The most annoying things about online computer support sites?

I’m not sure where this falls, but I wanted to start here because of the possibility of vitrol. What are the most annoying things about trying to find computer help online by yourself? What pisses you off more than anything?

Mine? The fact that nothing but the newest generation of whatever hardware is out there has it’s info available. Just TRY to find a driver for a 4 year old video or sound card in less than 20 minutes.

What’s the make and model (and version/revision. maybe the SN would be useful)?

You can time me.

The most annoying thing is the Google results being dominated by sites that auto-create pages for questions, but provide no relevant answers. And those that might have answers, but blur them out till you sign up or install their app.

Most annoying? When a search turns up pages of results that are links to message board threads where the OP asks a question about a problem like yours, a few people offer solutions, and… nothing. The OP never comes back to say what worked or didn’t so I don’t even know if I should bother trying those things.

Also most annoying? Posting a question yourself on a tech support forum (i.e. “How do I upgrade the firmware on my Cisco router? I’m not terribly good with Windows 7 so I’m hoping someone can walk me through it”) and the first response is “did you run the qoihavg command in an elevated command prompt and check the DTYKUF settings to see if the conflooberator is set to reject HJUI 1.07?” Aside from the fact that I have no fucking clue what those things are, or how to run an elevated command prompt in the first place… yes, of course. First thing I thought of :rolleyes:

I was thinking the same thing.

Relevant XKCD: Wisdom of the Ancients

I hate tech reports/articles that don’t list a date (or date last updated). Sometimes you have to search for context clues to figure out if the information is relevant (mentions of CRTs, Nixon being president, etc.).

What is this, A Christmas Story?

Spare me the song and dance with the machine. Just let me talk to a person!

One that I ran into today:
Anonymous user How do I xyz?
Well-meaning helper Follow these steps: Abc, def, abc again. Done!
Anonymous user 2 Didn’t work for me.
Anonymous user 3 Me neither.
Anonymous user 4 Try this:
Last post: January 9, 2009
Desperate user How do I xyz? I Googled and couldn’t find anything helpful.
Despotic forum tyrant Closed. See and use the search feature next time.
Last post: Yesterday

But, above all else, the people who run useless auto-generated manuals and Q&A pages sites can burn in hell. Didn’t Google used to have a feature for blocking domains from your personal search results? I can’t find it anymore.

Well, the fact that I have to be online is a problem. Sometimes my connection doesn’t work. Another problem is that quite often, the solution offered doesn’t work, or else it assumes knowledge on my part that I don’t have.

What’s almost more aggravating is when the OP comes back, there are no replies and chirps, “Never mind, I fixed it. Goodbye.” ARGH NO

God yes, or OP posts a problem exactly like yours then comes back with “Nevermind guys I fixed it”. Thanks for the info brah.

e: whoops guess I should read the whole thread before replying

Don’t you mean “nevermind the rant guys I fixed it”

Oh hell yeah. I don’t know why Google is so badly borked or exploited like this. Just yesterday, I was trying to find out where the Windows 8 restore tools were, and even when explicitly querying for Windows 8, the top dozen links are to crappy old message board threads of tangential Windows Vista topics.

And they aren’t even mainstream reputable message boards. Posted on July 3, 2007 “Help! Cute clip art of walruses in Vista?”

I think the problem has vastly improved over the past 7 years, if only because there are a lot more question and answer sites so there are a lot more opportunities for correct answers. Either that or Google has improved their algorithms. But yeah, I’m on board with rants about any time that you Google something only to find that there are only questions, not answers.

Because I get the impression that most of the Google-search-specific beefs in this thread are due to insufficient search skills… Infographic: How To Get More Out of Google

“This link will fix your problem.”

I’m baffled, more than pissed off, by the fact that it’s always faster to do a Google search for a particular download on HP’s site, as opposed to actually navigating through HP’s seemingly endless layers to get to the file. The Google search will take you right to the file in one click.

That’s what we did to answer questions about the backup/recovery software that we CREATED! It was easier for us to use Google than to use our own manuals. (This was for a very large 3-letter software company.)

That the Contact Us page will often have no discernible way to actually CONTACT THEM. No phone numbers, no email, no snail mail, just a web form that requires you to select from drop-downs that contain no information pertinent to your problem, or maybe the ability to open up a LiveChat that might be a person, and it might just be a 21st-century Eliza “How long have you been having problems with your HARD DRIVE?”