PDA

View Full Version : RaveWave: Tech Support from Schneider


jdbrandt
April 20th, 2008, 01:28 PM
I'd like to give a well-deserved shout out to Schneider Electric.

We plcs.net'ers see lots of requests on this board for tech support, or specific application questions not really in the realm of the manufacturer's tech support lines. We also see lots of questions that could have been better answered by the factory.

Now, recently I've had the occasion to implement some Schneider Advansys fieldbus I/O blocks (pretty neat stuff, actually), and I had a few stumbling blocks along the way. In both cases, I did RTFM, but still was not making progress, so I was off to the 1-800 number.

The result of this is that I now have a very high opinion of Schneider's tech support folk, and their tech support system in general. Very robust, they do follow up, and they fix problems.

Now, I know my fellow long-time R/AB brethern won't believe this, but, when I pointed out an error in their tech document, they said that they would fix the documentation, and 'get back to me'. Well, not only did they fix the type-o, but the product manager for that product line DID call me back (on the PHONE, no less), and verified that he got the correction right.

(As someone who for years regularly filled out the 'tell us about our manual quality' forms, with NO feedback, this was a welcomed and highly unusual result)

We (plcs.net) get all kinds of discussions going lately over 'the best PLC to use', which are interesting to a point. With the prices of PLCs falling to near-zero, perhaps the question needs to shift a bit, as to ask "What PLC manufacturer is providing the best support for their products, for someone who has minimal experience?"

Based on my recent experience(s), I'd have to say 'Schneider'...and I'm a long time R/AB guy!

danw
April 20th, 2008, 02:28 PM
The result of this is that I now have a very high opinion of Schneider's tech support folk, and their tech support system in general. Very robust, they do follow up, and they fix problems.

Now, I know my fellow long-time R/AB brethern won't believe this, but, when I pointed out an error in their tech document, they said that they would fix the documentation, and 'get back to me'. Well, not only did they fix the type-o, but the product manager for that product line DID call me back (on the PHONE, no less), and verified that he got the correction right.!I sit here in stunned disbelief. I have trouble processing what sounds like a fairy tale. It sounds like the latest urban myth. I better check Snopes.com

(As someone who for years regularly filled out the 'tell us about our manual quality' forms, (with NO feedbackMe,too. this was a welcomed and highly unusual result)!I can imagine your astonishment.

What is amazing is that this is 2008, not 1973. The era of printed paper documentation is nearly over, with all the publishing, inventory and distribution issues associated with paper documents. This is an era when documentation is universally pdf files where changes should be able to be made overnight and posted within hours of correction.

We (plcs.net) get all kinds of discussions going lately over 'the best PLC to use', which are interesting to a point. With the prices of PLCs falling to near-zero, perhaps the question needs to shift a bit, as to ask "What PLC manufacturer is providing the best support for their products, for someone who has minimal experience?"Amen. One reason I don't participate in the 'what is a cheap way of . . . .' discussions is that it omits the support factor, which to me is far more important than purchase price.

Thanks for this update.

Dan

BobB
April 20th, 2008, 05:44 PM
Astonishment is an understatement!!!!

Schneider 'Help Centre" in Ozz is known to many of us as Schneider 'Helpless Centre' quite frankly.

There are very good people inside Scneider but getting to them is almost impossible. If you do not 'know' someone who can put you on to the right people very quickly you can flounder for days trying to get help.

This is not a dig only at Schneider as I find the larger the company generally the harder it is to get the right information and help.

Good luck to you, I am glad you have had a good experience. Hopefully this is a sign things are changing.

jdbrandt
April 20th, 2008, 07:55 PM
Well, I've been accused of being overly negative (in a "the glass is half-full" way) in the past, but, I only report this because it was on two separate occasions, about two different issues.. not likely a statistical abberation.

But, in re-reading my own words, I can see how the battle-worn of us might consider it a fairy tale. Its not.

danw
April 20th, 2008, 11:50 PM
Jdbrandt,

I should have used smilies to let you know my remark about the fairy tale was tongue-in-cheek. Rest assured, I believe you.

As a fellow manual reader who bears battle scars from non-documentation, I find it amazing that someone in a large corporation would care enough to correct a mistake. It is marginal, deviant (statistically) behavior in today's culture.

Dan