* Posts by Moonrunner

3 posts • joined 8 Mar 2020

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2


In Canada, it's still 'cheque'... So only one English-speaking country, that I know of, uses the word 'check'

Disk stuck in the drive? Don't dilly-Dali – get IT on the case!


Re: Firebombing

I'm betting that 90's HP printer still works, to this day. Same goes with my turn of the century Brother. If you want it, you'll have to Heston it (*) from me!

(Take it from my cold dead hands - Charlton Heston's NRA speech)


#1 rule of tech support - Customers lie

Starting out in the industry as a Bob for a small, independent ISP, renting the big telco's lines for last mile access, I had a runin with the BLFH (Bastard Luser From Hell). He was complaining about intermittent connectivity and slow speeds. I ran the basic diagnostics, and what seemed odd was that his numbers should look rosy , considering that he was pretty close to 'the good kind of remote', so that usually involved CPE or ISW issues. So, I went through a checklist with the luser...

-Is your modem plugged directly into the phone jack (no splitters, extension cords, etc etc etc)?


-What is the make and model of your modem?

-[I forget which one he said, but it was a good BCM-based modem, that performed well with all types of the telco's remotes]

-Which phone jack is it plugged into [multiple questions, boiling down to this]:

-[The luser indicated the jack that the telco installer put in for DSL Internet only]

-Are you using a 7'/2.1m or shorter phone cord to connect the modem to the phone jack?


We ended up trying various things to get the customer the speed and stability that he was paying for, based on the perfect install, perfect remote, perfect equipment, etc etc etc. The process took weeks, involved us paying the diagnostic fee to the telco since their tech found nothing wrong on their end and even sending out a freebie modem to the customer. I was already getting pissed at having a ticket in my bin for weeks, so I decided to revisit some earlier questions...

-How long is the phone cord from the modem to the jack?

-Oh, about 30' (10m)

-[in my head]: FUMOFOFUIHPUDIEMFFU, etc etc etc

After chucking out that Dollarama grade 30' phone cord meant to allow grandma to use her rotary dial phone while shuffling around the Victorian home, not for 50Mbps DSL Internet, and replacing it with the cord that came with the modem, there was a marked improvement in speed and stability. I did give the client a politely-worded lecture about how cheap Ethernet cables are and how much pointless diagnostics time we would have saved, had he 'given me accurate information' during the initial call.

Lesson for those of you starting out in a helpdesk/support role:

#1 Rule of tech support is that CUSTOMERS LIE

Don't ask them any leading questions. Be very specific (look at the difference between the initial question and the question I asked the second time around) and let them hang themselves. Also document everything. That customer did complain to the management about how long and arduous process of sorting him out was and implied that it was due to my incompetence. Fortunately, I took detailed ticket notes, which the management reviewed and ended up firing the customer, instead. Then they gave me the spiel about the #1 rule.


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