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Mr. CEO and Mr. CTO,

I hope this email finds you all well! My name is Gerald (Gerry) Martin and I am the co-owner of NecroTechs, LLC in Bedford, VA. We are a contract IT service for our local veterinary office whom we adore. Today we had the unfortunate experience of having to call your IT Support for AVIMark and we are, as the custom has been, appalled at the treatment of both our time, our client’s time and money, and your employees potential interactions with each other.

I have worked in IT since the mid-2000s while having experience further back. I have worked in small business, enterprise, and academic support. If I had ever treated my clients the way your Support people have treated us, I would have been out of a job.

We called on Saturday around 2:30 PM EST to start the transfer process of AVIMark to a new server that we set up for the office. Upon being told that it would have to wait as it was now a 2 hour process with a pre-flight checklist to be done before that (please note: nowhere on your site or in an email could we find where that had been changed) we graciously scheduled for Monday at noon EST for the pre-flight. We were also told at the time that the ONLY system needed was the NEW server, not the currently running and in use AVIMark machine. 

No call ever came on Monday.

Now on Tuesday at 12:15 PM EST we were called back (my partner called at 10:09 AM EST and was told we’d get a call back around then) only to find out it hadn’t been given to the person with whom we were speaking until 4:00 PM CST on Monday. This resulted in case number XXXX with XXXX. We were quite unhappy but unsurprised to find out that XXXX did indeed need the OLD system for her checks, not the NEW server. Once again, interrupting the work of the Vet’s Office with no warning, your Support performed the pre-flight and again, assured us it would be a 2 hour procedure. We questioned it at the time as while watching I noticed she was only checking cursory file locations and no sizes. After expressing displeasure at the fact that not only did we not get the scheduled call back on Monday and the obviously errant information about the systems needed, she let us know that it would be done the next day.

Today your Support actually called us on time and we did have to call them back about 10 minutes later as we were waiting for someone at the office to arrive so I do appreciate the punctuality there. After that followed a 4 hour mess with infrequent updates and several reassurances that we would meet the 1pm deadline with no issues. This was after the already far exceeded 2 hour process we had been assured of so many times.

The Vet, obviously needing their equipment, requested to have AVIMark running at 1pm since that was what we had passed on to them from your Support. Finally my partner placed me on a 3-way call at 12:54 PM EST so I could inquire about what the issues with completion under the multiple deadlines were. XXXX (Case #: XXXX) attempted to pass it off as taking only a few more minutes (which the same message had been told to us many times already at that point). While curt, and short but using no profanities (as that is unacceptable in any interaction from a user to support) I asked her about the entire job from start to finish and confirmed what we had been told. She explained to me that she did not have any notes or comments from prior to the ticket today but (as I was looking up the case number to put for her conversation) the case number is the same (I may have added an extra 8 on XXXX’s reading of them to me) so I find this odd. Was she able to see notes and confirm what I said or did she not have any notes and then proceeded to just try to placate me (and lie in the process) about the case?

I invited her to please share the recording with you all of the conversation. During the conversation she indicated that the AVIMark software could still be run on the old server while it was transferring to the new server. After questioning this and explaining that it couldn’t be possible as files that are in use in a copy prior to opening by the software CANNOT be opened by the software and conversely, files in use by the software CANNOT be copied by the system. After explaining that to her, she broke off to confirm with an actual IT Tech (her words, not mine) that it was indeed the case. So if we did not have a tech, as we were told we would be on Saturday, who were we working with?

She returned and informed me that I was correct. At that point, every deadline and option that you all presented were expired. I finally confirmed that all that was needed was for us to transfer the files overnight OURSELVES (since that is something we are MORE THAN CAPABLE of doing) and then have you all set up AVIMark Guardian tomorrow morning. Frankly, I would also do the AVIMark Guardian piece but since the Vet’s office is paying you a support contract, I fully intend to have you all complete the job you were supposed to have completed already. 

As I explained to XXXX, everything above went far past unacceptable once EOB Monday was reached. Everything past that has me concerned for any future attempts at getting support for an AVIMark issue for the Vet’s office with any guarantee of completion on time and repaired correctly. These are people who are depending on the software that they have purchased and support they have contracted from you in order to maintain their livelihoods. Being unable to properly access patient records, process images, schedule appointments, be able to contact their clients, and to know when you schedule Vet Techs and other employees in order to for them to have a paycheck, is unacceptable when the company is guaranteeing that they will have the appropriate uptime and have repeatedly proven to be unable to do so.

I hope that you all will take this email quite seriously. I am guessing that the reports you receive from your employees further down do not indicate any issues of this type or that there is much customer dissatisfaction. I may be wrong, this may be an aberration, but this has been the problem nearly EVERY time the Vet’s office has called. Today was just the last straw since we were there and were the ones engaging with AVIMark support and had another poor experience the last time we had to do a transfer about a month ago when their primary system crashed.

I would love to hear back from you all about these concerns. My contact information is within my signature and I am available at nearly any time to discuss this.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Sincerely,
Gerald (Gerry) Martin
Owner, NecroTechs, LLC

So I haven’t had a chance to tell everyone yet but my proposal for the Virginia Cyber Range‘s (https://www.virginiacyberrange.org/) “VA CYBER EDU CON” (https://www.vacybereducon.org/) that will be held virtually from July 27-28, 2020 was accepted!

I will be presenting “Using Gaming to Reinforce Cybersecurity Concepts.” This will include topics on gamification to encourage student interaction, using existing “realistic” games such as NITE Team 4 by (@aliceandsmith, Alice & Smith), designing new reinforcement/education tools, and show ways to explain techniques like those mentioned by @MalwareTechBlog, @hacks4pancakes, @Kitboga, and others on social media (the 4 previously mentioned groups/users are on Twitter). There will also be a section on popular media such as the movie “Hackers,” and the television show “Mr. Robot,” and how to use that to educate and reinforce key principles. cyber privacy infosec cyberrange gaming gamification education informationsecurity itso

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