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Author Topic:   the WORST - phone tech support
feldspar
Geek Larva

Posts: 28
From: Washington, DC
Registered: Jan 2002

posted January 28, 2002 07:45     Click Here to See the Profile for feldspar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm proud to say I did my time & am a veteran: four months working phone tech support, the WORST job of the digital age. It offers only lousy pay and some of the most frustrating, thankless work out there. Wonder why no one offers free, unlimited phone tech support anymore? Do it yourself and find out!

I could spend hours ranting. It comes down to this: no one calls tech support when things are going well; they're already in a foul mood, and they (most likely) aren't the keenest computer users out there. Imagine talking to a middle-aged woman who doesn't know how to right-click, and you've got to walk her through editing the Registry! Or someone's little database is irretrievably corrupted, you ask when was their most recent backup, and you hear that dreaded response: "Uh ... backup?" Or some guy installed the latest whizz-bang voice recognition software, it's now caused some extension conflict, and you've got to sit on the phone with him while the deal is resolved (with all its attendant restarts, and without benefit of Conflict Catcher, of course).

Well phone tech support will hone your troubleshooting skills, and give you temendous insight into Human Nature. It does require an enormous store of patience. I'd say every geek worthy of the name should try his or her hand at it just once.

Hmmmm ... "Confessions of a Phone Tech Support Rep." I sniff a website -- if it hasn't been done already....

cheers,
feldspar.

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"Fat, drunk, and stupid
is no way to go through
life, son."

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Dahak
Mini-Geek

Posts: 51
From: Royersford, PA, United States
Registered: Oct 2001

posted January 28, 2002 08:41     Click Here to See the Profile for Dahak   Click Here to Email Dahak     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You're far from alone, friend. For some websites that have been done for tech support horror stories, see http://www.techtales.com , http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/ and http://www.technogirl.net/

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"A child of five could understand this! Therefore, fetch me a child of five!"

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feldspar
Geek Larva

Posts: 28
From: Washington, DC
Registered: Jan 2002

posted January 28, 2002 09:25     Click Here to See the Profile for feldspar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
<smacks head>

Thanks! I was trying to remember those very sites myself to include them. There was a video I saw online a year or so ago of a stand-up act about phone tech support. Gotta find that. Your links will be a good start.

f.

------------------
"Fat, drunk, and stupid
is no way to go through
life, son."

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Dahak
Mini-Geek

Posts: 51
From: Royersford, PA, United States
Registered: Oct 2001

posted January 28, 2002 11:29     Click Here to See the Profile for Dahak   Click Here to Email Dahak     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie did "Internet Help Desk". Wes Borg's very good in the clip that they have online.

http://www.deadtroll.com/video/index.html

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"A child of five could understand this! Therefore, fetch me a child of five!"

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macadddikt18
SuperBlabberMouth!

Posts: 1126
From: In a world beyond your understanding
Registered: Jan 2002

posted January 28, 2002 13:06     Click Here to See the Profile for macadddikt18   Click Here to Email macadddikt18     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I understand you Bro. Phone tech support is horrible. I did it for a while. I just get so frustrated with ignorant people. I can't descided now if phone support is better or worse than making pizzas.
Nayt

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Through out your life you will wonder who THEY are. Then you find out who THEY really are. From then on you live you life in fear of THEM and you wish you never knew who THEY were.

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LifetimeTrekker
Alpha Geek

Posts: 326
From: Albuquerque, NM, UD
Registered: Sep 2001

posted January 28, 2002 13:45     Click Here to See the Profile for LifetimeTrekker   Click Here to Email LifetimeTrekker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been doing it for over three years running-"Ah feel your pain!"

I had one an hour ago--the guy wanted me to hold while he finished his game of Pong.

Yeah, right!

My wish list is an electoencephalic defibrulator, to jumpstart the user's brain while we're on the phone together.

All we really need do is wait 20 years for the computer illiterates to be replaced by the functionally illiterates who have grown up around computers--a whole new generations of morons buying things they don't want to learn to use.

heh.

