0806: "Tech Support"

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eran_rathan
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:56 pm UTC

AmbullTau wrote:'What have you tried?' is a basic diagnostic question and covers reboots, cables, etc. No matter how frustrated the user is, the tech support guy deals with this shit all day, for a living. So please, don't be a twat and just answer the damned question.

The first tier guy is there to stop the rest of the team being bothered by trivial questions. They assess the issue, fix if they can, and if not, pass it on. As the guy (or gal) they pass it on to is almost certainly better paid but overworked, you'll be waiting for them to call you back.


It always makes me feel a little better when talking with Tech Support in imagining them as computer triage nurses.


"<insert witty triage-sounding computer comment here>*"


*because I can't think of any good one-liners at the moment :cry:
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby BioTube » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:21 am UTC

eran_rathan wrote:"<insert witty triage-sounding computer comment here>*"
It seems like your debug <glasses> just got rescheduled.


YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
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Ggrogg
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Ggrogg » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:30 am UTC

pigslookfunny wrote:
hthall wrote:Nice adaptation of the word shibboleth.


Is it just me, or does Shibboleth sound like something out of H.P. Lovecraft?


It really does sound like something from H.P. That was my first thought (Which elder God is that?) before I remembered the actual origin/use of the word.



On a different note, my favorite example of why Blizzard sucks: Every time you send a help request to tech support in World of Warcraft they ALWAYS send you the same reply, that it's your UI's fault and you should erase your interface folder. After a while I decided they must not even read the tickets before sending you this response so I decided to test my theory. I sent in a support ticket that said: "Hi! Every time I hit Alt-F4 the game crashes. It's happened 42 times now." Threw in a little nod to Hitchhiker's just for fun. Well as you'd guess, they sent me a response telling me that it was my UI's fault and to delete my interface folder. My only regret is not documenting this and putting it on youtube. But I suppose I could do it again...

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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby BlackHatSupport » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:50 pm UTC

I should get a subway map or an exploded view picture of a fighter jet for my binder, or perhaps a picture of Stallman.
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akicif
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby akicif » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:16 pm UTC

Oddly enough, there *is* a lingering server problem that can hit federated access management Identity Providers that can only be fixed by turning a Shibboleth Service Provider off and on again.

Please forgive me if I increase by one the number of places an IdP operator can find a solution:

If you upgrade or repair your IdP by using the DNS system to rename another box to the same domain name as that of your original IdP, you will discover that many SPs will no longer be able to find you, and the error messages on the SP side look almost exactly like what you'd see if the IdP had disappeared behind a firewall.

The *actual* problem is that a Shib SP uses curl to look up the IP address corresponding to the IdP's domain name only the first time it needs to, and caches it thereafter. For a sufficiently old SP, with a sufficiently old curl library, the cache duration is effectively infinite, and the only solution is to shut down the SP and restart it....

meanieface
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby meanieface » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:05 am UTC

As I was fixing his computer over the phone, I had an automated voice system programmer explain to me that he could, actually, put a back door in like this. Unfortunately, his next line was to explain that when someone higher up found it he'd lose his job so he wouldn't actually but.. heck..

tl;dr - get out of my head.

Gefrierbrand
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby Gefrierbrand » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:47 am UTC

Well to return to the topic, here 2 stories from me:

1)
Quite a few years back I finally convinced my mum to switch from dial-up to DSL after talking onto her about the advantages of speed and being able to call someone while being on the net and so on. Unfortunately she insisted on keeping the ISP ;-(
The transition went rather smooth, we got the new hardware and I choose to set it up my self as the technician way really expensive and connecting a few boxes isn't that hard after all.
I got to the point where the local network worked seamlessly and the router displayed the line as active and working but I could not get a connection on any of our PCs.
So I called the Support who was very friendly, kind and patient, but could not help me at all.
He kept insisting the problem had to be on our side and was using the phrase "the train is running on our side, you just have to hop on" constantly. He still wanted me to turn of the DHCP Server and use Static LAN IPs besides the web interface stated DHCP as the recommended option. (The fact that I could connect to the web interface, where he had me click almost every available option should have been enough clue that there was no LAN problem...)
I always got the same person which was nice as i called several times for several days, but could not find the problem.
At one point suddenly everything which had worked to that point (basically the phone itself and falling back to dial up) stopped working, too. This got me pretty worried as I slowly got convinced the problem may be actually on my side(and my mum nagging me how this situation could be an improvement after all.)

