Is it good business to give as little help as possible?

I have noticed that answers given by the “experts” is often (Ricky) only the barest possible answer. It seems to me that the business success of VEX lies in customers and potential customers, seeing the wealth of possibilities that can be achieved with their VEX system. Telling a VEX user that you don’t know of a source for I/O connectors, rather than telling them that the connectors are common Futaba J female connectors that can be obtained at many online RC hobby suppliers, is NOT good product support, and not good business. When someone asks about using other motors or cheaper speed controllers, your answers were equally minimal, and possibly the MOST expensive solution to the problem. You tell some users that you give them simple answers because VEX is about learning. Brilliant! It seems to me that they asked the question so that they could learn, and you didn’t offer much help. Is this perhaps why Radio Shack had to give up on this product? Sorry for being so negative, but it’s discouraging to see people asking for help, and getting, in many cases, answers that only add to their frustration, when a full, straight-forward answer would have been possible.

As one who answers Technical Questions for my Employer’s products, I find that sometimes it takes me a long time to give a “full answer”, and when I have many questions and other projects to complete, sometimes a “short answer” is better than “no answer”. (This comment posted in defense of the IFI Tech Support Staff in respect to their work load we don’t get to see)

I have compiled “stock answers”, that I can put up quite quickly, but I still like to personalize my response, which still takes some time, that some times I don’t always have… This can help out in the response time of your messages (e.g. the FAQ section here at Vexforum)

OTOH, other vex sites (e.g. VexFax and ChiefDelphi) have a more of a Consumer minded approch to Vex, which seems to enhance the “contrast” of customer support between them and the Vex Forum.

We’ve had a few Vex customers voice similar comments, and consider your feedback important and valuable. The goal of hosting an open forum is to leverage the wisdom of many, which is usually greater than that of a few. The user community is often the best unabridged source of product information and innovative solutions (in many cases better even than our own engineers). There are times when our familiarity is limited, and we provide what help we can. We must also be always mindful to avoid the legal issues surrounding referrals and product endorsements. This is not an issue for an open forum, but may be problematic for “official” responses.

Nevertheless, our goal is to make Vex personnel as accessible and in-tune with product questions and concerns as possible. We strive to achieve this high standard (higher than that of the majority of electronic products). We are always trying to improve our product, and our support.

Should anyone have any specific questions or comments, we welcome direct dialogue. Please contact us at [EMAIL=“Info@VexRobotics.com”]Info@VexRobotics.com

Thanks again for caring. We would rather have harsh criticism to address, than have a growing number of disgruntled customers who are too apathetic to even take note!

Thanks,
John, Ricky & the rest of the Vex Team