Proz.com and the Global Economy
Thread poster: xxxmediamatrix
xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 02:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 4, 2007

Late last evening (Saturday, around 23:00 hours Chilean time) I noted a problem with the updating of the KudoZ question/answer page. Nothing serious, nothing urgent - but nonetheless worth investigating via a support ticket.

As I went to send a ticket I discovered a bright red message (that I don't recall seeing on previous occasions) saying:

Please note that the ProZ.com support staff hours are Monday-Friday, 12:00-21:00 GMT (09:00-18:00 Argentina time), so there may be a delay in the answering of your support ticket. Thank you for understanding.

Now, don't get me wrong: I fully understand and support the need for individual staff members to have sensible (and legal) working hours. But I do wonder if it reasonable for this site to be unmanned, in terms of technical support, for 15 hours per calendar day and throughout the weekends - and presumably on Argentinian public holidays, too.

I recall noting in a forum exchange some time back that the majority of ProZ.com members and users are based in Europe, so we can infer that the majority of the people who use this site are without rapid technical support during the European mornings - i.e. for half of their working day - even on those days that the support staff are in fact on duty. And what about those based in Asia? - they'll never get 'same day service'!

Translation is an important part of the Global Economy and, as we all know, the GE works round the clock: 24/7/365. If ProZ.com aspires to becoming a part of the GE - like we the translators already are - then I suggest that there should (at the very least) be someone 'on call' in out-of-office hours, to deal with serious technical problems.

MediaMatrix


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:48
English to German
+ ...
Paying for support staff Nov 5, 2007

Hi MediaMatrix,
You're raising a valid issue. Having said that, would you consider becoming a paying member if support was extended?

Someone has to pay for the necessary resources. If support hours are extended (which I'd welcome), I would therefore propose to limit the extension to support tickets submitted by members.

Best regards,
Ralf


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 02:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Ralf ... Nov 5, 2007

Ralf Lemster asked:

(...) would you consider becoming a paying member if support was extended?


24/7 support would not, of itself, be sufficient to persuade me to become a paying member, although it would most certainly contribute positively to any future decision I may take in that direction. It would be a sign of commitment on the part of Proz.com towards its members and users and towards the objectives we all share as professionals.

Many of us, I'm sure, take advantage of our geographical location, and the corresponding time difference w.r.t. our main clients, to offer 'overnight' translation services of a kind that those same clients would find it hard to find in their home countries (or for which they may have to pay large 'overnight service charges' to compensate for antisocial working hours). That's all part and parcel of the Global Economy; it is a reality of the day-to-day operations many of us are engaged in. Sadly, at present, Proz.com is not part of that reality. I think it should be.

Ralf Lemster then wrote:
Someone has to pay for the necessary resources. If support hours are extended (which I'd welcome), I would therefore propose to limit the extension to support tickets submitted by members


As for the matter of the necessary resources, it would be inappropriate to comment in detail since we are not privvy to the inner workings of the site's finances and administration - and less still to its commercial ambitions. I can see that there might be some temptation to make 24/7 support a 'paying members only' thing - personally I feel that would be counter-productive in the long term...

MediaMatrix


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:18
German to English
Outsource the work to more countries Nov 6, 2007

Hi,

One solution would be to have support staff in all the different regions where members are located, i.e. support centres in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. Currently they are only in Argentina and the US. Of course, this also requires more funds, so more people would have to pay membership, I guess.

Best regards,
Niraja


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