After being without a phone for 2 weaks it turned out that an excavator had capped the line in a really strange way which only cut of our house and none of our neighbors.
With that being fixed the phone and dialup worked again but I still could not connect to the DSL. Almost by trial and error on my side I finally got it running: I found out that our ISP did not even own the line but had rent it from another ISP where it had to be "unlocked" first by entering their login credentials instead of the ones given by our ISP once and then switched back to the other login data.

After confronting the tech with these findings he admitted that they didn't have their own lines at that point and that they rented every customer in our region at that point.
They could have told me earlier...


2)

Now a more recent incident:
I had installed linux on my moms PC as it is user friendly enough these days (even for her) and basically disabled any settings and password protected everything what possibly could be changed by accident to prevent her from doing so.
This worked quite well for a surprisingly long time without error up to the point where she could no longer connect to the Internet. I was not reachable for a weak and so she started calling our ISP. I don't know what they told her exactly but she ensured me she told them that she was running linux more than once which didn't keep them from instructing her to press random buttons or try CTRL-ALT-DEL to "bypass that strange password protection which could be a virus of some sort". As the gnome menu reassembles the Start-Menu she could get to a command prompt by describing it entry for entry to the support guys (don't know how they figured what to click) where they made her enter strange commands which she unfortunately did not writhe down, I would really like to know which obscure "tricks" they tried to get rid of that "virus".

As I had a look at the problem it turned out our ISP had changed our logins which should have been translated to our router automatically (if I hadn't turned this feature off as one of my first setup steps) and all she needed to do was enter the new login credentials using the web interface. (Which she couldn't have done due to the routers own password) but the support also should not have taken some password prompts for a virus and trying to fix those kind of things remotely by entering random commands is very unlikely ;-) I guess they just wanted her to stay in the line as it was quite expensive...

tmesis
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby tmesis » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:17 pm UTC

I realise this comic's over a year old but I'm experiencing this problem at the minute and have just had the BEST tech support reply. I'm absolutely dumbfounded by its irrelevance. My issue is that there's a fault on the line somewhere between my house and my ISP. Their reply?

"I would like to thank you for being descriptive in your query. I have completely understood your concern and we will work together to resolve this concern at the earliest. I request you to perform these steps in sequence...

Step 1: To start with, I request you to visit the following link that will ensure that the Broadband disconnection timeout settings, if left idle: http://uk-tiscali.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/uk_tiscali.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=75 "

That's right. She wanted me to check my Internet Explorer settings in Windows XP.

I don't even know where to begin with this. Should I also test my toaster settings to ensure the dial's on 4, not 3? Maybe I should then move onto the color scheme on my XBOX Live ID.

[To clarify, software has nothing to do with this. Even if it did, it's 2011. Who runs Windows XP? Who has their broadband settings in Internet Explorer? I've got 3 computers on my network, 2 running Windows 7, 1 running Ubuntu 11.10. I don't use IE on any of these (haven't even got it on linux). But even if I did, there's no information about my connection settings in Internet friggin Explorer in the first place. WTF?!]

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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby scarletmanuka » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:26 am UTC

tmesis wrote:I realise this comic's over a year old but I'm experiencing this problem at the minute and have just had the BEST tech support reply. I'm absolutely dumbfounded by its irrelevance. My issue is that there's a fault on the line somewhere between my house and my ISP.

