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Old 05-04-2019, 01:53 PM
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Customer service? I don't do customer service!


...no, wait while I check my resume...Okay, I've been doing customer service off and on for 40-some years, even for products I don't believe in.

Oldest has a friend who does Level 1 customer service for the manufacturer of phones and tablets that don't use Android. He thinks I should do it when I get out of this dump. Work from home; make my own hours; make more money than I did working in a call center like a schmuck. I could stand that, but other than setting up Wife's tablet I haven't had experience with their products since the 8- and 16-bit days.

Daughter already mentioned this to her friend and her take was, "What is the basic trouble-shooting procedure for any electronic product?"

"I'm Level 1? I ask if it's plugged in. If the customer says yes, I ask him to check if it's really plugged in, making comforting noises about plugs and electricity, all implying he's not brain damaged, though he probably is. That solves most problems."

"And if it still doesn't work?"

"I escalate the call to somebody who's paid to know more than I."

"There you go. You can do this job."

She's right, you know. I can and have done it in my sleep, and it's a chance to test everybody else's contention that I'm easy to talk to. Especially women, since I'm a manly man who's convinced that only women buy this brand.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:13 PM
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So Level 2 is where you tell them to power off and turn it back on?
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:30 PM
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Have I already talked to you at tech support for my Sonic-care tooth brush. They told me to plug the charger in. Lo and behold that fixed my problem.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:30 PM
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Depending on the product that can be Level 1, though with modern tablets and phones it requires Level 3 or better to accomplish. People laugh at my burner flip phone, but I tried to fix Middle's Android phone and nearly threw it out a window before saying, "It's fucked up. Buy a new one." The manufacturer said call Android and their customer service doesn't extend beyond Level 2.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:37 PM
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Have I already talked to you at tech support for my Sonic-care tooth brush. They told me to plug the charger in. Lo and behold that fixed my problem.
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
If the customer says yes, I ask him to check if it's really plugged in, making comforting noises about plugs and electricity, all implying he's not brain damaged, though he probably is.
Not that I'd suggest that YOU, my dear calamitous friend, are brain damaged, but there you go.

Last edited by dropzone; 05-04-2019 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:59 PM
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In the British sitcom The IT Crowd, "have you tried turning it off and on again?" is within the scope of Level 1 support. It's also the only solution they have for any problem. And it's also the only level of support they have.

I had to call Amazon support once when a Kindle firmware update borked my Kindle. They were very helpful but only after escalating it to Level 2 who called me back later. The problem turned out to be fairly straightforward for anyone who had any knowledge at all of the update process, which makes me wonder what on earth their Level 1 is good for. The fix could have been handled by anyone who could follow a flowchart, including most customers themselves.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:08 PM
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Level 1 is for filtering out the butt calls, children playing with mom's phone, and the hopelessly dim. Think of me as the receptionist.

Last edited by dropzone; 05-04-2019 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:48 PM
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Ooh, I'm about to retire, and wondering what to do to keep me occupied.
After 20+ years of teaching computers, I think I could handle this...
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:50 PM
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Hello. Hi? Are you there? Hello. My computer's cup-holder isn't working any more. My old desktop used to have this really convenient cup-holder, but now when I push the cup-holder button it just makes this funny grinding noise.
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:04 PM
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Turn it off then turn it back on again. If that doesn't help I'll escalate you to Tech Support. They could use a laugh.
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:43 PM
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Asked Middle to get her mom's old tablet out of mothballs so I can bone up on it. And root it since I have no idea its password and don't need any old files cuz she used it for nothing but YouTube, Candy Crush, and window shopping for horses. Plus I really don't need another tablet because I have only two within reach, a generic RCA from Walmart and a Kindle Fire because the kids couldn't find the RCA which was exactly where I said it was, and the Fire barely qualifies. Plus it makes me look more like a company man than saying, "Yeah, I have a Your Brand IIc set up in my basement."
  #12  
Old 05-05-2019, 12:18 AM
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Who the fuck lets you work from home and set your own hours???
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:35 AM
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Yesterday my TV/DVD combo (this is what is in my "office") had a weird issue. On certain channels I would get a blank screen and then the unit would reboot. It would continue (it would turn on, show a blank screen, then turn off an on again)
There was a limited time after it turned on to change the channel. On some channels everything was hunky dory. I did try unplugging it for ~15 min.
All the channels that worked were x.1, but one x.1 channel did not. (OTA)
This morning I figured I would try a channel scan. This solved my problem. Not sure why I didn't think of it yesterday.

