Have You Turned It Off And On Again?
For anyone who works in the IT industry, to be asked this question by a First Line Support Advisor when you have to call for some tech assistance, has got to be the number one most irritating things in the world…
As I work at the IET and I come from a family of IT specialists (my siblings all work in the IT industry too) I like to think that I have a pretty good grasp when it comes to most things IT related.
So I set about performing all the various troubleshooting checks that you do before calling in the support team such as, checking that the power cable hadn’t dropped out, making sure my OH hadn’t switched it off at the socket without my knowledge, checking we weren’t having a power cut, moving the plug to another socket to make sure it wasn’t a fault with the socket itself or the switch and of course the time honoured tradition of ‘turning it on and off again’ copious amounts of time to see if a simple reboot of the system will clear anything untoward. After all this, I came to my own conclusion that the router has in fact simply died as it’s over 6 years old now anyway.
So after all these checks I call their support line hoping to speak to an advisor and eventually, after the long drawn out ‘Press 1 if you want this, press 2 if you’re looking for that…’ get through to an automated system where a robotic female voice tells me that they'll 'run some short tests' on my equipment. After a minute or so of ‘Hold while we test your equipment’ the result is that they tell me to check that it's plugged in and switched on and to call back if it still doesn't work after doing so... They then, rather unhelpfully, end the call… (strike one, minus one customer service point for bad customer service)
Calling straight back and going back into the ‘Press 1 for this and 2 for that..’ process (minus another point) I eventually get back to where I was but this time the robot lady says ‘ It seems that you have called us recently about this problem, let me put you through to an advisor’ Mmmm, clever ( plus 1 point) yaaay, I get to speak to a real human at last! ( plus 10)
I finally get through to one of the advisors (in what I’m assuming is the First Line support desk) and after the obligatory security and account checks the conversation goes a little something like this:
Advisor: Hello this is XXXX speaking, how can I help you?
Me: I’ve just come home from work and my hub isn’t working. I have no internet or Wifi.
A: So when did you notice this issue?
Me: Umm (-1 for not listening to what I said) as I said I’ve just got back home from work and it’s not working. It was fine this morning before I left.
A: Have you tried rebooting the system by switching it on and off?
M: Yes, done that.
A: Are the cables all plugged in properly?
M:Yes, checked that.
A: Are there any lights flashing on the router?
M: No. There’s no power to it…
A: Oh is it plugged in?
A: And switched on?
A: And the cables are plugged in to the router?
M: Yes… (-1 as I’ve already told you)
Silence for a while…
A: Have you switched it on and off again?
M:…. Um, as I said before, yes..? (-2 points)
A: And you say the cables are plugged in?
M:…. For the third time yes…? (-5)
A: And it’s switched on? ….
M: Mm hmm , yes… (-10)
(At this point I look towards my OH who can sense my growing frustration and silently mouth something to him that confirms his suspicions..)
More silence for a short while
A: Can you check again that the cables are plugged in?
(I’m about to explode now. -50 points….Count to 10…Deep breaths Lisa, deep breaths…)
M: YES, they are plugged in and YES the unit is switched on but NO there are no lights on the unit.
A: And you say it’s switched on?
(I’ve now come to the end of my patience….-100 customer service points)
M: The hub has stopped working. I’ve tried rebooting it multiple amounts of times, the cables are all plugged in and where they should be, the unit is switched on and there are no lights displaying on the unit. My guesses are that something in the circuitry inside the unit has burnt out and the hub is no longer working. I think the simple solution is that I need a new hub….
More silence… (I can hear some typing...)
A: Okay, I think you’re going to need a new hub
(You don’t say…! -100 more points)
A: I’ll arrange for a Service Technician to come out to you as soon as possible
(Actually pleasantly surprised that he referred to a Service Technician and didn’t call them an Engineer…. plus 1000 points for that man…)
M: Okay that’s great. Look forward to their visit.
I’m going to have to wait a few days for the technician to replace my Broadband hub so I’m currently reacquainting myself with my DVD collection (of course my TV subscription service doesn’t work without Internet access…) and desperately trying to resist the urge to take the router apart to see if I can fix it….
If you’ve had a similar experience in your line of work then tell me your story in the comments below and I’ll send out a consolation prize to my favourite!