Welcome to Sierra's New Automated Hint Line!

By Liz Jacobs

I am so happy to be able to announce the opening of the long, long awaited arrival of our new phone system. I had mentioned in the last newsletter that AT&T was working on putting in place a new high-tech phone system that could handle virtually unlimited phone lines. The system is in place and we are able to monitor through AT&T how many phone calls get through and how many receive a busy signal. By monitoring this information, we will be able to increase the number of phone lines that are needed to provide the caliber of service that Sierra believes its customers should receive.

As many of you have already discovered, the "old" Customer Service/Hint Line (209) 683-6858 is no longer in service. That number will now redirect your call to a variety of numbers depending on your need and where you are calling from. Our "new" Customer Service number is (209) 683-8989. This number is to be used by all customers who need technical or general customer service help. If you are having trouble getting the game to run or need to find out what the status is on an order you have placed, or perhaps you just need to find out about our upcoming releases, this is the number to call. THIS IS NO LONGER THE HINT LINE.

During the time that we were conducting our study to find a solution to our phone troubles, we discovered a very interesting fact — those people who were calling Customer Service for a hint had a much more persistent redial finger!! People who needed technical support were giving up trying to get through to Customer Service. In other words, they weren't getting serviced at all! It was this fact that finalized our decision to separate the hint line from Customer Service.

For those of you who have not tried our NEW automated hint line… please do! I think you will find it's easy to use, it's fun to use, AND best of all, it will probably cost you LESS to use! You must have a touch tone phone to use this ervice, and it can only be accesed within the United States at this time. The system consists of listening to a series of menu selections and making your choice of which game and which hints you would like to hear. You can RELISTEN to the menus and the hints as many times as you care to. You may want to listen to two or three hints in the same area of the game to make sure you get ALL the information you need to progress in the game! By listening to the hint a second time, you will have the information solidly in your mind. You can stay on the hint line as long as you want, moving from game to game if you choose.

So often I have heard a customer say "I listened to the hint on the hint line and I did what it said, but it did not work." I would say that there are two major reasons for this:

1) You have done all the things that you THINK you are supposed to do, but you are playing from a "saved game" that does not include all of your actions

2) You are simply using the wrong words in your commands. If the command that you type is not the response that the game is looking for, just reword your command several different ways. Many times, if you keep "playing" with the verbiage, you will find the right command.

This hint line is fun!! Wait until you call for a Gold Rush hint and hear our "ole" miner answer your questions, or let our "English Knight" help you find your King's Quest I hint. I feel confident that these new "Sierra friends" will bring a smile to your face!

Since most of you have already experienced our "old" phone system that included sitting "on-hold" for five to twenty minutes, I am sure you can believe that the new system could cost you less on your phone bill! The new Hint Line is a "900" number. There is a $0.75 charge for the 1st minute and a $0.50 charge for every additional minute. This fee INCLUDES all charges. There will be NO additional long distance charges. Since our records indicate that most calls are averaging 3 minutes, then the average bill per call is $1.75. Check your old phone bills. I'm sure this is cheaper!

The phone number is 1-900-370-KLUE. For California residents only, the phone number is 1-900-370-5113. (Anyone UNDER the age of 16 must have parental permission to call these numbers.)

At Sierra, providing all the tools necessary for our customers to enjoy our software is of primary concern. We feel that we can now service those customers with a technical need and we are still providing hints for everyone. For those customers who do not have a touch tone phone and can not use the new hint line, we still provide hints on our Bulletin Board Service, we do sell hint books for $7.95, and we still accept your hint questions by mail. We will make every effort to address this mail quickly.

Happy Adventuring!

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