Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wow, 4 days without posting......

I have been dealing with some stuff in my personal life so I have been too busy to post, it's been way to hot out as well to sit at this computer all day long, but I have one I will put up for now and I will be back to my regularly scheduled posting in a few days.

One thing that happens is customers wonder why their service was interrupted when they haven't paid their bill in a month or two. I can understand if you have problems with money and I can understand having to balance bills and needed services such as electricity and food versus luxuries such as cable and internet and we are willing to work with you if you are calm and not demanding about it.

Let me give you an example of someone I would do everything I could for versus someone I would just do the minimum of what I could do for.

A customer calls up, is two months behind on her bill, is calm and nice about it and explains her situation and asks politely if there is anything I could do for her, this kind of customer I would find something I could do or find out the person who would be able to help her and make sure that she gets in contact with that person.

The next customer calls up, finds out that she is interrupted because she is two months behind, immediately becomes irate and demands that I help her, doesn't explain her situation and makes it a tough call and a major headache for me. Now I am normally a very understanding person but when someone like this calls, even if I can do something for them I am not very inclined to do so, this is the kind of person who I will give the number of the collections department and be done with it, I know it sounds mean but if you want to be rude and demanding towards me I will barely help you, if at all.

I guess what I am trying to get across here is that the person on the other end of the phone is a human being, treat us how you would like to be treated if our situations were reversed, if you don't feel like helping someone who is yelling, being rude and demanding you do something for a mistake that they made then imagine how we feel and that we deal with that about 70-80% of the time we get calls.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Updates will be a little less frequent

I am going to switch from posting every day to taking the weekends off, but never fear, I will probably end up posting anyway because I have too many stories I want to get out there.

Have you ever had a bad experience with people over the phone (mostly technical support but any customer service really) well here is a list of things that irritate a lot of us Call Center Workers and can lead to you having a bad experience because the person your on the phone with hates you beyond compare.

1.) When we say 'How can I help you today' we don't want to hear 'I have a problem' or 'I have a question' unless you EXPLAIN WHAT THE PROBLEM AND/OR QUESTION IS AFTERWARDS! This one irritates the hell out of me and many of my other co-workers because we do not read minds, we do not have E.S.P and we have no clue what the hell you want by that statement.

2.) If you want to know what is wrong with your equipment, call us when you are with the equipment, not when you are at work on your lunch break, we cannot troubleshoot things without you being there to give us feedback on if it is working or not, if you call me I will tell you if your modem is online or not, thats it because thats all I can do without you at home, obviously your experience might differ on this one.

3.) Speaking of, if you only have half an hour to talk, or 15 minutes to talk or whatever, don't call, rather give us a call when you have a little while to actually go through these procedures, yes we have to go through all of them to nail down the problem and yes, it irritates us when you tell us 'I don't have time for this'. You are the ones who called us, not the other way around, call when you have the time, it will save a headache for all involved.

4.) If you are not technologically inclined, we understand I promise, but if you tell us you aren't and then proceed to doubt our answers and diagnosis then we want to strangle you with the phone cord, honestly people we know what we are talking about, listen to us once in a while.

These are just the ones I can think of, I am sure there are more so if you work in the field then feel free to email me with anything I might have missed or if you had a bad experience with someone from a technical support standpoint let me know too, I always want to hear from you all.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy Late 4th Everyone!!

Hey guys, sorry I haven't gotten a post up since the 2nd, I have been fairly busy and spent the fourth of july lounging by the pool and haven't had the chance to update, but I promised more stories and I have more stories.

I once worked for a company that handled the promotions for a major cellular phone carrier, and a lot of the people I worked with weren't exactly the quickest of the bunch when it came to computers. Here's a small list of some of the more 'interesting' ones.

- The lady who thought in order to turn her computer off she had to completely unplug it, then when her harddrive crashed I had to explain to her why, she still didn't get it.

- One of the higher up managers who asked me to take a look at his computer (at this point I was dubbed 'The Computer Guy') as he was wonderingwhy his keyboard wasn't working......he had spilled a LARGE cup of water into it and asked 'If that was a problem'.

But one of my favorites, one of my absolute favorites was the reaction that came from one of my co-workers who recently had bought a new Mac computer and received the infamous 'bomb' error, she actually freaked out, unplugged her computer and rushed everyone out of her house and called the cops thinking there was a bomb in her computer.

Yeah, those are the people I used to work with, and people wonder why I worry about the sanity and future of the world.

Tomorrow I will be back to my typical customer stories, unless something interesting comes up beyond that, hope everyone had a good and safe fourth of july!

Monday, July 2, 2007

One from a co-worker of mine

This is one from a co-worker of mine, this will be one of the first of many stories from my other co-workers and, coming up, stories ABOUT some co-workers of mine as well, so enjoy!

So heres a great example of how ignorant people can be these day with computers.
Customer calls saying there internet is not working, after the initiate troubleshooting and checking there modem lights, reseting router blah blah blah, I move into the Computer Troubleshooting portion.

I ask the customer to click on start when suddenly she says "I cant."
"Well why are you unable to? Do you have a mac?"
"No, theres this blue screen with an error on it."
"Oh well that means your computer has crashed and you'll need to contact your manufacture of the computer or go to a local repair center."
"No its the internet, I have it through you guys thats why its not working"
After 20 minutes of explaining how the internet does not effect the computer in that way and how the internet worked with a computer she refused to believe me and requested a supervisor. Of course my supervisor instantly gave me a chuckle and, thinking this will be easy, accepted the call.

Later on that day I come to find out my supervisor spent about 30 minutes arguing with the customer explaining to her that its not our fault her computer crashed and that she has to pay for it to get fixed...
She wound up canceling her service with us.

