Pro Engineer/Getting the best from support
When contacting PTC's support people, it is important to bear in mind a number of suggestions in order to help them help you.
- First, remember that even if it is an emergency for you, they can't know that without you telling them. They will frequently ask, but if this is a situation where you need an answer on the same day, or the next day, politely let them know, and explain to them why; the more they know about your situation, the more they can tailor the answer to it. At the same time, keep in mind that if you're calling them at the 11th hour, the time remaining before your deadline might not be enough for them to give you the most meaningful answer. In most cases, they will try, however.
- To avoid the unhappy situation of calling Support in an emergency, try to envision possible trouble spots in a project beforehand. Ask them about possible pitfalls of one approach versus another, and chances are they will be able to enumerate the pros and cons. If nothing else, you can at least use this to obtain a call number that will get you right through if you're running into trouble at a later stage.
- Use the Web utilities to open calls. If you don't like waiting on the phone, just don't wait; they really do make it very easy to avoid, and while sometimes there will be a wait for a callback, at least your neck and shoulder aren't stiff from cradling the phone, and you've gotten some work done.
- When exchanging voicemail with them, always give the call number, even if you just gave it to the operator. When returning a call in the initial stages of discussing an issue, give them information to start off with. If the initial call description didn't have much, let them know what they should be looking at; the more you tell them, the more, and the sooner they can help you.
- When you upload data, always zip up the files. It doesn't matter if they're small, they're just more likely to get through intact if they're zipped up. Always be sure to follow their directions when sending data, to avoid wasting your time with multiple emails.
- If you're planning on sending a screenshot, but there's no problem with sending a model, just send the model. A screenshot is only useful if you think they don't believe you, and really, they've no reason not to. The model is far more useful to troubleshoot a problem, and, in many cases, not much bigger than the screenshot.
- In most cases, if they figure out what needs to be done with a model, they won't be able to send it back, for a variety of reasons. If you don't think you'll be able to do it on your own, have them walk you through it using WebEx, or request a detailed writeup over email (which is useful to refer back to as well).
- For an issue where Pro/ENGINEER exits, try the same thing multiple times. If it is not repeatable, make a note of it, but hold off on contacting Technical Support, as there probably won't be much they can do. If it is repeatable, try it with the config.pro option GRAPHICS set to WIN32_GDI (on Windows), and restart Pro/ENGINEER. If it ceases to happen at that point, it's a graphics card-related issue, and you might want to upgrade your graphics drivers. If it still happens, then you can save a lot of time in their investigation of the issue. If you send PTC a trail file, make it as simple as possible, with all files in the working directory, and no special configs or mapkeys.