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platypus
Super Geek

Posts: 198
From: Provo, UT
Registered: Nov 2001

posted January 28, 2002 16:08     Click Here to See the Profile for platypus   Click Here to Email platypus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I actually had someone ask me how they were goin gto click on "My Computer" once.

I have a long list of them. But they make me very, very tired to think about them.

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pages:
www.thelemur.net
www.saintehlers.com
www.squishbox.org

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Steen
SuperBlabberMouth!

Posts: 1162
From: Maryville, TN, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted February 02, 2002 22:52     Click Here to See the Profile for Steen   Click Here to Email Steen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For what it's worth, not all telephone tech support positions suck that badly. My own, for instance, exposes me primarily to customers who have paid a small fortune for the products and the training that comes with them. There are a few idiots, but they're far outnumbered by the people who have spent years learning the products that I support and know how to use them almost as well as I do.

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JainDough
Super Geek

Posts: 148
From: united states
Registered: Oct 2001

posted February 03, 2002 11:01     Click Here to See the Profile for JainDough   Click Here to Email JainDough     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
i think tech support would be a nifty job, for me at least. Stupid people are funny and i'd be laughing my ass off all day. Call me crazy but AOL tech support is on my list of fun jobs...

then again i've never actually done tech support and you people make it sound like torture.

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hell is other people -Jean Paul Sartre

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Geordie
Super Geek

Posts: 148
From: Fairfax Station, VA, USA
Registered: Nov 2001

posted February 03, 2002 18:41     Click Here to See the Profile for Geordie   Click Here to Email Geordie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did phone tech support at a law firm for a couple of years. The positive thing was that as long as I was there at a seconds notice the lawyers were happy (which meant we had to be so over staffed that I rarely had to work and spent most of the day reading usenet) The down side ahh duh didn't I just say lawyers.

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LifetimeTrekker
Alpha Geek

Posts: 326
From: Albuquerque, NM, UD
Registered: Sep 2001

posted February 03, 2002 20:46     Click Here to See the Profile for LifetimeTrekker   Click Here to Email LifetimeTrekker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JainDough:
i think tech support would be a nifty job, for me at least. Stupid people are funny and i'd be laughing my ass off all day. Call me crazy but AOL tech support is on my list of fun jobs...

then again i've never actually done tech support and you people make it sound like torture.


It's not as fun as you think. Jain.

Dirty little secreet here: I work for AOL DSL technical support. (OH, HORROR!) I'll have been there four years in September. I take both the DSL and normal Windows tech calls; I have to adhere to the call time requirements, naturally.

The primary requirement for doing tech support is a lot of patience. It can be frustrating having to spend ten to twelve minutes to get someone to find the Windows Start button.

It used to be fun, when we didn't have to be nice to people. I almost always am, but you know how it is when you pick up the phone and they start off trying to bite your head off. I really like the Dogbert style of tech support: "Can't sign on? Shut up and restart your computer." "Can't get to the net? Shut up and restart your computer."
"Can't restart your computer? Shut up and buy a new one."

It helps if you know the common screens well enough to tell the person on the phone what they're seeing, what they're supposed to do and what is supposed to happen when they do it.

It's not great money, true. I make an adequate living at it. Try it if you're able.

At the very least, you will build your communication skills.

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EngrBohn
Highlie

Posts: 686
From: United States
Registered: Jul 2000

posted February 04, 2002 08:57     Click Here to See the Profile for EngrBohn   Click Here to Email EngrBohn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
- LifetimeTrekker -

It used to be fun, when we didn't have to be nice to people. I almost always am, but you know how it is when you pick up the phone and they start off trying to bite your head off.

Which is why, when I'm on the phone with tech support (or any other form of customer service), whenever I feel a rant coming on, I always preface it with something to the effect of "What I'm about to say isn't directed at you: I'm not mad at you, as you haven't done anything wrong. I'm just frustrated at the situation, which is..." And I always, but always, thank the person at the other end -- for their help if they've truly been helpful, or for their time if talking to them was a waste of time.