And you determined this how? Users lie to tech support all the time ("oh yes, I definitely disconnected and reconnected that cable"); why should they believe you? Why should they assume your diagnostics routine is so exhaustive that it couldn't possibly have missed any other potential source of error? Many users call tech support with a preconceived idea of what must be wrong, even when the idea couldn't possibly account for the problem; how do they know you are not one of those users?

She wanted me to check my Internet Explorer settings in Windows XP. [...]
[To clarify, software has nothing to do with this. Even if it did, it's 2011. Who runs Windows XP? Who has their broadband settings in Internet Explorer? I've got 3 computers on my network, 2 running Windows 7, 1 running Ubuntu 11.10. I don't use IE on any of these (haven't even got it on linux). But even if I did, there's no information about my connection settings in Internet friggin Explorer in the first place. WTF?!]

Who runs XP? About 35% of users, and the given instructions are also applicable for Windows Vista and 7, bringing the total up to around 78% of users.

"Tools > Internet Options" in IE just displays the Internet Options control panel. It's simply easier to instruct people to access it via IE than to find it in the Control Panel, since most novice users use IE a heck of a lot more often than the Control Panel. So these instructions don't really depend on you using IE for their validity. You might never have run IE on the box before, and it'd still show you that control panel.

The one valid criticism - and it is a big one - is that broadband connections typically aren't configured in the Internet Options control panel, but in the Network Connections control panel - or similarly named, I think the name has changed once or twice. The "disconnect if idle for 20 minutes" option also seems like a dial-up thing (I seem to remember such a setting from my dial-up days), and would be unusual for a broadband connection. So yes, it's a WTF that they're directing you to that page for a broadband problem, but it's a bigger WTF that the page itself (and presumably their internal documentation, troubleshooting scripts, etc) says this procedure is for broadband. It should be for dial-up only.

Of course, I've always considered the real WTF to be having different control panels for dial-up and broadband connections. But perhaps that's just me.

In summary: learn what you're talking about before you go off on a rant. And try not to treat technical support as your enemy. They're doing their best to help you, and ignoring everything they say because you're convinced you know better is not the way to get a useful response. You can hardly fault them for trying to check the most common issues first.

Disclaimer: I do not and have never worked in technical support. I've read a lot of stories from both sides of the fence though. And yes, there are plenty of dumb tech support folks out there. There are also plenty of dumb users.

tmesis
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby tmesis » Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:37 am UTC

scarletmanuka wrote:
tmesis wrote:I realise this comic's over a year old but I'm experiencing this problem at the minute and have just had the BEST tech support reply. I'm absolutely dumbfounded by its irrelevance. My issue is that there's a fault on the line somewhere between my house and my ISP.

And you determined this how? Users lie to tech support all the time ("oh yes, I definitely disconnected and reconnected that cable"); why should they believe you? Why should they assume your diagnostics routine is so exhaustive that it couldn't possibly have missed any other potential source of error? Many users call tech support with a preconceived idea of what must be wrong, even when the idea couldn't possibly account for the problem; how do they know you are not one of those users?


Noise on the phone line. It went completely dead intermittently. Engineers just fixed it yesterday, 3 days after the complaint.

Incidentally, I worked for a couple of years in tech support a while back. IMO it's better to *listen* to the customer and the facts when determining the problem, rather than assuming the customer is either a liar or a moron. It's usually pretty obvious from the terminology that they use whether they're familiar with the possible issues at hand.

35% is not a majority. By a long way.

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phlip
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby phlip » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:39 pm UTC

tmesis wrote:Incidentally, I worked for a couple of years in tech support a while back. IMO it's better to *listen* to the customer and the facts when determining the problem, rather than assuming the customer is either a liar or a moron. It's usually pretty obvious from the terminology that they use whether they're familiar with the possible issues at hand.

