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Rules for Tech Support

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  • Rules for Tech Support

    I never thought to save the thread on the old board, so I figured I'll just restart it.

    1. Please let me do my job. If you think you can fix it why did you call me?
    Exception to #1: If an emergency transpires (something blows up in my face, I get zapped with 120V AC, your computer/bookshelf/desk collapses on top of me, etc), do what should be obvious and either help me or call for help.

    2. If something gets fuxxored and I ask what you did before things went south, please tell me, I'm asking for a reason. If I'm to help you fix it, I need to know precisely what was done. Lying is only going to make things longer and harder for us both.

    3. Please drop the technobabble and tell me in plain English what you want to do. I prefer it in English first. I will decipher geekspeak in the proper way. If what gets done is not what you wanted, that's your own fault for using the wrong terms. I'm not psychic.

    4. If you come to me saying a piece of hardware isn't working, have that hardware or at least the manual with you. I cannot troubleshoot what does not exist.

    5. Don't try to blame me if something breaks 2 weeks after I fixed it. I know what I did and I know it was working.
    Corollary to #5: Yes, you are paying the second (third, fourth, fifth, etc) time. I'm not a salon where do-overs are free.
    Exception to the Corollary: If it can be proven that something I did fubared things for whatever reason (unforeseen conflict), my rate will be discounted for that time only.
    Exception to the Exception: The above is void if said conflict was directly caused by something else you did.
    Last edited by Dreamstalker; 07-20-2006, 08:55 PM.
    "I am quite confident that I do exist."
    "Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up." The Doctor

  • #2
    I wrote my list up a couple of years ago, ten commandments style:

    The 10 Commandments of calling Tech Support

    1. Thou shalt be the person experiencing the problem.
    It's no good talking to someone who doesn't know what the problem really is, isn't experiencing it on their PC, and can't try it as you talk because they don't know the password.

    2. Thou shalt be at thine computer.
    If you're not in front of the computer, how can you try the suggestions we give you?

    3. Thou shalt have the error message on-screen, or copied to paper.
    Imagine the frustration - "I had an error when I tried to get mail" "What did it say?" "I don't know now, I closed it down, something about connection I think, what do you think is wrong?"

    4. Thou shalt be ready to deal to this problem.
    Further frustrations - "Yes, hi, I'm not getting my email" "Okay, can you go into your Inbox for me?" "Oh yeah, I'll just shut this down, and hang on, I'll save this, and I have to move this file over here, and then I'll open the email program, it's coming up now, it's always slow…".

    5. Thou shalt have already restarted thy computer.
    Really. It fixes tonnes of stuff. And if you're going to lose data by restarting, that data was history anyway, we'll just tell you to restart.

    6. Thou shalt not expect encyclopaedias to answer the tech line.
    The sheer scope of things we know in the many programs is quite large. We don't necessarily have every answer at hand, but we can usually look it up or find it out pretty quick. Can you instantly remember everything you've ever done?

    7. Thou shalt count to 10 before calling.
    You only call us when you're having a problem, and therefore frustrated and probably angry. Take a moment to calm down, so that you can discuss the issue rationally and get the quickest answer.

    8. Thou shalt not lie.
    I don't know why people bother. "No I didn't add any software to this computer", "No I didn't change anything", "It was fine yesterday", "I didn't touch it". Most of the time we don't care if you caused the problem, but it's a lot easier to fix if you admit you might have and describe what you did.

    9. Thou shalt only seek solutions from the lesser saints in tech support.
    Do not directly call second- or third-level technicians. They don't appreciate it. All problems must go through the helpdesk first and only. The call will go to someone else if it was truly meant for them, and be properly recorded for future reference.

    10. Thou shalt provide useful information about the problem.
    "I can't get my email" isn't very useful if your computer is not even starting up. Sure, email may have been what you were after, but let's face it, the problem is the computer isn't starting, not that you can't get email. Similarly "it doesn't work" is just as useless. What doesn't work, when you do
    what, what were you expecting, what did you click on?


