Can I just put in my 2c... now that everything is working...
Personally, I think that having tickets close automatically, instead of taking hours/days/weeks longer to resolve is the better alternative.
Personally I think that they should follow the normal practice of ticket management like most professional companies. This is how I imagine most IT service companies would do it...
1. Customer raises a ticket
2. Service manager sees ticket, assigns a Service Person to handle it, puts it in a "processing state"
3. When details emerge on the issue like "waiting for Telstra" there is some note made by the SP. Ticket status remains "processing" (or a sub-status with details) and Customer gets email of the details (or SMS or email to alternate email address supplied via ticket system)
4. If a Customer gives more information the ticket status doesn't change there is just a notice (for the SP) of a new post.
5. If the 3rd party says its fixed (or the SP fixes it) then the ticket is updated with the details of the fix. The status could then go to "fixed - awaiting customer confirmation". Email to Customer.
6. If the Customer confirms - case closed.
7. If the doesn't confirm cause they weren't bothered... then it automatically gets closed after a time - lets say 7 days - and it becomes "closed" with a note saying confirmation was timed-out (to the Customer).
8. If the Customer states it isn't fixed they can indicate it isn't and the state moves to "processing" again.
9. The customer can "cancel" the ticket at any time and its status is "cancelled"
It really is simple... the Exetel engineers don't have to chase customers just fix things that are assigned to them in a "processing" state.
If you want to get technical they could even have sub states in processing like - awaiting Telstra, requested hardware, investigating issues. Plus system could have a feature like re-assign jobs if their workloads are too much. Maybe even a common fault tagging... the list goes on.
Now if Exetel doesn't have a quality ticketing system you must wonder why - it causes more work (and thus costs them $$$) when people aren't happy with no idea of what is going reopening their tickets all the time... calling, posting to forums
and generally crying out in despair. Bad for the companies profile... bad for their marketing... bad for the engineers stress levels who have to put up with upset customers.
I do agree the engineers need to focus on fixing problems - that is why you have a good ticketing management system to give them that opportunity.
Anyway there is my short essay on the subject.[/quote]