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Author Topic: Tech support — why bother?  (Read 3040 times)

cranioscopical

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Tech support — why bother?
« on: August 24, 2012, 09:42:25 AM »
A recently purchased Photoshop plug-in was creating all kinds of problems. After trying a few potential remedies, to no avail, I sent email to the tech support group.

The product is available both for PC and Mac. That being so, the first line of my email was to establish which O/S I use.

I began:
Quote
My system runs Windows 7-64.


The reply began:
Quote
Go to your Macintosh HD => Library => Application Support => CrashMaster*
>and delete the CrashMaster* folder...you will need to enter your system password
>to OK this change.

* Product name changed to protect the imbecilic.

I suppose it's better than "First, format C:" but only just.
 

 

Renegade

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2012, 10:23:26 AM »
I can sympathize... It's really hard to deal with tech support that run off copy/paste or some other silliness.

As part of a past job I had, I did tech support as part of it. I was the only English speaker at the company. I worked very hard to create extremely detailed help for people with LOTS of screenshots (made with Screenshot Captor I might add), and so I had massive support resources available for people, and had very few "new" cases (i.e. unknown bugs). I damn near cried when after I'd left, I saw that they got rid of it from the web site. :(

So when I encounter crappy support... I see red...  >:(
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2012, 10:46:29 AM »
I bother. Because I need tech support. :tellme:

And I must admit one thing Microsoft does do extremely well is handle its Tech Support Incident requests. On the 'professional' and enterprise level Microsoft has been a lifesaver more than once when the voodoo required to fix some utterly esoteric server problem went beyond what I knew how to comfortably handle. Or at least comfortably handle at the time it happened. A real plus with having your hand held by an MS über-wonk through something godawful is it becomes a "been there, done that" learning experience once it's over. (For example, one thing I've learned is how much I hate all things SBS! Absolutely hate it! :sick:)

ms-cthulhu.jpg

Microsoft doesn't do everything right. But when it comes to 'real' tech support, I must say they do that extremely well. The big drawback is getting access to "the real stuff" if you're only on the consumer level.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 11:03:24 AM by 40hz »

Renegade

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 10:58:45 AM »
I need tech support.

And I must admit one thing Microsoft does do extremely well is handle its Tech Support Incident requests. On the 'professional' and enterprise level Microsoft has been a lifesaver more than once when the voodoo required to fix some utterly esoteric server problem went beyond what I knew how to comfortably handle at the time it happened. Another plus with having your hand held through something godawful is it then becomes a "been there, done that" learning experience once it's over. For example, one thing I've learned is how much I hate SBS! (Absolutely hate it! :sick:)

Microsoft doesn't do everything right. But when it comes to 'real' tech support, I must say they do that extremely well. The only drawback is getting access to "the real stuff" if you're only on the consumer level.

I basically used DOS and UNIX and skirted around Windows until 1998 when I bought a computer. In Korean. Which I was still learning. And it had Windows 98 on it. And it tanked. And I called MS Support. And they were awesome! :) I knew NOTHING about Windows at the time (I used Windows 3.1 from the command prompt and skipped 95). I knew Fortran and Pascal and Basic (a few flavours) and DOS and UNIX and some then defunct systems (PET, CBM, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99-4A), but not Windows.

I have no idea what their tech support is like now, but that's a "consumer" story from 1998. Not sure if it counts for jack anymore though.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 11:08:28 AM »
^Actually, Windows support on the end-user level is still quite good from what I've seen.

Props where props are due! :Thmbsup:

And which also highlights one of the drawbacks of owning an inexpensive OEM copy of Windows (as in the one that comes with almost every manufactured PC) since you're supposed to go to the PC manufacturer for OS support when you have one of those. If you bought your copy retail, the tech support is terrific. If you didn't, Microsoft is usually pretty good about assisting so long as you're running the most recent version of Windows. Or at least they used to be good about it.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 03:17:45 PM by 40hz »

Stoic Joker

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 11:35:36 AM »
I just spent 2 hours on the phone with MS's tech support regarding a flakey server issue I'd been fighting with for the last 3 weeks. It's fixed now. While it had appeared to be a .NET issue... Apparently one of their Security Updates has an odd habit of toasting about half of the MMCs.

*Joy*

The tech's English wasn't that great, but he was ok. Can't say I've ever had a bad experience with MS tech. :)


Edit: The patch number in question was KB2686833, and after pulling it and then manually reinstalling it (reboot both ways) the server is doing just fine. The MS guy did a follow up call to see if I'd done it and how it went. Yep, that's good service. :)
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 01:59:48 PM by Stoic Joker »

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 01:33:14 PM »

I'm going to be terrified for a week just thinking about Microsoft as a green cuddly Cthulu. Oh, wait, NOW we know where Windows 8 came from!  :P

mahesh2k

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2012, 03:39:10 PM »
Cthulu with bat wings  ;D

40hz

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2012, 04:05:57 PM »
My Lil Cthulhu is made by a company called Dreamland Toyworks in case anybody's interested. It's ridiculously overpriced at $30 USD and gotten rather hard to find of late. But if you're a true connoisseur of eldritch horror it's a must have.

There's also a most excellent Cthulhu Fez if you're a real diehard - or maybe just in need some serious psychiatric counseling. Available from Fez-O-Rama! I want to costume an entire dancehall band in white dinner jackets, scarlet Zouave pants - and this fez! ;D (We'll be playing a lot of Tom Waite and Madness songs too!)

fez.png

In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming… wearing this spiffy fez!

 :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 04:12:08 PM by 40hz »

cranioscopical

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2012, 06:27:59 PM »
entire dancehall band in white dinner jackets, scarlet Zouave pants - and this fez!
Must be the hell of a big fez!  ;)

mwb1100

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2012, 07:36:44 PM »
Must be the hell of a big fez!  ;)

A R’lyeh big fez.

xtabber

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2012, 10:21:51 AM »
My first personal computer, many (many!) years ago, was a Z-80 based Vector Graphics 3 maxed out with 56 KB (that's kilobytes) of RAM.  The Vector ROM-based assembler could not generate 8080 code, so I purchased the M-80 assembler ($400!!) from Micro Soft (as it was then known), which advertised a library to generate either Z-80 or 8080 code from a common source file.

The first time I used the assembler, I was working late at night, and found nothing about the 8080 library in the documentation, which consisted of about 20 single spaced pages poorly reproduced from something printed on a mis-aligned daisy wheel printer.  Micro Soft was based in New Mexico, which was 2 hours behind NY, so I figured there might be a chance someone might still be around to answer a question.

My phone call was in fact answered, by a very knowledgeable young man who identified himself only as Bill and, in a voice I would come to recognize many times over the years, explained how the library was fully documented in the source code comments. We had an interesting conversation about the the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of providing documentation in this manner, and when it was appropriate to do so.

I gather Bill no longer works for Microsoft, but it's good to know their tech support is still top notch.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 10:30:40 AM by xtabber »

nosh

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2012, 10:32:44 AM »
Wow!  :)

Renegade

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Re: Tech support — why bother?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2012, 10:36:39 AM »
My phone call was in fact answered, by a very knowledgeable young man who identified himself only as Bill and, in a voice I would come to recognize many times over the years, explained how the library was fully documented in the source code comments. We had an interesting conversation about the the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of providing documentation in this manner, and when it was appropriate to do so.

I gather Bill no longer works for Microsoft, but it's good to know their tech support is still top notch.

NO WAY! That is a very cool story~! ;D  :Thmbsup:
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker