The Correct Way To Deal With Your Tech Support

When faced with a complex problem, we usually ask help with a technical support representative, but what you don’t know is that there are other ways to help you and your tech support representatives fix the problem in a shorter time. With the use of your cell phone, computer and internet connection, you can save yourself from the hassle of spending a lot of time dealing with your tech support. So here are some guidelines to help you solve your dilemmas.

Computer Issues

The scene: Your PC hangs and freezes. It is eating up your data and sometimes the computer won’t start up. You call your tech support for help, but often than not you end up wasting time and not even able to fix the problem.

Search for solutions: When problems like this arise, it is better to figure out first the cause of the crash and what part of the computer is not working properly. With a smartphone or another computer, you can Google the details of the problem and search for possible solutions. There is a possibility that the problem you are experiencing is already encountered by another person, and if you are lucky, you will find a step-by-step instruction in technical forums or your computer’s support site. Remember to be cool when troubleshooting, or else you’ll just end up aggravating the problem.

Trying out some basic solutions can also help figuring out the problem. By pressing F8 key when your computer starts up, you will be able to access the computer in a Safe Mode. You can also restore your PC by booting from a recovery disc or run the Windows diagnostic tool to track RAM, hard drives and current changes on certain parts of your operating system. Aside from these, make sure that all external devices are properly connected in their ports and check your computer’s video card or RAM chip, if they are seated accordingly.

If you are still unable to fix the problem yourself, at least you now know the part of your computer that is not working appropriately and when you call your tech support, you have some details to help solve the issue. As a matter of fact, the first step your tech support will advise you to do is to reinstall your Windows, so if you already executed this before making the call, you will save time and the tech support will be suggesting the next possible solution.

Gather details before making the call: Before calling the tech support, list specific information that will be useful in solving your problem. Details such as the PC model and product number, serial number (often placed at the back of a desktop or bottom of a laptop), computer warranties and purchase receipts might be inquired during the call, as well as registry facts: name, address, contact numbers and e-mail address. Be prepared with these details so you will not waste time remembering important information when you are already on-phone.

In the same manner, prepare data such as the system specs and crash reports by typing msinfo32 and problem reports into the search bar one at a time.

On the phone: When the call is in progress, remember to get a report number and a callback number so in case your call got disconnected, you don’t need to start all over again with the troubleshooting procedures set by the tech support.

The length of the call depends on the level of difficulty of your problem and the details you gathered. If your computer won’t start up, it will be harder for the tech support to monitor your computer’s status, but if you could figure out the cause of the problem and pinpoint it to the tech support, the process will be much shorter and easier. Regardless of how prepared you are, you are still obliged to follow the basic assessment procedures before you can convince the tech support that you need a part replacement or software fix.

Nevertheless, most queries with the tech support still require the caller to do a thorough test before you can be transferred to another representative, who is usually the person that can provide a possible solution. This is a tech support protocol that we must bear with, so remember to set some free time before making the call.

The good news: When your computer or gadgets are old, most manufacturers give a product upgrade. In many cases, manufacturers lack parts of old gadgets so owners are fortunate to be offered such privilege.

Internet Troubles

The scene: Your Internet constantly failed to connect so you are unable to join the World Wide Web.

If other computers with the same Internet Service Provider can access the Internet besides yours, then your problem is the network and not with the ISP.

Normally, the ISP supplies all the needed materials for installing a network connection like cable modem and router so a tech support will probably suggest the usual procedure of  renewing your computer’s power-cycle by turning your modem on and off for a certain period of time and resetting them to factory setting.

However, if you are unable to connect with the Internet, even if you manually connect your computer with an Ethernet cable, undoubtedly the problem is with your ISP. Before calling your ISP customer hotline, check the cables if they are properly connected and perform power-cycling, if these do not work, now is the time to ask assistance from a technical representative.

Gather details before making the call: First and foremost, call the ISP main hotline to know if there is any on-going repair within your site because this might be the source of your Internet connection problem. Usually, there is a prerecorded message to inform the caller about anything that might affect his connection.

Before calling your ISP, gather details that might come at hand. List the account owner’s information, especially the account number and if you have a DSL connection, frequently your land line number is also your account number. The account owner’s social security number is also mandatory. On the other hand, if your problem is about connection speed, you might want to verify the kind of service you paid for.

