Disqus and FriendFeed Rock Again [Good Customer Service]

As we reported earlier, Disqus released its new version today with support for local comment storage and a range of other features. Part of the upgrade was a brand new WordPress API plugin, the non javascript plugin that allows comments to be seen by search engines on the local site, and the main reason I started using Disqus back in May.

I upgraded to the new plugin and all seemed fine, and then I noticed that posts here at The Inquisitr were not appearing in FriendFeed. I have the manual refresh greasemonkey script installed, and no matter how many times I tried to refresh my feeds, nothing was coming in after hours of trying. It may not seem a big deal, but we incorporate FriendFeed comments here on The Inquisitr, so if items aren’t hitting FriendFeed, they are missing out on comments, and I strongly value the FriendFeed communities feedback and opinions.

At 12:11pm AEST (7:11pm PDT) I sent FriendFeed founder Paul Buchheit an email, asking if he was able to take a look, or if not could he forward the issue to someone who could (I don’t have a list of FriendFeed employees, but I’m guessing they have customer help people). 2:16pm I receive a response saying that my feed contains invalid XML, with a highlighted example, and a note saying “Sorry for the troubles — we need to get better at reflecting feed errors in the UI.” Being at a loss as to what might be causing the issue, I turned to FriendFeed, asking simply

“need some help if anyone knows XML + feeds. Email from Paul Buchheit saying The Inquisitr’s feed is invalid because it includes

Shortly there after Tim Hoeck responds suggesting that it might be Disqus related. 2:28pm I email Disqus CEO Daniel Ha, noting the invalid code and pointing him to the FriendFeed entry. A little later I forward him Paul’s email thinking that it might help. 2:44pm email from Daniel: “I’ll investigate to see if this is an issue on our end. Sorry for any inconvenience. I’ll let you know as soon as I find anything out.” 3:11pm “We figured out the issue and will be updating the plugin shortly. Sorry about the inconvenience, Duncan.” 3:27pm “The fix is in the newest package of the plugin.” In between times Paul Buchheit emails me to let me know that he’s pinged Disqus “I emailed Disqus just in case it’s related to their new release. Also, I’ve updated our blog feed parser to be more tolerant of errors, so your feed should start updating again.” End result, in a little over an hour after identifying the source of the problem, it was fixed, roughly 3 hours if we count the first email. No matter what the time, super quick.

The bug in Disqus’ code was a little annoying, but the customer service was second to none. Same for FriendFeed, they were happy to help and not buck pass internally on the issue, and even went out of their way to contact Disqus as well without being asked.

It may sound a little corny, but this is why I’m happy to lend my support to both companies. Far too often is the end user forgotten as services grow big, and the personal touch is lost, but both continue to maintain a responsiveness that places them ahead of their peers. They understand, when many others don’t, that every customer counts and every customer is important. Once again, Disqus and FriendFeed rock.

(img credit: cmercier)



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