ISP tech support stupidity.

I have DSL at home. I needed a couple more isololation filters to use with phone equipment so as to prevent cross intereference between the phone and DSL service. (For those unfamiliar with DSL, this is standard good practice.)

Trying to get the CS monkey to actually do something without first knowing almost everything about me like if my cat was fixed was difficult. Things like insisting on my computer OS, and even what DSL modem I used. “HEY BITCH. YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW MY MODEM SO I CAN CONNECT A FILTER TO A CORDLESS PHONE ON THE LINE!” After just telling a bunch of lies (I’m very ill and nearly bedridden at the moment, and I’m not gonna crawl out of bed to check modem model number), after 15 minutes the VS monkey said I should get the filters in a week. Sigh.

Thus SBC tech support, consider yourself pitted.

Generally, when I call for tech support on an item that shouldn’t require that kind of information, I just don’t give it. It’s like buying a tail lamp for your car at Kragen’s and them asking what kind of engine you have…?! It’s not like the models differ due to engine size for lights.


2 things.

#1. It is not the tech support person’s fault. They take semi-trained people off the street, plop them in front of a computer, and tell them to read exactly what is on the screen or die. Call center employees are more closely guarded than maximum security prisoners. I have built call-center software. I have asked openly a few times why the only so closely guarded even when it has consequences that piss a large number of customers off and I have never gotten a good answer from management.

#2. You can buy those filters from any electronics store if you don’t want the wait or hassle. They only cost a few dollars.

If you don’t want technical support, don’t call tech support. Just call the phone company and tell them you need the equipment. It’s not a technical issue.

As soon as I read the first sentence of the second paragraph, I knew this had to be SBC. Man, their tech support sucks. Right before I switched to Comcast cable internet, I called SBC to find out if my current DSL outage was a problem in my area or was specific to my house (and thus possibly due to a problem with our crappy phone wiring). I spent 30 minutes on the phone with Jogdish in Bangladesh, trying to explain why my Windows version was irrelevant and that rebooting my computer was not going to help, before finally giving up. (While I recognize that the poor bastard has a script to read, I do take exception to him testily lecturing me on how the only way we’re going to fix my problem is if I answer his questions and try out his suggestions.)

In contrast, when I had a problem getting my cable connection to work, I called Comcast and immediately spent the next 45 minutes on the phone with the most highly trained tech support person I’ve ever dealt with in a consumer setting. Incredibly friendly and patient, highly knowledgeable about both Windows and networking, and didn’t talk to me like I was an idiot. He finally realized the problem was with one of their databases and kicked the problem up to the next level of tech support, where it was fixed by that evening. It was unreal. I called the guy’s supervisor and found out where I could send a letter of praise for the guy’s file. SBC DSL is now a fair amount cheaper than Comcast cable internet, but I’ll never go back. It’s just not worth it.

As for #1, I’m sure that is the case. Any tech support person with a clue would know all of that was irrelevant.

As for #2, I just didn’t expect things to be so hard to get done. :frowning: