Tech Support’s Worst Nightmare Callers – Part Two

Posted by: Rea Maor In: Humor - Friday, June 8th, 2007

We continue the top callers tech support complains about, as an object lesson as to what *NOT* to do when you have to rely on them at all. That’s a rare occasion for the tech-savvy audience of this site, right? Anyway…

Oblivious Users: Of course, there are people who just do not get computers and never will. It’s not a character flaw. But 15 minutes of phone call is no place to expect them to give you a complete computer science course. Tech support desk workers get very tired of users who interrupt them at every step: “Hey! I didn’t know you could get the menu that way, how long has it been like that?” “Why can’t the Internet just come up every time?” “Why does it need a driver for that? What does it do?” At some point, you will hear answers to the effect of “It’s magic, sir, little elves make it go.” This is to avoid having the call turn into a marathon explanation of how the Internet works.

Paranoid Users: Seriously, folks, if you don’t trust tech support, just don’t call them. There is a class of users out there who are suspicious, and think that the tech support desk worker is trying to pull one over on them at every step. No, they’re not installing spyware, they’re not hacking your bank account, and they’re not trying to break your computer worse so you’ll have to buy a new one. At least, we hope not…

Sexists: Above and beyond all, female tech support hates it when you imply that they are not a “real expert”. Again, there are no real experts, male or female. You tell them your problem, they type it in, up pops an answer, they walk you through the steps. The software was written by some engineer long gone from the scene. The remaining job can be handled just as well by anybody. And with all the complaints we hear about “Why aren’t more women getting into IT careers?”, the last thing we need is to welcome them in by confronting them with a blatantly sexist attitude.

Packrats: These are the users who haven’t bought a new computer in years, perhaps decades. So they expect tech support to be these miracle workers who can help them get their 286 Compaq boxes to download YouTube videos over broadband without any lag. At a certain point, your hardware is just too old. No really, it is just too old. And clinging to Windows 3.0 or OS/2 Warp isn’t going to help matters, either.

If you’ve worked at a company which has a tech support department and you get the chance, listen to them talk to each other on break. All you’ll hear is one “nut of the day” story after another. Here’s a bunch of them:

Idiot Watchers
A Week In The Life Of Tech Support

More Tech Support Horror Stories
Still More Tech Support Horror Stories

With some dedication, working together, we can all avoid being on one of these lists…


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One Response to “Tech Support’s Worst Nightmare Callers – Part Two”

  1. Ed Kohler Says:

    I really wish tech support lines for services who have an ongoing relationship with their customers like cell phone companies would figure out a way to evaluate the technical competence of their callers. For example, I don’t need to talk to someone who’s going to ask me if I’ve tried resetting my phone. Escalate me to someone who’ll talk to me like a technically competent person.

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