How do timestamps on tickets work with Daylight Savings Time?
Zendesk stores all of its data in UTC time. Everything, including the API, and any emails or ticket events, has a hardcoded UTC timestamp attached to it.
The agent UI in Support is designed to convert the hardcoded UTC timestamp to the user's current time zone. As such, tickets created prior to or after DST may appear to be off by an hour depending on when you look back on them.
For example, an agent in Pacific Time makes an update at 10 am on Friday. Daylight Savings Time changes over the weekend, and they check their update again on Monday. On Monday, the update will appear to be at 11 am. The update actually occurred at 18:00 UTC. On Friday, the agent was at UTC-8, but on Monday, they're at UTC-7. The underlying data did not change. Zendesk's display did.
This is expected behavior and the issue only exists within the agent UI in Support. It is not present in the API which uses the hardcoded UTC timestamp or reporting which maintains the correct historical timestamp.
This is also an issue for our team. We often have to go back to old Support Tickets to help our dev teams when they write RCA (Root Cause Analysis) documents for urgent customer issues, like Outages. Because of the ticket time being changed in the interface, what I reported to Dev for timing ended up being wrong. We're now correcting the RCA, but just didn't even think to check, and we don't want to have misses like that with our customers. Is there any plan to change this?
Please fix this. I'd like to know the exact time a ticket was received and responded to. It's 2021, there's no reason we should be manually adjusting for DST.
For visibility, I'd recommend someone post to our Feedback on Support topic, using this template to format your feedback. Add a link to your post to this comment thread and everyone else upvote and add your use case & comments as well. Thanks!
I would like to clarify the behavior.
An Agent works in ET - they make an update at 1:30pm
Another Agent in PT navigates to the ticket and sees their update.
Would the update still show as 1:30pm ET or would it be 10:30amPT for that agent? Or does the timestamp have to do with the requester that is on the ticket (ie. the requester is in UTC so all updates would be made in UTC time)
To clarify, when the above article says "to the user's current time zone", it's referring to the current user who's logged in -- so if the PT agent has their time zone set to Pacific time, the ticket update will be shown in Pacific time as well.
We just came across this issue after moving into Daylight Savings time and reviewing the timestamps for a sensitive RCA on a critical incident created prior to DST. Luckily Slack and GMAIL handle dates accurately, reflecting on the time zone at the time of the timestamp rather than currently, which is ridiculous.
When you say 'This is expected behavior and the issue only exists within the agent UI in Support', you describe it as 'expected behaviour' yet refer to it as an issue, which implies it is not working as expected. Further, if it is only present in the Support UI, this suggests there is inconsistency in how Zendesk handles times, which is likely to cause problems for customers.
I'd suggest adding your feedback and use cases to this product feedback thread: About the timestamp on ticket comments
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