Brian
  #14  
Old 05-05-2019, 09:42 PM
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Who the fuck lets you work from home and set your own hours???
I was once recruited to sing in a strolling carolers group one winter. I was driving one of the ladies to a gig one evening, and she mentioned that her primary income came from being a sexy talker for a 1-900-type phone service. According to her, she worked from home AND set her own hours.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:48 PM
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hey if ya don't want the job send it my way ...... i spent 4 years selling video games to swap meet types, nothing shocks me,
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:56 AM
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Who the fuck lets you work from home and set your own hours???
I've had jobs which allowed that within limits. We had to be available within a certain timeframe ("meetings hours"), and we were expected to have the computer switched on 40h a week (but so long as your response time was adequate, nobody cared if you were sitting at it or doing laundry; also note that it is possible to have Bright Ideas in the middle of laundry), but some people worked 0500-1500 with two 1h breaks (to take the kid to school and for lunch) and some 1100-1900 with no breaks, no problem.
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:13 AM
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I was once recruited to sing in a strolling carolers group one winter. I was driving one of the ladies to a gig one evening, and she mentioned that her primary income came from being a sexy talker for a 1-900-type phone service. According to her, she worked from home AND set her own hours.
I'd love to see what she puts down on her income tax return and other formal documents that request the filer's occupation. "Occupation: Sexy talker" would certainly be ... unique. I suppose I could put down my own occupation now that I'm retired as "talker, although not really very sexy at all, to be perfectly honest".
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:22 AM
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actually, the two girls that I knew that did it it was either "telemarketer " or phone entertainer .....
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:03 AM
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I'd love to see what she puts down on her income tax return and other formal documents that request the filer's occupation. "Occupation: Sexy talker" would certainly be ... unique. I suppose I could put down my own occupation now that I'm retired as "talker, although not really very sexy at all, to be perfectly honest".
I've known a guy who owned a "sexy talk" company. The employees were mostly middle-aged women, and maybe half of them were working from home. They had fixed hours, though.

The market having become saturated, he decided to diversify and one day half the employees switched overnight from being hot women in their early 20s with a huge sex drive to being wise and experienced tarot-readers and astrologers. They adapted well. I guess they could have been level 1 IT people too. It requires less imagination.
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:44 AM
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A classic: https://youtu.be/XbgWDz5_LJ0
  #21  
Old 05-06-2019, 07:46 AM
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In the British sitcom The IT Crowd, "have you tried turning it off and on again?" is within the scope of Level 1 support. It's also the only solution they have for any problem. And it's also the only level of support they have.
That is absolutely not true.

They also sometimes ask "Are you sure it's plugged in?"
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:00 AM
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I'd love to see what she puts down on her income tax return and other formal documents that request the filer's occupation. "Occupation: Sexy talker" would certainly be ... unique.
She would be a "Communications Specialist." There's checkbox for that.
  #23  
Old 05-06-2019, 10:03 AM
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That is absolutely not true.

They also sometimes ask "Are you sure it's plugged in?"
And it's a question I have asked often.

In 1998 I was an intro to MS-DOS class away from a certificate in microcomputer support. I asked the department head if I could substitute something more relevant, saying, "I could TEACH that course." Nope.
  #24  
Old 05-06-2019, 10:22 AM
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Asked Middle to get her mom's old tablet out of mothballs so I can bone up on it. And root it since I have no idea its password and don't need any old files cuz she used it for nothing but YouTube, Candy Crush, and window shopping for horses.
According to That Company's website I need to physically bring in the tablet and Wife's death certificate and will to prove I really inherited it. She left no will--long story--so would it be okay if I brought in her ashes?

Last edited by dropzone; 05-06-2019 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:40 PM
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Middle can't find the xP*d M*n* 1 but that's okay because it's a dog.

Last edited by dropzone; 05-06-2019 at 06:41 PM.
  #26  
Old 05-06-2019, 07:38 PM
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That is absolutely not true.

They also sometimes ask "Are you sure it's plugged in?"
Which I, several times, followed up with "can you plug something else into that outlet and see if it works?" Yes, it was the outlet.
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:56 PM
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That is absolutely not true.

They also sometimes ask "Are you sure it's plugged in?"
Years ago, I worked for a company based in more or less central NJ that decided to open a teeny branch office in NYC. Our IT guy went in and set up the (sole) computer and made sure everything was working.

