0806: "Tech Support"

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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby kingworks » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:56 pm UTC

My suspension of disbelief was shattered the moment the csr said "There's a chick . . ."
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:13 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:You know, I always see people bitch about tech support, but seriously. If you're an engineer, you don't want to get bothered with every trivial problem people have, and dear god an overwhelming number of issues are trivial. Hell, recently, I had a person who called tech support because she couldn't find her application because she had minimized it and couldn't find it. Waste of time.


Ah, but those plebeians shouldn't even be using a computer, isn't it? I mean, if you weren't playing with Perl in your mother's womb, you definitely shouldn't step into the sacred grounds of computing, right?

I hate that stupid elitism; and that's considering that I belong to that area. I am a computer programmer, I know "a minimum of two programming languages", and I feel sorry for the computer "illiterate". They need someone to tell them "have you tried turning off Caps Lock?" over the phone, and they also have to deal with people who think that the "monkeys" on tech support are just an obstacle between them and the AWESOME SUPA-KNOW-IT-ALL FEMALE ENGINEERS (and, yeah, notice how the engineer just has to be female -- and people try to convince me Randall is NOT white knighting! Hah). And yeah, notice how Randall is so condescending towards tech support that, in his comic, the guy doesn't even know the people he works with; "I need to talk to an engineer, but you OBVIOUSLY don't know what that is, so I'll describe it to the MORON that you are".
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby jozwa » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:15 pm UTC

Ahhah :D This comic is pure gold.

I don't have any personal experience with tech support people but everyone's heard the stories.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Inglonias » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:16 pm UTC

God, I WISH.

I happen to be quite lucky with tech support (and actually, I'm very good at talking them into actually helping me) but my problems are usually with companies who actually give a damn.

I bought a Cisco PCI wireless card, and the tech said to try every PCI port on my computer! That just about made me cry. I ended up getting a NetGear one instead. (Best thing ever)
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby paulrowe » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:28 pm UTC

dbmag9 wrote:
SocialSceneRepairman wrote:Also, wasn't Shibbolet (instead of "Shibboleth") the one that would get you executed? Or was that "Sibbolet(h)"?

The important distinction (as has been noted above) was between the 'sh' and 's' at the start. Funnily enough, although the last sound is traditionally anglicised to 'th', in the Hebrew it would actually just be pronounced as a 't' (that's definitely true for Modern Hebrew, and I'm fairly sure it's accurate for Biblical). The same thing happens in 'Sabbath', 'Bethlehem', and probably those Lovecraftian words too.

Right. I don't think it was a problem with the Ephraimites being able to pronounce the sound, only with them pronouncing the word that particular way. In ancient Hebrew, you would write "shibbolet" and "sibbolet" exactly the same way because the same letter (ש) would be used at the beginning for both. The only difference today would be if they used the "niqqud" (vowel points) and distinguished the "shin" (שׂ) from the "sin" (שׁ).

The "shibbolet" test today might be like asking someone to say "oil": Texans would say "all" and most anyone else would pronounce it more or less correctly.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby joee » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:33 pm UTC

glasnt wrote:My desk at my last place had
[ ] penguin
[ ] http://xkcd.com/225/ (plus Compiling, 'You're a kitty', Signs on cats and a authentic Online Communities 2007 poster)
[ ] hair long enough for a poneytail..

FUCK

DUDE. Randall. Seriously, stop stalking me. :<

HI JOEE TELL RANDALL TO STOP STALKING ME, OR AT LEAST INTRODUCE HIMSELF SO I MIGHT FLY KITES WITH HIM :<


I'll work on it, dear. I have 2 of the 3 things in your checklist :) I should work on the third
Hi glasnt.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Tass » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:36 pm UTC

This seems relevant: http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/cs_stuptech.shtml

Customer: "My laptop won't boot."
Tech Support: "Have you tried rebooting?"
Customer: "I can't reboot, because it doesn't boot in the first place."
Tech Support: "Sir, we have to do things my way, okay?"
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby punto » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:38 pm UTC

Kobukson wrote:My hope is that the latter won't be trying "shibboleet" on me >.<


If they pronounce it "Siboleet" you can kill them on the spot.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Evadman » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:41 pm UTC

I just started a project in my company to make this a reality.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby cyborg_572 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:44 pm UTC

My ISP back home is provided by a small family owned computer shop, and the son provides the tech support. At one point in the summer the power lines in the area started fluctuating in voltage because a large storm took some of them out. This was wreaking havoc with the router and the modem, and both needed to be rebooted frequently. When he first installed the system, the son made a big point about never turning of or rebooting the router without calling them first, because they get an alert whenever a unit goes down. Fair enough. So I call the guy and give him the question of "I would like to reboot the modem, but you said to notify you first." I get walked through a long trouble-shooting process, including rebooting computers, discussed router brands and the possibility of replacing the router, bypassing the router (here I thought we'd get somewhere, since it was already established that multiple computer's had stopped getting connections), troubleshooting the network settings on the computer connected to the modem (never mind then.), trying to convince the guy that I'm not using windows and things will go much faster if he just tells me what settings he's looking for instead of trying to walk me to it, and then finally, finally, rebooting the modem, which solves the problems instantly.

