You know the saying that doctors make the worst patients? Well I guess the same thing can applied to technical support. Some companies are better at it than others, but most are really frustrating.
The usual format goes like this: You get in touch with them and you speak to a 1st line support technician. 1st line's job is to check mundane things like you've put the network cable into the correct port, you run a full virus check, you've installed the latest patches, fixes, firmware, you've plugged it in correctly, etc etc (you get the picture). A 1st line support job is usually the most common way of getting into the IT support industry. You need minimum understanding of your products, (past the basics) and it's a position that introduces you to the product. You learn about the product through troubleshooting and training and you get to answer all of the "How do I...?" kind of questions from manuals and scripts. Anything they can't handle gets passed up the chain to 2nd line and then occasionally 3rd line.
Now I'm not knocking 1st line support - far from it, they mostly do a fantastic job. It's a thankless task and they normally get the most grief; but what really gets my goat is when I'm asking a quite obvious 2nd or 3rd line question and instead of being passed up the chain I get asked to hold forever well the 1st line technician goes to ask (and probably doesn't translate the question properly) and I'm kept waiting indefinitely for an answer.
Yes, 1st line support is great and you can answer 95% of the questions that come through your helpdesk, but for the love of God can you not put a note in your log that I'm not a n00b, I'm well aware of the difference between a network port and a modem port, I *can* tell you what version I'm running without being told excrutatingly painfully where to look for the information and yes, I'm a technician? Humm, humm? Instead, I have to go through this stupid procedure every time I call: Name, email address, phone number with international STD code, product number, OS version. Then we get the scripted "Hi X, how can we help you today?" "So, what your asking is this "repeats the question almost verbatim"..? Is that correct?" "Well what we need to do is this..." (Yes, yes, I know that, just give me the Goddamn answer!) But the most infuriating thing is if you *do* give them a question that they can't answer they sometimes leave you waiting and then just give up - and I quote:Me: ty, may I ask a second Q? Support: Sure, please go ahead Me: I need to do X (detailed description of problem)Support: Please wait This chat session has ended. Support: Hello, how may I help you? Me: Ah, there you are Me: my session timed out while I was waiting for a response Support: Hi again X Me: Could someone maybe email the solution to me? Support: You can mail us at email@example.com Support: Because, these issues are handled by our level 3 technician Me: OK Support: I am sorry Support: I apologize for the inconvenience caused Me: That's OK Me: Well have a good day and I hope to get the answer soon
Can you not just give me a customer ID# and save me this grief?