwest? As a sad reminder last month I detailed How Not To do e-Customer Service: "Call Us" where an online web support form request about customer service complaint resulted in an email response "Call us on the phone". WShen I responded (by email) and said that was stupid, the response was a manager would now call me.

A whole month went by.

So I forwarded the message back to Qwest, and merely said, "It has been a month and no one has called me".

So what did they do?

They dispatched a repair technician to my house, who later called and said there was no problem with our lines. Well duh, I never requested a technician. Stupid.

This is way past the point of even dealing with an organization seemingly full of knuckle walking bumpkins that are several bulbs short of a full pack. Well at least it appears tat way in customer service.

I thus offer a loud Phhhhhftttttttttt in their general direction.

I will take a ChumpSoft any day over the clowns at Qwest.

blogged March 15, 2005 10:38 PM :: category [ web good dog ]
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