So I rewire the network back together, take my laptop from the room with the router and set it back up where it belongs, etc. 90 minutes later, the problem starts up again. I call him back to tell him that it's happening again so I'm just going to reboot the modem again. I point out to him that we already went through all this an hour and a half ago, so he tries to sell me an uninterruptible power supply ($200 long-term solution to a short-term problem), then continues walking me through.

4 hours later when it went down again I just rebooted it anyway, and proceeded to do so for the rest of the week. Then the power lines were back to normal and everything was fine.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Chasmosaur » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:45 pm UTC

Oh thank you.

I recently called AT&T to ask if there was a problem with the DSL in their area. I had to go through 90 minutes of tech support calling, going through EVERY aspect of the script. (At least the tech on the phone stopped being pedantic after a while and said "Oh, you're technical - excellent.") At the end, I was supposed to be given a number to call that was supposed to put me in touch with a local rep to set up an appointment with a tech. However, what I was actually given was a number that put me in contact with the person who could tell me whether or not AT&T was having a DSL problem. I could have kissed that tech.

(And I'm not sharing here, because then they'll just change the number - hope and pray for your own angel-of-mercy-tech-support-rep.)

Yo, no double postin', aight? And apologies for my attempts at sounding like an extra on The Wire. Edit your initial post, rather than post a new one. Thanks ! ~~Felstaff

kingworks wrote:My suspension of disbelief was shattered the moment the csr said "There's a chick . . ."


Wow - a Friday morning troll! *Inserts generic spluttering raging statement about how girls can be technical because I'm technical*

Feel better?
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby madsci1016 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:59 pm UTC

My ISP (Comcast) has horrible tech support. Had to argue with one that since I was getting an IP of 192.168.100.x assigned, my router was still on and causing problems. Cable modems assign that range whenever they can't get an IP from the ISP. Foolish me for thinking they would know that. The worst is when I have intermittent speed problems. I can never get a service guy to be there when it happens, so they "can't tell what the problem is".

Dell on the other hand has great geek friendly tech support:

"me: Hi, I ran diagnostics on my laptop and got error code xxxxxx
Them: Ok, we will send someone out with a new motherboard/hard drive/ etc. "

Shortest tech call ever. Past few tech calls have always gone that way. Dell hardware diagnostics is the best thing ever.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Zinsho » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:03 pm UTC

A few tech support stories (not all horrible) that this almost made me think of:

First off with Dell support (gold line service no less):
Working as level 2 support for a company and call because of a dead power supply... it was the 12th or so of the same model machine to fail in the span of 3 weeks
First time around:
TSR: "What happens when you try turning it on?"
Me: "It doesn't boot, just gives an amber light"
... Various questions and work, finally plug it into a different power supply and it boots, they agree to send me another.
10th+ time:
Me: "I have a dead power supply for a GX620 tower, I replaced it with a spare from storage and the machine now boots."
TSR: "Ok, we'll send you a new power supply"

Dead hard drive:
Me: "The OS doesn't detect the hard drive, when I plug it in externally it leaves Explorer unresponsive"
TSR: "Can you please..." (I can't remember what they wanted me to test, but it required the drive to be detected, eventually they agreed it was dead, now I tend to just say the bios won't detect it and they don't argue).
or TSR: "Can you please put the drive back into the machine, we don't support diagnosing issues from another machine..."
Of course the most recent time I actually got a better response
(Machine refused to boot, in safe mode it would hang at MUP.SYS so it might have been something else, but it was the hard drive)
Me: "I even tried booting a live Ubuntu CD, the machine booted fine but the hard drive refused to mount"
TSR: "Cool, I've often suggested to users to try using a Live CD to test if it's the drive or motherboard..."


