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Old 07-16-2004, 06:42 PM   #1
digitalhead
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A call to tech support...


I just got off the phone with my ISP's tech support. I explained that I needed a little bit of help dialing up with Linux to their service. The woman politely said "yes, what seems to be your problem?" I explained that when I try dialing in, it acts like the authentication phase has problems and it's taken me well over an hour of attempts to actually make a connection. She asked if I had tried re-entering the username and password, to which I told her that I know for sure that I have the right information and then read off what the log file came up with upon disconnection...

-----------------------------------------------------
Jul 16 18:14:33 darkstar pppd[1355]: Receive serial link is not 8-bit clean:
Jul 16 18:14:33 darkstar pppd[1355]: Problem: all had bit 7 set to 0

kppp's diagnosis (just guessing):
You have launched pppd before the remote server was ready to establish a PPP connection.
Please use the terminal-based login to verify
-----------------------------------------------------

She then said "oh, um... well, perhaps you should try contacting the manufacturer of your computer because it sounds like it's a problem in your setup". I told her that I am the one that built my computer and that I couldn't exactly call Gateway to get support on it. (I'd have better luck calling HP for it though) I also told her that it seemed an awful lot like it was telling me the problem was with the ISP (which it's most likely a problem with the script or something else that I have no experience with) and she was telling me the exact opposite... "well, we don't really support Linux here, so maybe you could do some research to see what you come up with"

..... is this what tech support has come to these days? They told me to figure it out myself.

Anyway, anybody have any insight or ideas about all this?
 
Old 07-16-2004, 06:51 PM   #2
Lleb_KCir
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no clue on the issue, but i would of asked for her supervisor, and tried to get the push up the chian into tier2 support or higher yet up to their NOC. odds are high that their NOC uses unix/linux and they could answere that question in a matter of seconds im sure.
 
Old 07-17-2004, 02:13 AM   #3
digitalhead
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Oh, I fixed the problem. It took a lot of coffee, aspirin, and reading, but I figured out a couple script lines. All it needed was the "Expect: Username" line so it would wait for it instead of sending the username too soon. I was just sharing my "pleasant" tech support experience and kind of wondering why tech support would tell me to do it on my own instead of giving... well... tech support. The way I see it, if the person I'm talking to can't help me, they should find somebody that can, which there have been a couple instances of that actually happening. Oh well. Problem's solved and I know not to call that tech support again since I do better on my own, but with headaches. It was an interesting learning experience though.
 
Old 07-17-2004, 06:04 AM   #4
frob23
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I have to be honest... I have never had a call to tech support solve any problem. Heck, most of the time they aren't even supportive.

At my current job the tech support people are fairly understanding. I call them up and tell they what needs to be done, then it gets done in under a minute. When they try to guess what is wrong it takes an hour and they usually offer to send someone to me. Which is never the right solution -- for the problem I have.

The last few times I have called it went like this:

[... brief identifying period...]

TS: Okay what is the problem.
ME: I need you to log into the central server and click cancel for me to continue my prescribed duties.
TS: Uhm okay... why?
ME: My ID10T boss bought the wrong size tapes and I don't have the password and can't continue the backup when my even dumber co-worker continues to use them.
TS: Uhm okay... did it work?
ME: Yes, thanks. Bye

I swear it is like this every time. Every time after I work after my really dumb co-worker. It takes a retarded monkey to do my job... and she fails every single night in multiple ways.

Anyway. It is good that you figured it out for yourself. I can promise that PPP setup was one of the hardest things I ever had to learn to do. I have setup problems like there was no tomorrow... but I don't regret all that a learned.
 
Old 07-17-2004, 06:14 AM   #5
XavierP
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Help desks are always a source of frustration. Most of them have people reading from scripts. That's why, when you call them, the conversation (every time) from your end goes:
"yeah...did that"
"and that"
"and that"
and so on.

