Technical Support : How helpful?

Technical Support guys are known to be a boon to today’s world. But, there are instances when we feel, we would have been better off without them. Here are a few such instances:


Instance 1

I had trouble downloading an operating system upgrade for a PDA, so I called tech support.

  • Me: “I can’t seem to get this download to complete. What might be causing it?”
  • Tech Support: “What operating system are you running?”
  • Me: “Windows NT.”
  • Tech Support: “Well, you have to be running Windows 98 or better in order to download it.”
  • Me: “Ummm, I am. I’m running Windows NT4, SP5.”
  • Tech Support: “Are you on a PC or a MAC?”

Instance 2

My school required me to do some of our reports on laptops and print from a single printer. After a few months the laptop they provided me ceased to work with the printer. I spoke with the IT Manager.

  • IT Manager: “I don’t know if the problem is a hardware problem or a software problem.”
  • Me: “Ok.”
  • IT Manager: “So I can’t solve the problem now.”
  • Me: “When can you solve it?”
  • IT Manager: “I told you: I don’t know if it is a hardware problem or a software problem. I can’t fix it until I know.”
  • Me: “Ok. I need to print my reports. When will I be able to?”
  • IT Manager: (angrily) “Look, if it’s a hardware problem I can’t fix it! I don’t know if it is a hardware or a software problem.”

I made several more attempts to communicate with the IT manager about this problem over the next few weeks, only to find myself in the same conversation. Finally, I sent a memo to my boss, explaining that I was having difficulty getting tech support and could not print out my reports. My boss wrote back:

  • Boss: “Please do not harass the IT Manager anymore. He has already explained to you that he doesn’t know whether it is a software problem or a hardware problem.”

Instance 3

There’s this quite major company called Hewlett Packard over here in India. I bought a system from them, and then five months later I hear a “Pfoo!” noise, and my display went all fuzzy and strange.

Here’s the conversation I had with tech support about it, with a lot cut out:

  • Tech Suppport: “What seems to be the problem, sir?”
  • Me: “Well, my screens all fuzzy, and my video card seems to have exploded.”
  • Tech Support: “Well, right click on the desktop.”
  • Me: “Before you say anything, I’ve tried the monitor on another computer, and on this computer on Windows 98, 2000, Linux, and BeOS, and it’s definitely something wrong with the video card, because the monitor worked on the other computers, and it didn’t work in any of the operating systems in this one, and when I tried another video card, it worked.”
  • Tech Support: “Right click on the desktop.”
  • Me: “…”
  • Tech Support: “Right click on the desktop.”
  • Me: “Well, I’m in Linux right now.”
  • Tech Support: “Right click on the desktop.”
  • Me: “I’m not in Windows.”
  • Tech Support: “Right click on the desktop.”
  • Me: “Do you know what an operating system is?”
  • Tech Support: “Yes, sir.”
  • Me: “Ok then, because, I’m not in Windows. I’m in Linux, which is another operating system. Right clicking on the desktop won’t do anything you think it will, I promise. Do you want me to reboot into Windows?”
  • Tech Support: “Right click on the desktop please, sir.”

I sighed, gave up, rebooted into Windows, and right clicked on the desktop.

  • Me: “Do you want me to click on ‘Properties’?”
  • Tech Support: “No sir, please click on ‘Properties’.”
  • Me: “…”

After a while, “we” determined that, no, it isn’t my resolution, and installing new drivers won’t help. After a very long discussion, I learned that to replace my video card, they would “have to” (or so policy dictates) take the entire computer away (monitor and all) for 5-7 business days to replace the faulty video card. I protested this, because the computer was being used in a business. They told me there was “nothing they could do.” This seemed bad enough, but then:

  • Tech Support: “Have you backed up recently?”
  • Me: “No, why?”
  • Tech Support: “You should…”
  • Me: “Sure, ok, I’ll remember.”
  • Tech Support: “…because as part of our policy, when servicing a computer, we delete everything on the hard disk.”
  • Me: “What the $%* *%(@ $%? WHY???”
  • Tech Support: “Company policy.”
  • Me: “But it’s a broken video card! Even you admit that!!! It has nothing to do with the hard drive!”
  • Tech Support: “That’s company policy, sir.”

After about an hour of arguing, we didn’t get anywhere. I am living with the video card up to this day, months later, and was not refunded in anyway.

Turns out to be rather more tragic than funny, actually.


About theultimaterenaissance

I am an Engineer and a Management Graduate. I love writing poetry and research reports on cars. Surfing, listening to music, and Reading and writing Technical & Research papers are among my most savored hobbies.
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One Response to Technical Support : How helpful?

  1. Mr. G says:

    Classic. Even though I live in the UK, we still have to call tech support based in India =]

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