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Thread: Customer service needs to be more tech-knowledgeable

  1. #1
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    Customer service needs to be more tech-knowledgeable

    Yesterday, I called in to Gateway because the main usb controler went bad. Ive only had this machine for a few months, so it was still under warranty.

    Now heres the thing. The rep asked me what OS I was using. I told him that I was using a dual boot system of windows 7 and ubuntu. He had absolutely no idea what I was talking about or what linux or ubuntu was and said he couldn't diagnose my computer because of that. I know whats wrong on my computer, and i just told him. He refused to believe me and instead insisted that my usb drive, my usb cd drive, and my usb mouse were fried. could have been fried. I gave up on trying to explain to him, and instead rang up a friend who worked at gateway. He gave me the phone # to get me to a higher tier support.

    Which also didn't know what linux was and he said he couldn't help me because he also didn't know what OS i was using. In fact, he said that using this "unknown os" could have possibly damaged the hardware and because of this, my warranty was void.

    I was really fustrated at this time, so I called the manager. Manager told me they don't give out support to people whove installed other operating systems other than windows on their computers.

    Since i was on a deadline and needed to transfer a client's data onto a USB drive, I gave up talking to the service reps and instead just bought a new USB card at the local tech store.

    4 hours later, i did managed to get hold of one of the call center managers. who actually simply asked what was wrong with my computer, and not what I was running on my computer. I explained to him that my USB controller was fried. He instantly gave me a RMA number and all the information I would need without any hassle.

    That wasted my entire day.

    Lesson learned
    #1 don't tell service reps your dual booting
    #2 get a higher tier tech support at the start instead of walking up the tiers.
    #3 don't expect much from un-knowledgable reps.
    Don't waste your energy trying to change opinions ... Do your thing, and don't care if they like it.

  2. #2
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    Re: Customer service needs to be more tech-knowledgeable

    FYI:

    "Customer Service/Support" is nothing more than a Time Vampire.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Customer service needs to be more tech-knowledgeable

    Lesson learned
    #1 don't tell service reps your dual booting
    #2 get a higher tier tech support at the start instead of walking up the tiers.
    #3 don't expect much from un-knowledgable reps.
    i always lie to customer service reps about what OS i am using. well, i give them a chance:

    "sir, what operating system are you using?"

    "hey, do you by chance know what Linux is?"

    "no..."

    "ok. im using Windows Vista."

    i then try to transliterate their directions into the Linux equivalent. googling "linux version of [msdos command here]" is pretty helpful.

    example: they tell me to run ipconfig or whatever and ask me my ip... i type 'myip' into a terminal and read it to him.

    Code:
    [chris: ~]$ grep myip .bashrc
    alias myip='echo My IP is && curl http://www.whatismyip.com/automation/n09230945.asp && echo'
    [chris: ~]$
    i nod along as they give 'point here, click there' directions and then get to it quickly on my own when he finally gets to the point of "what is the MAC?"

    and if i coincidentally had windows installed somewhere (i don't.) i would just boot into that ahead of time and make no mention of linux at all.


    for most of us here, the problem isn't the knowledge... its the authority to act on it. that's where company employees come in handy. you just need to work them and lie to them and do whatever else it takes for them to do what you want them to do. they are tools, no different than bricks or screwdrivers. useless and until a human comes along and puts them to work. i will re-evaluate that cynical outlook the day i come into contact with a telephone tech support person that is competent.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Customer service needs to be more tech-knowledgeable

    Quote Originally Posted by Skripka View Post
    FYI: "Customer Service/Support" is nothing more than a Time Vampire.
    I disagree on the basis that such an over-reaching and blanketed statement is false. Yes, it applies to some companies, but they are either immoral or just ignorant of their industry beyond their own walls.

    Customer service in many companies does exactly what it's supposed to do. You just don't hear many people publicly declare when something goes right. 98% of people ONLY say anything at all if it's negative. That's the attitude of the world we live in.

    Quote Originally Posted by carlee
    Lesson learned
    #1 don't tell service reps your dual booting
    #2 get a higher tier tech support at the start instead of walking up the tiers.
    #3 don't expect much from un-knowledgable reps.
    Again, I disagree....but pretty much only with #2. By doing so, you fail to give a person a chance at doing the job. By not allowing a Tier 1 agent to resolve the problem, you force a Tier 2 agent (who costs more) to resolve a Tier 1's job, and therefore cost the company money. Who cares, you say? You should...such items drive costs up for the company, and these rising prices are transferred to the end buyers.

    As for #1, I can see that. Many so-called techs don't know crap about Linux, even though it's mentioned in the A+ course extensively these days. You may not necessarily get a tech who knows the ins and outs, but you should at least get somebody who knows it's different and has to work with "equivalents".

    As for #3, that's just ridiculous. That's a management issue on the part of the company, and it drives costs up because of situations like this - and the customer can't do a thing about it.

