What has happened to tech support?

Discussions, questions, comments and suggestions regarding Capture One PRO, Capture One PRO For Sony / Fujifilm, Capture One for Phase One and Capture One Express For Sony / For Fujifilm 20.x for Windows

What has happened to tech support?

Postby rjh1007 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:18 pm

On Sunday January 12/20 I sent in an urgent tech support request because of a catalogue that suddenly was only displaying a small portion of my folders and images. Within 2 hours I received back "Your request (18778) has been received and is being reviewed by our support staff."
That was 5 days ago - 120 hrs ago.
I am still having the same issue.
Tech support used to be very responsive. What's Happened?

As well the entire tech support request system has completely changed/disappeared. You used to be required to completed a number of entries including, your camera model, your operating system and your CO license code. You were also able to log back in to see your request and the tech support responses. All this has disappeared.

Has this been now located in a different area or does Phaseone no longer offer tech support?

Bob
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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby IanS » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:12 pm

rjh1007 wrote:On Sunday January 12/20 I sent in an urgent tech support request because of a catalogue that suddenly was only displaying a small portion of my folders and images. Within 2 hours I received back "Your request (18778) has been received and is being reviewed by our support staff."
That was 5 days ago - 120 hrs ago.
I am still having the same issue.
Tech support used to be very responsive. What's Happened?

As well the entire tech support request system has completely changed/disappeared. You used to be required to completed a number of entries including, your camera model, your operating system and your CO license code. You were also able to log back in to see your request and the tech support responses. All this has disappeared.

Has this been now located in a different area or does Phaseone no longer offer tech support?

Bob


I files a request before Christmas and am still waiting. I had two replies about upgrade issues - my request wasn't about this???
I have emailed them several times since with no response. It looks like a new support system that may be outsourced and is now of the "Turn your computer off, wait 10 seconds, now turn your computer back on" type.

They certainly had not actually read my support request even though they replied to it :-(

We will have to wait and see how this plays out but failing to provide any effective support is not usually a good sign in any business.

Phaseone are now owned by a venture capital company and cut backs in resources which are not "visible" often come before selling a business to improve figures.

It could just be teething problems with a new team, as I said, we will have to wait and see.
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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby Samoreen » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:27 pm

Hi,

The "old" system no longer accepts requests related to C1. If you posted your request there, the only answer that you will get will be this one :

If you do not own any Phase One or Mamiya-Leaf camera equipment and need support for Capture One, then you should contact the Capture One team: https://support.captureone.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

The new downgraded C1 support is now email based and doesn't allow you to keep track of your incidents. C1 only customers don't deserve the same service as hardware customers. C1 version 20 marks the start of a new era.
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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby SFA » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:36 pm

Up until late 2019 the Tech Support system was common to and indeed based upon the Hardware support system for the Phase Camera family. Hence a lot of questions that were irrelevant to anyone who only used C1.

Staff were also shared so that knowledge was required for both cameras and software in order to be able to work effectively in Support.

With growing specialist requirements in both arms of the business it seems that the 2 functions have been partly separated with the Hardware side continuing with the previous system and the software side moving to the new system.

As all of this coincided with the build up of the knowledge base, the release of V20 and the challenges related to the pre-purchase offer and how it was understood (or not) during the release period plus some significant and seemingly wide spread issue mainly for Mac users who were upgrading both their Operating System Software and Capture One at much the same time, things seemed to go off course. All compounded no doubt by the traditional holiday periods at that time of year.

It's obviously not great in any circumstances but especially by comparison with previous experiences in past years.

My guess would be that it might take until the end of the month (January) to catch up with any backlog. Normally we might expect a further update release around that time and perhaps when that happens will be the key to a return to normality.

I have not seen any indication that support policy has changed. Of course that does not mean that it hasn't changed but only time, or a message, will tell us.

There are signs, in my opinion, that the Knowledge Base is offering significantly more information and specific entries for a number of the recent special concerns. In theory that should provide people with faster self help options that, for many, may be exactly what they need for 24/7/366 response to help them out.