Calling our ISP because our internet connection was failing.
At the start I ask if there's any outage issues in the area, the weather was nasty that night so was guessing they had connection issues
The modem seemed to be establishing a connection, AIM and SKYPE could connect to their servers and allow me online, however there was no way to browse any webpage or connect any other IM client, my machine was reporting limited Connectivity to the internet as well.
First the tech refused to do troubleshooting unless I was directly connected to the modem(They've since provided broadband routers so this isn't quite the same anymore). Back then we had 5 machines in the house and we'd passed cat5 through the cold air returns to allow connections in most of the rooms. Luckily I had a laptop so could actually go and connect to the modem (it sat in the basement on a shelf under a desk behind a bookshelf).
Get connected, use the built-in XP dialer to dial a specific troubleshooting account... same result, Skype and AIM connect (Still showing Limited Connectivity), but nothing else works, not even their troubleshooting URL.
Roughly 20 minutes later (while still trying various tests to resolve the issue) I hear a comment in the background, the tech pauses then tells me they've had reports of widespread outages in my area (reports that had been coming in since before my call) and that they don't know when it will be fixed.

This ISP has also managed to:
- Delete 3 of my parent's 5 email accounts, including all associated emails (They were using them for specific functions rather than use personal email for it).
- Break my mother's pop3 access multiple times when migrating mail servers (She uses a Mac and apparently they always forget the non-outlook settings)
- Change our contract and monthly plan from unlimited to 30gb without notifying us, simply because we called and spoke to tech support about that pop3 issue, our account information was opened... and that act was enough to 'upgrade' us to the 'better' plan.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Grant10k » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:12 pm UTC

Once, I had a lady call me up complaining that her software was having some sort of problem. I forget most of the conversation, but I do recall her ending it by saying "You're just reading from a script *Click*"

I stared, dumbfounded, at my desk containing nothing but my phone, computer, probably a diet Mountain Dew, and the source code to the software she was having trouble with, which I wrote. There is not a person on this planet better suited to help her with her problem but she'll never know it because she had to get the last word in.

----

Another frustrating tech support call.

Me: Ok, does it say "Connected" in the lower, lower left of HyperTerminal?
Guy: Yes
Me: Ok, make a test phone call and we'll see what comes up.
Guy: Ok. (He calls the phone line connected to the Caller ID box) Nothing shows up in Aldello
Me: Aldello? Nothing CAN show up in Aldello. The COM port is being used by HyperTerminal. You should have gotten an error message.
Guy: You want me to start HyperTerminal again?
Me: Why was it closed? Don't close HyperTerminal, we need it running. Close Aldello, then start HyperTerminal again.
Guy: Ok.
Me: Ok, now make another test call.
Guy: Ok, it says "Do you want to save this connection?" (It says that when you quit HyperTerminal)
Me: Stop doing things.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby 1055 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:30 pm UTC

I love the 4th panel! I know a few guys at my office with maps on their walls!

myrcutio wrote:This is also the reason I'm currently a liberal arts major, since writers never get angry calls about the new software missing "Clippy," the cartoon help assistant.


There are people who actually want that stupid paper clip??
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby chaoticpi93 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:32 pm UTC

Such were the days of working tech support for Verizon DSL. The guy who couldn't find the period on his keyboard when we were trying to restart his modem. The tech people that I'd get that I would get them up and running in less than a minute (yay handle times) They would yell at me for not following the steps, but with a no sync issue your first two minutes are just general set up questions and then you can have them fix a missing filter or something and it'll be good. Some problems were end user specific, but most of the times it was something stupid like reseting a stupid connection (PPPoE is the stupidest thing.) generally people would come on the line ranting and raving and going full steam, I'd let them have their say, and explain how I would help them get back on track.

Fun times Fun times.

My own experience with technical support happened with my aunt's gateway. Well it was 1999 and dell was still that annoying college kid. "Dude, you're getting a dell" and weren't as known. They would send us new hard drives, send us new towers and would still have issues. When I moved out she broke down and got a dell. ROFL

When I was with SBC DSL I had hell with their tech support. "Hello my name is ____ how may I assist you?" "I've only got one phone with a filter on it, there's no filter on my modem. the dsl light is flashing when it rains. make it stop."

Oh they never did. man oh man. I even wrote an epic blog about it on my blog because it was so long and detailed the issues I had with my intermittent sync.

And to the person who had problems with people beeing all uppity about their computer use and how we all don't like to talk to technitians. Imagine someone's trying to simplify what is already to you a fundamental thing. It's annoying. You want to save them the problem of explaining it.

1055, yes there are people that want those stupid helpter things. UGH. I'm glad when I figured out (in like, 1998) how to turn that darned thing off. I turned it off everywhere I went.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby johonn » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:34 pm UTC

Image
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Callista » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:45 pm UTC

Add me to the long list of people who wishes this were a reality. I'm not a programmer (well, some C, but doesn't everybody?) and I don't really have a hugely high level of expertise, but... whenever I call tech support, I've already tried the first ten solutions they come up with!

Invariably I have to go through all of this before they realize it's either a problem with their connection or my hardware or something equally impossible for me to fix (without breaking the warranty), but of course they have to go through all this other stuff first...