    In case it isn't obvious, I work in a call center as a Tier 2 agent.

  5. #5
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    Re: Customer service needs to be more tech-knowledgeable

    Had a friend that worked for Dell in customer service. He KNOWS computers .. but at the first tier level, was instructed to "stick to the script" .. as that is what they go by .. they also have a list of "problems & solutions" that they have to adhere to. NO VARIANCE ALLOWED!
    ONLY after they have completely gone through their song and dance, will they voluntarily escalate to the next level .. where they have a different script and list to go by!

    Friend could not take it and quit .. he now makes jewelry he sells at flea markets and makes more bucks as he avoid Uncle Sam!

    And now, with very few exceptions, you not only have somebody that has to adhere to a script, but does so with English as a third language.

  6. #6
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    Re: Customer service needs to be more tech-knowledgeable

    I don`t think you understand the world of work very well.....

    ....with respect to your linux fu.

  7. #7
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    Re: Customer service needs to be more tech-knowledgeable

    Again, I disagree....but pretty much only with #2. By doing so, you fail to give a person a chance at doing the job. By not allowing a Tier 1 agent to resolve the problem, you force a Tier 2 agent (who costs more) to resolve a Tier 1's job, and therefore cost the company money. Who cares, you say? You should...such items drive costs up for the company, and these rising prices are transferred to the end buyers.
    skipping to Tier 2 would save the company money. Carlee knows her stuff. If she is calling tech support, it is almost certainly beyond what the T1 script kiddies can handle.

    T1 is for two things:

    1) the majority human population that is rather without a clue when it comes to computers (much like me and most people with cars... i can change the oil, but don't ask me to change brake pads. simple and routine, but beyond my knowledge and experience.).

    2) routine things wherein you know exactly what the problem is, but can't fix it yourself. ie: a problem with your internet service on their end.

    thats it.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Customer service needs to be more tech-knowledgeable

    Well, being that the majority of consumer computer users are on Windows, it's not very shocking that CS reps don't know what Linux is and I don't blame them. Welcome to being the minority.

    Also, if CS reps are more "tech-knowledgeable", I don't think they would be in CS.

  9. #9
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    Re: Customer service needs to be more tech-knowledgeable

    You should listen to my last discussion with a rep from my ISP, about problems with their DNS server.

    Here we are obligated to contract a "provider" which basically only process the authentication into the network, which is in fact provided directly by a Telecom, for which I pay the broadband bill. Since the reps don't understand anything about the technical part of their business, whenever I have a problem the Telecom says I need to call the "provider", and the "provider" says I need to call the Telecom. Last time, after bouncing from one to another several times, I really freaked out on the phone.

    The problem was occurring because I have switched to a new provider and the DNS addresses they gave me weren't working. I was able to authenticate with the new provider, but could only open their web site. If I changed the DNS addresses to use OpenDNS or the old provider dns server, then it worked.

    You won't believe what the rep said. First, she asked me what version of Windows I use and had now idea what Linux is (I never say Ubuntu). Then she said if I use their IP address in the DNS settings, then the only site I would be able to open would be theirs, because I'm using their IP. After explaining what a DNS server is, I tried to get a new response, without success. Then, I said that she wasn't prepared to provide assistance to me because she had no idea how a DNS server works and that I needed to talk to a supervisor and she refused to transfer my call. To cut the story short, I switched back to my old provider, which is still giving me all kinds of headaches.

    BTW, I'm strongly considering lying about my OS in the future, which is really sad.

  10. #10
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    Re: Customer service needs to be more tech-knowledgeable

    Quote Originally Posted by earthpigg View Post
    skipping to Tier 2 would save the company money. Carlee knows her stuff. If she is calling tech support, it is almost certainly beyond what the T1 script kiddies can handle.
    Be that is it may, neither they nor I even know who Carlee is. Sure, her problem may eventually get to Tier 2 anyway, but to DEMAND or FORCE it, per the #2 in the list above, only makes EVERY call go to Tier 2. And it costs money to make that transfer.

    Quote Originally Posted by earthpigg View Post
    T1 is for two things:

    1) the majority human population that is rather without a clue when it comes to computers (much like me and most people with cars... i can change the oil, but don't ask me to change brake pads. simple and routine, but beyond my knowledge and experience.).

    2) routine things wherein you know exactly what the problem is, but can't fix it yourself. ie: a problem with your internet service on their end.

    thats it.
    Generally, I agree. But you, as a non-employee of that company, do not know the full expertise of the Tier 1 agent, and you might be surprised to find out how much they do know.

    We've had callers call in and demand a higher level, because of advice like this....and if they had simply spoken to a Tier 1 agent the first time, they could have had their problem resolved in 10 minutes, instead of waiting for a Tier 2 agent to call back the next day (we are usually overloaded with calls).

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