Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Spot Fake Facebook Profiles + More

You may find it hard to believe, but I spend hours calling in for tech support..

Click on image to see larger

I have found it a common notion that computer nerds Über Geeks never have to call the Tech Support number, and spend an hour on hold, climb the phone trees, and go through “tech support” *heck* like mere mortals do.
But most do.. well, let me rephrase that: I have, and do.

Generally, I am calling on behalf of a client (I have spent a lot of time talking with ISP techs..) but also do when I need to. Just because I am a whiz at PC’s doesn’t mean I know what to do when a Garmin GPS unit won’t update it’s map library, or that Canon digital camera stays on the logo in the LCD ‘viewfinder, or what that one particular QuickBooks error might be.. (I don’t use QB.)

And no. I don’t ask to speak to the supervisor right away… but I have learned a few lessons from being on both sides of the call. Here’s a couple of my personal tips for a smoother, quicker, and hopefully more pleasant “tech support call”.. the next time you have to bite the bullet.

1) These people HAVE to follow a certain process, or they get fired.

1a) The first step of that process is to ascertain that you are a REAL owner of their product/service – that means you will have to identify yourself (perhaps, by knowing an account number..?) so be prepared.

1b) Their next step is ascertain if the product/service is still covered under their warranty policy/terms of service. Usually this is done by telling them the serial number and model number, so be prepared. These numbers are often found on stickers on the back or bottom of the device.
And these numbers are quite long, contain 8’s that look like B’s.. or maybe 3’s. Do both of you a favor and get the flashlight now, and the magnifying glass, and grab a pencil and scrap of paper, and crawl under that desk and get those numbers and write them down.

Now we can talk about the trouble.
2) No, tech support types do not assume you are an idjit, and didn’t think to check the batteries/reboot/look to see of a wire came loose. The truth is we would be idiots if we didn’t ask you to do those things. Those things are Step 1 of almost every troubleshooting situation. And if you do not do them.. well, I imagine a tech would feel darn silly when after 3 hours of trying all the hard fixes, they tell their client, “your unit needs to be replaced”.. and the client then says “uh.. wait a minute.. is this blue cord supposed to be plugged in?”

2a) The tech you first speak with (called “Tier 1″) WILL get fired if they call over a supervisor for an assist, and they have not crossed off the loose wire/reboot off of their checklist. Supervisors do not have time to ask “did you try rebooting it?” That – in a nutshell – is Tier 1’s job description: screen out the easy ones.
So just play along. Humor the poor Tier 1 – just say, “okay, hold on..” count to 3 in your head, and then say “nope, still the same.” Now Tier 1 can get down to more advanced techniques, or call over the supervisor/Tier 2.

3) Remember that these people are human beings and that they answer calls like yours all day, every day, all week, all month. (Try to imagine doing that..)
Yelling at them may relieve some of the frustration are feeling, but it won’t get your problem fixed any faster.
And they might just tell you to right-click on C: and select “format”.

No!

I kid!

Never!

Let’s review: Be prepared to provide the ID they want, and be forearmed with the serial number (the S/N) and play the game (um.. “follow the process”) they have to follow (or get fired). And be polite.
Tech support is not a “cushy job”, it is stressful.. and makes one’s hair turn gray.
(I could tell you stories..)

Or, instead of calling them, you can hire me.

Alright.. now to today’s title:

How to spot a fake Facebook profile

How do you spot a fake Facebook user? People have many strategies, including looking at the content on their Wall, checking their mutual friends, and/or just scanning for anything out of the ordinary. Security firm Barracuda Networks has taken it a step further in a study titled “Facebook: Fake Profiles vs. Real Users.” Read more..

These are interesting…

Facebook, Twitter more addictive than alcohol, tobacco

What’s more addicting than alcohol, tobacco, and coffee? Apparently, your desire to check social networks and to stay employed trumps all else, including urges to sleep and have sex.Read more..

(Written by a Linux blogger, this next hits the nail better than any other article I have seen yet..)
Five reasons why Windows 8 will be dead on arrival

Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Vista will have several things in common: Both are unwanted operating system updates that will flop in the marketplace.” Read more..

And.. last but not least:

10 threats to The Golden Age of the Internet

Have we been taking the Internet for granted? See why we might soon find ourselves reminiscing about the days of unfettered use and free access.Read more..

But wait! There’s a bonus! How would you like $800 worth of software, free?

• A reader wrote in with a tip for where to get some valuable titles – FREE! To see what I mean, read their comments here. (And thank you, Dear Reader.)

Today’s quote:What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” ~ Yiddish Proverb

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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February 7, 2012 - Posted by | advice, computers, free software, Internet, tech, Windows 8 | , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. The Stats of Face Book are staggering (today’s title) and these Face Book issues are clogging the news lines; with F.B. members paying little attention to any of the warnings; and Face Book becoming more popular everyday. Talking to people about their involvement in F.B. and based on what many of these users are telling me…family, friends, acquaintances, business people…”they love F.B! They say, it’s a large part of their lives…they could not live without it.” So… to satisfy my curiosity I went searching for Info. of a “broader view” about F.B.
    Some of the answers are in this Scientific Study/Article. At least I see a “finer balance…the pros and cons” of FACE BOOK!

    http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-does-facebook-improve-your-mood-20120207,0,4517152.story

    Comment by Gaia | February 8, 2012 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      Interesting read, thank you.

      Myself, I do not have one nice thing to say about Facebook, (except, perhaps, that it does seem to do what people want it to..) and have managed to live quite happily w/o ever having ‘signed up’. There is only one “stat” about it that I think relevant — the hours of lost productivity Facebook inflicts.

      But I am not a fan of TV either (another “opiate of the masses”).

      So I am aware that I am one of those ‘odd ducks’ (a statistical anomaly) and, so, keep my thoughts to myself.. and play chess (ref to the article).. and let my byword be “different strokes for different folks”.

      Comment by techpaul | February 8, 2012 | Reply

  2. Yes…I hear you Paul…nor am I a fan of Facebook or TV, I get called a (weirdo, ha.) Like TV, that has stayed around all this time; I think these social involvements are here to stay. They are more than “trends” that only stay around for awhile. They are partly a product of the ever-changing- global- world.

    The technological world on “many levels” has encouraged people to develop a social life at home; often in a state of “isolation”; drawing on their “human vulnerabilities.” On another level it is also form of all the consumerism we experience…but on that note I’ll end here… except to say…”To each his own and never say never”!

    Comment by Gaia | February 8, 2012 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      We live in interesting times,,

      Yes, to Facebook or not to Facebook..

      Sorry but, it just doesn’t “float my boat”. And since time is money, I think I’ll spend mine differently.

      Comment by techpaul | February 8, 2012 | Reply


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