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Worst tips from tech support

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First post, by Joakim

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Even though most of us are probably somewhat competent when it comes to computers etc. we all sometimes need to talk to tech support.

When I lived in an apartment a few years ago I had problems that gave me extreme lagspikes almost exactly every 60 seconds or so, making online play and streaming more or less impossible (I was using ethernet). So after performing my own tests etc I phoned tech support... Ugh... after waiting a long time I got to speak to this woman.. the advice she gave me was to rearrange my furniture and see if that helps...🤣

I don't remember what happened next and if it was solved but it sure was not solved by rearranging my sofa.🤣

Do you have any stories regarding bad tech support? 😀

Reply 1 of 47, by cyclone3d

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Basically them telling you to do the same exact thing that you already did.

Or in the realm of configuring Cisco switches, them saying the configuration is wrong and then having like 5 network people all having different opinions and then them ending putting it back the way I had it configured to begin with.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 2 of 47, by 386SX

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I can't remember many beside the obvious generic useless ones but I suppose the latest was finding that a product supposedly accessible as a USB storage were not correctly supported by Linux/Ubuntu file system management (they seems to read/write fine until you discover the problem) and each time I tried to upgrade the firmware using such o.s. the component end up having a corrupted firmware. After mails, tests and everything they end up thank me cause I discovered that before them.

Reply 3 of 47, by cyclone3d

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That reminds me of the time I submitted a bug report to MS. It has to do with how the folder links for documents, download, etc. If you change them and then make a new subfolder and change them to that and then change them to somewhere else, Windows will not let you delete those folders you made that are no longer in use.

Microsoft responded to me and told me it was working as designed.... Hmmm.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 6 of 47, by darry

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-06-07, 01:40:

That reminds me of the time I submitted a bug report to MS. It has to do with how the folder links for documents, download, etc. If you change them and then make a new subfolder and change them to that and then change them to somewhere else, Windows will not let you delete those folders you made that are no longer in use.

Microsoft responded to me and told me it was working as designed.... Hmmm.

That actually helps explain so many things about how things probably work at Microsoft. 😉

Reply 7 of 47, by Shagittarius

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I got a Sony external CD-R USB drive I think it was 4x, and at the time was pretty good. I got nothing but buffer overrun errors trying to burn at 4x speed so I called their tech support. I shit you not the guy told me that a new CD-R is like a new car, you don't want to run it full out, it takes time to burn in the engine before you can burn at full speed. I knew he was full of shit but I said ok and hung up knowing there was nothing more to be gained from Sony's "tech support".

I still have that housing of that CD-R and I've used it as an external reader on a few older machines...

Reply 9 of 47, by cyclone3d

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kolderman wrote on 2021-06-07, 04:24:

Turn it off and on again. It didn't come back on. And any further troubleshooting was now impossible.

Haha. That wasn't really bad support though. That is one of the main things that should be tried when a computer or other electronic device is messing up.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 10 of 47, by xcomcmdr

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Shagittarius wrote on 2021-06-07, 04:11:

I got a Sony external CD-R USB drive I think it was 4x, and at the time was pretty good. I got nothing but buffer overrun errors trying to burn at 4x speed so I called their tech support. I shit you not the guy told me that a new CD-R is like a new car, you don't want to run it full out, it takes time to burn in the engine before you can burn at full speed. I knew he was full of shit but I said ok and hung up knowing there was nothing more to be gained from Sony's "tech support".

I still have that housing of that CD-R and I've used it as an external reader on a few older machines...

Holy sh*t that's bad ! But hilarious !

Reply 11 of 47, by Miphee

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Does "customer support" in a store count?
I had to return a 250 GB WD drive to the store because it started smoking the second I turned the PC on.
The guy wanted to refuse my warranty claim on the basis that I must have connected the cable wrong. The SATA cable.
That store was infamous for their warranty scams and the owner was later arrested and jailed for tax fraud.

Reply 12 of 47, by fgenesis

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Case 1, Medion pre-built off-the-shelf-PC:
Emailed support about why mini-CDs don't work with the CD burner. A month later (!) got a single-line reply: "Support for mini media isn't planned right now". Thanks, jerks!

Case 2, iomega external USB CD burner:
At some point few months after i got it (new!), it just didn't burn CDs anymore. Classic iomega quality. Called support, said what the problem was, got told i was likely using "incompatible CDs" and i should be using iomega ones. I answered that i'm in the middle of a 10-pack of CDs and they worked yesterday, and some CD-RWs that had worked just fine didn't anymore. Incompatible my ass. That did the trick and i could return it, but iirc i never actually got a replacement (was about 15 at the time and had other priorities 😁)

Case 3, router, forced by internet provider (1&1) before free choice of router became a thing in germany:
The router was, at some point after ~4 years of use, very wonky and kept crashing. Called 1&1 and asked for a replacement before it would die completely. Dude on the phone asked me to update firmware first (apparnently part of their protocol?). Because attempting to update the firmware on a drunk and half-dead device is a really good idea obviously!
Of course that totally bricked it, i was without internet for about 2 weeks because the delivery service also managed to misplace the parcel and i had to travel half the county to show up at their central warehouse in the middle of nowhere and make a fuss because their phone support was incompetent as fuck.
To add insult to injury only then they "found" the package in a local phone shop and directed me there (so back into my town), and upon talking to the owner he said he stopped working with them years ago (lol?!). A few heated phone calls of the dude later it turned up somewhere else and i could get back online the next day.
That one was quite an adventure and took multiple days to get sorted out. >.<

Lesson learned: Treat your customers like they need to lose some fat. Running around is good.