In the event that things stay as they are now I think questions may need to be asked.

Whether an email communication chain is more useful than a log-in database version is difficult to know.

Zendesk seem to be a popular choice for many companies and presumably offers a wealth of features that can be rolled out over time. Whether that will happen or not remains to be seen.


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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby rjh1007 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:58 pm

Hopefully what you say comes to pass and the tech support returns to normal.
Unfortunately that doesn't help me and I assume a number of others that are having serious issues. Regardless how good CO is, the integrity of my files, my post processing and my business vastly override some of the technical superiority of the software.
I have found roundtriipping to PS, export functionality having issues in CO 20 and definitely a much less stable catalog.

I will revert back to CO 12 if I could find instructions on how to convert all the files that have been upgraded ( downgraded) to CO 20

Bob
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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby SFA » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:49 am

Bob,

There should be a backup of your previous version catalogue at the point if conversion. Maybe several.

When using V20 did you also upgrade the Processing Engine shown for each image in Base Characteristics?

Obviously any new image that never saw the previous version would have less chance of potential for converting the V20 edits back to V12, etc. So that would probably mean starting afresh with them.

With older images previously process in V12 (or earlier) but not updated to V20 reverting to the V12 version of the catalogue should be OK - but you lose any changes.

Whether there might be a way to revert images from 20 to 12 somehow I'm not sure.

There might be a slightly messy way to achieve such a result manually. If talking hundreds or thousands ... probably not worth considering.even if possible.

I assume you have already gone through the Support system FAQ pages and tried anything that looked vaguely relevant?


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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby rjh1007 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:17 am

Grant
Thanks for your advice. Most of it I have figured out or tried. It really comes down to the approx 5,000 new images I have processed with CO 20. I can retrieve the previous v12 processed images through backups. Unfortunately I processed about a 1,000 v12 with v20.. i will just have to redo several thousand, however, that is not the end of the world.

I wouldn't consider this reverting back, except V20 has been so unstable and has left me with a corrupted catalogue several times. I have done nothing different than my usual workflow over the last number of years.
V 7,8,9 were extremely unstable for catalogs. V10 was better and 11 and 12 were excellent. Why v20 has become so fragile I have know idea, however, I can no longer risk loss and disruption until I can be absolutely assured that it has become stable.

I even rebuilt my windows 10 system from scratch figuring it had to be something wrong at my end. It just continued to flake out while with v12 I never had one problem.

It would have been so nice if someone with some knowledge in tech support been of some help.

I will post how I make out in reverting back.
Bob
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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby SFA » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:59 am

rjh1007 wrote:Grant
Thanks for your advice. Most of it I have figured out or tried. It really comes down to the approx 5,000 new images I have processed with CO 20. I can retrieve the previous v12 processed images through backups. Unfortunately I processed about a 1,000 v12 with v20.. i will just have to redo several thousand, however, that is not the end of the world.

I wouldn't consider this reverting back, except V20 has been so unstable and has left me with a corrupted catalogue several times. I have done nothing different than my usual workflow over the last number of years.
V 7,8,9 were extremely unstable for catalogs. V10 was better and 11 and 12 were excellent. Why v20 has become so fragile I have know idea, however, I can no longer risk loss and disruption until I can be absolutely assured that it has become stable.

I even rebuilt my windows 10 system from scratch figuring it had to be something wrong at my end. It just continued to flake out while with v12 I never had one problem.

It would have been so nice if someone with some knowledge in tech support been of some help.

I will post how I make out in reverting back.
Bob


Bob,

At the risk of starting something that turns out to be overly complicated and a dead end, what sort of edits have you undertaken changing the V12 initiated images to V20? Which tools used?

I'm wondering if is may be possible to just find a way to revert the processing engine and keep the edits. For a hundred images I would not bother. But for 1000 it just about makes the effort to do a first step test worthwhile.

The 5000 new ones never in V12 ... hmm.

Better, of course, would be to find a correction for the problem.