Best experience I ever had with tech support was calling somebody for help with a statistics program I was using--they actually knew the program didn't have the feature I was looking for, and were able to direct me to a Web site with a way to jury-rig it.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby jqavins » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:01 pm UTC

eovnu87435ds wrote:Whoever decides to start up a company for smart people technical support will be a millionaire in no time.

Sadly, I don't think there are enough smart people to make that business model work.
-- Joe
"[Some people don't believe in coincidence, but] I believe in coincidence. Coincidences happen every day. I just don't trust coincidence."
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby cparker15 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:04 pm UTC

I'm officially in love with this comic.
Peter Gibbons wrote:I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby DieJay » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:23 pm UTC

Best comic in a long time, I'm glad Randall still has some quality material!... and god, do I wish this password was real.

I kept getting random "server not found" errors when trying to access websites, regardless of the OS, and I still do. I called a technician and all he could do was remote control my computer and try to replicate the problem, and no, it didn't help. The problem is on their end but they won't admit it. They also have a record of very poor service and tech support, and it shows. Needless to say, I'm so changing my ISP next year!
Last edited by DieJay on Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:24 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby davidstarlingm » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:23 pm UTC

The only time I've had a "duh" moment with Apple was a few months ago.

After my iPhone 3GS suddenly gave up the ghost (I still don't know what happened to it; maybe "error 1002" is the equivalent of a BSOD), I talked AppleCare into replacing it with an iPhone 4 for free. I got the i4 a few weeks later.

Like most iPhone 4 users, I started experiencing trouble with the antenna. I restored all factory settings and did everything else that I knew to do, but it still didn't work. So, I decided to try and get the free bumper case in the hopes that it would fix the issue.

The "iPhone case" program was duly installed, but it told me that my phone was not eligible for a free case. I had worried about this—it's not like I actually paid for the phone anyway—so I called AppleCare to ask if I was eligible or not.

I told the girl that the iPhone case program had denied me and asked why.

Her: "When did you purchase your iPhone 4?"
Me: "I didn't purchase it; I received it as a replacement."
Her: "That doesn't matter; when did you buy your iPhone 4 that this is a replacement for?"
Me: "Actually, it replaced a 3GS. Is this why my iPhone 4 isn't eligible?"
Her: "Oh, see, now I know what the problem is. You don't have an iPhone 4 at all; you have a 3GS. That's why you aren't eligible."

**brain twists into a set of angry knots**

Me: "No, this is an iPhone 4. I had problems with the 3GS."
Her: "That's impossible; we only replace phones with the same model. I'm pretty sure you have an iPhone 3GS, and the free case is only available for the iPhone 4."
Me: "Actually, sometimes customer escalations WILL replace with a newer model. This really is an iPhone 4; I promise. It has a flat glass back and an aluminum frame and the Retina display and a front facing camera, and it shipped with iOS 4.0.1."
Her: "Just because your 3GS is running iOS 4 doesn't mean it has a front-facing camera or a better display. Those are hardware upgrades."
Me: "Ma'am, I have the iPhone 4 hardware! Really, I do! I'm looking at it right now! It has an LED flash on the back and brushed aluminum buttons and a FLAT GLASS BACK!"
Her: "You're making this up, aren't you?"

I eventually got on the phone with someone who explained that iPhone 4s have to have a "purchase code" before they will come up as eligible.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Karilyn » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:32 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
Karilyn wrote:You know, I always see people bitch about tech support, but seriously. If you're an engineer, you don't want to get bothered with every trivial problem people have, and dear god an overwhelming number of issues are trivial. Hell, recently, I had a person who called tech support because she couldn't find her application because she had minimized it and couldn't find it. Waste of time.


Ah, but those plebeians shouldn't even be using a computer, isn't it? I mean, if you weren't playing with Perl in your mother's womb, you definitely shouldn't step into the sacred grounds of computing, right?

I hate that stupid elitism; and that's considering that I belong to that area. I am a computer programmer, I know "a minimum of two programming languages", and I feel sorry for the computer "illiterate". They need someone to tell them "have you tried turning off Caps Lock?" over the phone, and they also have to deal with people who think that the "monkeys" on tech support are just an obstacle between them and the AWESOME SUPA-KNOW-IT-ALL FEMALE ENGINEERS (and, yeah, notice how the engineer just has to be female -- and people try to convince me Randall is NOT white knighting! Hah). And yeah, notice how Randall is so condescending towards tech support that, in his comic, the guy doesn't even know the people he works with; "I need to talk to an engineer, but you OBVIOUSLY don't know what that is, so I'll describe it to the MORON that you are".

