Dear VMworld (part 2)

Dear VMworld,

Well you sent you me a nice email today, to tell me you had added sessions, for the lab you had overbooked. The email informed me that overbooked users would be given priority to ensure that those users would be accommodated. So I logged into my session builder and selected the date and time that was suitable (Tue 7:30 am). However the system wouldn’t allow me to change the session time, as I was already on the waiting list for original session. So I remove myself from the original session. Now when I try to select the replacement session, it tells me it’s also full and there is no waiting list. The session builder won’t even allow me back onto the waiting list for the original one.

So much for providing priority places. Just how many people were double booked?

Well, I’m now in an even worse position than I was this morning. Unfortunately, all these emails come from a do_not_reply address, so I can’t even contact VMware. Anyone facing the same thing (again)?

Update:

I was contacted (2nd comment below) by Margaret Pfeiffer. Margaret works in VMware’s “Marketing Communications” (presumably a synonym for the PR department).

She was able to make this statement:

“We definitely had an issue with all instances of LAB 04. It was identified in the schedule builder with the wrong occupancy for the room, which was not uncovered until it had been fully subscribed. (Purely human error.) Once we realized we had an issue, we tried to move the lab into a larger room. However, due to the technology demands to run this lab, it wasn’t possible to move it. So, we were left with the unfortunate choice of having to bump people from the labs. Admittedly, we didn’t do a very good job communicating this to attendees BEFORE it happened. But, with the addition of seats in the back of the room, and the additional labs, we are hoping that we are accommodating most, if not all, the folks who were affected by our error.”

This is obviously related to a particular lab class, however it didn’t explain the numerous other bumps and drops that some people experienced.

On the Friday evening, VMware contacted several people who missed out in LAB04 problems and offered them a free Boot Camp which was being run on the Sunday. I doubt that many people would be able take advantage of this offer, at such short notice, and things didn’t seem to go so well.

Issues like this are always going to happen at such large events. However its how organisations react to them which speaks volumes. To VMware’s credit they did put on additional classes for some events and tried to “reach out” after the problems. I’m here at VMworld now, so have high hopes for the week.

2 thoughts on “Dear VMworld (part 2)

  1. Well, at least you got an email!

    I logged in today to check my schedule as saw that one of the sessions I registered for (and hour after registration opened) was now marked as having me on standby.

    I called the 800 number and was instructed to send an email with explanation to:
    VMworld2009Registration@jackmorton.com

    I promptly got back what appears to be a form letter saying how sorry they were for the confusion and how they will take it up with VMware….. but go ahead and schedule something else in that timeslot.

    I’ve seen FREE events with less bugs that this one I paid two grand to attend. The site is abysmal, the timing of the promised tools is abysmal, and apparently their ability to build a schedule is also abysmal.

    Good luck, but I doubt you’ll get any satisfaction….

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