FWIW running V20 on Win 7 and using Sessions I have no significant problems. A test catalog seems to be working OK as well but I'm really not pushing any limits with that one.

Overloading the machine, especially with too many programs open, too many Firefox tabs and running short of memory when the disks are almost full has produced a few challenges. As does running the catalogue off a NAS which does not always wake from hibernation. But in the main things are fine.

It would be better if your could get to the bottom of your apparent catalogue problem rather than revert - but where best to spend the time ...?


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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby IanL » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:17 pm

rjh1007 wrote:I wouldn't consider this reverting back, except V20 has been so unstable and has left me with a corrupted catalogue several times. I have done nothing different than my usual workflow over the last number of years.
V 7,8,9 were extremely unstable for catalogs. V10 was better and 11 and 12 were excellent. Why v20 has become so fragile I have know idea, however, I can no longer risk loss and disruption until I can be absolutely assured that it has become stable.


Experiences like that make me nervous. I know there are many who have no issues but he is not alone in having problems either. Clearly I'll be doing some serious testing before making the switch. At the moment I have other things going on so I have not started yet.

SFA wrote:It would be better if your could get to the bottom of your apparent catalogue problem rather than revert - but where best to spend the time ...?


And this is where the problems with support really comes into play. Given that many people are not experiencing these problems things are very likely fixable for him but can he wait for the current support turn around times? Sounds like no. The way I see it the dissatisfaction and angst we are seeing / experiencing is the combination of a roll-out that has been less than smooth combined with changes in support that have left them less effective at helping us solve problems.
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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby ClauS » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:41 am

On December 18th I had reported a couple of bugs I was experiencing (one related to upgraded sessions). They replied on Christmas day! :shock: A couple of days later I've sent them logs and a session database as asked by support and later I've reported other bugs in the same conversation (one related to a very annoying bug on catalogs) but I never had a reply since then. Not the support I was used to.
Last edited by ClauS on Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby BeO » Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:57 am

The company is now in the hands of a venture capitalist? I must have missed this news. Is that true? But yeah, make sense, prices went up with no corresponding increase in the feature department or support experience.

That means we are probably in Phase Two. Polishing the company and Profit and Loss figures. Investing in Sales and marketing, increasing revenue stream, improving or introducing internal processes, eventually cutting costs, often bundled with off shoring (which looks good on paper but usually isn't).

Then comes Phase Three. Polished company sold, overprice, to new shareholder. Once this is detected by the new shareholder (when the shiny polish vanished), we'll see even more cost cutting, and things are getting worse. If the new shareholder is a todays' competitor, they might be trying to migrate the clients to their products, and shut down the business. Which would be Phase Last.

My guess is they will be separating the camera from the software business into independent companies somewhere along that path. Capture supports now Fuji GFX 100? Might be an indicator for that split already.

Or, I could be completely wrong.
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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby Samoreen » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:01 am

BeO wrote:Or, I could be completely wrong.


You're probably not. I have been in the software business since the late seventies. I have seen this scenario happen too many times since the early nineties. I fell into the C1 20 pre-order trap and I regret this. No significant enhancements, a lot of new bugs, a less stable product and a downgraded support. I will probably ignore further "upgrades".
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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby SFA » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:22 pm

BeO wrote:The company is now in the hands of a venture capitalist? I must have missed this news. Is that true? But yeah, make sense, prices went up with no corresponding increase in the feature department or support experience.

That means we are probably in Phase Two. Polishing the company and Profit and Loss figures. Investing in Sales and marketing, increasing revenue stream, improving or introducing internal processes, eventually cutting costs, often bundled with off shoring (which looks good on paper but usually isn't).

Then comes Phase Three. Polished company sold, overprice, to new shareholder. Once this is detected by the new shareholder (when the shiny polish vanished), we'll see even more cost cutting, and things are getting worse. If the new shareholder is a todays' competitor, they might be trying to migrate the clients to their products, and shut down the business. Which would be Phase Last.

My guess is they will be separating the camera from the software business into independent companies somewhere along that path. Capture supports now Fuji GFX 100? Might be an indicator for that split already.

