A Review of NetSuite Support – A for Effort…

A guy goes to the doctor with a cut on his arm and says, “Hey Doc, I’d like a couple of stitches.” The doctor replies, “Are you sure?” And then proceeds to spend 3 hours looking at the cut. After the long deliberation, he spends 20 minutes stitching up the wound. During the visit, the doc was pleasant and respectful. In the end, the patient got exactly what he asked for. So how happy is the patient with the service?

If you are a corporate executive considering moving your business systems into the NetSuite cloud, read on. If you are a NetSuite Admin and want to make sure your company gets adequate support after hours, read on.

I was headed to a conference on Wednesday morning. On Tuesday afternoon at 3:45 PM, my SuiteTalk application that synchronized data between our legacy on-premise business system and the NetSuite cloud stopped working. It was experiencing a login failure. In diagnosing the failure, I logged out of NetSuite with my administrator account and logged in using the SuiteTalk account. The error I received was “Invalid user account or password.” I won’t go into all the details of troubleshooting. I’ll simply say this, my SuiteTalk app and my Admin account shared a common email address. The result: both accounts were locked out of NetSuite. The day was almost over and I was going to be out of the office the rest of the week. I had to get this resolved immediately.

I called NetSuite to have my password reset. We spent several hours working through regular steps to reset passwords on both the SuiteTalk account and on my admin account. We made some headway, but my admin account remained locked out. According to NetSuite, I had no security questions. The only option was to have them reset my password.

Here’s where it gets comical. Only NetSuite’s data center admins can reset a password. So my support rep had to pass my call to the data center admin. And there’s more. For security purposes, data center admins are required to reach customers on their corporate phone line. By the time we got around to actually resetting my password (2 hours after my call), it was off-hours and our phones rolled to voicemail. My NetSuite support rep found a way around this. She called our corporate number, punched 8 to get a corporate directory and then typed the first 3 letters of my last name which rang my desk. Brilliant!

She wrote up all these instructions in my case notes and then forwarded it to a data center admin to reset my password. I waited for his call.

Twenty minutes later, he calls and tells me, “I’m calling on your direct line. I am unable to reset your password because your corporate line is rolling to voicemail.” I refer him back to the instructions in the same ticket he just read to get my direct line. Another few minutes go by and my phone rings again. This time he’s ready to reset my password.

By this time, almost 3 hours have transpired diagnosing my problem, I need a few stitches. In a matter of 10 minutes, my password is reset and I’m working again.

There are 2 takeaways from this painful experience. First, NetSuite would really benefit from a process where a support rep can reset a customers password without having to hand off to a data center admin.

And second, although we never really figured out why my 2 accounts were suddenly kicked out of NetSuite, I suspect it had something to do with the 2 accounts sharing a common email address. I’m guessing one of the 2 accounts had its email address changed, which produced the duplicate. This subverted NetSuite’s account validation rules. The takeaway… make sure you never ever (ever) duplicate email addresses.

NetSuite is a good product. I think they are experiencing lots of growing pains. In my opinion, their customer support is having trouble keeping up with the rapid increase in customers. I hope they recognize this problem and push more resources and training at that segment of their business. R&D is great, but support is essential. Hang in there NetSuite. I might be a little frustrated, but I’m not giving up on you.

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