Tag Archives: tech support

Tech support

Today my T-Mobile Android phone suddenly stopped communicating with the Internet. I quickly ran through the usual troubleshooting steps. One step is to check IP connectivity by pinging an IP address on the Internet. I had no IP connectivity, but did have a decent RF HSDPA connection to a nearby cell site. These results suggested that T-Mobile’s backhaul link to their local cell site was broken.

android-pingI phoned T-Mobile customer hinderance assistance. Then I went through two tech support people who had no knowledge of the IP ping command. I asked to be transferred to someone who was familiar with ping. That person introduced herself as a member of T-Mobile’s highest tech support level. She didn’t know the ping command either but told me that she had been through the T-Mobile tech support training. She told me that that was six years ago.

This is normal. Tech support people who don’t understand the vocabulary of their trade is the rule — not the exception.

If you held a tech support position, wouldn’t you want to learn as much as possible about the technology? Why doesn’t T-Mobile require that its tech support staff know basic network vocabulary?

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Steer clear of unsolicited tech support

Remote support is great, when you initiate it and the support person is

  1. competent
  2. not a crook.
photo: Jana Svojsova


You may have received a phone call from an earnest-sounding “representative of Microsoft” who offered a free security scan and then warned you that your computer was at risk. The friendly voice at the other end offers to save your data for a nominal fee . . .

A new client of mine reported that he fell for this scam six months ago. Another told me that she almost did, before she called me. Microsoft reports that the average loss is $875. The exact ploy varies, but there is a common theme: deception; what hackers call “human engineering”.

Don’t accept unsolicited technical support. (If you’re in doubt, call me at 954 873-4695.)

Read the Microsoft report, dated June 2011. (Thanks to my brother Don for the link.)

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Speak with a human being.

If you need to speak with a company or government agency, go to this site first to see if there’s a trick to bypassing their voice menu system: http://www.gethuman.com

 They’ve begun to allow users to comment and grade support.

Here’s a related site: http://get2human.com/

One theme that runs through the comments is that tech support from India ranges from horrible to slightly substandard. The tech support from some companies such as Hewlett-Packard is truly abysmal. What happened to the simple quality control step that every CEO and COO should take: simply call your own company to ask for assistance?

Consumer Reports rates HP tech support the worst

In a recent Consumer Reports survey of manufacturers’ tech support, the service from Hewlett-Packard was found to be the worst.  Bill Hewlett and David Packard would be sick.
H-P’s support was the best, until Bill Hewlett and David Packard departed in the 1980s.
I cut my teeth on Hewlett-Packard laboratory test equipment: frequency generators, spectrum analyzers, frequency counters, distortion analyzers, etc.  Their lab test equipment was usually the best in category and rarely needed service. (There’s nothing worse than trying to troubleshoot with an unreliable or inaccurate piece of test equipment.) Factory support, when needed, was excellent . . . when Bill and Dave ran the company.
Today’s Hewlett-Packard is related to the original Hewlett-Packard Company in name only.
Visit my website: russbellew.com