Aside from these, you also need information about your hardware. Look for the brand and model number of the modem and router. Check for the MAC address, a unique 12-digit identifier assigned to most network adapters found on the label of a device, as well as the MAC address of the Wi-Fi or Ethernet card used to access the Internet. You can find these data by opening a command prompt and typing ipconfig /all to know your network information such as Physical address.

On the phone: Once again, do not forget to get a callback and report case number in case the call got disconnected.

Asking help from an ISP tech representative is actually hard because the tech support might assume that the problem is not about the connection, especially if your router is not from them. The tech support will only suggest you to ask help from the company that manufactures your router.

This can be avoided by keeping a simple network. If possible, avail and use a router from your ISP and permit your computer to access Internet with other connections such as Wi-Fi from a café or other enabled places. When your computer can establish other networks other than your ISP, you can definitely oblige your provider to set a solution.

On-site visits: Frequently, an Internet problem not fixed over the phone will require an on-site visit from your ISP.

The problem with Internet connections is usually produced by one of the following: network is not yet enabled on the ISP’s part (usually happens with new customers), cable is not properly connected at the switching station between your area and the ISP, or the wiring in your home or area is not appropriate.

If the network service is not yet sanctioned by the ISP, they can easily turn it on without the need to do home service, but if the connection problem is on your area or at the switching station, an on-site visit is necessary. Your ISP will dispatch a technician to inspect the switching station or your home.

If all goes well with the on-site visit, your Internet connection will return. However, you should still keep your account information, report case number and callback number in case the problem persists. By doing so, the tech support will distinguish the repairs that did not work.

The good news: When reporting problems to a tech support over the phone, always keep records of the date and time of service and the fees applied because it is possible for you to get credits or a month of free subscription as an exchange for the inconvenience. Unlike other products, ISP is not a contract or a one-time purchase, thus a subscriber is given acknowledgement for trusting the service provider.

Cell Phone Dilemmas

The scene: Your cell phone cannot send or receive a call, speaker or microphone not functioning, or the screen freezes.

Unfortunately, there are only limited ways for an owner to fix his cell phone, and, unless you are knowledgeable on fiddling with the insides of your device, you should not open it because the warranty will be nullified. Users can also perform a mobile phone firmware update through the manufacturer’s site. A simple step to check if a phone component is causing the problem is by changing SIM card, battery or memory card. By doing so, you will know if an external device is the offender.

Gather details before making a call or making a store visit: For cell phone matters, a user should contact the network provider and not the manufacturer. Even if the manufacturer grants warranty for the device, the network carrier is still the one who gives services to users. Nevertheless, there are exceptions to this, like the popular iPhone device, the network carrier is AT&T but it is still supported by Apple.

If the problem is about the network, you can ask assistance from a tech support by making a call. But for manufacturer defects like software glitches and other mobile phone inadequacies, it is better to visit your local cell phone center rather than calling a tech support, since the technicians still need to personally check the mobile device before authorizing a replacement. Performing phone reports regarding the issue will take a lot of time because you need to send the phone and wait for an in-house technician to inspect the product before a replacement can be made. Your local cellular center often has an in-house technician so the process will be quicker.

Whatever process you apply, you still need to have your account information such as the cell phone number and social security number aside from the model number and brand of the handset. Be sure to restore any jail broken device because your network carrier will not support a replacement or repair of such devices.

On the phone/On-site visit: To avoid difficulties when applying for a replacement or repair warranty, buy your mobile handsets straight from the network providers. Even though you bought your device from an authorized reseller, the network provider usually gives a higher level of service to those who bought directly from them and there are some cases where the handsets sold by the reseller are not supported by the provider. You can also avail insurance for your mobile device, if you think your handset is prone to loss, theft or damage.

If ever the network provider grants a warranty replacement, remember to mail the broken handset back to them. The provider sends a return envelope together with the replacement package so you will not forget to return the damaged device. Do not disregard this, or else you will be charged with the full cost of the new phone.

The good news: Keep records of all your accounting details especially the billing errors you’ve encountered. You can hold them responsible for the problem and give you proper credits. Look for offers and discounts often given by network providers when you renew or extend your contract with them. Moreover, there are some network providers like Verizon, who applies a three-strike policy for complex cell phone problems, this mean that the company will let you choose a brand new handset to replace a phone that is under warranty for three times.

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