talk phone   Beating Tech Support

Tips & Hints

Getting support for your computer over the telephone is hard work for everyone. The user is often expected to have a certain level of ability and the support person has to imagine what is going on the user's computer. Not surprisingly, telephone help often ends in frustration and tears.

To ensure you get the problem fixed, and you help keep the techies' blood pressure down, remember the following points.

1. What is the problem?

Make a note of any error messages and when they happen. Did the problem occur after installing something new or changing the settings?

2. What is the configuration of your computer?

Make sure you have the purchase and warranty details if it is still under warranty. If it is a brand name computer, have the model and serial number handy. Make sure you know what sort of CPU (eg Pentium II-233, AMD K6-500), how much memory (eg 32Mb, 64 Mb) and how much hard drive space you have (eg 1.2 Gb with 500 Mb free).

3. Making the call

When calling the tech support line, listen carefully to the entire menus and choose the selection most appropriate to your enquiry. If in doubt press 0, this gets you to the switchboard on most systems.

4. When someone answers

Once you get through to the technician be patient and polite, telephone support is a very frustrating job. Note the technicians full name, the time the conversation started and ask for reference or incident number.

5. Describing the problem

State your problem clearly. What error messages appear and when do they appear. What is not working and what has changed. Be honest.

6. Fixing the problem

Follow the instructions precisely, if the technician is talking too fast ask them to slow down. If you don't understand the instructions, ask them to explain them clearly.

7. Not getting anywhere

If you are not confident the technician understands the problem, ask them. If they are evasive or uncertain ask to speak to someone else. If they won't transfer you to someone more expert, ask for their supervisor. If you cannot get someone you are confident in, hang up and call back a few hours later. Remember to keep taking notes.

8. Testing the solution

When you think the problem is fixed, do not hang up. Test that it is working and other programs and hardware still work. Sometimes fixing one problem moves the problem elsewhere in the system. Restart the computer and watch for any error messages. If it works thank the technician for their help.

9. Thank the technician

Telephone support is a stressful, often thankless task. If you are happy with the service, e-mail or write to the company and thank them for the good service. Make sure you name the technician.

PC Rescue Pty Ltd
Suite 236, 4 Young Street Neutral Bay NSW 2089
ABN 082 635 765
ŠTechnology Publishing Australia, 2011