Friday, May 07, 2004


As long as we're telling technical support horror stories, here's my favorite: I had DSL and it was usually pretty reliable. One day it just stopped working for no reason at all so I called tech support. It only took ten minutes or so to get through, which I though was a positive sign. Foolish, foolish me. The conversation went something like this:

me: My DSL stopped working.

tech: What operating system do you have?

me: Huh?

tech: What operating system do you have?

me: This isn't a problem with my computer, it's with your wires. Nothing has changed in my system.

tech: I still need to know what operating system you have.

me: I'm using Linux.

tech: But what operating system?

me: Linux.

tech: An operating systems is either windows NT, windows 98, or Apple.

me: Or Linux. My operating system is Linux.

tech: So is that Microsoft or Apple?

me: Neither.

tech: You have to have one of those three operating systems.

me: Why?

tech: We only support those operating systems.

me: I just want you to fix your DSL connection, I don't need any help on my computer.

tech: I can't help you unless you have one of those operating systems.

me: Just tell me what you want done and I can do it on Linux.

tech: I only have menus for those three operating systems.

me: (I'm doing a slow burn at this point) OK, I'll reboot into windows NT but I'm on a cell phone, so
can I call you back after it boots without going to the back of the line again?

tech: No, I don't have any way to do that.

me: Can you call me back?

tech: We can't make calls from here.

I was working pretty hard to keep my temper at this point because I figured it wasn't that poor sap's fault that someone hired an incompetent idiot for the job. After my computer rebooted:

me: OK, it's running windows NT now.

tech: OK, now I need you to reboot your computer.

me: (after counting to ten, slowly), OK, I just rebooted it.

tech: Already?

me: Yes.

tech: OK, click on blah, blah, blah. Did it work?

me: (without trying it) Nope.

tech: OK, it must be on our side. We'll get someone out to work on it first thing in the morning.

me: Thanks. I'd like to speak with your manager.

I had a nice chat with the manager about tech-support issues and my DSL started working again the next day.

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