If you really want massive annoyance, call Dell. I did yesterday and the conversation went:
ME "the wireless card doesn't work, the it's showing a memory fault on your diagnostic tool"
DELL "OK can you run our other diagnostic s/w"
ME "the disk has been reimaged, it's no longer on there"
DELL "OK, can you open up the laptop and swap the card with a working one"
ME "What?? This is a brand new laptop, all it's had is a disk reimage, I'm not doing that"
DELL "OK, could you rebuild the machine so it's back to factory settings"
ME "Of course not, it's a hardware problem"
DELL "I'm sorry, we can't help further"

1 call to the account manager later, engineer attends to fix it.

It seems that Dell won't help until you crack open the box for them.
 
Old 07-17-2004, 12:42 PM   #6
trickykid
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Most ISP's and companies do not have trained employees to handle technical questions regarding Linux. Most will state they don't support it either. I'm suprised you got as far as you did in your call. Once Linux gets more mainstream with more than 4% desktop users, I'm sure more and more will start supporting it. Until then, most users who use Linux are smarter than the people they hire anyways at ISP's. You'd be suprised at who they hire, what scripts they read. They know the most common problems, beyond that its not in their domain to support.

PS. I've worked tech support at ISP's. I actually would tell anyone who got a person using Linux to hand them over to me. My boss at the time said each Linux call, I got 15 minutes max to help them, but was told to be sure to remind them we don't support it and I'm doing it on a best effort basis. I probably solved 99% of the Linux calls that came thru.

But I can surely say 95% of the technical people I've worked with at ISP's, good people, just dumb and not very technical most of the time. Their trained to do their job and that's all.

PSS. Moving to General, where this thread seems more suitable now at this time.
 
Old 07-17-2004, 01:26 PM   #7
digitalhead
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Quote:
PSS. Moving to General, where this thread seems more suitable now at this time.
I thought it was already in General. If it wasn't, sorry about that.
 
Old 07-17-2004, 01:46 PM   #8
SciYro
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yes, its better to just ask your computer to help you
Code:
echo "how can i help you $USER" >> /dev/speech
what is the "tex" command for?
Code:
man tex >> /dev/speech
wow, my computer even has emotions!, beats most of those "tech supports".. does whatever i tell it to! (altho, maybe it was a bad example ... but its only an example )

Last edited by SciYro; 07-17-2004 at 01:50 PM.
 
Old 07-17-2004, 05:51 PM   #9
Jose Muņiz
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Hell.. the problem with some Tech Support people is that they will use the fact that you use Linux as an excuse so that they don't help you.

They're like

ME: "Hey! My keyboard has just exploded into small pieces"
TS: "What's the version of Windows you're using?"
ME: ehm... no.. I'm using Slackware Linux 10.
TS: "Sorry, I can't assist you with Linux questions. "
 
Old 07-17-2004, 05:56 PM   #10
rjcrews
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think you guys have missed the point, the tech support ppl do not choose which software to support.....the execs do. and most dont support support m$ products like nt or windows servers...a little white lie like this:

ts - what os
me - xp
ts - click start , run , type cmd
me - ok
ts - now type ipconfig
me - sure my ip is ~

and then powercycle and when its not on....send a tech plz
 
Old 07-17-2004, 07:39 PM   #11
BajaNick
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I have completly stopped calling tech support after my last call. I was trying to get SBC tech support to run a line test and they wanted to go through the usual steps first so I told them Its not my systems can you run a line test so then I had to ask where I was calling to cuz the tech support guy had an accent, He informed me I was calling india and I asked how can you do a line test all the way from idia to Los Angeles. I thought that was kinda cool but the tech guy could barely pronounce some english words and I could not understand him at all and a 3 minute call ended up taking 20 minutes.
 