It's not an issue of elitism. Just practicality. Like if it was medical shit. Would you call it elitism for a surgeon to have nurses handle bedside care? Or would it make more sense to have nurses handle the low skill work, while the people who are qualified focus on the serious issues that the nurses are not qualified to handle?

It's the same thing when you call tech support. It's unreasonable to expect engineers to spend time dealing with more trivial problems. You don't have your neurosurgeons checking temperatures, blood pressure, and changing bedpans. You don't have engineers dealing with mundane Any Key issues. That's what the unskilled tech support is there for.

Does it suck when people like you, me, and Randal get stuck dealing with the unskilled tech support? Yeah. But they still solve 90-95% of problems for the computer illiterate, instead of taking engineers from more complicated issues. It's not like engineers aren't working on shit; if unskilled tech support wasn't around, you'd have to have 10-20 times as many qualified engineers to handle the work load, and that's just a silly waste of manpower.

(Don't get me wrong, I'm not on Randal's side in this one. Unskilled tech support serves a very important purpose; namely, saving me from wasting my time and being able to work on the things that nobody else at my company is qualified to handle. And it's beyond ridiculous to bully them.)

EDIT: FYI: The engineer is female, and this engineer is female. As if my avatar and username wasn't enough of a giveaway. Jesus Christ. Some engineers have vaginas. Can we get past this already? Why do people a damn whether a person is male or female?

Image
Last edited by Karilyn on Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:38 pm UTC, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Diadem » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:34 pm UTC

I once had a very weird experience with tech support where they simultaniously recognized I knew my way around computers but still didn't believe my assessment of the problem.

I used to have this student job as helpdesk / assistent admin of the computer rooms at one of the buildings in my university. We had about a 100 Dell computers, all running the exact same system and software. Occasionally one of them died, and from experience I knew it was always the power unit. They never experienced any other hardware problems, always the power unit. It's pretty easy to spot that too, since nothing at all happens when you turn on the pc. So one day one died, and i called Dell requesting a new power unit. They started to run me through basic tests to see what the problem was. So I explained to them I'd already seen the exact same problem 6 times before and i knew what I was doing. They still insisted on all these basic tests I had already done, but when they realized I knew a fair bit about computers, they got more bold. They asked me to disconnect the disk drive and hdd, remove the memory, then they even asked me to remove the CPU.

To this day I still don't know why they asked that. But it was ... ehm ... entertaining.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby jpers36 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:37 pm UTC

June 2007

ME: I've been using your cable internet service for a month now and I can't get a speed better than 1KB/minute, when I get a connection at all.

COMCAST: Well, let me ping your cable modem. I'm seeing a connection.

ME: Well, the modem's cable light is on, but the connection is bad. Ping times are greater than a second. Webpages don't load. I've tried this on multiple computers and the connection's bad.

COMCAST: Have you checked your computer's firewall settings? You need to turn your firewall off.

ME: I don't have a firewall set up on my computer at the moment. My roommate does not, either.

COMCAST: There's an issue with your computer. I can't help you.

ME: Both my roommate and I are IT professionals, and believe me, we know how to properly configure PCs. It's a connection issue.

COMCAST: It's your computer. It's not our problem.

ME: Can you send someone out to test the connection in person?

COMCAST: I can send someone out, but we will charge you for this, and the technician is not going to find anything anyway. He's not going to be able to help.

ME: Alright then. Thank you for your time.

*click*

*dial*

ME: Hello, AT&T? I'm interested in your DSL service.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby jqavins » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:41 pm UTC

Okay, we all the joke (and it's probably happened) that goes
    User: I don't seem to have access to my email.
    Tech: Send an email describing the problem.
Well, yesterday my corporate IS people did a reinstall of IE 7 (I can't help what browser they allow) and the menu bar disappeared. The corporate environment encourages us not to try thinking through our own computer problems, so I called the tech who'd worked on my machine (at least I did have his direct number) and he actually told me to "Select Toolbars from the View menu..." This is not "retail" tech support, but corporate IS in an aerospace company full of engineers (like me.) So I re-engaged my own brain and solved the problem in about 15 seconds.

Shame on me for letting the environment turn me stupid.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Karilyn » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:42 pm UTC

jqavins wrote:
eovnu87435ds wrote:Whoever decides to start up a company for smart people technical support will be a millionaire in no time.

Sadly, I don't think there are enough smart people to make that business model work.

Naw it wouldn't work, because they would have to pay actual engineers actual engineer wage, instead of minimum wage like standard unskilled tech support, as well as convince the engineers to handle unskilled Any Key type problems, that they did not go to four years of college to get stuck dealing with.

Like I said. It's like asking a neurosurgeon to change bedpans. It's done the way it's done because it works; as trivial as you think the unskilled tech support people's requests are, they still manage to fix 90-95% of problems, because most users don't do the trivial basic troubleshooting that you did before calling tech support.