    • #3
      1) thou shalt always run a firewall, virus scan and adware scan before calling - and keep them up to date
      2) thou shalt know what version of windows thou is running (it's always windows idiots who say things like 98ME - mac and linux users know there stuff in general)
      3) thou shalt know what right click is
      4) it is not a cup holder damnit!
      5) those funny cursers are cute for you - they bug the hell outta me. turn them off.
      6) you can not use fridge magnets on the side of your case..
      7) or a 1 foot long bar magnet (i have seen this.. from an IT teacher i had in high school none the less!)


      • #4
        Just remembered after a marathon Linux troubleshooting session with Jordan:

        --If I ask for any error messages in a command-line environment, if the text is scrolling up the screen please do not attempt to read all of it as it is scrolling. That gives me a huge headache and leads to much confusion. All I really need are the last few lines before you get a shell prompt again (or the commands exactly how they were input).
        "I am quite confident that I do exist."
        "Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up." The Doctor


        • #5
          The nice tech you just called is not just screwing around with you to waste your oh-so-precious time, he/she really does need to ask all those questions about just what the computer was or was not doing. He/she is not a Jedi or a Hogwarts graduate and cannot simply will your computer fixed, no matter much he/she might want to.
          "Crazy may always be open for business, but on the full moon, it has buy one get one free specials." - WishfulSpirit

          "Sometimes customers remind me of zombies, but I'm pretty sure that zombies are smarter." - MelindaJoy77


          • #6
            And, come to think of it, "the nice tech" might not actually be a tech...rather, (s)he may just be the most technologically astute person on the premises, and the company's too cheap/small to spring for real tech support/IT. All the more reason to adhere to the aforementioned rules as though they were (dare I say it?) etched in stone.
            Not all who wander are lost.


            • #7
              Though shalt remember to tell the tech that you have a static IP address that is configured for that particular station, so that when you change computers (thus using a new NIC) and don't have a DHCP for that particular station, the tech can easily reconfigure your new computer to have the correct static IP.

              Though shalt NOT TOUCH the registry.

              Though shalt not DELETE any parts of the registry. Ever.

              Though shalt not go into the "Add/Remove programs" when thou dost not know what thou art doing

              If thine computer is password protected, thou shalt give the tech thine password, as well as contact information, before leaving thine computer with said tech. If thou dost not comply with this rule (and the 2 about the registry), thou shalt not bitch at the tech for not being able to back up your files when they have to reformat your hard drive.

              Thou shalt back up all files before bringing your computer to a tech, on a memory storage device seperate from said computer.


              • #8
                I actually told a customer this after a rather nasty argurment on how long the computer was taking to repair.

                "Sir, I want to get this computer back to you as soon as humanly possible. If for no other reason so I don't have to listen to you calling every 30 minutes. As you can see the program that is recovering the files that YOU lost when YOU formatted your own drive, has approx 4 hours remaining before it is done. I can do NOTHING until it finishes. Call me back no earlier than 4 hours please so I can get back to getting the rest of your computer running."

                Standard procedure for me was to clean/recover the customer's original drive while at the same time loading the OS on a new drive. Then I'll copy the data from their drive to mine, wipe the old drive and then finally image the new drive onto the original drive. Takes a little time, but I can have Windows up and running while the hours long scans take place, and I can make sure I don't accidently wipe out data during the install.

                I never lost my faith in humanity. Can't lose what you never had right?


                • #9
                  What about people who don't keep their virus and anti-spyware defs up to date? I'd like to throttle them all. Apparently, simply *having* the software is enough...never mind that it was last updated in 1995
                  Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines. --Enzo Ferrari


                  • #10
                    Quoth protege
                    What about people who don't keep their virus and anti-spyware defs up to date? I'd like to throttle them all. Apparently, simply *having* the software is enough...never mind that it was last updated in 1995

                    That would require they actually have to do something on the PC. Your average user can't be bothered with such trivial things. Not when there is porn to surf!!
                    "The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off due to budget cuts." - Steven Wright


                    • #11
                      When I ask you to left-click on a menu, that means click ONCE!

