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Scott Miller Appsguild - Software craftsmanship, project management, and the biz of software
Oracle Support sucks. No two ways about it.

12/30, 2 PM.
I had to call Oracle Support because my Oracle Apps was hosed and not allowing me to create a Supply Chain Plan. Production is down.

Most of the time, the analyst will communicate via the Metalink TAR support ticket. So you have to frequently click update to see if they posted something new to the ticket. This is especially important as the support "follows the sun" through different time zones around the world.

Typical response, "you don't have the most up-to-date patches" (duh, but that is not what is causing this problem). "Run the plan, upload the logs".

A couple of hours go by...
"Change settings to generate debug info, rerun the plan, upload logs".

Now we get to the first hurdle. Every time that the support ticket was passed off to the next time zone they dropped the ball. And completely dropped off the radar. No response, no TAR postings. So I had to call and escalate the TAR.

Levels of Oracle support call escalation:
Customer->Regular Analyst->Escalation Manager

12/30 6 :30 PM
Now it is being handled in Australia. I escalated to a manager. Told them that Production is down. A very proper Australian woman with a hot voice chides me about escalating the call. She says rerun the plan and upload the logs again. This will take 90 minutes.

Uploaded the logs and an hour goes by. I have to escalate again. This time I get SE Asia. They don't even know what the escalation process is! I ask to be called at home. No such luck.

12/30 Around 11 PM
Another 90 minutes goes by. I escalate again. I ask to be called at home. They can't read the TAR, apparently, so they call my office and leave a voice mail message.

Finally I get someone in India, who is actually quite helpful after I completely explain and explain the whole thing over again.
Damn you Oracle, why can't your techs read the TAR notes up to this point?
"Send some query dumps and more logs".

12/31, somewhere around 2:30 AM
More settings, more dumps of logs.

12/31, 4:30 AM
The analyst in India is better than the others I have so far. He finally figures out it is a problem with a date calendar setting. But there are several places to setup the calendar. He chooses the wrong one.
We change the settings and rerun the plan and upload logs

Shift change and we lose that guy. Two or more hours go by and we are starting over again with someone else! "Why don't you have the current patches?"

Don't you idiots read the #$%@ TAR notes up this point?

It is past 8 AM. Production is still down. Oracle doesn't seem too worried. We have to escalate to the Division Manager. This requires my boss making the call.

Levels of Oracle support call escalation:
Customer->Regular Analyst->Escalation Manager->Division Manager

12/31, 10 AM
Now I have the original support guy that I started out with yesterday at 2 PM! Except for a few winks of sleep (like 20 minutes) here and there I have been up since yesterday at 5:30 AM.

The support guy finally gets me the right settings and the plan works. We are fixed.

12/31, 1 PM
The Division Manager calls me and tells me these following nuggets of wisdom to weave things through the Oracle support web:

  • Ask for manager oversight when you escalate to a manager. This will require the manager to follow the progress, not just pass you to an analyst.
  • Ask for a "warm handoff" when support moves to a new team and time zone. This requires the previous staff to help the transition instead of just assigning a new person in the support queue.

Try these yourself and see if they work.

BTW - this made for a pretty crappy New Years Eve

Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2009 9:41 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Why Oracle Support sucks and what you may be able to do about it

# re: Why Oracle Support sucks and what you may be able to do about it
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She sounded like Penny, Desmond's GF on LOST. Who, it just so happens, is one of the most beautiful women in the world.
Left by Scott Miller on Jan 30, 2009 5:31 PM

# re: Why Oracle Support sucks and what you may be able to do about it
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I can't render an opinion on the quality of Oracle support at this point ... I can't even make contact with them. I've called three support numbers (all going to voicemail) and emailed, and the only response I can get back is an auto-response email stating I'll be contacted in 24 hours ...

It's been over 3 weeks! Did Oracle sell off it's support operation? Is this a holiday month in India? Are they on strike? Am I having one of those long "nightmare inside of a dream" experiences, and I'm really still asleep?
Left by Sean Williams on May 05, 2010 12:24 AM

# re: Why Oracle Support sucks and what you may be able to do about it
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Thanks for the advice. Oracle Support is a joke. Seriously.

Did they really think that a Flash site was going to be an improvement?
Left by Little Joshua Beard on Jun 21, 2010 1:52 PM

# re: Why Oracle Support sucks and what you may be able to do about it
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I totally agree that Oracle support is a joke. It was good through the 90's, but it has gone downhill every year in the past decade. I have supported Oracle products for 20 years and am seriously considering gettting into Microsoft support. Oracle is overpriced and poorly supported. And more recently buggy. It's got nothing going for it.
Left by Daveis on Jul 28, 2010 1:05 PM

# re: Why Oracle Support sucks and what you may be able to do about it
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"A very proper Australian woman with a hot voice chides me about escalating the call"

LOL! Thanks for making my day. That was funny.
Left by Steve on Aug 24, 2010 9:20 AM

# re: Why Oracle Support sucks and what you may be able to do about it
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I've raised a support call through Oracle's metalink web site. It sat there with no reply for 5 days and finally an Oracle support consultant attends to it and we're going through the process of trying to resolve the problem now. Oracle support has gone down hill... I recall back in the 1990-2000 they were pretty good.

On the other hand, when I need to use MySQL support, I get a reply from a MySQL consultant in under 2 hours. I hope support here doesn't go down hill now that it's owned by Oracle.
Left by Bit Racer on Sep 28, 2010 6:57 PM

# re: Why Oracle Support sucks and what you may be able to do about it
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Six or eight months ago I wondered how Oracle support could be worse. Oracle must have sensed what I was thinking and took it as a challenge. What I thought was impossible six months ago is today a reality: Oracle support is even worse. Lately, opening an SR is not sufficient. I wait a day or two and must call Oracle support and request they assign some one to work the SR. Days go by without any updates on my SR. After waiting 10 days on a recent SR I called and asked for a call back. Two days later and no call back, I called again and asked for a supervisor. He asked how this was impacting my environment. I replied it impacted our licensing more than our production environment because we are tired of paying for support we don't receive. Some one (IBM ?) needs to step up and compete with Oracle !!
Left by steve murray on Oct 20, 2010 2:12 PM

# re: Why Oracle Support sucks and what you may be able to do about it
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I used to complain about Sun support but now I long for the Sun days, as I sit on hold for 90+ minutes just waiting for someone to make that hold music go away!!
Left by g stagg on Mar 16, 2011 11:11 AM

# re: Why Oracle Support sucks and what you may be able to do about it
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This is what happens when you have a monopoly. Support is not important, because they don't compete.
Left by JB on Jun 07, 2011 2:26 PM

# re: Why Oracle Support sucks and what you may be able to do about it
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The custodians of java can't even use the product well. The Oracle portal is the densest most annoying portal out there. click on some link and it spins and spins and opens nothing. Customer service is absolutely the pits.My darkest hour was the day Sun was bought by this greedy behemoth. All selling :no innovation. Definitely no support.
Left by biafran on Jan 31, 2013 3:32 AM

# re: Why Oracle Support sucks and what you may be able to do about it
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Oracle Support's primary objective is to get the ball back in your court by asking for more logs, traces, etc. I have had a sev2 SR open for more than a month, uploading countless traces, logs, RDA output and now they want to start all over. I give up.
Left by john smith on Feb 12, 2013 7:02 AM

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