EDIT: That being said, there is no excuse for being mean or rude to unskilled minimum wage tech support. It's not cool Randal, or anyone else. It just makes you an asshole. No better than bullying a restaurant or retail employee. And that's what it is. Bullying. And shame on you.

Eutychus wrote:Yes, pretty much exactly the same thing happened to me this week on my cable-based ISP, intermittent problem, clearly their end somewhere (but I don't have the skills to diagnose it from my end). They threaten you with a €50 charge if the problem turns out to be that you haven't plugged in your router properly or something. To be fair, the guy said that my call-out was one of the rare ones for which he didn't end up getting the €50.
I like this idea, and would heavily promote it's usage. Be a shortcut if you actually know WTF you are talking about, but also would compensate the company for wasting their time (and time is money) for the 95% of people that are being stupid.
Gelsamel wrote:If you punch him in the face repeatedly then it's science.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby joshs » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:49 pm UTC

Did anyone else count?

Haiku? It's an ex-
perimental OS that
I...oh, never mind.

:D
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Grant10k » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:02 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:Like I said. It's like asking a neurosurgeon to change bedpans.


The difference is, in tech support, the patient is peeing blood, but the nurse insists on replacing the bedpan and restarting windows before they escalate the patient to a doctor.

Karilyn wrote:...That being said, there is no excuse for being mean or rude to unskilled minimum wage tech support. It's not cool Randal, or anyone else. It just makes you an asshole. No better than bullying a restaurant or retail employee. And that's what it is. Bullying. And shame on you.


Who's bullying who in this comic? All I see is a frustrated user who is trying to get an skilled tech on the phone without belittling him, and an unskilled tech to abandons his script in order to help the user get a skilled tech on the phone.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby djkjr » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

I read through everything to make sure I wasn’t restarting a spark that had already come and passed,
But seriously,
Am I the only one who's thought about how this is pretty much how all good *ahem* intimately pleasing dreams end up?

Dream Me: Oh my god, they're taking off their....
Real Me: Hello empty apartment.
War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Ignorance is Strength.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Apeiron » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:49 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:I hate that stupid elitism; and that's considering that I belong to that area. I am a computer programmer, I know "a minimum of two programming languages", and I feel sorry for the computer "illiterate". They need someone to tell them "have you tried turning off Caps Lock?"


As someone involved in tech support in one form or another for over a decade i can say THIS. Many users are helpless. If they weren't i wouldn't have a job. That doesn't make them stupid. i've fixed the computers of many PhDs and several CEOs and secretaries who knew the company better than the President. It's arrogant and just plain illogical to look down on them for not knowing some obscure feature. It's not their job to know it. IT'S MINE. They build lasers or teach people how to build lasers, or make the company run.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby shrimpwd » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:58 pm UTC

I didn't call, but this was a chat with tech support recently. GOOMHR!

Chat Transcript - 10/06/2010 09:03 AM
Hi, my name is Maya K N. How may I help you?
My Name: Good morning. I own a W3506 and am having trouble finding standby and hibernate availability.
Maya K N: My Name, we are here to assist you.
Maya K N: Could you please provide me the valid serial number of your computer?

Maya K N: The serial number should be alpha numeric format of 13 or 22 characters starting with a letter or 10 digits (numeric). The serial number would be printed along with a bar code on a sticker. The sticker is pasted on rear side or the top of the tower or under the notebook. It says S/N.

Maya K N: Are you with me?
My Name: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
My Name: had to find it.
Maya K N: Thank you for the confirmation.
Maya K N: From the serial number provided I see that the computer is out of Warranty. As a onetime best effort I can provide you with some self help links to fix the issue.
Maya K N: Could you please explain the issue with your computer?
Maya K N: Are we connected?
My Name: It does not allow me to put the computer in standby or hibernate. the power options does not have a hibernate tab, and the bios is set to ACPI accessibility
Maya K N: As I understand you cannot put computer on Hibernate mode.
My Name: or standby
Maya K N: My Name, let me see what best I can do in order to fix this issue.
Maya K N: Please try the following steps to put the computer on Hibernation.
Maya K N: 1. Click Control Panel

