When Tech Support Has No Idea What They Are Doing!

When Computers Fail Right and Left

I talk about my week dealing with tech support and technicians.

Episode #10-23 released on January 19, 2020

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Normally, I talk about solving a specific computer issue, this week, I talk about my week of solving computer issues at work. As per usual, I won't be saying exactly where I work, but you are definitely going to laugh at some of the questions, comments and events of my own week.

Let's start with the ATM. I called the bank responsible for the ATM using the number available on the machine. Important to note, the machine can be used by anyone, not just clients of that specific bank. Upon calling the service the automated message required a customer client number, remember I don't need to be a client of that particular bank to use machine and thus have an issue with it. It took me nearly 5 minutes of pressing 0, star and pound the get the system to finally move me to an operator. When I got to explaining the issue with the ATM, which is simple, it is powered off and non-functional, she asked me to enter my client card into the machine. I, again, stated the ATM is powered off and non-functional meaning no one can use it and thusly no amount of her guide would work, she had to send tech support to fix the ATM. I spent another 20 minutes on the phone waiting had to repeat it again and I hung up.

Two days later, tech support was attempting to fix the ATM, couldn't find the issue. The tech support guy was going to have the ATM machine unbolted from the floor instead of having the machine to the left moved, and that machine on the left is on wheels. The issue was not the plug, I had already checked before calling. The weekend before we had an ice storm that made the electrical grid unstable and resulted in the surge switch tripping on the UPS. The ATM had simply powered down and upon resetting the surge switch, power came back on. I had to remind the tech support guy that the UPS was there and that the ice storm was likely the cause.

The other issue has to do about a computer I have complained about before. Guess what, for now, that issue is somewhat resolved, but to resolve it, I had to communicate with tech support for the company responsible, myself.

There is a major issue when it comes upper management and tech support, and it comes down to language and communication. Upper management is unaware of all the equipment and related terms for troubleshooting and diagnostics, and as it pertains to their job, it is not actually part of their job description in our case. We contract out that responsibility to a team of tech support agents that are supposed to fill the void missing. Tech support agents, however, seem to be unaware of how to diagnose issues prompt, have their tools ready and maintain their credentials to access computers remotely. There is, also, an important amount of experience and knowledge missing from their vocabulary that could have solved problems with the computer, as well as, a distinct lack of knowledge of how every computer functions from power button to RAID controller.

When communicating with tech support for a number of issues, I had to explain the device configuration, for a device provided by their department. I had to explain what the consequences were for failed hardware and how that translates to our ability to do our job. I had to explain how I could obtain the information required to diagnose the computer issues without access to bios or Windows tools. I even had to explain how I could close the computer even though tech support had supposedly locked the option out and do it safely.

Wondering how I got the information I needed and how I restarted the computer to trouble an issue?

When a computer has RAID enabled, the information related to drives is clearly marked when the computer starts. It even provides health information. Our configuration, RAID 1, had the second hard drive, disk 1, clearly marked as failed and the RAID as marked as degraded. The failed hard drive and degraded RAID means that there was definitely a lot of erroneous information being thrown at Windows and applications causing severe errors and bugs preventing us from doing our job. At one point, I had to turn off the computer while tech support was on the phone.

The reason I can turn off a computer, even with the option locked out, is because of ACPI, something that made it to finally turn off a computer using Windows as of 1998. I've talked about it before on this show, too. ACPI allows the operating system to communicate with the mainboard and manipulate power states. Pressing the power button momentarily on virtually default configured bios, allows Windows to shut down safely and is the equivalent of the shutdown option for Windows itself.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Dot Net

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