Or, I could be completely wrong.


There has been external investment in Phase since 5 or 6 years ago. It's not a large enough business to attract the big, often US based, vulture investors. Not enough assets or potential tax allowances to be stripped to make it worth the biggest players paying their senior people the large salaries for the time to do the assessments.

The change last year was from a UK based business development investor with varied interests, mostly in northern Europe as far as I could tell, to a Danish investor group with a similar looking portfolio mix.

I guess the alternative options would be to borrow business development funds from fickle and potentially failing banks and rely on their business guidance and influence alone.

Splitting a company's responsibilities into different management units according to different products types and markets is nothing new and in some business philosophies is considered good practise as a company grows in terms of number of employees and development in different markets.

Clearly the Phase camera market is quite specialised with different marketplace objectives compare to the other camera brands who are left to battle things out with smart phones in the mass market.

Whilst there are still people who choose to work with RAW files and seek results that, for their purposes, need to exceed those required for internet posting, there will probably continue to be a digital editing software market. Some of the products in that market may well appeal to both Professional and hobby photographers and so be developed with both in mind. Other products may take different routes.

Your example of the Fuji GFX is probably more of a by-product of the C1 for Fuji partnership arrangements. Or maybe it was the product that drew Fuji into wanting the partnership in the first place? Who knows? Either way it does not matter.

Given that camera hardware developments are often quite feature and function specific in a professional situation there may ultimately be a requirement for any company to differentiate its supporting software to support specific needs of the a specialised market with features and functions that are of no interest to the general market. Looking at the Phase One Industrial market I think that becomes quite clear.

Cultural Heritage is another specialist area but not one that, so far, has quite such a breadth of unrelated requirements compared to core Capture One that it becomes a significantly different product at its core. Likewise Enterprise.

The Camera manufacturing industry (excluding smart phones) seems to be seeing falling sales in just about all categories - even those products related to "serious" users (whether commercial or hobbyists). How things may develop in the next few years is probably a little unpredictable. A business that is organised in such a way as to be flexible enough to optimise what turn out to be its best opportunities and jettison those that are in decline (for whatever reason but an inability to make it profitable would be a good reason), should be in a position to progress.

What that means for existing customers is not easy to predict.

We don't really live in a long term world these days - as my Nokia Windows 8.1 smart phone reminds me daily!


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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby BeO » Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:22 pm

Grant, I couldnt' agree more.

Btw., my online bank does no longer support ios 10 on my iphone 4s which is considered "ancient technology" by some, although it is just a couple of years old. So I am forced to buy a new phone, a TAN generator or change my bank.
And, as I know you have or have had a Dell mobile workstation: Many keys on my M4500 are out of order now, though only 7 years old Dell does not have a single spare keyboard in their storage anymore ...

MP3 players have replaced high fidelity audio systems from the 80s, and smart phones will replace, or have already for most people, hi fidelity cameras. Quantity and convenience over quality. But there is a niche market for high END audio systems, even high end streaming, and I believe camera industry goes the same route...
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Re: What has happened to tech support?

Postby BeO » Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:39 pm

Samoreen wrote:
BeO wrote:Or, I could be completely wrong.


You're probably not. I have been in the software business since the late seventies. I have seen this scenario happen too many times since the early nineties. I fell into the C1 20 pre-order trap and I regret this. No significant enhancements, a lot of new bugs, a less stable product and a downgraded support. I will probably ignore further "upgrades".


Samoreen, you are right there are no singificant enhancments, although their backlog must be full of significant enhancement requests. I upgraded from v11 to v13/v20 and I am satisfied so far because they have implemented quite a few improvements. However, not enough for two major versions if you ask me, and yes I agree with your list of negative points, with the exception of the support because I have not needed support recently and therefore cannot tell. This having said I also upgraded from Win7 to Win10 at pretty much the same time, which is also less stable, and I do not know which issue in C1 must be attributed to C1 and which to Win10.

Edit: I just realized I completly went off topic with my posts in this thread... :roll:
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