2. Click Power Options

3. Select the Hibernate tab

4. Uncheck Enable Hibernation box to disable
(or check to enable)

5. Click OK

My Name: no hibernate tab
Maya K N: Could you please stay online for 2 minutes while I search this information for you ?
My Name: sure
Maya K N: Thank you.
(after 5-10 minutes)
My Name: Did you find anything?
Maya K N: Thank you for being online.
Maya K N: I need few more minutes to search your issue. Could you please stay online for 2 more minutes while I search this information for you?
My Name: I will be here
Maya K N: Thank you.
Maya K N: Thank you for being online. I appreciate your patience.
Maya K N: May I know the operating system installed in your system?
Maya K N: Is it windows xp or vista?
My Name: xp pro
Maya K N: Thank you for your information.
Maya K N: My Name, in this case I would recommend you reinstall the video drivers to fix this issue. I will provide you a web link through which you can download the driver for your computer.
Maya K N: Please click on the following web link to download the driver.
Maya K N: http://global-download.acer.com/GDFiles ... s&SC=PA_6E
My Name: how do video drivers affect standby and hibernate?
Maya K N: Standby and Hibernate are advanced video options for power management.
Maya K N: You may follow the below instructions to install the driver in your computer.
Maya K N: 1.Download the file on to the desktop.
2.Double click on the file for extraction.
3.After extraction there will be a folder created in C:\ drive as C:\cabs\file name
4.Double click on the folder and you will find the exe file in that. Double click on the file to install the driver.
Maya K N: My Name, please go ahead and reinstall the video driver to fix this issue for sure.
Maya K N: I will send the chat transcript to your e-mail ID so that you can download the driver later.
Maya K N: It was a pleasure working with you. My name and badge number are (random #). Thank you for using E-machine Live Chat and have a great day.
My Name: thank you
Maya K N: You are welcome.
Maya K N: Bye take care.
'My Name' disconnected ('Concluded by Agent').


1: I had already tried downloading that driver, it wasn't the full thing.
2: I still don't understand how a video driver affects hibernate settings.
3: The problem is still unanswered and I can't standby or hibernate.
4: She was annoyingly pleasant.
5: Anyone out there know a solution that would actually work?
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby adaviel » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:01 pm UTC

Another war story:
A while back I was having problems with my cable modem connection - as I recall, dropouts and packet loss. The (rented) modem is cunningly set to not let you see any diagnostics once it has a connection, but I never found an obvious issue like "no signal" and I could see broadcast packets no problem waiting for a lease.
Tech support's standard answer was to "power-cycle the modem". Every time you do that your PC has to get a new DHCP lease, and if the line's cruddy it won't get one for hours, so you have turned your "bad internet connectiion" problem into a "no internet connection" one.

After swapping the modem (at their expense, but some inconvenience having to drive it downtown), I finally asked a neighbour if he was having problems too (he was), and when a cable guy actually turned up they found a bad amplifier up the street. Our ISP had done an area swap with another company, but hadn't bought the remote diagnostic software that would let them check the amplifiers remotely.
I never found a magic phrase :(

Another magic phrase I wish I knew is the one to bypass voice recognition on my cellphone provider's line. Holding down a phone key for 30 seconds sometimes works, but not just "0" or "*". It's always "I'm having trouble understanding you. Let's start again. If you want to check the balance of your account, say 'account'." Even if the fool thing could understand my Brit accent, if I wanted to converse with a computer, I would have logged onto my account online.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby paramecium » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:49 pm UTC

I had to write a poem about Physics for College this morn, I wrote a haiku.

GOOMH Randall.
Code: Select all
//
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby HonoreDB » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:54 pm UTC

adaviel wrote:Another magic phrase I wish I knew is the one to bypass voice recognition on my cellphone provider's line.


Get Human generally has the shibboleths for that--you type in the number or company, and they tell you the quickest way to get to a live operator. Maybe they should branch out to "Get Human Who's Allowed To Act Human".
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby nexox » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:04 pm UTC

Soooo many issues with Comcast.

First I moved and wanted to just sort of move my account with me. I also wanted to get rid of cable tv and get a new DOCSIS 3 modem. Install guy shows up late, stoned, without the right hardware, spends 20 minutes staring at my cat (Exclaimed at one point 'You cat has a really nice snout' - permanent inside joke now,) went outside to 'check the box at the curb' (Re-toke) while waiting for someone on the other end to start the connection, left us with a service order which just had a big circle on it, and apparently never returned our old equipment.

Within the first week or two we lost our connection twice. The account is in my girlfriend's name, so they wouldn't talk to me at all. They asked her how fast our router was, she saw a 'G' on my wireless AP (not the same device as my router,) they said 'Your router is too slow. *click*' Took two or three calls to find out that they had seen she had an account at two addresses (new apartment and old apartment) and they decided to kill the new one by driving out and unplugging us at the curb. And I'm reasonably sure the tech support people could see something like that on their computers, if they could read.

Second disconnection was also done physically at the curb, because the person who had moved out of our apartment canceled their account. Another round of 'your router is too slow' followed by immediate hangup, then we got someone who figured out that they had to send out a tech, and said it would probably take a week or two. Which would mean something like 60% of our first month of service was interrupted because they erroneously decided to disconnect us. After we got a few managers up the chain they could magically get a truck out the next day.

