Why is speaking to 'tech support' so frustrating?

Ignore the 'for' in the title. No idea how or why that got there. LOL
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Sadly I actually know the answer to my question (and have for way to long) but I wanted to pose the question to others as well.

See for me, it is like trying to teach a closed mind how to open up and think. It would be simpler to hit my head on a wall (they headache would be less painful).

My recent experience trying to explain to a companies so called tech support (calling for a friend who has no patience at all so gets no where on calls to them) made me really consider never calling any support ever again (yes it was that bad).

She got a smartphone replacement that came with Android GO instead of Android. Alas this made it so a couple apps she uses (one she needs to use they other just a want) will not work. They don't work on GO. She tried telling their people that and got nowhere. So She asked me to call. Patient and knowledgeable person that I am, figuring I could get them to understand.

Boy did that not work.

I spent approximately 3 hours, talking to a total of 8 different people in different departments, two of them being supervisors and one manager, and no one could understand what I was saying.

Sounds crazy right?

I tried a dozen ways to explain the problem. My friend "needs" that one app. She is disabled and it is important. There is not another she can use. They just could not get it. They could not understand that Android GO is not Android. It is a cheaper (in my words dumbed down) version. It is a fact that some apps just will not work with it. I even explained (over and over and over) that I spoke with the creators of the app she needs about the problem, to see if there was a way to make it work on that version. They said they would not make the necessary changes (stating that some changes they just couldn't do) so it would only work on full regular Android. But the reps, supervisors and managers I spoke with could not understand this.

They kept INSISTING (yes forcefully so had to do in caps) that Android and Android GO were the same and that the app should work, even stating that the apps creators were wrong and that they could 'make it work' on that phone. They tried to say that you could just update to the newest Android (still not getting the difference).

Now I know they ...
  1. May actually might not even know it is different (one of them admitted they didn't know that).
  2. May lie (called out a couple of them on those of course and got different answers after I did).
  3. Are just following their 'company's protocols" for dealing with things.
  4. Their supervisor is telling them what to say (I could hear them in the background LOL).
  5. have to follow that the company they work for doesn't want to have to replace the device or have a cost to them, so they are told to do what they need to as to not have to do so.
All of this (and more) leads many to just give up and then they are stuck with things they can't use or don't work properly, because they don't want to deal with the horrible tech support (or customer service).

I can't (obviously) be the only person experiencing this. Since my friend is getting this phone through the government, and is a disabled person, she told me she will be contacting an organization that helps people like her with such problems. Especially since it is not a want but a need in her case.

I hope it gets fixed for her, but it brought up a ton of questions for me about all this and how bad companies are now treating their customers.

Before anyone asks, no I won't say what app she needs, it is her life and that is private, but that isn't the point. The point is the company should fix the problem, not cause others.

It drives me a little crazy (and I am extremely patient) when the people you are talking to claim to know so much and will even try to tell you that you don't know because they know more than you, and then you can prove they really don't. Situations like this are ultra frustrating.

So what do you all think??
 
Reactions: Andrew_its_me

Wolfshadw

Splendid
Moderator
Corporate policy. Lie, cheat, and steal until they give up.
If the phone was received via a government program, they likely have authorized dealers to work on said phones. Make sure the people you spoke with are actually authorized to provide the needed support.
If they are, refer back to the provider of the phone. Give them names (company and techs), numbers, quotes, every detail you can think of and report it back to them.

It is a long and drawn out process. As you know, it is intended to be this way. Stick with it and get it resolved.

-Wolf sends
 
Sep 5, 2020
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You've addressed one of my biggest pet peeves. Lousy customer service. I so dread calling, for I often cannot understand the person, the person has little technical knowledge, and quite often they simply hang up.
Instead of spending hours with someone who had no knowledge whatsoever of computers, I feel it would be cheaper to return customer service to this country and hire a few who have technical knowledge. Then, instead of hours, a question could quickly be resolved in minutes and more calls could be addressed.
I've always maintained that you could have the worst product on the market, but if you had excellent customer service it would sell like crazy.
The pandemic has resulted in a whole new way of doing business; and in order to survive, companies will have to pay strict attention to their customers if they are to remain in business.
 
I honestly don't think where it is in the world is the problem. No matter the country the reps are in, they are still only doing with the company, supervisors, etc., tell them to do.

It is more that companies seem to want to do anything but help the customer. They even stopped calling us customers and started calling us consumers, years ago. That alone tells a lot about their change in mindset and approach.

Sadly so many companies have sprung up that 'say' they will handle customer service for this or that company, but they don't train the people they hired to actually help.

What a lot of people don't get is that the rep you are often speaking to doesn't actually work directly for the company. They are hired by some third party company that hires people for whatever big company they can get as a client. So the rep you are speaking with likely has to follow not only what the main company wants (the company you think you are contacting) but what ever rules the company they actually directly work for has set for them to follow.

I have found a major trend to be that they will say you are calling 'tech support', but you are actually getting just a random rep, who has no tech knowledge and is just following the scripts they are given. Now they may be told (by the parent company) that if they can't solve the issue to then send the call to an actual tech. However, the company they directly work for will likely make more money if they keep those actual tech calls down, so they will keep you away from them as much as possible.

