Tech Support And Root Canal

Author: Josh Greenberger
Posted: Jun 1, 2008

Which one is more painful: calling tech support or root canal?

Calling tech support can be a lot like going to the dentist with a toothache, whereupon the dentist pulls out one tooth at a time and keeps asking if it still hurts. He finally gets to the last tooth and says, 'Ah, that's the one.'

Tech support people fall into three major categories: those who know what they're talking about, those who have no idea what they're talking about but think they do, and those who know they don't know what they're talking about but want to convince you they do. It's this last one you really have to worry about. They'll keep you on the phone for as long as it takes to convince you that the problem is in your head and that your CD drive is SUPPOSED to sound like a washing machine during an earthquake.

When being told by tech support that a problem is not resolvable, try calling back. With most major companies, you'll probably get another person whom you can present with the same problem. I can't tell you how many times I've called back after being told a problem is not resolvable and then being given the solution by the next tech support person I spoke to.

This approach may also be worthwhile when you are given a solution that may take you a considerable amount of time to test after you hang up. Rather than spend two hours just to find out the 'solution' doesn't work, call again. If the second solution matches the first, there's a decent chance it's the correct one. If not, if the first one told you that your printer won't print, for example, because your new cartridge is defective and the second one told you that it won't print because your toaster is on 'Extra Dark' (the logic behind it might be something like, the toaster is sucking away all the 'black stuff' from your printer), it's a good idea to call back. No, not to find out how to lower the setting on your toaster; to find out if anyone at tech support is from the same planet as your printer's manufacturer.

But don't overdo the calling back. I once called about 4 or 5 times from a cell phone in a bad reception area. After giving my name, phone number, and a description of the problem, I lost the phone signal before getting a response. By the time I called back from a new location with better reception, they told me they already had me down as calling several times about the same issue and could no longer support me on this matter. Thank god my plumber doesn't work this way.

In another instance, I called tech support just before sitting down to eat supper. The guy gave me so many 'solutions' before giving me the correct one, by the time I got back to my supper, what was originally meat and potatoes, was now meat, potatoes and mushrooms.

The lessons to be learned from all this are, first, don't be afraid to call back more than once for the same problem -- but don't abuse the privilege. And if you're going to call from a cell phone, be sure to call with your free unlimited anytime minutes -- because there's always that chance you'll get someone with unlimited solutions and you won't be free any time soon.

Read Josh Greenberger's latest book Fossil Discoveries Disprove Evolution Beyond A Doubt -- the most compelling evidence yet that evolution never happened!