11 April 2013

Not Very Supportive

I spend a lot of time in front of a computer. As such, people often ask me for help with their computer issues. I don't mind; I like solving problems. Also, once I get started on something I can't leave it until it's done. This characteristic makes me at times helpful, at other times annoying. So I've fixed all kind of computer problems.

Once I fixed a computer on a blind date. We went to dinner and on the way home the girl invited me in for a drink. I wasn't in the mood for kissyface so I focused on technical problem solving. We didn't go out any more but became friends.

Another time I fixed a buddy's computer because he had visited an adult content site and accidentally installed something, then purposefully installed something else to remove the thing he had accidentally installed. Oops. That was one of the more funny experiences because when I started up his computer (the main screen can only be described as SEVERE) I had to ask him what happened. He said, "Well..."  We left it there; some things you don't want to know.

Recently I spent an hour on the phone because my mom had a printer issue so she called HP technical support, ended up on the line with some guy in India who tried to sell her a $350 anti-virus plan for her PC. Yes you read that right. Let's break it down:
  1. Printer suddenly stops working, light is blinking. According to my mom, the cartridge "cannot be the problem - it is new". (We'll come back to this.)
  2. Mom tries to click through a solution at HP tech support on hp.com, unsuccessfully. 
  3. Mom calls HP 800 number, is routed to who knows where. 
  4. HP tech support guy listens to her PRINTER problem, makes her log into showmypc.com and lies at length about how she has a virus, and needs to pay $350 to get her computer working again. 
  5. My mom realizes that maybe this has gone a bit far, so she calls me. 

I talk her through some anti-virus stuff, review what the HP guy told her. Turns out that nothing is wrong with her PC besides it is old. It was old and sucked when they brought it home from costco in 2007. 

The printer issue? I googled "hp deskjet 5740 blinking light" and  found a solution in 5 seconds. It's almost like someone, somewhere, had the exact same problem and HP put the info on the web to help them sort it out. It can't be the cartridge, except when she followed the instructions it started working again. Weird.

As for HP 1-800 tech support? Never, ever again. There's a special place in hell for scam artists that prey on the old and unsuspecting.

1 comment:

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