Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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Rules of technical support

"Newbies can be good things."

Did you ever wonder whether phone and on-site techs have an unwritten code?
The answer, for the most part, is yes.
For instance, for high-speed internet (cable modem) service:

  • 1. Always push the responsibility back to the customer.

    • Direct the diagnosis from outdoor to indoor, i.e., "not our problem"

    • Never support multiple systems using a firewall

    • Don't support Linux; ask them to try a Windows system if they have both MacOS and Windows

  • 2. Rule out and get out.

    • Phone techs should hook up enough diagnostics to rule out outside line problems, then get the frell out

    • Never give the customer anything but a lay diagnosis

    • Replace modems or sell the customer a new one, but don't mess with anything sustantive such as lines and amplifiers

I have called Cox Cable 20 times in the past 14 months, 18 times in 2003. The first 16 times they came out, the techs couldn't fix a thing. Most of the time the problem was transient and alread gone by the time they arrived 24-48 hours after my reported outage. Then around July, 2003 they replaced 2 things:

  • a connector on my outside box that took signal strength "from 1 to 6", whatever that means

  • a length of cable from my house to the pole

That fixed all my problems for about 4-5 months. Now it's flaking out again; I think it's because they are finally catching KS up to the national network. As I told masteralida, this is too brief a respite from ISP-related frustration.

In any case, when I called on Sat 06 Mar 2004, I just got one of their lower-echelon techs who hadn't been indoctrinated yet. That's good because as you can see above, the higher you go, the more vacous the support can get, until you get to the local top-level managers, who are very amiable but promise things they have no intention of delivering, such as sending out a regional tech manager. (I told the tech who came out the name of the manager who was promised and he just sneered, "yeah, that ain't gonna happen".)

Anyhow, this fellow (who shall remain nameless for his own protection) was great. He obviously hadn't heard Rule #1 or didn't really take it to heart. So he told me all about how to change my DHCP to match their new nationwide nameservers instead of the dinky Kansas ones. He even recommended "strictly off the record" ("and we definitely don't support this, but you might look into...") running my own BIND. I love closet tronkies. :-)

Yes, gnubies can be a good thing. ;-)

Some quizzage, from the LJs of aricadavidson and oxbastetxo:

Got this result with two variations:
blue lightdaber
You have earned the Blue Lightsaber. You are
skilled in the ways of the Jedi, and the force
is strong with you. You have a mind of your
own, and sometimes do things your own way, but
always for the good. You are looked up to, by
the young and are strongly respected for your

Which Star Wars Lightsaber Should You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Got this result with one variation:
green lightsaber
You have earned the Green Lightsaber. You are wise
and skilled as a Jedi. The force is strong
with you. Other Jedi look up to you for
information. You would rather teach others the
way of a Jedi than fight. But if you are
needed you are up to the challenge.

Which Star Wars Lightsaber Should You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Naboo! This Peaceful world is full of beatiful
landscapes and architecture.

What Star Wars Planet should you live on?
brought to you by Quizilla


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