Author Topic: Telephone Support By Script  (Read 10018 times)

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Offline German_EE

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Telephone Support By Script
« on: July 14, 2015, 04:04:55 pm »
We have all heard stories of computer support where the person at the other end of the phone just reads through a script. Regretably I must report that this method of support is spreading to other industries.

Our cable set top box has been displaying various strange problems for the last week and this afternoon there was a brief puff of smoke from the port at the back before it finally died. I telephoned the cable company and reported everything that had happened including the smoke and guess what their first suggestion was?

"Please disconnect the box from the mains, wait thirty seconds, then plug it back in again and see if the fault clears"  :palm:

I swear, there is no hope for humanity.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

Warren Buffett
 

Offline jadew

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 04:10:42 pm »
did it work?
 

Offline grumpydoc

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 04:11:09 pm »
1st line support are not paid to think - that is forbidden until 3rd line and it's optional there.
 

Offline dfmischler

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2015, 04:12:55 pm »
Play along a little.  Wait 30 seconds and tell the support-droid that, "It is still smoking."

I remember working for a company that received a bad vehicle identification scanner from the field with a note that the unit was smoking.  As a joke, I asked the tech who was supposed to fix it if we could just throw in a pack of Marlboros and send it right back out...
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 04:17:53 pm by dfmischler »
 

Offline jadew

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2015, 04:14:08 pm »
It's not that they're not allowed, they just don't have the necessary knowledge to understand the issue and offer suggestions.

Phone support people usually have very low wages. If they were able to understand issues over the phone and offer custom solutions, they would have a very different job, earning a lot more.
 

Offline MikeW

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2015, 04:29:31 pm »
It's not that they're not allowed, they just don't have the necessary knowledge to understand the issue and offer suggestions.

Phone support people usually have very low wages. If they were able to understand issues over the phone and offer custom solutions, they would have a very different job, earning a lot more.

This might be true up to a point but you don't need an electrical engineering degree to know that when something gives off smoke and dies, 'power cycling' (as it is called these days) will not fix it.
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2015, 06:24:15 pm »
One other thing (before anybody else asks). The box is sealed by the cable company and if I break the seal I may have to pay for the replacement box. There will therefore NOT be a teardown.

Sorry about that, but at least I escape German TV for an evening or two.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

Warren Buffett
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2015, 06:33:31 pm »
Sorry about that, but at least I escape German TV for an evening or two.
Well, there i snot too much you will miss.
I have stopped watching TV completely for a few years already and don't miss it at all.
Once in a while I read the headlines of what was shown and I am glad I do not watch TV anymore.
There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can not.
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2015, 07:07:07 pm »
Most support lines are that way, but a couple of months ago I had an Adaptec RAID card start acting up (saying the drives were all present and healthy but the array was gone, and repairing/reinitializing it was failing).  I called up their support line and got what sounded like a 65 year old woman..."oh great" I thought, but boy was I wrong.  She was on the freaking ball, knew everything about the card and everything about their interface software.  We were on the phone for a solid hour, and managed to get it all back up without any data loss or corruption.  She never had to transfer me to anyone or put me on hold while she looked up the issue, she just dove right into debugging.  It was pretty impressive.
 

Offline nessatse

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2015, 07:55:50 pm »
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2015, 08:00:50 pm »
Thats why you should always answer their question before they ask it. Always start with your customer number and address. Don't start with the stupid questions.
If you pretend to be a smart customer, they often skip the easy questions and the scripts will lead to "ship new device" or "send installer".

If you start with, "hi with John, my tv doesn't work". Your a dumb customer, scripts starts at the top.
If you start with, "hi, this is John of customer number ####. My settop box is not outputting any video on any port.", You'll make a much smarter first impression.

At least here in the Netherlands. The customer support of big companies and municipality offices have been thoroughly slated by several TV-shows in the public domain.
One of them is "kanniewaarzijn" (literally "cannot be true") where cases are exaggerated in a theatrical sketch.
Somehow, the real problems the people were having always suddenly disappear if the company of government institution receives 1 call from them.
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2015, 08:40:05 pm »
This is probably a know classic but always great to watch again:

The Website Is Down - Sales Guy vs. Web Dude

There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can not.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2015, 09:07:12 pm »
"Please disconnect the box from the mains, wait thirty seconds, then plug it back in again and see if the fault clears"  :palm:

I swear, there is no hope for humanity.
10 years ago I had a similar experience with a Linksys device (a wifi router) which didn't work out of the box. I returned it and never bought a Linksys device since then.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2015, 09:23:31 pm »
We have all heard stories of computer support where the person at the other end of the phone just reads through a script. Regretably I must report that this method of support is spreading to other industries.

