Monday, February 05, 2007

Have you tried rebooting your computer? @$#$#@$!

I hate calling tech support. I have a general dislike of being talked down to, and it's basically guaranteed that I will be talked down to when I call tech support.

Within the last week I have called tech support for both Dell and Comcast. It's like a tale of two opposites - how to do things halfway, and how to do it right.


I called Dell last week. My monitor decided to go loco on me. It first started one night, and then the next morning it was on for a few hours and then just start.blinking. I obviously rebooted (several times) - no luck there. If I turned the monitor off and then back on, I could see things loading briefly before the blink started again. I checked the power connections (I've called tech support before, so I know the drill). So once Tucker was down for a nap and Jackson was watching Dora, I (grudgingly) called tech support.

Of course, she has me boot the computer. I had turned it off so I am waiting for it and reading her all manner of serial numbers while this happens. And what do I see when I look at the monitor?

It's fine. Right down to the National Geographic wallpaper.

Tucker wakes up around the time she wants me to run umpteen million drills to determine the problem (because of course, stupid me cannot possibly be right that it is the monitor, so I need to go through hoops for her amusement). I tell her I can't be doing this now; baby waking up means I can't unplug, plug, restart, put my right leg in, put my right leg out right now. She of course wants me to call her if this happens again. She provides me her name and voicemail number/extension.

Luckily I was concerned that the monitor would go out again and had already arranged a backup via my mom. They brought it that night - lucky thing, since five minutes after setting down to work the blink started again.

The next day when BOTH boys are napping I call the voicemail number she provided. Of course the voicemail is a generic extension; I debate calling the number and trying to get straight to a tech but the chump in me believed that she might actually call me back.


I get a call back the next day at around 10am from a dude. Of course at 10am Jackson and I were in the middle of a little art project; the Dell dude from 10,000 miles away says that he won't take time, that we just need to do a few simple steps.

First I have to plug in the monitor (without it being hooked up to the computer; easy enough since I unplugged that two nights before). It's supposed to show a self test, but of course I get blink.blink.blink. I describe this to him and just a few minutes in the monitor corrects itself and goes into the self test. I tell him this. He then wants me to power off the monitor, plug it into the computer (meaning I have to remove cable for borrowed monitor). It seems I have to do a few pushups too, I don't know.

Might I remind you that I am doing all this mess while my eldest is sitting in the kitchen with crayons?

Anyway, computer starts up and the monitor's fine.

Then the dude starts to say "Well, since your monitor's fine I don't know what we can do...".

Whoa. Wait a sec here dude. An unpredictable monitor is not fine. No way, no how.

His solution for me is to turn off the auto power-off for the monitor. Great, now my screensave will just run all day. Super. Then he tells me that, should this happen again, to call and they'll replace the monitor. At which point I am sure I will be performing feats of computer strength.

And before he ends the call, he tells me to "try to check the power connections when you get a chance". Which I already did. Ridiculous.

Whereas my phone call with Comcast this afternoon (paraphrased):

Me: My internet connection has been the pits for a couple of weeks.
Tech: Yeah. I'm looking here and you've got some problems. It's [I won't bore you with the details, but he actually does not talk down to me]. I'll send a tech out tomorrow; we'll see if the one that came to your house before can come. How 'bout tomorrow?

That's how it's supposed to work, Dell. What's your problem? How can WE fix it.



Blogger BlondeMom said...

Oh my husband has lots of peeves with so called "customer service." I'm sorry you've had such a frustrating time. Ugh!

He has a free online computer help message board for anyone to post general questions and he or one of his techs typically check the board every day.

Check it out!

2/06/2007 6:31 AM  

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