Then they charged us for both apartments for something like 6 months, promising that the refund check was in the mail every week. Since we some how had two accounts, the web interface to turn off automatic payments immediately locked us out every time we attempted to log in, and a password reset involved waiting for them to mail you a new password. On paper. Then that password wouldn't work anyway because of the two accounts violating their application design. And the people on the phone have (claim to have) no ability to stop automated payments.

Needless to say, I haven't bothered trying to call them when I see ~30% packet loss and pings to my very first network hop that vary between 7 and 7000 ms. Good way to totally destroy a game of Quake.

Too bad the only alternative I've got is 768Kbit DSL. Which isn't really an alternative at all.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Niwyn » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:13 pm UTC

el_loco_avs wrote:It's incredibly rare to get a user that actually knows anything when you work in tech support.

I registered specifically to make this point. Having worked in tech support for longer than I care to remember I can say that the number of knowledgeable users is so small and the number of users who claim to be knowledgeable is so large that when you get one you have to assume they're ignorant. It doesn't help to say you're a doctor as someone claimed earlier in this thread; you can be a world-class neurosurgeon or a Nobel prize winner and still be computer dumb. It doesn't help to say you're running an experimental OS; I'll assume you're not because experience tells me that's where the smart money is.

I know ubergeeks like to fantasize about dream scenarios like in this comic, but in the real world the problem is so tiny that anyone trying out the suggestion of tech support for smart people would go bust in a weekend. There aren't enough of you, and it's not an intelligence problem either. It's a knowledge problem.

I rarely (as in maybe 1% of cases) need to transfer a call. I don't know two programming languages, I don't even know one, but I'm damn good at my job and if I you feel like I'm treating you like an idiot it's because I have to. Don't use a script, either.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Slybevel2 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:24 pm UTC

I successfully pulled a Shibboleet with a Dell tech in a chat window a few minutes ago. Is there somewhere I can upload this image?
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:46 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:Does it suck when people like you, me, and Randal get stuck dealing with the unskilled tech support? Yeah. But they still solve 90-95% of problems for the computer illiterate, instead of taking engineers from more complicated issues. It's not like engineers aren't working on shit; if unskilled tech support wasn't around, you'd have to have 10-20 times as many qualified engineers to handle the work load, and that's just a silly waste of manpower.


That's exactly what I think, and what I consider "elitism" is people who COMPLAIN about that, because they think the "computer gods" are way too sacred to even hear the voice of the poor tech support guy who has a script to follow. I might not have made myself clear before. Of course the engineers and more advanced workers shouldn't be handling the banal cases, that's not what I'm arguing against. What I find preposterous is that self-absorbed, arrogant wish of "I wish there was a special code for the supah-cool know-it-alls like ME to get in contact with the other supah-cool know-it-alls who can actually solve my problems". The world does not spin around you just because you know computers, folks.

Karilyn wrote:EDIT: FYI: The engineer is female, and this engineer is female. As if my avatar and username wasn't enough of a giveaway. Jesus Christ. Some engineers have vaginas. Can we get past this already? Why do people a damn whether a person is male or female?


That's not the problem: of course it doesn't matter, but Randall has this "feature" of always putting a female in a sort of "superior" situation. It has happened over and over again, and Randall fails to realise that women DO NOT NEED some sort of "Geeky stick-figure-drawing Superhero" to defend them from the perils of the world. By having this overly defensive attitude towards women, he pretty much puts them down. It's like he's too afraid of showing a smart male because that would make him look "sexist"; that kind of paranoia is just as sexist as the stuff he condemns.
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby FormicaArchonis » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:54 pm UTC

I've called tech support, been a call centre drone, and now I'm a retail store's PC service tech. I've learned a few things:

1) Most people who work in call centres are idiots. The rest are desperate for work. Almost anyone good will burn out fast, leaving only those who can take abuse from callers and from their bosses for 8-14 hours a day. The only reason call centres still exist is that voice recognition isn't that good yet.

2) Most people who call call centres are idiots. They honestly don't deserve better than an idiot reading off a screen because they're often idiots who can't read off screens.

3) Anyone (on either side of the line) who says they know what they're doing doesn't.

4) Any company who doesn't have a group or at least a script devoted to retail shops should be burned to the ground and the earth salted. I'm not talking for the Best Buys of the world, but the smaller shops. Because that's what I'm going to do next time Linksys or DLink tells me that they can't help me with a dead router until I disconnect all other devices from the network, including the other 30 employees, the four credit/debit card readers, and the DHCP, file, email, and web servers.
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