Old 07-17-2004, 08:26 PM   #12
trickykid
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Quote:
Originally posted by BajaNick
I have completly stopped calling tech support after my last call. I was trying to get SBC tech support to run a line test and they wanted to go through the usual steps first so I told them Its not my systems can you run a line test so then I had to ask where I was calling to cuz the tech support guy had an accent, He informed me I was calling india and I asked how can you do a line test all the way from idia to Los Angeles. I thought that was kinda cool but the tech guy could barely pronounce some english words and I could not understand him at all and a 3 minute call ended up taking 20 minutes.
Just be polite and do what they ask most of the time. I've had many callers and one in particular who was using a Linux box, said he had it setup as a router to serve up more IP's, etc, but swore it wasn't his machines. Refused to troubleshoot for 20 minutes as I didn't feel like troubleshooting a customized LInux router, cause it would take far too long. So I asked him to grab his laptop he mentioned that had Windows XP on it.. he finally agreed, we connected it directly up to the cable modem, reset the modem, boom, he was online.
He apologized for being a dick to me, not troubleshooting at first and just flat out blaming the connection and not his own machines.

And just cause their in India doesn't mean they can't run a line test from there. We had tools to bring up signal strength and what not down to the modem itself, you'd be amazed.
 
Old 07-18-2004, 01:26 AM   #13
jaz
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I work in tech support for an ISP. We dont support Linux. The other tech support company I worked for didnt support it either. I dont know why people say "dont call them, they dont know sh** about Linux" some of us do know a little but we arent allow to support it. Why? Because if another Joe calls in and a person who helped that Joe or another Joe with a LInux issue is gone then people get upset. "well Bob helped me with my Linux issue...why cant you?" And most people that call in with *nix issues are newbies anyway (even me myself) yet think because they have RedHat or whatever installed that they are some kind of computer 'know it alls' No offense to you by the way but we hate calls from people who think they know it all
 
Old 07-18-2004, 03:09 AM   #14
frob23
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To be fair I have never had much trouble from tech support... they just don't provide much support. If anything, they are an ear paid to listen when I can't find the next step.

My best tech support problem came when I was picking a new ISP. Back when I still used dialup. I emailed the tech support people asking if 1) Linux or BSD was supported and 2) if I would be able to connect. I got back an email that roughly said [this is paraphrased because I eventually deleted the email]
---
1) Linux, *BSD, and Mac OS are not "supported" per say. We do not promise that we can provide help with all the problems. But, if we can help we will try. There are several technical people who use these operating systems and are willing to offer assistence, via email when they have some free time.

2) Yes, you will be able to connect. I [the guy responding] personally know several people who work here and use FreeBSD at home. They have no problems.

I hope this helps.
---

I never did have to contact tech support while I was with that company. I was very suprised at the tone and attitude of the letter. Later this company was bought by a larger company and this kind of support probably doesn't exist today. But I was pleased. So, not all tech support is bad. Just most of the time they are useless...
 
Old 07-18-2004, 11:02 AM   #15
trickykid
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Quote:
Originally posted by jaz
I work in tech support for an ISP. We dont support Linux. The other tech support company I worked for didnt support it either. I dont know why people say "dont call them, they dont know sh** about Linux" some of us do know a little but we arent allow to support it. Why? Because if another Joe calls in and a person who helped that Joe or another Joe with a LInux issue is gone then people get upset. "well Bob helped me with my Linux issue...why cant you?" And most people that call in with *nix issues are newbies anyway (even me myself) yet think because they have RedHat or whatever installed that they are some kind of computer 'know it alls' No offense to you by the way but we hate calls from people who think they know it all
That is so true. Though I can admit I worked with some dumbarses when in techsupport, there were very smart people though. And yes, I'd say 95% of the people who called techsupport were as dumb as a rock, that's why they're calling their ISP techsupport. I knew when I'd have the smart people on the phone cause they only thing they'd ask is "is there outages in my area right now?".. and I'd reply with either a yes or no. Sometimes when I'd say no, your area is fine.. I'd get the response of.. "okay.. just checking.. I'll go play around some more to get it going.. thanks.. "

But I know where your coming from jaz, I've been there and most that call do think they know it all. I really liked the know it all lady who was blaming us for her cable connection being down but yet she didn't understand the concept of me telling her to reset her cable modem by simply unplugging the power to it from the wall. I had to go into details of saying that she knows she has to plug in her toaster to get it working right.. she knew that.. I was like your cable modem has the same thing plugged in or it doesn't have power.. <--true story too.
 
  


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