The next day, the man who was going to run the office went in, moved the computer from the front room to the back room, and couldn't get it to work. I think (I think) it booted, but he couldn't get anything on the monitor beyond a black screen. He was very annoyed by this and tried to get our (sole) IT guy (who did the IT on the side to two other major responsibilities) to drop everything and get into NYC (which was at least 2 hours, each way) to fix it that day.

IT guy runs him through the normal checks ("Are you sure it's plugged in? On both ends?" and "Did you try turning it off and on again?") plus "Are you sure you plugged in the video cable between the monitor and the computer?" The manager angrily replied that he'd checked all this already, yes everything was plugged in, and come fix it now. IT guy told the manager that he wasn't sure what all he could do, since it had worked before it was moved and anyway there was no way he could get in before 2 days from now and maybe he (the manager) should call tech support for the company the computer had been bought from.

So the manager did call tech support, and spent most of the day in the guts of the desktop, reseating memory cards and video cards and IDE cables and what have you, to no avail.

Two days later, our IT guy is able to get into NYC. Just for S&Gs, he checked the power cord first to make sure it was plugged in, because he knew this manager.

Lo and behold, the power cord from the monitor WAS plugged in. Standard 3-prong plug. And the manager had managed to plug the ground pin into a completely different outlet to the rest of the plug.

When this was pointed out to him, he said something along the lines of, "oh, so that's why it was so hard to plug in. I got annoyed and just forced it."

The amazing thing is that when a power cord with a non-bent-out-of-shape plug was plugged in, the whole thing turned on and worked just fine.
  #28  
Old 05-08-2019, 10:20 AM
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Cleaned up resume and forwarded it to Oldest who forwarded it to her friend.
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:00 PM
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Requiring a physical unplug/replug process for power cycling (rather than pushing a button) is a Level 1 support boon, because while people will often tell you that they are sure that the thing is plugged, some number of them didn't check, and when you tell them to unplug it and plug it back in, they'll notice and just tell you that the "power cycle" fixed it.

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Lo and behold, the power cord from the monitor WAS plugged in. Standard 3-prong plug. And the manager had managed to plug the ground pin into a completely different outlet to the rest of the plug.

When this was pointed out to him, he said something along the lines of, "oh, so that's why it was so hard to plug in. I got annoyed and just forced it."
Something... maybe got lost in the retelling here? Unless the electrical wiring involved was extremely unsafe, it shouldn't matter. Like, ground is ground, and also ground isn't involved in the normal operation of an electronic device unless something goes wrong. You can just hacksaw the ground pin off a plug* and that won't make the thing stop working.

*do not do this.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:50 PM
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Requiring a physical unplug/replug process for power cycling (rather than pushing a button) is a Level 1 support boon, because while people will often tell you that they are sure that the thing is plugged, some number of them didn't check, and when you tell them to unplug it and plug it back in, they'll notice and just tell you that the "power cycle" fixed it.

Something... maybe got lost in the retelling here? Unless the electrical wiring involved was extremely unsafe, it shouldn't matter. Like, ground is ground, and also ground isn't involved in the normal operation of an electronic device unless something goes wrong. You can just hacksaw the ground pin off a plug* and that won't make the thing stop working.

*do not do this.
I tell it to you as it was told to me. He'd plugged the monitor's power cable plug into two separate power outlets at the same time. The same power cable had worked fine in the outer office when it was plugged into a single plug. When it proved impossible to straighten things out to the point that the three prongs would go into the same outlet, a new power cable was used, and the monitor worked again.
  #31  
Old 05-10-2019, 05:18 AM
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Nah, physically can't be done. The ground prong is too short to reach that far and the neutral prong is too wide to fit in the live socket. Either the user found another way to mangle the cord or the tech was greenin' you.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:05 AM
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I've told this story before, but my mother was out of state for a year and had her phone disconnected during the time. I visited her from Japan on the second day she was back. She had had her phone reconnected, and while it could place calls, incoming calls only got the fast busy signal. After swapping phones around and such, I quickly surmised that the phone company had simply neglected to click the button allowing incoming calls when they restored service.

I called the company service line and was able to get a live customer support and reported the problem. Apparently, this was a low-level customer service rep who was only able to read off the script. After I explained the problem and my guess at the issue, the service rep had to go through the entire checklist, including questions such as:

Service rep: “Is the phone plugged in?”
Me: “Of course, as I said, I’m calling from the phone, so we wouldn’t like be having this conversation if the phone weren’t working.”

I did manage to keep the sarcasm out of my voice, at least.