Oh don't get me started. LOL
 

Wolfshadw

Splendid
Moderator
You've addressed one of my biggest pet peeves. Lousy customer service. I so dread calling, for I often cannot understand the person, the person has little technical knowledge, and quite often they simply hang up.
Instead of spending hours with someone who had no knowledge whatsoever of computers, I feel it would be cheaper to return customer service to this country and hire a few who have technical knowledge. Then, instead of hours, a question could quickly be resolved in minutes and more calls could be addressed.
I've always maintained that you could have the worst product on the market, but if you had excellent customer service it would sell like crazy.
The pandemic has resulted in a whole new way of doing business; and in order to survive, companies will have to pay strict attention to their customers if they are to remain in business.
Customer service HAS returned to this country (assuming you mean the US), however, your conclusions are incorrect. The sheer volume of calls makes it impossible to for "a few who have technical knowledge" to handle the load. Companies do farm out these roles as a cost cutting measure as they no longer have to worry about training or paying benefits. Typically they will offer up a contract for various companies to bid on, X number of bodies to fulfill the roles for a given amount of time (typically one year). Of course, the company with the winning bid now has to follow through. This means they need to provide the parent company with people, competent enough to fulfill the role. These people generally do have some technical expertise (generally just above your normal computer user). It is also helpful to remember that the typical person calling tech support has even less technical experience than the customer support representative.

I've actually had this call:

Me: Hello and thank you for calling customer support, can I have your first name please?
Customer: My computer isn't working
Me: I understand, but I need to enter your contact information into our ticketing system, can I have your first name please?
Customer: I don't have time for this! I just need the damn think to work!
Me: I get it, but I STILL need your contact information before I can go on, so again, can I please have your first name?
Customer: Bill! Why can't you just fix this stupid machine.
Me: I'm trying Bill. Could you please spell your last name for me?
Bill: (grumbling) It's Anderson
Me: (noting there are two Bill Andersons, one, Bill Andersen, and one William Anderson in our directory and sighing), And your Telephone number?
Bill: 222-555-5555
Me: (Finally finding the correct Bill Andersen) Ok, Bill I have your information in front of me now. You said your computer is broken. Can you describe for me what you're seeing on the screen?
Bill Andersen: I'm not seeing ANYTHING! The whole computer is dead! I need you to come out here and fix this damn thing so I can get to work!
Me: So your entire screen is blank?
Bill Andersen: That's what I just said!
Me: Do you see a light in the lower right corner of your monitor? It should be glowing either Blue or Orange.
Bill Andersen: There is no light on the screen.
Me: Not on the screen itself, but just below the screen on the bezel of the monitor?
Bill Andersen: What is a "Bezel"?
Me: The outer frame of the screen.
Bill Anderson: No. There is no light anywhere.
Me: Ok, Bill there should be a button on the lower right corner of the monitor, could you press that and see if a light comes on?
Bill Andersen: (after a few moments), Ok. there's a blue light glo... wholly crap! It's working! How did you do that?
Me: Glad to be of help, Bill! Have a nice day!

These are your front line customer support representatives. These are the people you are speaking to when you first call in. Yes. They have a script they need to follow when answering your call. This script provides them with a means of collecting all of the necessary contact information. Once the contact information is collected, they can then ask what the issue is. They then consult a "Knowledge Base" of the most common issues that have been called in. Each knowledge base article has a script for the front line techs to follow in an attempt to resolve the issue. For the most part, about 75% to 80% of all calls are resolved here.

Interesting note here. The primary function of the front-line tech is NOT to resolve issues. Their primary function is to answer the phone and collect data. If they happen to be able to resolve the issue, Bonus! but that's not their primary function. Take the call and accurately enter the data into the ticketing system. That's it. Eight hours a day with a telephone glued to their ear.

If the front-line tech is not able to resolve the issue, the ticket information is then sent to the Tier II technicians. This is generally a smaller team of technically experienced and trained people who actually work for the parent company. Quite often, this team is made up of members of the Front Line team who have not only proven their worth, but have actually stayed on long enough to get noticed. It's their job to look at the open customer tickets and work to close them, but they're not answering the phones. They typically contact the customer (yes we call them customers or clients) to take them through the next steps if they can or they physically visit the customer to try and resolve the issue.

The vast majority of calls are resolved by this point, but there are some calls that even Tier II cannot resolve, and so the ticket is moved on to Tier III. These people are specialists in their areas of expertise, If it's a software problem, the Tier III tech is usually one of the developers If it's a hardware problem, then it's typically a contract specialist from that hardware company (Think Dell or Xerox Technician).

My point is, it's not an easy job. It's not easy to keep a calm and positive demeanor for eight hours, when you're being yelled at for an issue you had nothing to do with creating. Turnover in this field is HUGE, If you don't mind being yelled at for eight hours a day for crap wages, this is the job for you!

Wolf
Customer Service Rep
Too Many Companies to Mention.
 
My point is, it's not an easy job. It's not easy to keep a calm and positive demeanor for eight hours, when you're being yelled at for an issue you had nothing to do with creating. Turnover in this field is HUGE, If you don't mind being yelled at for eight hours a day for crap wages, this is the job for you!
I totally agree. You have to be very good at handling stress, as well as not taking things personally. Even after years at it, it still isn't easy to do. Way to many years behind that call, email, chat, etc., myself. :) Reps are the pawns on the company chessboard.
 
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