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.