She wasn’t allowed to escalate the call for some reason, but did take careful notes, or so she said.

A couple of hours later, we got a call from the technician who had solved the problem – by changing the setting on their side to allow incoming calls, of course. I asked and apparently the service rep didn’t write up the problem correctly.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:21 AM
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I asked and apparently the service rep didn’t write up the problem correctly.
I can do that!
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:13 PM
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I tell it to you as it was told to me.
I'm sure you did, but it doesn't make any sense. As dropzone points out, it's probably physically impossible unless the guy is The Hulk. And even if it were possible, I can't think of a reason it would break anything.

Something got lost in translation here.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:11 AM
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The manager was an impatient man who didn't pay attention to things when he was in a hurry, and while he wasn't Andre the Giant by any means, he was a larger than average, athletic man. I have no problem believing that he was able to force the plug into two sockets. This was back in the 90s, and as I recall, a lot of plugs (and outlets) back then were still not polarized, even ones for computer desktops. I may even have a few of those power cables lying around still.

Plus, the plug WAS mangled. If I didn't make it clear before, my buddy the IT guy said that the ground pin was badly bent in order to get to the other socket. He couldn't believe the manager had managed it without breaking it off entirely. They had to use a new power cable, because the old one was done.
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:20 AM
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The manager was an impatient man who didn't pay attention to things when he was in a hurry, and while he wasn't Andre the Giant by any means, he was a larger than average, athletic man. I have no problem believing that he was able to force the plug into two sockets. This was back in the 90s, and as I recall, a lot of plugs (and outlets) back then were still not polarized, even ones for computer desktops. I may even have a few of those power cables lying around still.

Plus, the plug WAS mangled. If I didn't make it clear before, my buddy the IT guy said that the ground pin was badly bent in order to get to the other socket. He couldn't believe the manager had managed it without breaking it off entirely. They had to use a new power cable, because the old one was done.
It doesn’t make sense electrically. If you have two outlets that close, such as in a power strip, then the grounds are tied together.

As has been said already, the grounds are not involved in normal operations so it wouldn’t matter if they were plugged in anyway.
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:20 PM
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<sigh> Look, I wasn't on site. I didn't see this for myself. I don't know if the monitor was plugged into a power strip or into a wall. What I know, second-hand, is that it was plugged into a single socket in one room where it worked, got moved into a different room and somehow plugged into two sockets and didn't work, and when it was given a new power cable and plugged into one socket, it worked again. That's all I know. The story was about the manager and his idiocy, not about the bloody electrical wiring.

<mutters> I know we're all about getting to the facts of a situation, but way to beat all the humour out of an amusing story.

Last edited by Morgyn; 05-11-2019 at 03:22 PM.
  #38  
Old 05-11-2019, 03:35 PM
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I need to escalate this hijack to Tech Support. I'm going to put you on hold.
  #39  
Old 05-11-2019, 03:49 PM
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I need to escalate this hijack to Tech Support. I'm going to put you on hold.
As long as there's decent music.
  #40  
Old 05-11-2019, 04:15 PM
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Who the fuck lets you work from home and set your own hours???
I work for the Federal Government; I've been working from home and setting my own hours for the past five years or so. In my case, the agency allots a certain amount of time for each action performed and keeps track of when we're logged in. As long as the allotted time is at least 97% of the time claimed on our time cards, they don't mind.

I'm typically around 120%.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 05-11-2019 at 04:18 PM.
  #41  
Old 05-11-2019, 09:15 PM
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As long as there's decent music.
I once worked on a help desk that I swear had the North Korean electronic army marching music, rammed through a VOIP system that had strings for cables. Not only did it echo, it dropped out about two thirds of the beat...
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:45 AM
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Cleaned up resume and forwarded it to Oldest who forwarded it to her friend.
Smart move. Glad we didn't talk you out of it here.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:29 AM
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Somebody tried to talk me out of it?
  #44  
Old 05-13-2019, 11:42 PM
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I just meant "Hey, glad all the horror stories from the trenches didn't scare you off!"
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:24 PM
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As long as there's decent music.
They really ought to give customers some choices for hold music: "Contemporary pop, press 1; contemporary alternative, press 2; classic rock, press 3; oldies, press 4; R&B, press 5..."
  #46  
Old 05-14-2019, 01:19 PM
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I just meant "Hey, glad all the horror stories from the trenches didn't scare you off!"
If you haven't gathered, I've been in the trenches, likely as not, since 1973. The headline was facetious.
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