My experience is evidently different to yours... when there's an apparently-tech-savvy guy on the other end of the line - even an IT professional from a dedicated IT company who's been contracted in or something, who you'd think would have relevant training - sure, you can usually rely on what they're saying to narrow the situation down, but never rule out a source of error based on them saying that something definitely isn't the problem, or that they've already checked something. Even if you know them personally and they're the most reliable person you know... trust but verify, as the saying goes. Especially if it's something that's a common source of errors, or that is quick to check. You'd be surprised how often something that they swear up and down that couldn't be the problem, turns out to be the problem anyway.

Sure, if you have the chance, you be polite about it, say "just to double-check..." and stuff like that, but all the same - the person on the other end of the phone is unreliable... and via email, even more so.

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scarletmanuka
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby scarletmanuka » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:41 am UTC

scarletmanuka wrote:Who runs XP? About 35% of users, and the given instructions are also applicable for Windows Vista and 7, bringing the total up to around 78% of users.

tmesis wrote:35% is not a majority. By a long way.

78% is a majority. By a long way.

spufidoo
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby spufidoo » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:14 am UTC

Just had to place a call with my fibre broadband provider. The 1st-line sub-continental script-reader got to "and what operating system are you using?" and neither of my replies of "it's irrelevant what operating system I'm using" or "Linux" would compute. Eventually got put through to the 2nd-line support (geographically local) who immediately trace the problem to the local exchange!

O! for my own shibboleth!

Kit.
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby Kit. » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:22 pm UTC

scarletmanuka wrote:The one valid criticism - and it is a big one - is that broadband connections typically aren't configured in the Internet Options control panel, but in the Network Connections control panel - or similarly named, I think the name has changed once or twice.

Typically they are configured on a completely different host: the home network's router.

J Thomas
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby J Thomas » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:41 pm UTC

scarletmanuka wrote:And yes, there are plenty of dumb tech support folks out there. There are also plenty of dumb users.


So as much as possible, we should strive to keep human beings out of the loop.

The fact that a call to tech support has been made is evidence that this has already failed.

In bacterial genetics, most mutations are caused by a DNA repair system which in fact misrepairs DNA. Bacteria which do not turn on the buggy repair system get far fewer mutations.

Similarly, when computer systems have broken down to the point that human beings enter the loop the odds are not good....
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.

AmbullTau
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby AmbullTau » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:52 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
AmbullTau wrote:Wait your turn, and remember you get more flies with honey than vinegar.

http://www.xkcd.com/357/

Depends on the flies. Like most things, precise data is everything.

Evadman
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Re: 0806: Tech Support

Postby Evadman » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:18 pm UTC

Evadman wrote:I just started a project in my company to make this a reality.

I finally have an update on this, I snuck the requirement into another project to remap the call tree for our call centers, and has been completed. When calling for computer support, saying ' shib-bo-leet' (3 syllables) at the sub menu will transfer the user directly to level 4 IT support for that menu item. (so if in the desktop tree, using it will transfer you to level 4 for desktops) Unfortunately, the call tree is not external facing (this is for internal use of about 200k associates, not customers) but it's a start.

wwjd_kilden
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby wwjd_kilden » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:32 pm UTC

Working at tech support bacially means you get the blame for everything

Someones device broke because it was treated roughly: your company should make sturdier devices
Somone device has not been working for a month and they need to use it NOW: of course it isn't the customers fault, but yours
(That is, they have known for a month and not called until the day they need it to work)

The device cannot connect to a server, and gives a fault code saying server is down: you should send a mechanic to fix the faulty device

:p

Oh, and if you don't know all the menus on all the varieties of devices by heart some custoemrs will assume you are an idiot, not concidering the fact THEY dont know the menu of their ONE device. yay

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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:17 pm UTC

wwjd_kilden wrote:Working at tech support bacially means you get the blame for everything

Someones device broke because it was treated roughly: your company should make sturdier devices
Somone device has not been working for a month and they need to use it NOW: of course it isn't the customers fault, but yours
(That is, they have known for a month and not called until the day they need it to work)

The device cannot connect to a server, and gives a fault code saying server is down: you should send a mechanic to fix the faulty device

:p

Oh, and if you don't know all the menus on all the varieties of devices by heart some custoemrs will assume you are an idiot, not concidering the fact THEY dont know the menu of their ONE device. yay


To be fair: most people don't professionally guide people through their one device.

