Irritation at a clueless user demanding free help

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Yesterday, I ran across a thread started by a user who complained about lack of response and asked again for an answer to his problem in Radio Userland's discussion forums. This guy obviously just stepped off the clueless boat. I was tempted to tell him so in the discussion forum, but decided I should be nice and say nothing there.

The last time I posted a help request here, I found 48 hours too long to wait for a response to my message--by most standards of end-user support--so I went ahead and re-installed radio and wasted 2 days re-making my sight.

The discussion forums are not "end-user" support - they are "user-to-user" support, or "users helping users". Radio Userland employees occasionally participate there, but they are certainly not obligated to do so. Nobody there is being paid for the time they spend helping others, so if he thinks 48 hours is too long to wait, tough shit.

While reinstalling Radio might have fixed his problem, he took no steps to backup his web *site*. The fact that he had to spend 2 days rebuilding it is his fault, not Radio Userland's. Doing dumb things then whining about how much time it cost does not gain one any sympathy.

Now I'm back to square 1 because the aggregator died again. I went ahead and purchased Radio before my trial ended to guess that this wasn't a factor. I'm frankly tired of guessing because radio doesn't possess sufficient system documentation for me to troubleshoot the problem myself. I hope this time that someone will assist me in a timely manner.

It would seem to me that there is a programming or database issue here. Throwing money at it by buying a license isn't going to solve it. Obviously this guy is incapable of making competent guesses, so why make them at all? Post a message in the forum that describes what is happening and say you don't know what to do.

It is true that Radio does not come with much documentation, but there a lot on the internet - if you know where to look. I was able to figure out bugs in Radio's backup routines and the WYSIWYG editor toolbar with the documentation available on the internet. Even if he had "sufficient system documentation", I doubt this guy could troubleshoot his way out of a paper bag.

I read the "frankly tired of guessing" part (along with the tone of his post) to imply this guy thinks someone owes him an answer. In the forums, you are asking for someone to help you as a favor. Other users who are donating their time in the forums for free certainly don't owe any answers to anybody. While everyone wants help with their problems "in a timely manner", you presume on the graciousness of other users at your own risk.

The mystery is complicated by this observation: there exists no hourly scans for news in my events log.

This is not a mystery; this is probably the actual cause of the aggregator not working. If it can be determined why Radio is not performing hourly scans, the aggregator will most likely be fixed.

Can someone shed some light on this problem? Has anyone experienced something similar? Is there any plan to distribute bonafide system docs so that registered users can understand the constraints and limitations of Radio, and plan their sites accordingly?

With only the information that this guy's news aggregator is not working and Radio is not performing any hourly news scans, it is doubtful that this problem can be solved without additional information. As far as whether anyone else has experienced something similar, that's what search engines are for. I would have searched Radio Userland's forums first (and then the internet) before posting a question about a problem that may have been solved months ago.

Is there any plan to distribute "bonafide system docs"? Dream on, buddy. Even if this guy had such docs, he clearly does not understand the "constraints and limitations" of user-to-user support. I certainly wouldn't expect him to understand the constraints and limitations of something more complicated like Radio's software.

Any response would be appreciated...

Well, there's mine, but I doubt it's what you're looking for.

1 Comment

I was actually one of the end-users to respond (altho, thankfully, Lawrence took over) and had to make a very conscious effort not to tell him off.

Found your response to him highly entertaining tho, thanks for posting it ;)