Who Designed This Crap? Tech Support, Need I Say More?

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sweetpants

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unstable said:
In conclusion I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a technician to ADAPT to the customer. I understand they deal with all sorts of people with different experience levels. I feel that efficiency can be realized by working WITH someone who has experience rather than treating them like Joe Average who knows jack shit about computers.

I'm sure a lot of support techs wouldn't mind adapting to any customer. However, in my experience, it gets hard to adapt to someone who thinks they are right when the technician on the phone has certain steps to go through to make sure they are right.

As for your GX270 issue, yea I would expect the same thing, leaking capacitors, thermal event error, replace the system board. Seems obvious enough. I can't see anyone making you troubleshoot an issue such as that.
 

bgerber

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You folks are great. Thanks so much for taking the time to write our your support experiences in detail. I've also gotten a lot of responses by email. You've provided me with enough great stuff for a book, but I'll just start publishing your stories on MobilityGuru as time permits.

DON'T STOP POSTING OR SENDING YOUR STORIES. THIS IS THE MOST FUN I'VE HAD SINCE DROPPING A TWINHEAD RUGGEDIZED NOTEBOOK FROM A HEIGHT OF 3 FEET TIME AND TIME AGAIN AND THEN POURING WATER ON IT. :twisted:
 

BCIGuy

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I have to get into this...

I feel that I've had the chance to be on both sides of the issue. While I don't have dozens of years of experence, I have spent a few on both sides of the issue.

I guess the biggest key that everyone needs to remember is that many of these horror stories from either side are the exception, not the norm. I worked for an outsourced solution for Qwest Wireless, and it was the worst job I've ever had. Almost every bad story told so far fits this job. I have also worked at MPC (formerly Micron Computers). This was the best phone tech job out there. The only techs they employ are located in the same large room. The interview process is through, and the three week training is great. They only employ people that are capable of already troubleshooting a PC. There is no time limit for calls, just resolve the issue on the first call. The average wait time is 3 minutes to talk to a person. Are there still some punters and givers, yes, but they're few, and the other techs don't like that at all. There is no script, it's just a methodical approach to troubleshooting. When people called in ranting that they wanted parts shipped to them, we pointed out that it's their repsonsibility to help troubleshoot. Most callers were great to work with. True, their products cost more, but you're paying for the support. For those wondering about what they buy with *Gold* support, all you get is a higher priority in the queue. You're doing the same troubleshooting with the same people. For the technical people that have done all the steps, all we ask is the information needed to document that the issues was troubleshooted to it's extent. We point out things that may have been missed. It's tough to have someone call: "I need a new HDD", "what seems to be the issue", "It won't work, and I've troubleshot it already, I know it's the HDD", "What was the error code", "it didn't give me one", "It always does, even when it's clean", "oh...<pause> it said bad sectors", "Bad sectors could be caused by a bad controller, cable, power, OS issues, or the HDD...Did you run the 0 fill?", "Why sould I have to? It's broke", "Is it found in BIOS?", "yes", "run the 0 fill, if it fails, we replace, if not, the HDD's fine. Perhaps another issue", "Blah, Blah, Blah..." As someone said before, companies get reports of how many returned items are truly faulty, and the stats are amazing! Some people's bonus are based on 'no defect found' rates. What's great is getting phone techs from MS, AOL, HP, etc. and have them trying to point the finger at us. It's great fun to prove a punter it's his issue with the customer on the line. Or to ask the MS tech who says it's a hardware issue to prove it. Then asking him what MS certs he has to back his guess up and have silence as you point out yours.

I'm glad I'm not on the phones anymore. It sucks when I have to call in (especially Dell, or some other BIG name place), but as long as the person on the other end understands that I'm not some grandma having trouble getting her 'hard drive' to show her email, then I'm a nice guy.
 

ikjadoon

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You're right, these are more of the extremes, but they are much more fun to talk about. As the saying goes, "Bad news travels faster than good news."

I like a technical support person to not be some random bloke you found on the street, at least someone who knows something about a computer. I like th e idea of having all the tech's in one room. Is that the company's head quarters? Are the supervisors in the same building? It would make life so much easier.

