Oracle Support Sucks…. Again.


Once again Oracle provides a less than perfect service on the support front. Let’s take a look at my latest encounter.

20-JUN-2005 – I raised an iTAR because the CC and BCC lists of the UTL_MAIL.SEND procedure don’t work. Emails are sent properly for people listed in the RECIPIENTS list, but mail to CC and BCC lists never get sent. I also sent this example code:

UTL_MAIL.send(sender     => '',
recipients => '',
cc         => '',
bcc        => '',
subject    => 'UTL_MAIL Test',
message    => 'If you get this message it worked!');

Assuming these were real email addresses person1 would receive a mail, while person2 and person3 would not. I was able to repeat this issue on Tru64 and Windows.

Within a couple of hours support requested an OWC (Oracle Web Conferencing) session to investigate further. Unfortunately I never received the email of the iTAR update so I didn’t reply.

13-JUL-2005 – The iTAR gets updated asking me for an OWC session again. This time I get an email so I respond saying I don’t think an OWC session is necessary as there is nothing to show. The sample code says it all. In this case the OWC session seemed like complete waste of both our time.

14-JUL-2005 – The iTAR is updated requesting an OWC session again. I say OK and connect. During the 10 minute conference (accompanied by a phone call) my only input was to show the sample code, which was already in the iTAR. First I’m told the issue can’t be progressed as I’m not on the latest patch, to which I reply that is the latest patch for Tru64. After that the support guy searches and finds a generic bug listed as being fixed in If this bug had been public I would have found it and not raised the iTAR in the first place.

The iTAR is now closed.

Now I realize that the majority of the time wasted here is down to me waiting for an email that never came, rather than checking the iTAR status directly. Obviously, if this had been an important issue for me I would not have let it drag on so long, but the whole process took nearly 4 weeks to inform me that my problem was an existing bug. I think that’s pretty shocking, especially since the bug was found using the information from the original iTAR, not the subsequent OWC session.

Conclusion – I assume the support people work to quotas. By replying to ask a followup question or request an OWC session they can tick a box to say they’ve responded. I’m sure the statistics relating to response times at Oracle support make very impressive reading, but I believe the truth is very different.

I don’t have a problem with the support people themselves. Some are great and some are not. I just think the support process sucks! We pay a ridiculous amount of money for what I can only describe as a crappy service. These days I raise iTARs in an attempt to improve the product/documentation, not because I expect to get an answer. I’m more likely to do that by visiting a free forum or searching on Google.

I suppose I should be grateful. At least you get an answer to DB support requests. That’s more than can be said for AS10g support requests! We close those out of boredom 🙂



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

13 thoughts on “Oracle Support Sucks…. Again.”

  1. We pay a ridiculous amount of money for what I can only describe as a crappy service.
    How can I get my support costs knocked down to ridiculous? We pay outrageous support fees now.

  2. mysql
    …already going down that road. First it’s the stuff that’s not mission critical, then it’s somewhat critical, and before you know it I’m rid of Sun and Oracle.

  3. What you forgot to mention was which Enterprise Collaboration Solution you are using in order to not receive the emails from Oracle Support!!

  4. When communicating (especially when talking to the duty manager) with oracle support: be prepared to learn that you simply do not have enought skills to do the kind of job that you are trying to do doing – else you would not have any (silly!) questions. be also prepared to learn that an oracle-partner ($$$) could solve the issue for you.

  5. We opened up a Severity Level 1 service request with Oracle on 15th May, 2008. The problem is not solved on 22nd May, 2008. More than 15 different analysts worked on the issue and they have not been figured out what the root-cause of the issue is. After escalating to the duty manager, he is not even willing to commit how long it will take to resolve the issue.

    One lesson that we learned that never go to the latest patchset level. It is better to be always one level behind in the patchset level. We decided to go with thinking that it will have more bugs fixed. What we found that in, Oracle introduced even a new process for the cluster service monitoring – “oprocd”. This process did not exist in the or earlier releases of the Oracle’s cluster services on Linux.

    It was also surprising that when we asked do you see the error that we see in your test environment also. On asking the same questions multiple times, one analyst answered —

    “Unfortunately ,I don’t have environment running,could you please confirm that SELinux is disabled ,if it is not disabled please disable it and check for the issue
    ,please consult operating system administrator to do that.”

  6. Hi.

    I can fully appreciate that working for Oracle support must be a really hard job. I think the most shocking thing about your statement is the support analysts not having the same environment as you to test with. I’ve experienced this myself. We run our systems on Tru64 and during several support requests I’ve been told they don’t have Tru64 instances available to test against.

    I guess the moral of this story is use a first tier platform and with a bit of luck they will have some kit available, but maybe not. 🙂



  7. I’ve had a TAR opened for over 3 months on a R12 issue. I’ve escalated three times. I finally got a response for an OWC, which I missed due to the fact that I was on hold with Oracle support. Four days later, they respond to the call back at MIDNIGHT my time! I can’t believe how this company gets away with such piss poor service! I’d rather, dare I say, work with SQL server or SAP… ANYTHING is better than this treatment!

  8. A few weeks back we had a Sev 2 issue with Siebel and after 3 days still no real response so we called and called asking for a manager. When we FINALLY got a manager to call us he said that if it was that urgent we should have escalated sooner. So I guess that’s the process. If you want your issue worked log it and then escalate. But when you do finally get a support person assigned just hope they speak even a little bit of intelligible english. Support sucks since Oracle bought Siebel. And 8.0.5 is buggy as hell. The fixes are even worse!

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