Thursday, March 24, 2016

Another VCIX-NV Fiasco at Pearson Vue Another VCIX-NV Fiasco at Pearson Vue: Hi All, I blogged about my first experience in Jan. 2015 after appearing for this VCIX-NV Exam at Pearson Vue test center. Just came ...

Another VCIX-NV Fiasco at Pearson Vue

Hi All,

I blogged about my first experience in Jan. 2015 after appearing for this VCIX-NV Exam at Pearson Vue test center. Just came back home after having a very disappointing exam experience at Pearson Vue Exam center and thought to just write about it to have it properly fixed by both parties.

Today I went for VCIX-NV (VCXN610) after confirming my appointment yesterday. Drove 30 mins to get there and finished the security procedures on time. Proctor took me inside the exam room and logged me in for the exam and I've started the exam and first surprise, "can't even login to Control Center"...booooom. This happened to me for the first time as appeared for the other similar exams before  (e.g. VCAP exams), but never had this exact issue.

Soon after reading the error, raised the hand,and proctor came and he stopped the exam, called the support person right away.  After 10 mins of remote troubleshooting, they gave a green signal to proceed as its been checked by the support person so Proctor gave me the credit of lost time and I've started the exam again and same thing happened again, the RDP connection was not setting up to the Control Center and getting the same error  "Contact the Testing center administrator or VSS administrator". Called the proctor again.

As the testing was NOT done properly by the support person (who was from Pearson), now Pearson Vue support person engaged VMware Certification support person on the phone. He tried and couldn't fix the powercli error and decided to move me to another station and start the exam again. 
I started on a different station and it took 20-30 seconds just to connect to Control Center through RDP session (or their jump box). Once logged in opened firefox browser and opened few tabs to work optimally to do multitasking. But later realized that was a bad move.

Latency was all over the place and also a square grid was coming up on the whole screen which was not clearing even after refreshing the screen or changing tabs in the browser. The whole connection is so sluggish and feels like its running on 14.4 Kbps modem connection as you can see the page is loading frame by frame. Upon asking Pearson Vue representative, he mentioned that that is being handled by VMware Certification and its in their Lab Latency so they cant do anything locally about it. Even when switching between the tabs n the browser the screen does NOT even load within few seconds. I did not expect this and I am sure if I continued with it and could not even finish 5 questions within the whole Exam Time.

So I called the proctor and he stopped the lab again. He called the Pearson support again and who in turn engaged VMware support. The whole circle started again and no "corner" of resolution found as its a circle.

And while waiting to hear back from the support staff, it's already more than an hour from the start time and I could not even connect properly to the Lab Infrastructure, so they gave me the incident number and asked to reschedule the exam. Glad I did not have to pay for the exam again as there is a policy they have where, if they cant fix the technical issue within 30 mins then, attempt is not considered and candidate can appear for that exam again at the next available schedule.

Now the trouble not stopped here..called up Pearson Vue after coming out of the center as they dont want to call the scheduling staff and I could not even call them from within the center. I just dont wanted to keep the matter in limbo after leaving the testing center but the proctor suggested that with the incident number the scheduling co ordinator should be able to pull up your details and help you reschedule the exam. So I called up and got a person who informed me that their system is in under maintenance, please try calling again after 15 mins.

Tried calling 4 times on 15 mins interval but and their system was still down and no one could help me to reschedule as they don't have ETA from their IT Team. Finally decided to call once reached (after 45 mins of drive) home, and now on hold for more than 1.45 mins and yet no one is available to take the call. Still listening to their hold music. 

What a latest technology Pearson is having that no outbound calls allowed to notify the caller on when the system will be in working status or even to just send an email to the caller that system is back up so please call in to reschedule. Now that the call center moved to India, not sure how they are going to attend the callers after their system maintenance with increased inbound calls.

No IVR notification about "system maintenance for exam rescheduling" so that the caller can just listen to it and hung up without wasting time to get the rep on the phone and then he verifies the identity and eventually states the system is down.

And on top of that each time you call you must listen to their 3-4 mins of greeting and there is no way to skip it either. So looks like Pearson Vue believes, everyone else have free time so really no care been taken. Recent changes of merging with VMware Certification, not sure how the portal looks like or which features are available but will find out soon once they finished the merge as still don't see "Manage Account" or "Schedule Exam" buttons under myVMware portal.

Now in this whole waiting game. my personal schedules are totally messed up and which affected my daughters class schedules too and I'm sure Pearson won't do anything about it. If they really care then someone may call and at least discuss about the hassles I had to go through and offer something to make a better future experience/service. And I am sure its not a lot I am asking :-).
Already ranted once about the latency in 2014 when I gave the exam for the first time. But both, Certification team at VMware and Pearson have to really think about some solid solution as I'm sure this is not the first time happening or I'm not the only one faced the issues multiple times with exam scheduling/rescheduling and Lab latency.

Its hard to believe that this is not even 1% of what they are able to do with the technology available on their hands in today's world.

I am going through just plain simple "pain". Irony is even after a year, we are still at the same status with Pearson Vue and nothing improved from the user experience perspective nor in the area of stability of the lab environment. They point to VMware when the issue occurs, so my request here is to sort this out for a vast community out there who are using their technology to make the career and sustain the family or for any other valid/genuine purpose. Please respect people time and money they are investing and don't let them go through this situations as I am sure this can be solved by putting necessary efforts and if required, I am ready to provide feedback and can also request other members of VMware community to come up and do the same.

At this time still waiting on the phone after 2.30 hours of hold time as need to get this exam rescheduled and not sure which date will be available at the soonest. Hopefully by tomorrow I will get someone as cant hold overnight :-).


To my surprise I just now received the Exam Score Report even if I did not attempt a single question, and still was able to score 100 marks.

This doesn't look right to me and needs to be fixed.

Update (at 3.15 p.m. CST):

So a responsible Program Manager of Pearson called me today morning who read this blog post too, and assured to take care of the issue through his back channel at VMware.

In the mean time as per their policy I had to contact VMware Team who issued me a Voucher and I rebooked the Exam for April at the same center. So hoping VMware will fix the issue specifically for this exam before that day by doing required testing and investigation.

Thank you for your time.

Please share and care !