50% of all of our calls are user errors or as I like to say ID10T errors.
The majority of those are caused by customers routers just needing to be reset.

No one realizes that when they hook up a router is that the router, routes data from the modem and that it may be a cause of there malfunction. If people actually took the time to try and understand how there electronics worked instead of just caring weather it works or not there wouldn't be a need for tech support and I wouldn't mind losing my job to educate society, just because thats more important than all the money in the world.

We arn't tech support because we spent our entire lives with computers (sure some of us have but thats not the reason) We are tech support because we are motivated enough to actually want to learn about modern technology and to better educate ourselves so we can be self efficient*, because honestly who like relying on some guy that gets paid crap and hates his job to fix something that you've placed so much reliability into that you can't have it not working, your computer.

*That last statement is the only one I have a problem with, the main reason we take the jobs is because it's experience that helps us get into that nice cushy supervisor or IT Administration position and a paycheck, to be honest some of us just don't care and it is a job that can burn you out within a year, if not before then.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Some people don't get it

This one a lot of us have gotten, a co-worker of mine pointed one of theirs out and it brought back memories of my own run-in with this type of customer, this is my account of this particular customer, although I am almost pretty sure this has been as close to the same as anyone else who has gotten a customer like this.

A customer calls up complaining about not being able to connect to their wireless network, normally we don't help with wireless networks because it's not our hardware but a lot of us know enough about it to help them out so we continue to help, go through all the normal troubleshooting which tells us that the customers computer isn't seeing a wireless network in range which can mean one of two things, either the router is off or dead, or the customer honestly isn't in range of a wireless router or hot-spot.

So the next question comes up, is the router plugged in and what lights are showing up? Customer states that it's plugged in, at least it was when she left....... Now this sends up a red flag, when she left?....... Ok, no one could be this stupid (famous last words I swear) so maybe she is trying to connect to a friends wireless network.

Now before I started working here I thought that the stories of idiot technical questions and stupid customers were exaggerations, but I was wrong, I was DEAD wrong. After a little bit of questioning it turns out this particular lady wasn't near her home, wasn't at a friends house, she wasn't even in the same STATE! Yet she still insisted that she is paying for the service and should be able to connect to her HOME wireless internet and actually threatened to cancel if we couldn't get her to connect to it.

After explaining it to her, several times, enduring three or four rounds of threats to cancel and my experience with these problems questioned* she finally hung up, luckily it was my last call of the day and was time for dinner, I now know why there is a bar near-by.

*Side Note: I have 10 going on 11 years of experience with computer networks and computers in and of themselves, I have several certifications and have worked in computer repair shops for 4 of those 10 years, any questions feel free to post 'em and I will answer them if I can.

Friday, June 29, 2007

It isn't Rocket Science People!

I know it isn't Saturday, but I had some down time at work so I decided to make my first actual post, names have been changed where applicable, but the story is real and actually happened to me during my stint at one of the call centers I have worked at.

Ok, computers have been around a while, in fact pretty much our entire society revolves around them, pick up a class list at any of your local community college and I almost guarantee you will find at least 5 or 6 class listings for basic computer classes and there are scores of people who could show you how to use the basics of a computer.

So could someone please tell me how a good portion of the population still doesn't know how to operate their computer? I know what you might be thinking, you might be thinking I am talking about elderly people or the older generations that didn't grow up with them or get a chance to own one until recently when they finally had to get one or use one for some reason or another.

But no, I am talking about people who you would think would know something about computers, or at least have some common sense when it comes to certain things, like, I don't know, that electricity is required to power a computer and to get online?

I have heard of it happening before, stupid customers who overlook obvious stuff like that, but I actually got that exact customer not more than a month ago. They called in to find out why they couldn't get online, I ran him, (call him George from here) through all the normal troubleshooting which the first one was asking what lights he was getting on the modem, this is almost verbatim of the conversation I had with George.

Me: "Ok, first could you check what lights you are getting on your modem?"
George: "I am not getting any of them at all."
Me: ".....Alright, could you check the power cord, make sure it is plugged into the modem and into the power outlet for me."
George: "Yeah it's plugged in and everything is fine."
Me: "Well it might be that the lights are burned out on the modem, could you please turn on your computer and we will check to see if the computers getting anything from the modem."
George: "I can't turn the computer on."
Me: "Ok, unfortunately sir I can't troubleshoot this any further unless you are able to use the computer, how come your not able to turn it on?"
George: "The power has been out for the past hour."

It's at this point I almost hung up, but I ended up spending the next couple minutes explaining why I wouldn't be able to help him, then I got off the call and went to a liquid lunch at the bar near my work. Sometimes this job makes me question and fear for our planet.

Ahh, my first post

Well, I never thought I would end up with a blog but after ranting to people at work about work I decided to put together a blog about the least fun job in the world, us lowly call center workers.

First a little background, I work for a major internet company troubleshooting technical problems with customer computers and 99% of the time I am wishing it were possible to reach out and touch someone through phone lines because frankly some of the people I deal with are the worst kinds of people as far as workers in my line of work concider.

No, we aren't talking about the computer illiterate, well, yeah technically I am, but I am talking about the people who are computer illiterate yet act like they know everything there is to do with computers and have no problem telling us how we should do our jobs.

Albeit this is a small portion of the populous, but it is a lot of the people we deal with because the people who know what the problem is and know how to fix it aren't calling us for help.

So yeah, my real first post will probably be tomorrow which is my day off so I will be tweaking this blog quite a bit, I will have rantings from other co-workers as well and various other things going on in my life which hopefully and slowly drag me out of here.