Advice for Surviving Tech Issues

Instead of spending hours trying to get the online and phone technical support you need for your computer problems, here are some tips that you can follow for the succeeding list of PC problems that you may encounter so that the process of getting the technical support you need is a much smoother one.

The Dreaded Crash

Everyone has experienced, or will experience, this at least once in their life. Your PC just won’t start up, your data is getting eaten, you just don’t know. After this you pick up the phone to call tech support with the little information that you have on your side of the line, ready to spend hours on it doing trial and error tests.

Know the Problem

Try to find out more about your PC problem before making the call. Start by trying to troubleshoot the problem yourself. By doing this, you will be able to collect more details and information on your PC and in your trial and error tests that you can write down and note to tell tech support when the time comes that you really need to call them. Don’t get too stressed out in the process. Think of this process as a way together data on the problem so that when you do a consultation, you can save time and money by preventing a longwinded phone conversation. Initially, also search forums on another PC or laptop that may have information on similar problem that you are having and try to apply suggested solutions given by other people.

Start your testing sessions by rebooting your PC to Safe Mode. PC users can go straight to this mode by pressing down on F8 as your PC starts up when you reboot it. Another way is to boot from a recovery disc and check the system install, the RAM, and your hard drives by using the diagnostic tools on Windows. Make sure all connections are secure to your PC or that even the video card or RAM chip is in its proper place.

By following these tips, you will get a basic idea about which part of your PC is giving you problems. If it’s a PC component, then you have a good chance of getting technical person to walk you through the process to help you fix it instead of referring you to a different company. Best scenario is that after you tell the tech guy on the line that you already booted and checked your PC with the diagnostic tools and your PC doesn’t work, then you may need a replacement part that is still under warranty!

Be Prepared

When you encounter a problem with your PC or laptop, be sure that you have basic information about your computer unit so that the tech call inquiry you make will speed up. Find out the model number and name of your unit, the serial number, proof of purchase data, warranty information, and receipts. Be aware of where your computer is registered and under whose name, phone number, address or email so the process will go by quickly.

When your PC or laptop crashes, make sure that you have the information that pops up on the screen written down so that you can best describe the problems you are encountering to the tech guy online or on the phone. You can do this by entering ‘misinfo’ in the search bar. This will bring up your computer system’s specifications. Entering ‘problem reports’ in the search bar will give you to a list where you can choose the option, ‘view all problem reports’ to get the information you need.

The Call

If you are able to put together all the information that you can and relay this to the tech support online or on the phone, the process of calling them should be faster and more straightforward. The tech guy may ask you to do a few extra or standard tests to make sure that what you are experiencing is something that may lead to a software fix or a replacement part. Do these tests so that you can prove that you have done all you can to make the fix.

There is a probability that the first tech guy will refer you to another tech guy to help you fix your problem. This is because the untraceable errors that your PC is experiencing are not such an easy fix. Be patient and do what you can to help the person on the other line understand what your problem is. Before you ever get off the line, or even during the first minutes of your conversation, be sure that you get a name and number from the person you are speaking to as well as a number that you can call back. This way, if you are ever disconnected, you can call them right back.

Extra Tip

If you are lucky, your PC or laptop may get an unexpected upgrade when you have your warranty return. This usually happens when the PC or laptop part that is under warranty is no longer available at the company and they have to upgrade your whole unit to meet the warranty terms and conditions of the product they sold to you.

Irritating Issues with the Internet

This is one of the worst problems anyone can encounter, especially if they need to be online to do work, or simply because they were enjoying a particular online resource and it was suddenly cut off.

Know the Problem

Find out if your PC or laptop is the only one experiencing problems. If it is the only one, check your connection to the network since the ISP is not experiencing problems. Try shutting off and then on the modem and restarting the whole internet. If this still doesn’t work, try resetting the settings on the modem or router to the default factory settings.

If your unit doesn’t connect at all to the internet, even though it is physically connected to the network, then there may be an issue with the ISP and not the equipment that you are using. Always check the cable connections and turn the equipment on and off again just to be sure that these are not the problems.

Be Prepared

Before anyone else, give the main support phone line of your ISP a call to make sure that they are not experiencing technical difficulties. If they are having technical difficulties, this will save you time and you just have to wait until the ISP resolves them.

If there is no problem with your ISP, before you make that call to tech support, be sure you have required information like your account number, the number of the DSL line that you are using (if appropriate), your social security number and your contact information. Also know which plan you signed up for with the company who provides your service.

