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What is with these ancient machines?

Suggestions When Dealing with Tech Support Reps

by Priest Apostate

1. We are human, just like you. We understand when you are going through a bad time (we understand it is why you're calling us). A bit of venting is expected - personally attacking me though, is a bit over the line. Try to think back to when you were being yelled at: unless the person doing the yelling was pointing a weapon at you, did it motivate you to comply? I didn't think so.

Besides, do you think that insulting your friendly neighborhood techie before they work on fixing your tech is really a good idea? *blink, blink*

2. Some of us like to do a good job, so please let us do it. I know that you may have 3 PhD's and can rewire your house's power system to operate off of your pen-remote, but remember: YOU contacted US for help...

3. I understand that you are pretty sure you know what is going on with your system, and it may be a bit of a pain in the neck, but please let us go through our troubleshooting steps. Occasionally, we can solve what's creating the recurring symptoms. It may save you some time by NOT having to call us back a week from now for the same issue.

4. Okay, I know that you're a busy person, but you may want to aside some time for me to solve what's going on with your tech. If I had to deal with three kids screaming, holding a colicky baby, cooking dinner, waiting for a package to come to the door, while waiting for online updates from my boss, I think I would be too preoccupied to listen to someone else - much less work on a technical issue.

Hey, it's no problem: call us back later: we will be more than happy to work with you then, instead of having to repeat the same instructions six times within 20 minutes of interaction.

5. If you're calling us to fix something, we may ask you more QUESTIONS about what is going on. We aren't doing it to irritate you - we do it to clarify what is going on with your piece of tech. Simply mentioning: "It won't work," and expecting us to suddenly KNOW what you're talking about makes as much sense as you trying to guess what number I'm thinking about right now:

Anyway, when we start asking you questions for further understanding, please don't suck in your teeth, sigh, or raise your voice, in the 'ugly American' expectation that anything you say can be understood if you speak LOUDER and
s
l
o
w
e
r...
I am not a foreigner from a bad movie from the '50's, so please don't do that. At best, it won't stop the questions...at worst, it will increase the time you spend talking to us, by having you call us back.

6. If you have something of an androgynous name (or a rather exotic one), don't get offended when we ask you to pronounce it. If the name possesses either of the above attributes, don't be offended if I ask questions about pronounciation, or ask your gender. I am aware that we live in a bit of a 'melting pot', but that doesn't mean that I automatically know about your culture's naming scheme. I don't do it to get you angry - I do it to avoid either mispronouncing it, or addressing you by the wrong title (Mr. as opposed to Ms.).

7. Just because we work in the technological fields, doesn't mean that we know EVERYTHING about all forms of technology in existence (we DO have lives, you know). You may not be tech-savvy, but we're just like you: we're trained on one thing - with smatterings of training in other stuff. If we explain to you that something else is the cause (while you're walking through the troubleshooting steps with us), please take things graciously, and take the suggestions to speak to the specialists we recommend. If one of your computer programs begin to go rogue and prevents something from working on your tech, don't yell at us to fix it: you'll be wasting your time and breath.

8. Please learn to speak the language: I know a fair amount of German, and enough of two other languages to get into barfights. Please don't get ticked at me because I can't speak your language, or ask you to slowly repeat what you said through your heavy accent. (I'm American: we need you to speak louder and slower to understand you! *grins*) You are ticked about the lack of language support? How about paying your friendly neighborhood tech god $20 to come and take over the phone call?

I'd personally help ya for a six pack of Guinness and some pizza!

9. I am sorry to mention this, but to do anything in this life may require you to spend some money. It sucks, and no one wants to do it, but EVERYONE has to do it. If I mention that something is going to cost you money, because we don't support it, please don't try to wheedle free support out of me. Doing this will win you my respect, and prevent you from hearing me tell you "no" repeatedly.
You may have thought you were saving money by not having someone set up your service...that thought usually dies after you spend three days on the same problem of making your tech work - only to be told that you have to pay money afterwards.

10. Yes, I will be MORE than happy to have you speak to my manager, after I tell you "no" for reasons pertaining to the previous rule. Telling him that I was rude to you (in order to get free support) will result in nothing more than having him listen to you patiently, tell you that "I will have a talk with my agent," which will consist of nothing more than: "So, when is your next clove break?"

Besides, who do you think told us to tell you "no" in the first place?

11. If your tech comes with setup instructions, reading them is sometimes more helpful than using them for birdcage lining.

12. Unless your child was the person that rewired your house's power system to aforementioned pen-remote, or can read (and follow directions) at a sixth grade level, please don't put them on the telephone line to work on your tech issues. Putting that much pressure on them - and yelling at them for not getting it - is just plain cruel. Especially if it is because you were too lazy to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.
Note: if your child was the person that did the house rewiring, PLEASE have me speak with them instead of you...I'll personally recommend them a position in our company! :)

13. Don't try to impress techs with your annoucements about elite you are. Mis-using tech jargon, and using overly complicated terms paints a target on your forehead that screams: "NEWBIE" in black-light responsive paint. Techs can see black light, infra-red, ultra-violet, can smell fear, and have no souls...(it is why they are hired). They also take delight in showing you that they _can_ see through your lies...after they deflate your ego. Doing that makes you much more pliant - it's not pretty.
Just remember, YOU called US for help, and no one will have to get hurt.

14. (Rule 12 postscript):
DON'T.
EVER.
LIE.
TO.
TECHS.
(Ever try to put out an 'accidental' fire INSIDE of your hard drive?) ;)

15, Oh, and I love this one:

Please don't try to cajole, bully, threaten or otherwise manipulate me by threatening to cancel your service. I'm a tech, not a salesperson (read: I really couldn't care less about you threatening to take your business elsewhere). If you feel the need to do that, don't be surprised when we place you on hold while we 'research the issue' - while laughing at you...

And remember, just because we're here to help you, doesn't mean we have to like you!

p.s. The number was 5.567! *grins*