How Not To Support Your Customers…

How Not To Support Your Customers

9th February 2016

You learn a lot about companies when things don’t go according to plan. By and large, Cisco’s responsiveness to issues is pretty good – and probably the best in the industry as a whole. However, when they get it wrong, it does leave you wondering…

In the office we use Cisco 8851 handsets. Not cheap, but they have a neat feature whereby you can pair your Bluetooth enabled Smartphone with them and reroute the audio through them like you do with a car kit. Not rocket science, but a nice feature that saves us all from overheating our brains, and having cricks on our necks when we’ve been using them all day.

We recently upgraded the Cisco firmware on our handsets to a slightly later version – to get support for a new feature that had been released. The new feature worked, as did most of the other functions on the handset – but unfortunately the new firmware demolished the Bluetooth audio function. We could hear the caller ok, but all they could hear was the something akin to the sound of a helicopter taking off. We reverted to the old firmware, and the Bluetooth started working again.

Obviously this isn’t a configuration issue, and is something in the new firmware that had been released. So a Cisco TAC case quickly followed – we don’t really need to use the new firmware, however we thought Cisco might want to know they had broken something other people might be using. The response from the TAC engineer was less than helpful (names removed)


“I will check for any known issue , however keep on mind it might be related to some compatibility issue between phone and Bluetooth .

Cisco tries to test as much as possible , to be compatibility with 3 rd party vendors, however at some points there might be issues”.


And then in a second update:


“On all new firmware version , there is changes , to fix known issue , to improve things/process on the phone .

That’s why the behavior might change from one to another”.


And then finally:


“Cisco tries to be compatible with 3 rd party accessories, at some point there might be issues on certain scenarios .
You can contact your account manager about your concern .
I will close the ticket , however I would like to thank you for contacting Cisco Tac”


And that was the limit of the support we got. Not exactly helpful, and in this instance “improve things/process on the phone” basically meant totally breaking a feature that used to work and is clearly down to something in the new firmware. And they are obviously not interested in fixing it and improving their products for their customers.

Cisco support isn’t cheap – however in general for things like their UC products we always keep it up to date. We therefore expect decent support when we need to use it. Masssively disappointing.


Barry Hesk
Intrinsic Network Solutions

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