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THE DREADED TECH SUPPORT CENTER
or
A LESSON IN INSTANT FRUSTRATION




This is a recent experience in dealing with a tech support center. As you know troubles are normal, you run into them all of the time. Usually you handle them by yourself with a good procedure and good techniques, but, sometimes when you count on someone else to provide the needed support it can become very frustrating. It’s not that others don’t want to help, but, every so often they are so constrained by their own structure they take an inordinate amount of time to do a simple task.

It started on Sunday late in the afternoon; I had been installing a new router and completed the project, everything went well. I then spent another hour working on the computer and my website over the Internet.

Around midnight; I went back to work on my website and found I couldn't connect to the Internet. After trying several times I decided to start using some troubleshooting techniques to investigate the problem. I ran diagnostics on the computer to see if it was the cause of my Internet problem. The computer itself checked out fine. Then I disconnected the router to eliminate it as a possible cause of the problem and connected the modem directly to the computer; again I tried to connect to the internet. That also was unsuccessful.

Monday morning around 1:00 AM; I contacted The DSL tech support center. I had to answer several questions by a computer voice from the technical support center by punching digits on the telephone (very frustrating). After a few minutes of digit punching the computer voice finally connected me to a live person. This person was a tech support center operator somewhere in India, that’s 12,000 miles away. I was asked my name and the number of the DSL line, they then proceeded to look up my records and verify who I was. Next I was asked some technical questions about my modem. The operator proceeded to step me through some things to do on my computer. We did this a few times, because nothing seemed to be working. While working with the support operator the phone connection went dead. This was around 2:00AM; I waited for the support operator to call back. It never happened. I went to bed.



Maybe I am getting too old, or the distance the communications traveled was too great, or the operator spoke a different kind of English, but it’s frustrating when you have to ask them to repeat themselves every other sentence.

Monday morning around 11:00AM; I started the procedure all over again by calling the tech support center number. Everything was the same; the computer voice had me digit punching for a few minutes and then connected me to some operator in a far-off land. We went through all of the same procedures which we did the night before. When I couldn't understand the operator I had them repeat themselves, sometimes more than once. Finally, I was told the problem was in my local DSL circuit, and that it would be referred to a technician in my area who would resolve the problem and keep me informed of their progress.

Monday afternoon around 5:00PM; after not hearing a word about my DSL problem, I decided to call the tech support center again. Once more I had to go through the same procedure; punching digits to satisfy the computer voice. After a few minutes of this, I was finally put through to a live person. This operator told me they had not yet resolved the problem with my DSL line, but he would be glad to help me with the modem. Once more we went through the test procedure which I was becoming very familiar with. The results were the same. I still could not connect with the Internet. That is when I asked if he could push the problem to a higher level and get more resources involved. He said that he could not and that I should wait for the results of the line test. During this call the phone connection went dead again, but, this time the operator called me back.

Tuesday around noon; since I had not received any word about the DSL problem, once again I called the tech support center. I then began the process of digit punching for a few minutes until the computer voice connected me to a breathing person. After checking the records, he told me that the technician checking the line had determined that it was good, and that there would be no further follow-through. At which point I told him that I still had the same problem. I could not communicate over the Internet. The tech support center operator started to walk me through the same diagnostic procedures as I had been through so many times before. The results were the same as all of the previous times. No communication over the Internet. At this point the service center operator came up with a different approach. He was going to send me a new modem replacing the one that I had, and it would arrive in 24 to 48 hours. Now, all that I had to do is sit and wait.

Wednesday shortly before noon; the computer voice called me to tell me they were still working on my problem. What did that mean? They already told me a replacement modem was being shipped. It is very frustrating when you can’t ask questions and the given information leads one to know less than they did before.

Wednesday at 3:00PM; alas, the elusive modem arrived!


Wednesday at 4:00PM; I began installing the new modem. I checked to make sure all of the parts were present, and then I replaced all of the modem cables first, and finally the modem itself. The next thing to do was to test the modem, by communicating with an Internet site. It did not work. I rechecked everything, but it still did not work. I was forced to call the tech support center once more, and once more I had to follow the computer voice and punch in the digits in response to its questions. I was then connected to a breathing operator in a support center in some far-off land. After I explained what had happened and they reviewed my file, they proceeded to have me completely enter all of the data necessary into the modem to establish a link to the Internet. Hooray! It finally worked! At this point the support operator helped me connect and install my router.

Wednesday 5:30PM; everything is functioning normally. It is easy to be more relaxed when the problem has been solved, but, it is a shame that it takes more than three days to replace a modem. During that time I was blind, without a link to the World Wide Web. All of the support people that I spoke to, both men and woman were very knowledgeable, courteous, and professional: with the exception of not calling me back when the phone connection dropped. It’s still frustrating punching digits when you need a real person to solve a problem. The fact is; I was talking to people from all around the world and that has its own problems. The subtleties and dialects of the language do not allow the troubleshooting process to flow as smoothly as it should.




For additional general information on the Tech Support Center.

Return from this page The Dreaded Tech Support Center to Build a computer home page.





Vent your Frustration!

I've taken you through my experience of trying to get in touch with a technician at the tech support center in order to solve a modem problem. So many people have told me about their trials and tribulations in getting good service. This is your chance to let the world know what you experienced in trying to get good tech support, and see it published at the same time.

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