Be prepared with the hardware information of your router or modem as well. Be sure you have the MAC address ready for when they ask for it. The MAC address is basically the code that is 12 characters long that is printed on the label of your hardware device. Not only should you have the MAC address of your hardware, have the MAC of the Ethernet card or Wi-Fi card that enables the connection between your PC and the Internet. You can find this MAC address by opening the command prompt and entering ‘cmd’ in the search bar and then entering ‘ipconfig/all’ which will bring up a list of all your network information. Look on the list for the line that lists your device and copy the MAC address.

The Call

Before anything else, when you get on the line with a tech support person, be sure to get a callback number just in case you get disconnected in the middle of your call. With Internet issues, you may experience a tech support person giving you to someone else, especially if your hardware (router) did not come from the ISP that is providing your online connection plan. The tech support may connect you to tech support from the router company instead.

The best way to avoid this kind of problem is to make sure that the connection that you maintain in your home is simple and that you can readily determine the problem as soon as it occurs. Use an ISP-provided router so that you know that when you do call the company, they will tend to your problems and issues immediately.

It is possible that when the problem is determined, like if the problem is with the utilities company and not the ISP, then a person will be sent to your home to physically take care of the problem. The tech support on the line will probably ask you to do a few tests that will confirm what the problem really is. These tests will check the wiring of your devices, then they will find out if your service was disconnected at the ISP’s side, or if the switching station between the ISP and your home is not in sync.

A switching station problem is at your side of the line, then a technical person will be sent to your home to fix it, so be sure you or someone else who lives at your home is there to receive the technical person who will get the problem fixed. If the problem is the disconnection in service from the ISP’s end, then you will be able to find out exactly why (maybe unpaid bill) and resolve that issue quickly on the phone. Always keep the information that you collect while you are on the phone handy, just in case you need to follow up on repairs or troubleshooting later.

Extra Tip

Make sure that when you experience outages in your internet connected you keep these times documented. This way you can inform them later of the problems so that they can give you discounts and not charge you for times when service was not given. You may even be able to get bonus hours or days on your account if the company really wants to keep you loyal and happy with their services!

Cellular Phone Tribulations

Cellular phone problems are pretty straightforward, if they work they work, and if they don’t, then they just don’t. Whether it is the speaker, the internal microphone, the display, or the service, you can be sure that there is a tech guy waiting to answer your questions when you make the call.

Know the Problem

Try not opening up your phone when you do come across a problem, because if it is still under warranty, then opening it up will just void your warranty.  Try swapping your SIM card with someone else’s to find out if it is the unit that is quirky. Change the batter, or remove the storage ccard to see if it is one of the removable components on the phone that is giving you problems. Go onto the website of your phone manufacturer and check out the different firmware that may just fix the problem.

Be Prepared

If you are locked onto a plan, the best thing to do is to call the cellular service provider since the plan is locked to the unit which means that both can be accessed through the provider where you got it from. The carrier will service the customer’s needs, but there are some exceptions like iPhone which services the unit through Apple support.

If your handset is busted, or there is an obvious manufacturer’s glitch, then bring it directly to the cellular provider’s store so that they can fix it straight away instead of you calling tech support who will tell you the same thing. This method is faster and much more efficient because you will probably walk away quicker with a repaired or replaced unit. For cellular phones, in-store servicing tends to be much more efficient than on-the-phone tech support.

Just remember to always bring important information like your social security number, the cellular phone number, the model number and the cellular phone brand. If there was a time that you did open up the phone to try and fix it, it is best to return you settings back to the default manufacturer settings, otherwise your carrier may choose not to technically support your problem at all.

The Visit

The best way to make your visit to the carrier for tech support is to choose a handset that is sold by the provider of the cellular service. By doing so, you can be sure that you are getting a product that is authorized to sell it to you and will have the necessary support and parts to offer you when the time arrives that you have handset issues. Insurance is also available for cellular phones, so be sure to get that too. This is available through the carrier that you choose which is charged and included with your monthly phone bill. By getting insurance, you can be sure that if your phone is stolen, lost, or gets damaged accidentally, they will replace it immediately without too many questions.

Also, if your unit gets an authorization for a warranty replacement, the provider will usually send you a return envelope. Be sure you send the broken unit back to them using this envelope. There is only a certain timeframe that you can send it back, otherwise you may be charged the entire cost of the new unit that you receive to replace the old one.

Extra Tip

If your unit is locked into a cellular phone plan, this means you have a contract with the provider. Always keep track of the billing of the phone calls you make and receive and be sure all of it is in order. This way you are not double charged for anything or erroneously charged for something else. If you are satisfied with a provider’s services and want to renew the contract, you may want to ask about discounts that they may provide with the renewal. For instance, with Verizon, if your cellular phone unit is replaced three times while under warranty, you can opt to pick a different model instead of the one that is already locked into your plan.

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