In a software development company: Is every bug reported by the customer a complaint?

#1
Hi all,
So glad I found this forum!
We are a software development firm and we deliver support on all our apps.
We have a complete department dealing with bugs, most of them reported by the customers.
Should we consider all bugs as complaints or are they non-conformities?
In what case should a bug be considered a complaint?
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
Using the definition of Software Bug: "A software bug is an error, flaw, failure or fault in a computer program or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways", they are nonconformities. I would think that if a customer reports a bug to your company it would also be considered a Customer Complaint.
 

qualprod

Trusted Information Resource
#3
We are a software development firm and we deliver support on all our apps.
We have a complete department dealing with bugs, most of them reported by the customers.
Should we consider all bugs as complaints or are they non-conformities?
In what case should a bug be considered a complaint?
In my point of View, no.

Because into an ISO system, a complaint needs a special treatment, could you imagine to treat hundreds of complaints?
IMO , all this kind of feedbacks of customers normally are considered in contracts, e.g.meetings, every week, to evaluate progress of projects, feedback of project, into it , bugs could be considered.

A complaint, I think ,it could be a project delayed, excessive bugs reported, slow treatment to bugs, etc.
Complaints regarding to what is out of the contract or agreements is expected.

Hope this helps
 
#4
A bug could also be reproducible under certain conditions only which makes almost imposible to consider all cases. However, in big companies, QA team is also big so they have all the support they need to run several tests before launching an app for an important company or organization. Having said this, I agree with @qualprod
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
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#5
Not sure how you can avoid acknowledging that customer feedback of bugs is a complaint.

A "bug" (per Marc's definition above) is an error, flaw, failure or fault.
A complaint is "a statement that a situation is unsatisfactory or unacceptable " (Google defs)

If it was acceptable, they wouldn't have called.
If it was right, it wouldn't be a bug.
A bug report is a statement that an unsatisfactory flaw exists in your product. Right in the 10 ring for "complaint".
The only exception I can think of is if the customer is happy with bugs, and is just letting you know that they are extra pleased to have them.

Don't try to call it something else...work on how you handle them instead...
 

Peter Fraser

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#6
It depends on the customer's expectations. No software is bug free, and sensible customers will recognise that, and in fact they may be part of the testing and commissioning process, which actually expects them to find bugs. In some cases bugs can be (treated as) opportunities for improvement. A flaw might be that the software does not deal with a situation that the customer didn't specify as a requirement, so they would be hard-pushed to complain (unless they were relying on you as experts (and perhaps mind-readers)).
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#8
A flaw might be that the software does not deal with a situation that the customer didn't specify as a requirement, so they would be hard-pushed to complain (unless they were relying on you as experts (and perhaps mind-readers)).
A good point, though I would still be compelled to call it a complaint...I may handle that complaint simply by noting that it has no factual or mutually agreed basis...but that doesn't stop it from being a complaint IMO.

Sometimes I wonder if folks try so hard to avoid using the word "complaint" due to a false preconception that the complaint handling process must be huge and onerous. In fact many complaints can be handled by documenting "we choose to do nothing about this".

A customer complaining that we only shipped one day early instead of three days early...is still a complaint, but gets "we were early, not late, case closed" and filed.
 
#9
The reason I asked is that we are going for ISO9001 certification, but apart from that it is an interesting question i think.
Bugs ore more ore less accepted in the business therefore I think not every bug should be treated like a complaint.

The way i feel it is that complaints are about expectations not being met and it is all about communication.
If we treat all bugs as complaints we have lots of complaints which are now handled just fine within our operation processes

Perhaps it would be a good idea if you can 'promote' certain bugs to complaints so they are treated as such
Maybe when bugs are very serious and/or the customer feels expectations are not met at all
 
#10
Sometimes I wonder if folks try so hard to avoid using the word "complaint" due to a false preconception that the complaint handling process must be huge and onerous. In fact many complaints can be handled by documenting "we choose to do nothing about this".
but you could also use the complaint 'label' for identifying and fixing more serious issues, using a special process, perhaps involving account managent etc. In that case maybe calling everything a complaint is not the best option?
 
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