Hidden Bulb requests page - is there a plan to make it public? — Bulb Community

Hidden Bulb requests page - is there a plan to make it public?

So, while looking up the Bulb logo SVG I noticed a link to a zendesk submission form for support queries.

From there, I got to this page which (if you create a password) gives you a list of your past support queries submitted via help@bulb.co.uk

Is there a plan to make this more public? It's quite nice!

Comments

  • edited February 12
    mowcius said:

    Hidden Bulb requests page - is there a plan to make it public?

    I think it already is now =)

    In other news, I got free WiFi at a hotel stay awhile back just by poking around on their server. The default page asked for an authorisation code and had a box to tick to accept the terms. But going up the URL a level or two revealed a bunch of other forms with different types of authentication, since the server was misconfigured to still give the list of files in the directory if there was no default index page. One of the methods was for free access which had nothing but the box to tick to accept the terms. Gee, I think I'll sign in that way, thanks!
  • edited February 12
    I've registered. I've had to create two accounts due to the way I use different email addresses, but anyway.

    I can see I have created four tickets:
    • One is marked "solved" and has actually been solved.
    • Two have been closed and marked as "solved" but aren't, with no response ever sent. Nice. That's an easy way of quickly resolving tickets. Both done by the same member of Team Bulb as it happens.
    • One is still "open" with last activity 3 months ago and no response sent.
    I've used Zendesk before, but never thought to try the standard Zendesk URLs to see if they would work with the Bulb Zendesk account. This is certainly better than trying to deal with everything over email. I wonder why they don't publish the help desk system more widely. I think this thread is going to get deleted @mowcius.
  • edited February 13
    Hooloovoo said:

    I've used Zendesk before, but never thought to try the standard Zendesk URLs to see if they would work with the Bulb Zendesk account. This is certainly better than trying to deal with everything over email. I wonder why they don't publish the help desk system more widely. I think this thread is going to get deleted @mowcius.

    I think the correct response from Bulb would be to stop hiding these pages (and ideally make them SSO), or stop it being accessible externally.

    Removing the thread doesn't really make any sense.

  • mowcius said:

    I think the correct response from Bulb would be to stop hiding these pages (and ideally make them SSO), or stop it being accessible externally.

    The help pages and service desk system are hosted externally by Zendesk, rather than co-hosted with the Bulb servers. Whether it's possible to block certain parts of Zendesk all depends on what options are available. I doubt they have the facility to make only certain pages open to the whole internet and SSO would likely be difficult.

    $ host www.bulb.co.uk
    www.bulb.co.uk is an alias for ing1.bulb.co.uk.
    ing1.bulb.co.uk has address 35.190.27.93

    $ host help.bulb.co.uk
    help.bulb.co.uk is an alias for bulbenergy.zendesk.com.
    bulbenergy.zendesk.com has address 104.16.52.111
    bulbenergy.zendesk.com has address 104.16.54.111
    bulbenergy.zendesk.com has address 104.16.55.111
    bulbenergy.zendesk.com has address 104.16.51.111
    bulbenergy.zendesk.com has address 104.16.53.111
    bulbenergy.zendesk.com mail is handled by 10 pod13-ahg-InLoadBa-2NS2RC2UCXBX-1540700015.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com.
  • Hi both.

    A good find @mowcius

    This page has been about since we first started using Zendesk. It's just the external version of what we use. On that page, you can submit tickets which go straight to our email inbox.

    We don't use it for a couple of reasons.
    • We have an email address. In keeping with our value of simplicity, we didn't think having another email channel would help.
    • As you say @Hooloovoo, it shows the 'status' of your email. The 'solved' status doesn't mean 'case closed'. It means we've responded to the member and are waiting for them to get back to us. So this could cause some confusion.
    • The login is a bit of a faff. You have to reset your password if you want to log in. This isn't a great user experience.
    On the other hand, it's quite handy to see all the tickets you've sent to us. You can't see other member's tickets, so there's no data breach. Plus, you can mark your own ticket as 'solved' if your question has been sorted in the meantime.

    If you think it's something to develop further, let us know. We can add it to the road map of ideas.

    If so, what changes would you make?
  • As you say @Hooloovoo, it shows the 'status' of your email. The 'solved' status doesn't mean 'case closed'. It means we've responded to the member and are waiting for them to get back to us. So this could cause some confusion.

    Not in my case. I have two tickets that have been marked as "Solved" and there has been no response on either. The ticket shows there hasn't been a response sent, at least not via the ticket, and I haven't received anything. I'd actually forgotten I'd even sent them. If you're interested they are ticket numbers 2704547 and 2704626. Although 2704626 has been superseded by 2733686 which is still "Open" but has not had a response for 3 months.

    In the "Status" filter there is an option to filter by "Awaiting your reply", implying that there is a status that can be set to indicate when the clock has been stopped and it is now waiting for the customer to do something. If the calls are being marked as "Solved" meaning you're waiting for the customer to reply, then this seems to me to be using Zendesk incorrectly ...

    The login is a bit of a faff. You have to reset your password if you want to log in. This isn't a great user experience.

    It's only a faff if first contact has been made by email, because that auto-creates a passwordless user account for that email address. You then have to get a link to a password reset form in order to be able to login. This wouldn't happen if the user created an account first and then opened a ticket, or if SSO was possible with the Bulb account.

    If so, what changes would you make?

