mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, November 15, 2004

How to call tech support...

A while ago, my coworker pjf (who occasionally posts at NewsAmuse) sent me this funny and very accurate list of ways to annoy tech support. I work at a college help desk, and have a few more suggestions to add:

1) Try to curse within the first sentence of your phone call. Nothing makes a help desk tech want to help you than having you curse at them before they have even said anything to you. It really shows what an smart pwerson you are Here's an example of an actual conversation from today to get you started:

Mad Anthony: Tech support, how can I help you?

caller: "my internet won't f*cking work"

2) Always point out how important your computer is to do your job. Say something like "I need this to do my job". Most of our users just have computers on their desks for solitare and surfing porn, so this will get you to the top of the list.

3) call every 2 hours to check on the status of your work order. Otherwise, we'll just forget about it. That work order number we give doesn't mean we actually plan on, you know, doing the work order.

4) Speaking of work order numbers, you can just ignore that. We like trying to find your ticket. Make a point to flat-out lie and say you didn't get a ticket number when we ask.

5) If you are important enough to have a secretary, have them call in your problem. Make sure they know nothing about your problem. This lets us have great conversations in which your secretary tells us you can't log in, then can't answer any questions about what's happening, then gets annoyed that we can't magically fix the problem with no information.

6) If you get an error message that appears to be informative and written in plain english, ignore it. However, if you get a totally generic message like "windows explorer has encountered an error and needs to close" or a message written entirely in hexadecimal, write it down, and then get annoyed when the tech can't instantly figure out your problem from the error message.

5) If the tech asks you to click on something, don't even bother trying to find it before telling the tech that "you don't have that on your computer". It's not possible that you haven't noticed the start menu or the tools/options menu in internet explorer - you probably have a special version of Windows that doesn't have those things.

6) If you are a Mac or Linux user in an organization that has 90% Windows machines, make a point of avoiding mentioning that to the person on the phone. Rather, tell them 15 times that you can't find the start menu when they ask you to click on it, then innocently as if it matters that you are on a Mac.

7) In the same vein, if you don't like the fact that your organization doesn't support Macs/FireFox/OS2/Linux/DEC VAX/Eudora or whatever obscure or outdated technology you prefer, repetedly point this out to the tech on the phone. Chances are they make all the decisions about what the organization purchases and will get right on it on your say-so.

8) If you are thinking of purchasing a piece of software or hardware that you expect to work with our network, make sure you buy it first, then yell at us when it doesn't work with our system even after we spend hours trying to get it to work.

9) sometimes, a tech will go out of their way to support something that they don't technically support, or do you a favor like help you with your home PC. Make sure that they are punished for this by complaining to their manager the instance something goes wrong.

10) twist the tech's words whenever possible to try to justify them doing something that they aren't supposed to. For example, ask the Helpdesk if there is anything that will prevent you from using iTunes on the network. Then, when your iPod battery dies, complain that "someone told me this would work and now you won't fix this"

11) Don't allow any time to troubleshoot or resolve the issue before demanding the most extreme solution. For example, if you can't access your email, demand that the organization change email systems - even though this would involve migrating 25,000 accounts, while your problem can be solved by turning off your caps lock key.

12) Ask the tech on the phone broad rhetorical questions like "why do computers crash" and then yell at the tech for not being able to answer the question to your satisfaction.

13) Even if you clicked the no box on the "do you want to save this document" box, it's still the tech's fault you lost your document.

14) If you have a problem with your computer, wait 2 days for the problem to resolve itself. When it doesn't, call the helpdesk and say that you need it fixed quickly, since you have been without a computer for 3 days.

15) If you get two pieces of advice, one from a knowledgeable person with a conclusion you don't like, and the other from someone who has no idea what they are talking about, believe the latter. For example, let's say you bought a Tivo and the guy at Best Buy says it will work with your college's phone system, but the guy at the helpdesk says it won't. Never mind that the guy at Best Buy would tell you that the Tivo can perform oral sex if he thought it would seal a sale, while the helpdesk guy owns a Tivo and lived at the college for three years. You should still insist that the helpdesk guy is wrong becaus the Best Buy drone said it would work.

16) insist that the intentional design of systems is a problem. For example, lets say you run out of space on your network drive, and you call us and we give more space. Call back 2 weeks later after adding another 500 megs of stuff, and complain that "you thought this was resolved but now it's saying I'm out of space again".

17) Sometimes we will put a message up on the helpdesk line to let people know of a known issue that we are working on or a system that is down. You can do two things with this: ignore it, and then launch into a lengthy discussion of how you can't print, despite the fact that you just spent the last 30 seconds listening to a message detailing that the print server is down. Alternativly, you can assume it applies to you when it doesn't, and blame a phone system outage at a satellite location for excel crashing on you.

19) Call in during a major crisis, like a server or network outage, and ask for something that can't be done because of the outage, such as restoring a file to a network drive that you can't access because the file server is down. When we refuse to do this, be sure to call our boss' boss a few days later and complain about the poor service you recieved. Don't mention the server outage or the technical impossibilty of your request. We will surely be given the talking-to we deserve.

20) If you get a popup on your computer, take what it says as gospel. We should not allow you to do such dangerous things as broadcast an IP address.


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