Talking about grandmothers, every single time I call, they seem to think that I am a woman, and I have a slightly deep voice. I have no idea what causes it, and it isn't one company, even the pizza guy thinks I'm a girl...I love to hear the excuses "I'm sorry! We've been having trouble on our lines lately." "Oh, really?" 'Yes, I'm a guy' " Oh, I'm sorry about that. Yeah, can I puut you on hold?" I could already hear him telling his cubicle friends...Life.

~Ibrahim~
 

BCIGuy

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You're right, these are more of the extremes, but they are much more fun to talk about. As the saying goes, "Bad news travels faster than good news."

I like a technical support person to not be some random bloke you found on the street, at least someone who knows something about a computer. I like th e idea of having all the tech's in one room. Is that the company's head quarters? Are the supervisors in the same building? It would make life so much easier.

~Ibrahim~

It's all true. About a 3-4 years ago, they realized that outsourcing was a very PR-poor way of doing things and they brought it all in-house. I was in the same large building that they design, build, sell, and support the machines. They deal mostly government, but they do quite a bit of business with commercial. They have good solutions for SANs and stuff like that too. Too bad the company as a whole is struggling to keep up with the oversized Dell behemoth, and other companies that prize the bottom line far over the customer's happiness. I guess people just aren't willing to pay for quality service, they just want a cheap commodity.
 

sweetpants

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That's kinda cool that you worked for Micron, I live in Idaho and was excited when I got to walk through Micron's global HQ based in Boise, Idaho :)

Is that where you worked from? I wasn't aware of that kind of support they had going there.

The only thing that I noticed was their internal Linux support which was awesome! Bunch of guys sitting in a see through office with posters, pictures, desktops of tux everywhere :)
 

ikjadoon

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Small Business's are hard to start off, but if you can get a hold of some market share, you can be huge. I hate small businesses that were amazing at the start, then dwindle away in support and product quality as they get larger. They become more like Dell and hurt the customer satisfaction overall. Dell has good support, but their choice of products is questionable.

That is exactly how I want it. Everything contained in the same building, not someone in Asia. No offense, but is much easier to have everything so organized. One great company that is a growing small business is Overdrive PC. I was traveling about and I had the good fortune of being able to visit their head quarters. It is a small building, and in this small building they make the fastest consumer computers. And I mean the fastest. The prices are not extremely excessive, but you don't pay $20,000 for a Lexus. They are the BMW + Benz + Lexus of computers. Of course the price is high, but the money is worth every penny. The guy who is your support person is the guy who built your computer; or there is a very good chance that is a few feet away. It makes the experience so much more personal. Look at their reviews: It makes them the fastest and the best OEM maker--bar none. They have some of the best support, everything is cross-shipped, and if they can't fully diagnose the problem over the phone or with new parts, they will literally build your system again at their HQ. Let me tell something, the turn around time is 30 Days. So building another one is monumental. They tweak the computer to no end, and gurantee it's speed and reliability. Enough about them, but they have the best support you could ever ask for.

~Ibrahim~
 

CompTIA_Rep

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Just a suggestion to those who call Tech Support.
First off, if you start talking to a stupid computer, there is always a voice command to speak to a real person. Example, Microsoft. All you have to say is "speak to a represenitive". Secondly, if your speaking to a live person who insists on diagnosing your issue and you know %100 sure whats wrong... LIE to get your way.

The person who mentioned having a JVC DV camera and not having firewire connectivity and tech support insisted it was his computer, he should have said this.

"I thought it might be my firewire port/card, so I installed the camera and tested it on my friends brand new Sony computer, and his dad's older Gateway... and yep same problem."

At that point they can not say 3 computers have bad firewire ports... it sounds stupid. So usualy they would just replace the camera. I know lying is bad karma, but when its you vs mr stupid, its ok.


Only realy bad example I would contribute would be this one:
(and i have experienced just about everyones nightmare on this post so far).

