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Rant: can't get past external 1st level support

I have been repeatedly told by SAP SMP 1st level support to use SCN for a kernel problem, so I guess next best forum is the local pub to discuss kernel level task handlers...

Perhaps you have also noticed that sometimes you cannot terminate sessions in SM04? Sometimes when ending a login session with /nex some sessions dont close as expected? Behind these are the function module TH_DELETE_USER which is a wrapper for a kernel function from the task handler family. So I opened a customer message as this is now a problem for me (to ensure that logoff is completed).

So 1st level support from an external service partner (?) pick up the ticket and for the past month the following game has been going on:

  • of course, want to logon to my system... (makes no sense for a kernel function anyway..)
  • tell me to upgrade and try again, it might work... (but cannot say why they are feeling lucky today)
  • tell me that the FM is not supported (so I should never logoff again...)
  • tell me that kernel task handlers is a consulting issue so use SCN...

So... now I am here and post a link to it in the customer message and would like some help to get past this 1st level external support blockade. Or by some miracle an SCN kernel consultant ninja shows up and explains to me how I should logoff correctly?

I will post a link to this in the message which I dont see the point in closing, despite 1st level getting worried about their statistics...



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8 Answers

  • Best Answer
    Posted on Aug 06, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Hi Julius,

    My strategy sometimes involves trying to overwhelm them at first with huge amounts of information using only jargon and abbreviations that only an expert will understand. I try to also include some code where either the problem is or where I exclude where the problem is.

    I also tell them which notes I tried so that they won't come up with "have you tried note x".

    And to top it of I use difficult English with lots of synonyms I try to use words only once.

    I only do this when there is a big problem and when I have no time to waste.

    Cheers, Rob.

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  • Posted on Sep 29, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Hi Julius,

    I am not sure if, "can't get past SAP's 1st Level Support", is something that I would publicly share ðŸĪŠ

    Our job as seasoned professionals is to be able to handle SAP Support.

    I love the American phrase, "this ain't my first rodeo", and I relish the challenge of getting past SAP 1st Level Support and find it a fun sport.

    A few weeks ago, on a Very High message, the processor got the message out of their queue by sending it to me (putting the Very High message into Customer Action) late on a Friday night and asking, "would I like the message to be passed to the next level of support?". I replied and said, that is a cheap trick which I do not expect and tolerate, this is a Very High message and if I hadn't spotted it coming back to my side, it might have been waiting on my side until Monday with a really childish question, needless to say, I expressed this in no uncertain terms and advised them to not play such a cheap trick again. Their downfall was that these days when a message changes state we get an email notification, in the old days I wouldn't have been so fast to react.

    Best regards,


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  • Posted on Jul 17, 2014 at 07:36 PM

    You're still missing "it's by design", so hang in there. 😊 If you could email me the details, perhaps I could help in writing a response that will sufficiently scare them into doing something more meaningful. Although 1 month - pffffst! That's our usual first response time. 😊

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  • Posted on Jul 16, 2014 at 02:52 PM

    Oh bless

    my give up moment was 1st level explaining what an authority check and that sap_all will work when I sent them evidence proving an incorrect field was being checked for the object.

    I think you are a little premature on your rant. Come back when you hit 6 months and haven't levelled up yet;)

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  • Posted on Aug 11, 2014 at 05:02 PM

    It appears when dealing with the SAP first Level support, we do live in a classless society :>

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  • Posted on Sep 03, 2014 at 04:17 PM

    Julius, I'm guessing SAP employees don't usually read Coffee Corner (their coffee corner is Business Trend space - boom! 😈), so I'll try to shout out to @Kristen Scheffler here. Hope she generously forgives me for such indiscretion. 😊

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    • Former Member Colleen Hebbert

      These are very difficult metrics to use. Customer skills differ as well as complexity of problem.

      What I heard is that someone is dedicated to reading the free text comments, and probably has a good impression for what works and what not. But whether that person is some librarian who delivers a summary or major problems to the personnel data protection officer or whether theyare on the groundfloor to make anonymized recommendations to some process optimization board I don't know.



  • Posted on Aug 20, 2014 at 06:52 PM

    Glad to hear there is a happy ending to the story, but this made me wonder - should there at least be some limit on the number of brush-off replies? E.g. "third strike and you're out" (i.e. get passed to the next level of support). Not sure it makes a lot of sense to let the 1st support level hold the fort forever.

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    • Former Member John Appleby

      John Appleby wrote:

      My guess is this is tied to the financial KPIs attached between SAP and the outsource datacenter company. These probably cascade to their helpdesk personnel, causing this behavior.

      It is a very tough problem to solve at scale.

      Your guess is my main suspect as well. There must have been some incentive to play cat & mouse with me and not pass the message on despite no reason not to do it and I spoke to the 1st level person (calling from a Canadian telephone number but located somewhere in India) twice on the phone and we both agreed that he cannot help me after I explained what a kernel function is.

      But no... he always came back with "Customer Action" after having spoken to his senior colleagues with some new reason why I should use consulting and close the message on SMP. Eventually they resorted to SCN when there was no way I was going to open a connection to my system for them and the likelihood of them doing consulting for me was 0.

      Of course we are speculating, but the puzzle pieces fit.

      Perhaps someone from SAP can explain the issue at hand? I am Ok with my message being a case study to analyse the problem as I don't think it is an isolated case and nothing personal against the supporter - he simply was in way over his head and was apparently not allowed to pass it on.



  • Posted on Sep 04, 2014 at 12:50 AM

    I once had an OSS message opened to report a performance issue in the kernel. Like the OP, the L1 support was passing the buck with my message, saying it was a consulting issue.

    Before logging the message, I had provided ABAP traces and pinpointed exactly which lines of ABAP code needed changes (and what code to change it to). But nothing came out of it after a couple of weeks.

    Then I got really tired and started shaming the support guy for not knowing what ABAP is. And I demanded to be forwarded to the next level of support if he/she could not answer my questions.

    By resorting to this method (of shaming the support guy and demanding to be forwarded to the next level), I managed to have my OSS message change hands through 6-7 different guys over the course of 6 months.

    Naturally the last guy was the guru who was able to deliver the fixes I needed via OSS notes.

    The first few guys went into my blacklist - in subsequent OSS message that I raised, whenever I saw them signing off the message I would simply demand to be forwarded to the next level of support.

    And they did.

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    • I believe SAP product team wants to improve, I was just saying that specfically SAP Support, from my experience, won't aknowledge that you are getting errors because the code should be improved.

      In my situation the OSS note could contain the error handling, but they insisted on leaving the exceptions unhandled (basically an INSERT DUPLICATE ENTRIES) and basically left me with no solution. For something that was caused by a SAP standard BAPI.

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