                      If you double left-click on EVERYTHING, I will be forced to hang up on you as I am not paid enough to hear you say "It doesn't show me the menu!!" over and over again . . .

                      "I'm spending a year dead for tax reasons" - Douglas Adams
                      "If the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off . . . " - unknown


                      • #12
                        1) It doesn't matter how slow the problem was fixed. If it's anything bigger then changing your Outlook Express settings-which takes me, on a slow day and computer, more time to hook the computer up then to change the settings. My time is worth money-$75 CDN an hour, to be specific.

                        2) RAM is a name. Not an installation instruction. If you have to break out ANY tool AT ALL that isn't a screwdriver when installing your hardware, you're doing it wrong.

                        3) Same goes for removing parts of said hardware if it doesn't fit.

                        4) Also, I probably can't sauter whatever you took off back on.

                        5) And you're not getting a free one. It's your own damn fault.

                        6) When I say 'bring in your operating system and drivers-basically, whatever CDs came with the PC', I MEAN it. If it's a Dell with XP Home, I can deal with it if you don't. If it's your custom-made PC running XP Media Edition with a bunch of aftermarket crap, BRING IT.

                        7) Bitching about the price will not make it go down, especially bitching to me. I'm a 19-year-old intern wearing headphones and a geeky shirt. Do I LOOK like I have control over the prices?

                        8) Sure, I'll 'accientally' put in better hardware, if you pay my lost wages when I get fired.

                        9) 'How'd all that dust get in there?' 'Oh, it has FANS in it?'

                        10) Don't leave porn on your computer. Especially if you star in the porn. Double-especially if you aren't the kind of person who shouldn't be in your average porno.
                        Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me!

                        I like big bots and I cannot lie.


                        • #13
                          Triple especilly if it's as a wallpaper


                          • #14
                            I fix people's comps as a hobby...recetly, my friend has not only broken several rules but gave me cause to add:

                            1. You WILL NOT let the computer run for two years without an updated antivirus. AT ALL.

                            2. When I ask when you updated it last, your answer, under no circumstances, should be a blank look.

                            3. When I ask you which anti-adware/spyware cleanups you have...DO NOT ask me "what's that." Doing so will cause me to spontaneously combust and/or throttle something.

                            4. You will try to restore the hard drive before bringing your new doorstop to me to revive.

                            5. If your system CDs are corrupt, I will use mine. If I do, and I will, and it WILL WORK, under no condition should you delete anything from the "dell" folder. Yes, my laptop's a Dell and so are the CDs. Yours is an HP that just almost died on my desk. NO TOUCHIE.

                            6. I check your handmade backups and ALL of them have Trojans. What...did When I scanned the thing with Ad-Aware before you made them, I specifically got rid of 1500 of them. No, this is not a numerical error, my fellow CSers, my friend really did have 1500 trojans on his comp. I'm amazed it stayed alive this long and it's as old as my own lappy: 3 years.

                            7. After I spent 5 hours resuscitating your ex-doorstop, the absolute last thing I want to hear is "I installed something and it doesn't work." I ensured myself that this computer would be in top shape. What. Did. You. Do.

                            Brought to you by LM, who had a very very bad experience restoring an HP laptop where the user did all of the above. Hoii.
                            Sometimes, it just doesn't pay to get out of the blanket nest.


                            • #15
                              No I won't come to your house after hours to install your hardware. Yes I can do it, and yes I could use the money, but I like my job and I don't want to have you come to me while I'm working and bitch if you fuck up your computer.
                              "They have the internet on computers now?"
                              ~Homer Simpson

                              Another day at work, another broken desk