How to Survive a Tech Support Call

From the Desk of David Pogue

How to Survive a Tech Support Call The New York Times February 22, 2006

OK, we all know that the tech-support problem is out of control these days. But just for fun, reader John Stumpf, ex-CIO and now just a "retired geek," wrote up a Guide to Dell Tech Support that's so clever/funny/smart, I had to pass it on. Please welcome substitute columnist John Stumpf.

Preparatory Work

So it has happened: you have fired up your Dell PC, and -- nothing. Or the dreaded "cannot find boot drive" or something like that. Now you are forced into the unenviable position of having to call Dell Off-shore Hardware Support. Look at it as a journey, one on which you will be tested, much like Job or Arthur Dent. You will descend into the ninth circle, but with the proper preparation, tools and attitude, you will return, a better person for it.

First, before you call, prepare. Raid your kids' library and find some simple reading primers along the lines of "See Spot Run." This will help you speak in non-complex sentences and monosyllabic words.

Make an appointment for that root canal you have been putting off. After what you are about to experience, you will look forward to it.

Buy a speakerphone; it's tough to stay rational when your neck is cramped.

When you are ready to MAKE THE CALL, go to the bathroom, take an aspirin, get a book or crossword, stock up on water and nibbles (preferably ones with high sugar content and no nutritional value; Twinkies are good). Shoo the kids out of your den; it's possible that they will hear things that could cause serious psychological issues later.

Do your relaxation exercises; take a sip of water; remember Dan Rather's closing, "Courage." And MAKE THE CALL.

What Happens Next


formatting link

Reply to
Monty Solomon
Loading thread data ... Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.