Called Sony reguarding a customers laptop I was repairing. The power connection unit came loose and was no longer providing power to the laptop. Everything else was fine, battery was still powering the computer. So I called tech support to get the motherboard replaced, or the power connector resolderd. The tech support insisted that I was not plugging it in hard enough (ROFL) and that I needed to hear it "click" into place. I told them I could see the connector was loose and did not want to push in the power cord. The tech said they would be unable to continue further (jee because of script limitations???) untill I completed that task. So I removed the hard drive, and pushed the connector in a bit futher and ZAP. Shorted all the components and the computer would not boot up via battery any longer. I recieved an email from a higher up that that tech was fired and a newer better replacement was being shipped. Moral is: Much easier to secretly scoff at the tech support and LIE saying "yes im pushing it in harder, still no luck".

oh well
 

sweetpants

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Just a suggestion to those who call Tech Support.
First off, if you start talking to a stupid computer, there is always a voice command to speak to a real person. Example, Microsoft. All you have to say is "speak to a represenitive". Secondly, if your speaking to a live person who insists on diagnosing your issue and you know %100 sure whats wrong... LIE to get your way.

The person who mentioned having a JVC DV camera and not having firewire connectivity and tech support insisted it was his computer, he should have said this.

"I thought it might be my firewire port/card, so I installed the camera and tested it on my friends brand new Sony computer, and his dad's older Gateway... and yep same problem."

At that point they can not say 3 computers have bad firewire ports... it sounds stupid. So usualy they would just replace the camera. I know lying is bad karma, but when its you vs mr stupid, its ok.


Only realy bad example I would contribute would be this one:
(and i have experienced just about everyones nightmare on this post so far).

Called Sony reguarding a customers laptop I was repairing. The power connection unit came lose and was no longer providing power to the laptop. Everything else was fine, battery was still powering the computer. So I called tech support to get the motherboard replaced, or the power connector resolderd. The tech support insisted that I was not plugging it in hard enough (ROFL) and that I needed to hear it "click" into place. I told them I could see the connector was loose and did not want to push in the power cord. The tech said they would be unable to continue further (jee because of script limitations???) untill I completed that task. So I removed the hard drive, and pushed the connector in a bit futher and ZAP. Shorted all the components and the computer would not boot up via battery any longer. I recieved an email from a higher up that that tech was fired and a newer better replacement was being shipped. Moral is: Much easier to secretly scoff at the tech support and LIE saying "yes im pushing it in harder, still no luck".

oh well

I disagree with you on the lying part, here's why.

Sure you're lying may get you what you want... a few times. But then you run into the tech who will have you do it again (there's a reason, most likely becuase he knows something he knows you don't). That will make you angry because you didn't get your way. You don't get your way you get frusturated with the tech who did nothing wrong but have you follow logical troubleshooting steps that is required as per your agreement upon purchasing the service contract.

THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS, especially for the techs who have no idea what they're doing. I guess the tech has to be logical himself before he can have someone perform "logical troubleshooting steps".
 

BCIGuy

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That's kinda cool that you worked for Micron, I live in Idaho and was excited when I got to walk through Micron's global HQ based in Boise, Idaho :)

Is that where you worked from? I wasn't aware of that kind of support they had going there.

The only thing that I noticed was their internal Linux support which was awesome! Bunch of guys sitting in a see through office with posters, pictures, desktops of tux everywhere :)

MPC has actually been sold off twice since it was sold off from Micron 4-6 years ago, and have absolutely nothing in common with them any more, other then their memory is by Micron (good stuff!) MPC's plant is actually in Nampa, about 30 mins west. I did a phone interview with Micron once, to work on their internal IT staff, but it never panned out. Now I'm a one-stop-IT man for a building company in Nampa. It's fun too.
 

sweetpants

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That's kinda cool that you worked for Micron, I live in Idaho and was excited when I got to walk through Micron's global HQ based in Boise, Idaho :)

Is that where you worked from? I wasn't aware of that kind of support they had going there.

The only thing that I noticed was their internal Linux support which was awesome! Bunch of guys sitting in a see through office with posters, pictures, desktops of tux everywhere :)

MPC has actually been sold off twice since it was sold off from Micron 4-6 years ago, and have absolutely nothing in common with them any more, other then their memory is by Micron (good stuff!) MPC's plant is actually in Nampa, about 30 mins west. I did a phone interview with Micron once, to work on their internal IT staff, but it never panned out. Now I'm a one-stop-IT man for a building company in Nampa. It's fun too.