Our cable set top box has been displaying various strange problems for the last week and this afternoon there was a brief puff of smoke from the port at the back before it finally died. I telephoned the cable company and reported everything that had happened including the smoke and guess what their first suggestion was?

"Please disconnect the box from the mains, wait thirty seconds, then plug it back in again and see if the fault clears"  :palm:

I swear, there is no hope for humanity.

disconnect cables
open window
shove
close window
call tech support
claim the machine crashed
if they ask where it is located : tell them on the pavement in front of my house , you can come pick it up ...
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2015, 10:37:34 pm »
"Please disconnect the box from the mains, wait thirty seconds, then plug it back in again and see if the fault clears"  :palm:

I swear, there is no hope for humanity.
10 years ago I had a similar experience with a Linksys device (a wifi router) which didn't work out of the box. I returned it and never bought a Linksys device since then.
That only guarantees you'll never buy another faulty Linksys router. Not that you'll never buy another faulty router. If they failed to honour their warrany then I could understand boycotting Linksys.

Yeah I don't really get the logic behind boycotting an entire brand because of one DOA purchase.  It happens to every company.
 

Offline nuno

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2015, 03:24:39 am »
Two smoky tales

Me and my brother, we were playing some games on my 1st computer (ZX Spectrum+2!) for a couple of hours. I suddenly noticed that there was smoke coming out from the monitor's top, but it was still working. After a second or 2 looking at that, I quickly stretched out an arm to grab the power cord and pulled it out of the wall socket by the cable.

I connected everything on my 2nd new PC, powered it on and was happily (yeah, right) seeing Windows 95 booting. When it was almost done, I noticed my room getting entirely filled with smoke, the PC was shooting smoke from the back (psu fan powered) like a disco smoke machine (but darker smoke). Had to open the (room) windows before being able to go hunting for that power cord again (the PC did actually work normally after this event, but I returned it).

Funny thing these boxes today, stop working when smoking.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2015, 05:33:49 am »
The smell would have been awful.
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2015, 09:24:04 am »
09:05 Doorbell rings and there's an engineer standing on the doorstep with a new set top box.

09:06 Engineer doesn't even bother testing the old box, he just sniffs the box, wrinkles his nose then starts plugging in the new one.

09:10 Two hundred channels and nothing on.

09:11 Paperwork signed, engineer departs. He didn't even want a coffee.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

Warren Buffett
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2015, 10:18:36 am »
Impressive German efficiency !
There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can not.
 

Offline Towger

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2015, 10:29:30 am »
Must be lots of overqualified engineers in Germany.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2015, 10:48:49 am »
No. It's cheaper to just replace the unit. Done within seconds. More efficient than fully troubleshooting hoping to find some random issue.
Only until the third or firth engineer they'll start spending more time. Because they might improve their service if they find an new rare issue.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2015, 01:18:35 pm »
I'm on my 6th (or is it 7th) modem now... They just keep buying cheap crap and replacing it. Unfortunately in the UK you can't supply your own modem for cable, you have to use what they give you. In Japan I have my own fibre modem though, never had any problems with that.
oh fuck .. Cable modems... Cant tell you how many of those ive seen burn out after 6 months.

I use a motorola surfboard. Works like a champ and stays cool. Most of the cable modems self destroy because they run hot hot hot
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2015, 01:40:01 pm »
Funny, I'm on my third Surfboard now.
No longer active here - try the IRC channel if you just can't be without me :)
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2015, 02:19:19 pm »
The cable modem has never failed, solid service for two years without an issue. The problem was with the set top box that supplies our TV 'entertainment'.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

Warren Buffett
 

Offline kingofkya

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Re: Telephone Support By Script
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2015, 04:38:31 pm »
"Please disconnect the box from the mains, wait thirty seconds, then plug it back in again and see if the fault clears"  :palm:

I swear, there is no hope for humanity.
10 years ago I had a similar experience with a Linksys device (a wifi router) which didn't work out of the box. I returned it and never bought a Linksys device since then.

Whats sad is is mainly the shitty psu they come with throw a good delta or meanwell supply on it and they stop crashing... Often also applies to modems.

Linksys/cisco:
2 psus with cut cords one or both cables cut.
4psu that produced noise that i could see before i even had the scope connected.
Never had an issue with older linksys transformer based supplies but the new switch mode ones suck.
1 dead router out of the box it was referbished so they get a pass kinda.

Modem:
I had a wonderfully scientific Atlanta one that came with a unregulated supply, and it would crash nearly every night. Then i finally put it together, at night the ac voltage goes up a bit due to load, over heating the regulator. on the modem.

After replacements of the supplies i have up times in the 100+ days, on most of stuff assuming i don't unplug then for some stupid reason.
 


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