Monday, June 12, 2017

Not LinkedIn Overseas

I'm amazed how often major Internet tools are left to decay by their development teams. LinkedIn is just the latest site to show signs of neglect. I realize they don't make enough money to have any technical support but somebody should still be minding the store!

Panama City, Panama 17060025

I travel overseas frequently but now version 9.1.33 of the LinkedIn app no longer works overseas. My Internet connection works fine. The website version works fine and allows sign-in with my same credentials. The iPad and iPhone apps suddenly act like I've never had an account. This happens in Puerto Rico and France too so I know it is not related to Panama. The app does not accept my credentials or prompt for the usual Pin code. My account had not been compromised as other users experience the same frustration. I'm also surprised to learn they have no online support whatsoever, other than a User forum. As a result LinkedIn will never even know they have an issue. This is as bad as Apple, another large tech firm showing signs of decay. General Motors would go out of business without excellent customer support.

My major corporate clients tell me this is always the case for them. The app is only for U.S.-based usage, several of them say, due to security concerns. This issue cancelled an entire training session for new, young banking professionals in Panama today. The VP of the bank advised he has discouraged his team from using LinkedIn for this very reason. It was once useful but now is only a waste of time.
Years ago LinkedIn was reliable and a useful business networking site. The suggestions from my international training clients indicate that it went downhill overseas after a major hack a few years back. Inside the U.S. it works fine, outside you can rarely get logged in or stay logged in long enough to get anything accomplished.

In order to grow, U.S.-based firms often fail to understand that international growth is where it's at. I began to offer international training services, in addition to serving my U.S customers, in 1986. Both customer bases are still growing but income from overseas assignments is always a reliable and lucrative source of income. The work actually compliments my U.S. training sessions. A firm once as large as LinkedIn definitely should already know this. My concern is that Microsoft is simply neglecting their acquisition or perhaps cutting back on investments in a service where only 25% of the members are active. Microsoft support for smaller clients has never been very good, I suppose this is the case now that LinkedIn is one of perhaps too many Microsoft products.

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