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Seems like an obvious guess
Old 06-16-2018, 04:43 PM
SpyOne SpyOne is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Virginia Beach, VA, USA, Sol3
Posts: 339
Default Seems like an obvious guess

So I work at a convenience store. We have two registers.

Monday we got a scheduled upgrade to a new kind of pinpad.
This involved, among other things, replacing the ethernet cables that connect the pinpads to the store network.
Shortly after the installation, the pinpads stopped working. Then they started working intermittently. then they stopped working again. Lather, rinse, repeat. At most one worked at any given time, rarely for more than one transaction.

The Help Desk was notified, and immediately began trying the things they can do remotely to fix that kind of issue. For example, they reset some device with a name like "EDH", which shuts down the gas pumps while it is rebooting (takes like half an hour). That kind of fun.
They try to guide a sales associate through rebooting the pinpads only to discover that they don't know how to manually reboot the new pinpads (they only have the procedure for the old ones).
They managed to find the reboot procedure and walk somebody through it, and that gets them both working for several hours. Then they both failed again.

When they were not working, the register would report "pinpad offline" while the pinpad showed whatever the last transaction that actually worked

This went on all week.

Friday morning they sent out the tech who had done the original install to see if he could find the problem, and he had correctly guessed what the problem was before he even got to the store.

Can you guess?

The ethernet connectors on the cables he'd made were bad.
Yep, in order to make sure the cables he put in were exactly the right length, they had him make them custom. He had noticed sometime later that some of the connectors he'd been given had manufacturing defects.

So, newly installed equipment starts dropping connection almost immediately, how does it take four days to come up with the idea "maybe the equipment or the install was faulty".
(Answer: because the tech coming to the store gets paid for by the equipment manufacturer not the store or the company, and they insist that you prove the problem can't be fixed any other way.)
Only a company could be this stupid.

Old 06-17-2018, 02:58 PM
lordlundar's Avatar
lordlundar lordlundar is offline
The Evil Bastard
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,758

You know people rag on IBM for being some IT corporate overlord but at least they have standards and policies.

I do subcontracting work for them and in this situation all it takes is a phone call and a photo of the defective equipment to get the decision made to put the old stuff back in and ship out a set of replacements and a reschedule. It might take a bit longer but at least everything works in the meantime.
I AM the evil bastard!
A+ Certified IT Technician

Old 06-19-2018, 01:52 AM
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Arcus Arcus is online now
Assistant Manager
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Utah
Posts: 432

Back when I was an arcade tech, we got a new game that didn't work right out of the box. The manufacturer said that if I do anything other than what they tell me I can do, I will void the warranty and they will not replace any defective parts. So started the game of useless phone tag. No matter how many times I told them that the video cable had been cut while it was being assembled, they wouldn't listen to me. After they sent me a new computer, 50" monitor, 4 power supplies, line filter, and several IO boards, they finally sent one of their techs from Chicago to Salt Lake. The tech opened the back of the game up and froze. Right in front of him, clear as day was a video cable that had been cut when someone had trimmed a zip tie. Turned out that the phone tech thought I was lying to him.

End cost for his refusal to send a $15 video cable... Just over $8000.

Old 06-19-2018, 11:41 AM
ladyjaneinmd ladyjaneinmd is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Maryland
Posts: 230

Back in my early working days, I was a computer operator in a mainframe room in a university. We had these tape drives that constantly gave errors. The manufacturer of the tape drives blamed us (of course), saying that we didn't clean them, put dirty tapes on, yadda yadda. So we got a tape cleaner, and cleaned the tapes AND tape drives before and after every use. This went on for over a year until *finally* someone came out and changed the heads on the tape drives, and the problems went away. Huzzah!

Then I moved, 400 miles away and got another mainframe operations job in another computer room. Same type of job, SAME TAPE DRIVES, SAME PROBLEM. I talked to the manager in the morning and explained what happened 400 miles away and said, 'I'm not going through this again. Tell them to replace the heads and we'll be fine.'
She talked to the manufacturer, the heads were changed, and the problems went away.

What are the chances???
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