I wasn't aware of the MPC in Nampa, I have family up in Nampa/Boise too :)

The school district I worked for before my current job used quite a bit of MPC's (honestly I hated working on them). But if it's a good job I might take a gander at what it's like... always looking for job opportunities :D
 

CompTIA_Rep

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[quote="sweetpants]

I disagree with you on the lying part, here's why.

Sure you're lying may get you what you want... a few times. But then you run into the tech who will have you do it again (there's a reason, most likely becuase he knows something he knows you don't). That will make you angry because you didn't get your way. You don't get your way you get frusturated with the tech who did nothing wrong but have you follow logical troubleshooting steps that is required as per your agreement upon purchasing the service contract.

THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS, especially for the techs who have no idea what they're doing. I guess the tech has to be logical himself before he can have someone perform "logical troubleshooting steps".[/quote]

I did mention that before you do, make sure you know %100 sure you know what your talkn about. Obviously you cant Lie to get your way unrealisticly, but if its something really simple, save some time and just say you did it again. Many times at my shop when we would recieve computers with dead hard drives, we would test them using special programs, which takes hours. When we call up to have them replaced under warenty, usualy they will ask us to run windows tests or what ever, and its easy to just smile and said already did that. Or.. if the Hard drive is dead mechanicaly (clicking grinding noise) and you have taken it out of the machine, and they ask you to put it in and do *** test, easier to say they were already done (because a clicking and grinding noise does not mean a windows problem).

But by no means lie to manipulate a conversation about something you are not very sure about. Just saves time is all when you know whats up.
(p.s.) I know people in the Tech support area, and they they need to folow scripts in order as a rule. No customer is worth loosing a job over by being more helpfull then they are allowed to. Thats why saying "uhhuh tried that... tried that... tried that.." untill they reach relevent information, is helpfull and I recomend it.
 

unstable

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actually I think Comptia_rep captured what I've been trying to say for awhile. It gets frustrating when you know without a doubt it's a hard drive failure and you have to fart around with a tech who thinks you're trying to scam the company for a new disk or something.

I can understand both sides...I really can. It'd be no different than someone calling me and demanding I configure a new computer for them.
 

sweetpants

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And I can understand that, I've called my ISP knowing that the problem exists outside my system and such and asked if I could get a service tech to come test my lines, but even then the service tech was hinting or insinuating it was the house lines (due to attenuation and signal degredation when everything had worked just a week ago) when the same thing was happening on the cable modem at every cable jack in the house... it ended up being a main line issue that went to one of their switching stations.
 

CompTIA_Rep

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Speaking of Stupid DSL. Has anyone gone though Tech Support dealing with installation of cable /dsl? I just did (again) and they tried to charge me $15.99 per hookup calling it line/outlet activation and service hookup charges (on top of the initial $24 to turn on the cable internet). There are 5 ports in my appartment and I told them I dont want them to activate any port beyond the first (at the box). They insisted for more then 30 minutes that it was against policy not to turn on a port inside the appartment. What a total ripoff and a cheep way to take advantage of people. They didnt hook up any line in the appartment, and each works just fine.

I am sure glad I know as much as I do about computers to see though all the daily BS.

Now, as soon as my car repairman gets though installing my 2nd transmission, I can return to work and stop bothering everyone here.
 

unstable

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Now, as soon as my car repairman gets though installing my 2nd transmission, I can return to work and stop bothering everyone here.


bwahahahahah that's some funny shit bro.

and actually as far as your recommendation to "LIE"...kind of funny but I went down to Dell for classes on their Desktops, Servers and Laptops...got stuck down in Texas during 9/11 but that's a story unto itself.

Anyhow, there were a couple of kids from Boeing who were attending the class also. They said how they call Dell and tell them they have bad hard drives. When the tech would ask what the problem is, the boeing guys would grab a pen, put the phone down by the desk and tap the desk with the phone...then say "DO YOU HEAR THAT? That's the hard drive making that noise!"

Dell would dispatch a new disk.
 
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