Reply 13 of 47, by Joakim

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Miphee wrote on 2021-06-07, 08:01:
Does "customer support" in a store count? I had to return a 250 GB WD drive to the store because it started smoking the second I […]
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Does "customer support" in a store count?
I had to return a 250 GB WD drive to the store because it started smoking the second I turned the PC on.
The guy wanted to refuse my warranty claim on the basis that I must have connected the cable wrong. The SATA cable.
That store was infamous for their warranty scams and the owner was later arrested and jailed for tax fraud.

Yeah we had one of those shops in my old home town they were always cheaper than every other shop but many of my friends got faulty cards from them. Also a hassle to return anything.

Did they maybe buy faulty cards for resale to make a profit..? I don't know..

Reply 14 of 47, by Miphee

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Joakim wrote on 2021-06-07, 13:30:

Did they maybe buy faulty cards for resale to make a profit..? I don't know..

Their problem was store policy. If something failed they automatically blamed the buyer. They refused warranty claims if the hardware was installed by the buyer and not by them. It was total BS but many unfortunate owners got scammed that way, they simply didn't know their rights. Scratch on the hardware? Automatic dismissal because the buyer obviously damaged it himself. It was rumored that they scratched the hardware themselves in the back of the office if there wasn't anything obviously wrong with it. Well, it was a long time ago and I don't miss those days at all.

Reply 15 of 47, by gerry

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I like the move furniture example! maybe she thought you had lead chairs!

I have no stories like that, only the more generic frustration of having a 'tech' want to go through all the things that you just know 100% are not related to the issue, usually involving upgrading drivers or plugging things into different but similar things, at some point, and having exhausted them, having nothing knew to suggest

to quote myself from an earlier thread: if you have a tech problem, and I may be alone here, no amount of 'latest drivers', 'flashing bios', 'update windows' etc has EVER done anything to change anything regarding the problem

Reply 16 of 47, by 386SX

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About computer stores I remember bringing back a faulty brand new PSU (a cheap 500W one around the 2003 year) that once started the hard disk was immediately gone with a mechanical noise and the vga (a good Radeon 9500 Pro I suppose it was) I think saw better times too. At the end I remember measuring something like 15/17 volts on the 12v rail and 7 volts on the 5v one or something like that.
The store people didn't want to take it back saying that their measurement in the back office lab "was ok" but I couldn't go there to see the measurements if they were really measuring it, but at the end considering less a single day was passed since I bought it they accepted but with the usual stressing debate.

Anyway about tech helpdesk they should let customers decide which levels they can speak to because most times some people really would need a support from people that actually understand that customers already did most of the tests themself. Lately I bought a DVD home player (a cheap one) and obviously opened and tried there was not any remote control feedback between it and the IR receiver. I tried everything and once I bring it back to the store I told them all the tests I did and the only explanation was or a faulty remote control or a faulty IR receiver. They couldn't say anything as they saw that some people understand the basics of how things works and I bought another better one (even if most are cheap too even good brands ones).

Last edited by 386SX on 2021-06-07, 16:11. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 17 of 47, by cyclone3d

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Talk of the ISP horror story reminds me of the couple times I had to deal with Comcast in my area.

The first house we lived in we had Comcast installed and the connection was really flakey. We had them out I think 5 times and the last person to come out said it was due to a test filter that had been installed in the box on the house like 6 months earlier. I didn't say anything but we had only had service for a few weeks and the box was not on the house before then.

Even after that the connection still had some issues but it was at least better....

Then the second place that we had issues was at a relatives house in the same city. If the connection went down for whatever reason, it would take anywhere from 30 minutes to multiple hours for the connection to come back.

Comcast had no clue and I ended up fixing it myself after I discovered they had not grounded the cable properly.

Then there was ATT DSL at the one place I worked. It would go down regularly and I would have to call support. Wait time was always a minimum of 1.5 hours on hold.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 18 of 47, by 386SX

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I remember that the first and last fixed DSL line we had didn't go as fast as was supposed to (like half). It was clearly some ISP limiter that was slowing down to 30 Kbyte/s download the connection. I remember talking to different "tech people" with the usual generic ideas but still the download speed was like half the expected back then. At the end and after long and many phone calls.. finally.. they sent to our house probably the only near real expert that in few minutes measuring the connection and talking to other people by phone understood there was really something to "unlock" by the ISP part/fault that was limiting that. He was probably one of the few tech people working outside the offices that understood how the phone line was working while many probably didn't even know which type of connection was used.

Reply 19 of 47, by Joakim

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gerry wrote on 2021-06-07, 15:49:

I like the move furniture example! maybe she thought you had lead chairs!

I have no stories like that, only the more generic frustration of having a 'tech' want to go through all the things that you just know 100% are not related to the issue, usually involving upgrading drivers or plugging things into different but similar things, at some point, and having exhausted them, having nothing knew to suggest

to quote myself from an earlier thread: if you have a tech problem, and I may be alone here, no amount of 'latest drivers', 'flashing bios', 'update windows' etc has EVER done anything to change anything regarding the problem

Yeah might have made sense if it wasn't exactly every 60 seconds because of some obviously failing component or something and the fact I wasn't on wireless 🤣.

Obviously first line support. I called again later and spoke to one of her grown up colleagues, but remember it was a friggin nightmare to get them to fix it. Had it like that for weeks.