The Autodesk discussion groups are awful

Yes, the Autodesk discussion groups are still awful. In other breaking news, the Pacific Ocean continues to be wet.

I seldom visit them any more, but I just hopped on to the Autodesk discussion groups to see what progress had been made in fixing the many problems that have been pointed out here, on the groups themselves, in official problem reports, and elsewhere. Little or none, it seems.

Search? There are still apparently only 188 uses of the word “autocad” in the tens of thousands of posts in the AutoCAD groups, ever. Editor? It not only still vacuums, when I just tried it out it vacuumed even harder than before, with delays of over a minute when switching between tabs and nasty screen formatting issues when the switch eventually occurred. Attachments that can’t be viewed? Check. Visible email addresses? Yup, still there. Everything I looked at was just as bad as it was last time I looked. Maybe something has been improved somewhere, but I gave up looking.

I know there’s an Autodesk cultural tendency to pretend problems don’t exist for the sake of saving face, but that just doesn’t cut it here. (Actually, it doesn’t cut it anywhere, but that’s another story). What kind of face does this debacle present to the world? What does it make Autodesk look like?

  • A company that doesn’t understand the Internet.
  • A company that doesn’t know how to write software that works.
  • A company that fails to seek user feedback on changes until it is too late.
  • A company that can’t fix things that are broken.
  • A company that doesn’t care about its customers’ privacy.
  • A company that refuses to listen to customers who point out problems.

Now I happen to know that this is not a fair and accurate representation of everyone and everything at Autodesk. Nothing like it. Nevertheless, that is the face that is being presented by this utter disaster of an “upgrade” and the failure to fix or even acknowledge the problems introduced by it. The people at Autodesk who really do care about the customer (yes, there are many such people) must be sickened when this sort of thing happens, particularly when it happens in such a public way. It reflects badly on everybody in the company, even the majority who are well-meaning and innocent of customer-harming activities.

It is now over a month since the old (and perfectly functional) discussion groups were killed. It does not appear to be possible to make the new ones work adequately. Autodesk, please bite the bullet and end this failed experiment now.

3 comments to The Autodesk discussion groups are awful

  • A company with $1 billion in the bank should be able to farm out tasks like the web update and newsgroup ‘improvements’, to a firm who knows how to do such things.

  • Chris

    I would agree with you 100% except for one small exception. I was part of a group that was asked by AutoDesk what features I would like on the new support site. I was not given the opportunity to actually see the site or anything like that prior to release, but there was a group of people that were asked what features they would like to see. So, one of your points was that they didn’t ask for feedback, when in reality they did ask for it. Albeit, it would have been nice to test it before they released it because the site is now a complete wreck.

  • I’m a lab coordinator with a large substantial monetary account with an Autodesk reseller .. here in Kansas City.

    I’m “Old School” when it comes to security of software piracy, here at Johnson County Community College.

    I have strong reason to believe that someone has “hijacked” our institutions registration codes for our account.

    There is an inventory in place locally. We maintain and keep track of all systems registered with our ACES package Suite. Mysteriously, I recieve several activation codes periodically…un-requested by anyone from my account to Autodesk Codes Registraion.

    Immediately report/query to Autodesk Codes registration reveals/recieves some very pointed and negative feedback from them. It is strongly felt the feedback recieved is business-like reprimand, “be silent and take what we give you, we know what we are doing”.

    Autodesk used to be maintained by bonified Americans in Research and Developement, what ever happened to the americans that used to work there in these positions?

    Suggestion:

    When Autodesk uses personnel from foreign countries to operate in thier Codes and registration areas… and probaly eleswhere, there needs to be some governing body that is purely English-based and bias accountable for the needs of the English-based customers it provides support for.

    Its like a hamburger joint, full of illegal aliens that virtually throws the food accross the counter at its customers while the English manager is unaware of the activity.

    What ever happened to the original values of Autodesk
    designers that have now retired and left the company in the hands of young vibrant juveniles that seem like they know nothing about engineering except for how to program software to perform from thier point of view and at times very inefficient.

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