| By Lincoln Spector |
You might be shocked to learn that not all tech-support people are competent.
But then again, it’s likely you’ve already discovered that sad fact the hard way. Here’s what you need to know the next time you run into atrocious support.
Why you can’t trust many technical-support folks
Back in the 1980s, I supported the customers of a mail-order software retailer. I once tried to train a new techie on supporting the popular DOS programs of the day. When I told him to press Ctrl-S, he didn’t understand what I meant. A few minutes after I explained it to him, he still didn’t know.
Although there are some excellent customer-service people out there, tech-support personnel are often poorly trained, poorly paid, and judged more stringently on the number of calls they handle per day than on the satisfaction of their customers. When you consider what they’re up against, it’s a wonder that any of them are good at their jobs.
Below are seven problems people run into when they call tech support with computer and other tech problems. I offer advice for getting around each of these.
But first, some general advice. If you can avoid it, don’t depend on a product’s manufacturer for technical support. Visit forums (such as the Windows Secrets Lounge), or enter Google keywords that describe your problem to find potentially more expert and willing help.