Of course, I believe manners are appropriate in any conversation.

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cb
Oooh! What does this button do!?

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macadddikt18
SuperBlabberMouth!

Posts: 1126
From: In a world beyond your understanding
Registered: Jan 2002

posted February 10, 2002 10:23     Click Here to See the Profile for macadddikt18   Click Here to Email macadddikt18     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whoever said there is no such thing as a stupid question has never worked in customer service or tech support.
Nayt

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Through out your life you will wonder who THEY are. Then you find out who THEY really are. From then on you live you life in fear of THEM and you wish you never knew who THEY were.

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TechnoGram
Super Geek

Posts: 245
From: USA
Registered: Jan 2002

posted February 10, 2002 12:14     Click Here to See the Profile for TechnoGram   Click Here to Email TechnoGram     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've never done tech support, but my TTB daughter trained newbies to use computers.

They were scared to press the enter key because the cursor might fall on the floor.

We wondered if they ducked every time they saw someone shooting a gun on tv.


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.--. .-. --- - --- / - - -...

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Sir Aureus
Geek-in-Training

Posts: 36
From: wherever my pismo happens to be
Registered: Feb 2002

posted March 01, 2002 19:19     Click Here to See the Profile for Sir Aureus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by feldspar:
Wonder why no one offers free, unlimited phone tech support anymore? Do it yourself and find out!

<unpaid advertisement>
This, folks, is one of the reasons the Apple Store is so great

It offers free, unlimited personal tech support, which is much more pleasant and effective for both parties.
</unpaid advertisement>

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I'm egotistical and I'm
proud of it!

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xobender
Alpha Geek

Posts: 265
From: Lost in a five and a half mintue hallway.
Registered: Mar 2001

posted March 01, 2002 23:24     Click Here to See the Profile for xobender   Click Here to Email xobender     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
yes the Apple Stoe is fine for eveything. i have a flegling user wanting to try out Tech support for a job but she thinks it's all about what buttons to press and what short cuts to take. WoW .. she's in for a suprise. hehe.. i think she needs to be "Here"! But, i think i need her to get here to convert..soon..bwahahahahhahaaa

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GameMaster
Geek

Posts: 68
From: State of insanity
Registered: Mar 2002

posted March 18, 2002 05:22     Click Here to See the Profile for GameMaster   Click Here to Email GameMaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the other hand... Those of us who know how to use, repair and build computers also run into problems and require information, and we often get ahold of two types of tech-support people or departments:

1) The tech support guy that thinks you are one of the idiots mentioned above and say things like "On the grey box thing that will come up, click on the rectangle that says 'Next' and tell me when you've done that"

2) Leveled tech support (like creative). You give them make model, your name, serial number, and exsplain the problem and they say "Oh, that is a level two question, I don't have the resources to help you, please hold while I transfer you" to someone who knows somthing about the product... Just to discover that the drive is faulty!!!

Now, I'm not trying to insilt anyone who works in the tech support feild, but please, if you work tech support, let the customer prove he's an idoit before treating him/her like they know nothing.

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platypus
Super Geek

Posts: 198
From: Provo, UT
Registered: Nov 2001

posted March 18, 2002 06:37     Click Here to See the Profile for platypus   Click Here to Email platypus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
actually, the rule is to assume the customer knows nothing. You have to say "check this box, then click on next. Enter your password in the field marked _____ then click next." not because we think your a stupid moron, but because just on the off chance you are, you could really f some stuff up by doing the wrong thing. I used to preface my explanation of how to do something by saying "ok, we're going to look at the network properties" or whatever, smart customers would usually say "ok, I'm there" before I could finish my explanation, thus giving me a feel for their level of knowledge. At MS tech support, we had the term "advanced user." It was a very sarcastic term, and it came to be because so many people claimed to be "advanced" and turned out to know crap.

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pages:
www.thelemur.net
www.saintehlers.com
www.squishbox.org

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