Then there is the point that some companies actually do have ridiculous (sometimes illegal) policies considering warranty. A certain company, becoming very popular with their local storage media players is known to not repair broken screens if the device has been moist. Broken screens are often a rough treatment issue (though I agree portable devices should be able to resist the circumstances arising from taking it with you, so this is not necessarily the case, in case of becoming moist: the device should obviously not break with every raindrop, or from getting moist in someones pocket due to rain, immersion in water is a different issue), but to blame a broken screen on water damage seems ridiculous to me.

ijuin
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby ijuin » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:14 am UTC

I interpreted it more as them having a policy of "if water gets inside the device, all aspects of the warranty are voided regardless of other circumstances". Once water touches the interior, it doesn't matter what is wrong with the device or how it happened--the water itself negates the warranty just by being there.

wwjd_kilden
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby wwjd_kilden » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:36 am UTC

Oinkshinyrose: That is of course redicolous.
However, you cannot expect people to do what is not related to their area either, which was what I was referring to.
(That is, if someone calls the cell phone company and demands they fix the phone, because the internet in the building is down, and the problem with the cell phone is that it cannot go online... it really isnt the cell phone companys problem :p )

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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby addams » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:23 pm UTC

Dreaming of a perfect world?
Where the Voice on the Phone can Get Things Done?

Wake Up.
No Phone.

Wake Up.
No Staff.

Wake Up.
Brazil? I talked to a Real Live Human Being in Brazil?
Transferred to another Real Live Human Being in India?

It is not possible to fix the device.
But; I know what the weather was like in a Far Off Lands.

And; What the time difference is. And; I it was fun.
I am easily amused.

We spent a lot of time talking in D-dog, E-Edward.
jeeze. That has Got to be Hard! In a second or third language!

The people that are bitching about Snowden being Undereducated.
Those guys; It is an entire Nation of the Undereducated.

Who are they suppose to Hire?
Someone dumb enough to not know what they are looking at?
And; Still smart enough to push the Buttons?

Monkeys. They need monkeys.
Humans are a kind of Monkey.
What went Wrong?

Did someone Hack the device?
Call Tech Support.

Now; Find a device to use while some sweet stranger directs Brain Surgery on a sweet device that will never ever Surf, again.

In my World, Tech support is Non-Existant with the notable exception of xkcd.
oh. And; A snotty man/child working for Big Business, 3 hours away.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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PinkShinyRose
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:47 pm UTC

wwjd_kilden wrote:Oinkshinyrose: That is of course redicolous.
However, you cannot expect people to do what is not related to their area either, which was what I was referring to.
(That is, if someone calls the cell phone company and demands they fix the phone, because the internet in the building is down, and the problem with the cell phone is that it cannot go online... it really isnt the cell phone companys problem :p )


I'm just glad I didn't buy one of their products, and that I don't work in any of their customer contact functions.

NiteClerk
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Re: 0806: "Tech Support"

Postby NiteClerk » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:59 pm UTC

A long time ago I was tech support at a startup ISP. We had one customer that we all hated. He had built his own computer and was a computer genius. Yet, all his connection problems were our fault.1 The owner of the company got tired of the customer complaining and gave us permission to be rude to him in the hopes he would quit. So every time he would call, we would take him though all the windows settings to check the basics. This drove him crazy. It took awhile but he finally quit us and went with another ISP. Then he complained to them constantly.
1I once set the Rodapi server to log him off every 60 minutes. Unknown to me, the time was actually measured in seconds. So he would get booted from our modem banks ever minute. Oops.


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