Technical Support?

  ray27 19:34 09 Jun 2003

Some regular visitors to this site may remember the thread that I introduced about the poor standard of technical support that I experienced recently.

Well now that they have replaced the faulty hard drive the thing is behaving itself and appears to be working OK.

What I would like to express is my surprise at the large number of people who accept the level of technical support that I received as being the normal excepted standard.

How I see it is that I wonder how many of them would have thought that it was correct if you applied it to all the other things that you buy.

I mean if you purchased a nice new shiny car and after two days it refused to start you would not expect the dealer to send you a sheet of instructions on how to try and repair it would you.

The same applies to almost every thing else that I can think of so why should this happen in the computer industry?

I paid close to £1500.00 for my system and took out on site cover and was still having problems four months from the date of purchase.

I’m sure that if they had taken the trouble to spend some time localising the problem instead of telling me to reinstall windows on two occasions and getting rid of me as quick as possible, so it appeared to me, the problem would have been resolved in the first instance.

Being told that it would take at least two reinstalls of windows to reveal a faulty hard drive doesn’t install you with confidence.
I have come to realise that for the most part that computing is a self taught thing and judging from most of the threads in this forum people learn from others who have had the same problem.

The only good thing that has come out of all this is that I have had to learn real fast, thanks to all the people in this forum who offered advice.

The point I am trying to make is surly technical support should be just that not someone telling you to reinstall windows no matter what the problem is, (if that is technical support then even I could give support)
They have not even tried to get back to me to see if the new hard drive has cured the problem.

I now find that I turn to this forum for help in preference to the technical support people from whom I purchased the thing from(it has become affectionately called “The Thing” from now on)
Thanks for all the help, Ray

  Sir Radfordin™ 20:04 09 Jun 2003

The point about the car isn't really valid. The margin on a car is far more than on a computer. Profit in IT is almost nothing most of the time.

If every computer supplier could have a shop in most towns then you would be able to pop along and get your PC fixed in the same way you do your car. But would you want to pay £40ph for the privalidge?

Working in a company with 300+ employees whose website has 2 million hits a month has shown that most hardware is reliable. Its very rare to had to call support for end user PC's and equally rare for the hardware.

To provide the level of service some people seem to want would cost far more than anyone would be willing to pay.

Thats not to say small improvements couldn't be made for miminal cost.

  Sir Radfordin™ 23:41 09 Jun 2003

You should see a Dr ;-)

Totally agree about the 'fit for purpose' and I would be the first to reject a PC that wasn't fit for purprose. But I also have to say most problems are software related, and you can't reject Windows for its many bugs. By and large I'd say the problem is that suppliers don't give employees the power to resolve things first time around. Promises are rarely kept.

As for your final paragraph, my comments weren't at all size related. We buy single PC's once, twice a month. Occasionaly we buy more than that. BUT when we looked to change supplier we were sent some of the worst examples of computer I've ever seen. Acer and Evesham to name two, managed to send PC's that didn't even turn on. They were PC's that were sent out on loan to attact us to them. That doesn't suggest a company keen to impress.

As for Mesh, I don't consider myself fortunate. I've always had good service from them.

As for the car example, you would not be permitted to drive one home without a licence. Any idiot can (and do) end up with computers.

  Gaz 25 00:29 10 Jun 2003

I wish technical support is of that that I provide to friends when they are stuck, that is true tech support.

  Gaz 25 00:30 10 Jun 2003

Sorry to hear that you had a bad time with it, like I did with Time a few years ago.

  Sir Radfordin™ 07:05 10 Jun 2003

aren't we your technical support ;)

  ray27 09:42 10 Jun 2003

Sir Radfordin you are only confirming what I have stated.

This is what’s wrong with the standard of technical support that seems to be in operation.

If I can elaborate just once more, the computer arrived with windows not functioning so I was told to reinstall windows.

Now I am not too technical minded but surly they should have investigated it further than that.

I reinstalled windows and the same sort of things happened again yet still they did not investigate why it needed this they just instructed me to reinstall windows yet again.

Surely commonsense should have told them that there was a problem that did not involve windows as two versions had produced the same symptoms.

When I tried to explain this to the support person he was very rude and told me to be quiet and listen saying this was windows and lots of customers have to reinstall windows so why should I complain.

They then sent a list of instruction on how to reinstall and as the instructions on one aspect was not very clear I e-mailed them to clarify and they came back with an E-mail stating that as it was a software problem they would not deal with it but I should call their premium rate number.

I have not mentioned the company involved but I notice that the name has been mentioned.

I purchased “TheThing” thinking that if it all went pear shaped I would get adequate support.

If I had been informed of the type of support I would receive I can assure you I would not have bought the thing in the first place.

You have only to look at the response to my first thread to see that something is wrong.

I am the customer and don’t make excuses for poor customer aftercare.

If I had not protested and contacted this site after being told to install windows the third time I wonder how things would have turned out.

  Sir Radfordin™ 09:55 10 Jun 2003

Unfortunatly, most of the people working on frontline technical support don't know anything more than the manual they have in front of them. Ring up often enough and you can tell they are most often reading from a script. Firms don't have the money to pay a decent wage to attract people who know the stuff to do the job right.

A Dell PC had a dead hard drive and it was obvious that was the case. However when I rang up technical support they still wanted me to run their drive diagnostics, and then swap the drives and IDE cables over to test it before they would send a new drive out. Most of the time they don't have a choice but to work through the 'software' options first.

That doesn't however mean its the right thing to do.

  davidg_richmond 10:00 10 Jun 2003

When Windows seems to be having problems, you phone a helpline, and the first thing they realise is that you are a novice. And the thing that crosses most technician's mind about novices and new PCs is that they've gone and messed it all up, so they ask you to do a re-format (again and again). It's only because in experience, novice users have the most problems early on due to not knowing how to use the PC. It looks, sadly, you were a victim of this attitude.

  davidg_richmond 10:04 10 Jun 2003

Sir Radfordin puts across a valid point too. Companies have to run through their checklist to make sure that the problem is definately hardware related, as again software problems that get hardware replaced cost the company money and you time.

Unfortunately, I believe this is always going to be the way with any big PC retailer. If you don't want this situation, buy from your local 'small shop guy' where you can take the PC in.

  Sir Radfordin™ 13:07 10 Jun 2003

Don't really wish to get into a long drawn out debate over this.

If on delivery software is causing problems then there would be loads of people with problems because as I'm sure you know, Mesh will have just ghosted over an image from a server to match the spec. True, they could've put the wrong one on.

My experience is Mesh are no better and no worse than Dell or other suppliers. We are still using Dell kit at work, and most of it is reliable. I don't go out of my way to defend Mesh just tell it as it is.

The evidence of this forum is biased, its a place people come to complain. I believe its also true to say most of the people who post have a reasonable grasp of IT.

In an ideal world things would just turn on and work and no-one would need to understand the way they did but its not like that. When I learnt to drive my instructor talked about how a clutch works and the use it has. I didn't need that 'additional' information to use it but it helps.

As for a car dealer, I wouldn't let anyone test drive a car without seeing their licence. You are also likely to struggle to get finance without one.

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