    I definitely think some sort of secure messaging system should be implemented. Discussing my energy account isn't exactly as security-critical as communicating with a bank, but I'd still rather not be doing it over plain text email. Being able to see the ticket message thread in the helpdesk portal is also more convenient than having to keep track of emails. I'll definitely be using the Zendesk portal from now on since I've set up the account.
  • https://help.bulb.co.uk/hc/en-us/requests/new

    Easier to keep track of requests via this than e-mail, imo..


  • This is why we're not using this page @Hooloovoo. The way we work tickets was not with the member in mind. In the case of the 'solved' ticket you mention, we have left an internal note. That's because we solved your query in a duplicate ticket, or in other cases over the phone. It's the same for the 'open' ticket that you followed up yesterday.

    If we were to use the external Zendesk page for members, we'd need to rethink how to categorize tickets. At the moment, it is 'solved' unless the member gets back to us and the ticket is then 'open' again.

    Again, the SSO would be a problem we could overcome if we were to start using this method of member communication.

  • edited February 13

    This is why we're not using this page @Hooloovoo. The way we work tickets was not with the member in mind. In the case of the 'solved' ticket you mention, we have left an internal note. That's because we solved your query in a duplicate ticket, or in other cases over the phone. It's the same for the 'open' ticket that you followed up yesterday.

    If we were to use the external Zendesk page for members, we'd need to rethink how to categorize tickets. At the moment, it is 'solved' unless the member gets back to us and the ticket is then 'open' again.

    Just to be clear, @Eleanor at Bulb, the tickets I mention have received no response via any medium, and so by either definition of "solved" they are still not solved.

    Request 2704547 (November 20, 2018 10:55) - marked as solved by Elliot but silently ignored from my perspective even if an internal note was made. This was related to tariff information defined in my smart meter being wrong after price changes. The tariff information is still wrong as of two weeks ago when I last checked. No one has asked me if the tariff information is now correct.

    Request 2704626 (November 20, 2018 10:59) - marked as solved by Elliot but silently ignored from my perspective. This was related to pairing a CAD with my smart meter.

    Request 2733686 (November 22, 2018 18:30) - opened by Alistair after live chat. Same subject as 2704626, I tried live chat after not getting a response to 2704626. Alistair said "I've raised it with the team and I'll be in touch once I get a response". Nothing more after that so again silently ignored from my perspective.

    It's useful to see these via the portal because I'd given up expecting a response to the questions and had mostly forgotten I'd even asked.
  • edited February 13
    I've opened a can of worms here.

    At the moment, it is 'solved' unless the member gets back to us and the ticket is then 'open' again.

    Honestly to me that sounds like a problem. I've worked in support for a lot of years, and I can't see how that would be a functional way of managing tickets while providing a good customer experience.
  • Yes, @Hooloovoo I've taken a look at all the content of your emails.

    Elliot should have responded to both questions in one email. Instead, he closed one and only answered one of your questions in the other thread.

    I can see that you've followed up the request with Alistair. I've given him a nudge on this to get a response across.

    Of course, we do try our best to answer all our member queries. In the case of these emails, we've let you down. That gives us something to improve upon.

    Again, the 'solved' button is simply named 'solved' but is not 'case closed' on our end.

    If we were to make this page a way for members to get in touch, we'd have to make changes to the way we use Zendesk.

    For the time being, we won't be shouting about it. As you've demonstrated it has caused a bit of confusion. Although, it's clearly a useful way for you to track your previous emails.



  • And @mowcius

    There are lots of other in between categories. For example, we can put an email in our own 'pending' inbox.

    Yes, it seems to have created a little confusion, which is why we don't shout about it. It's just a default external page from Zendesk.
  • There are lots of other in between categories. For example, we can put an email in our own 'pending' inbox.

    That sounds even worse!

    Email is basically the devil and is what Zendesk is pretty much designed to manage for you!

    Perhaps I've just been spoilt by using custom written support software and purely managing internal clients though.
  • edited February 13
    mowcius said:

    That sounds even worse!

    Email is basically the devil and is what Zendesk is pretty much designed to manage for you!

    Agreed. Email is not a filing system! There should be no such thing as a "pending inbox". There do seem to have been some bizarre decisions made at Bulb. Why would you pay for Zendesk services and then come up with some kind of weird hybrid support system and deliberately try to subvert how Zendesk is intended to work?

    I do feel that the queries I've had silently ignored goes some way to explaining the number of customers posting on here complaining that they've not had a response. I'm not entirely convinced by the argument that I received a response to one query, and the intention would have been to make a combined-reply to all queries at once, because the query/response dates don't match up. But I don't really want to argue about it any more. Having issues separated into tickets is done precisely to ensure all questions get answered - closing a ticket and intending to make a combo-reply is just asking for trouble. I deliberately only ever ask one question per email because I've had so much experience of people in general that can't cope if you ask more than one!
  • I'd like to see something like the ISP Plusnet's system.
    Queries, problems, faults etc can be raised by phone, chat or the forum (they don't accept emails for anything :/ ), and each will be recorded on a ticket.
    At any time, a customer can view all open tickets, tickets closed in the last seven days, or search within a date range - 2 years IIRC.
  • 198kHz said:

    I'd like to see something like the ISP Plusnet's system.
    Queries, problems, faults etc can be raised by phone, chat or the forum (they don't accept emails for anything :/ ), and each will be recorded on a ticket.
    At any time, a customer can view all open tickets, tickets closed in the last seven days, or search within a date range - 2 years IIRC.

    That's precisely what Zendesk does when used in the intended way. Quite why Bulb have paid for a working off-the-shelf service desk system and then hobbled it beyond me.
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