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12 November 2009 @ 11:01 am
Adventures in tech support FAIL.  
My current work desktop:

Because Avatar is very, very pretty. It looks freaking amazing, and I can't wait to see it.

In other SF related news, I pre-ordered Star Trek on blu ray today, because Amazon now offers release day shipping, which means I won't have to drive across town to pick it up when it comes out, and hope they actually get the blu ray version (no one in town stocked S1 of The Clone Wars in blu ray. Seriously? It's Star Wars, people! I had to order it on Amazon anyway, and then wait. This way, no question I'll get it Tuesday, and probably for the best price.)

Yesterday was Veteran's Day. I had the day off, not that it felt like it. I spent the entire day trying to fix the printer problems with our new wireless router. You see, we got the new router at least a month ago, but neither of our HP wireless capable printers would work on the network, after. Every other device in the house, no problem, but not the printers. We are not totally tech un-savvy. We went online to our router's configuration pages, and lo, there was the laser printer, with the correct IP and everything. The router knew it, but the laser printer apparently did not feel the same, as it persisted in not finding the wireless network.

And this began my several hour odyssey of tech support hell. First, I called D-link. They were very nice, but said if everything else is working, the router is obviously working, and thus we should call HP as it's on the printer end. So, I call HP. The printer is out of warranty, so before they will even say word one to us, we have to pay them $40. Are you f-ing kidding me? This is probably just some tiny configuration I don't know about in the printer settings, and you want to charge me what??

So, let's try the other printer first, then, a color inkjet all-in-one. They transfer me to a different department for that. Who transfers me to another, who finds out we're havung problems with two printers, and transfers me to another, who tries to start helping me, until he finds out our laser printer is a couple of years old, and thus not supported by him, and he transfers me back to the first guy I talked to again.

Me, wearily: "Hi. We're having trouble getting our 1320nw to connect to our wireless network--"

Him: "Didn't I talk to you a little while ago?"

Me: "Yep. Then you transferred me, and they transferred me, and eventually everyone sent me back to you."

Him, warily, having dealt with my disbelief before: "Well, I still can't talk to you about this printer until you pay $39.95 plus tax."

Me, very tired of dealing with this stupid problem for the past five hours, not all of which was on the phone with tech support, to be fair: "Well, let's just pay it then, and get on with this." *pulls out credit card and pays $40*

Him, more cheerful now that he has his blood money: "Here's what you need to do. Take the printer and plug it directly into the router, so we can get an IP address for it."

Me: "I've already done that. It has an IP address. The same one it had before, when it used to work with our previous router."

Him: "Is it still plugged in?"

Me: "No."

Him: "Then we don't know what IP it has now. Plug it in."

Me: "But it's a static IP address. It doesn't change."

Him: "...I don't understand. Static? What does that mean?"

Me, trying not to bang my head against the wall: "Are you serious? It means the IP doesn't change! Even I know that!" (Is this a language barrier issue? All the tech support seems to be run in India these days.)

Him, back to being wary: "Ma'am, can you just plug it in to the router, and print a configuration page for me?"

Me: "Fine!" *plugs printer into router for the umpteenth time. Cycles it and prints a configuration page, with GASP the same IP address on it as the last seventeen times*

Him: "Okay ma'am. Now, if you were running Windows XP or Vista, I could have this fixed for you right now. But since you're Mac, I need to conference this call with their tech support. Okay?"

Me: "Uh...okay." (But didn't I just pay YOU $40??)

Him: "Don't worry. I'm going to tell them the problem so you don't have to explain again, and also tell them you've paid $39.95 plus tax to get this fixed."

Me: *gets put on hold while he gets Mac on the line.*

Him: Comes back on line. "Okay, I've got Ray from Mac on the line, and he's going to take care of you."

Me: "Wait, what? I thought this was going to be a conference call!"

Him: *is already gone*

Ray from Mac: "Hello?"

Me: "Hi." *explains problem, devolving into a little bit of a rant about the $40 I just paid for NOTHING, considering our Macbooks are less than 3 months old and I could have talked to Mac tech support for FREE anytime*

Ray: "Uh....so do you need my help, or not?"

Me: *tries to hold temper* "YES! Just fix it, okay??"

Ray has me reset the printer, remove it from my Macbook printers and re-add it, and print a page, all while it's connected to the router via ethernet cord. This is something of an improvment, as at least the Macbook can now find the printer wirelessly, even if the printer is not yet wirelessly connected.

Ray, efficiently, as though anticipating an end to the call: "So, does that fix your problem?"

Me: "Uh, no. It's plugged in via an ethernet cable. We need it to print wirelessly.

Ray, immediately: "Well that's impossible."

Me: "What? Why?"

Ray, a little condescendingly: "In order to print wirelessly, ma'am, you'd have to have a 1320nw, not just a 1320."

Me: "We DO have a 1320nw! Why do you think I'm trying to connect it wirelessly?" (manages not to use the f-word through herculean effort)

Ray: "..."

Me: "That's the whole point!"

Ray: "...well. I'll need to review the HP tech's notes. Can I call you back in two minutes?"

Me: "Sure. Fine."

*throws phone down as soon as he is off the phone*

Now, he already called me back once after we were disconnected briefly, so I had an expectation that he would in fact call me back when he said he would. HE DID NOT.

This was the day of EPIC TECH SUPPORT FAIL, I am telling you.

To add insult to injury, I told BOTH tech support guys that I could open configuration pages for both the router and the printer online, via their IP addresses. Both of them ignored this information. Later that night, a good friend of ours, Michael, who trains with Mark was at class. He does not work in tech support, but is a computer guru. Mark tells him the whole story, and Michael agrees to look at the printer for us after class.

He checked the configuration page, and fiddled with a couple of things. Within five minutes, I kid you not, he had found the problem, changed the necessary setting (the printer was confused as to which type of wireless network it was on), and it worked.

I am so mad at HP tech support right now, I can't even tell you. I want to call back and raise a fuss about that $40, but I don't know that it will do any good. At least our printer will once again work wirelessly, which was all we wanted in the first place.

ETA: Aha! so that was actually HP's Mac support team I was transferred to, not Mac support at all. Now I get why he never called me back. I called HP to complain, and am on hold right now, waiting for them to decide whether or not to refund my $40. Which I think they should, since they didn't fix my problem.
Current Mood: blahblah
Patron Saint of Pessimismwoodrunner on November 12th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)

OMG! I hope you get your 40$ back. Because this was RIDICULOUS. Surely they have to record the call for QC purposes, and you can beat them on the head with it.

The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...sabaceanbabe on November 12th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
Seriously. Put your Sarah Connor or Aeryn Sun hat* on and call HP back. They did absolutely nothing for you.

*If you you're in kickass chick mode when you call, you'll enjoy yourself a lot more than you did with the earlier calls. And maybe you can scare them. ;)
rhienellethrhienelleth on November 12th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
Just got off the phone - they are refunding my money, but dared to end the call with "Next time tell us what operating system you are running right up front. that will solve many problems."

No, you asshats, it won't. The operating system was never the problem. It was the configuration settings in the actual printer!
roseaponiroseaponi on November 13th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
Yay for refunds! :)

And now you get to do what you wanted to do, so it isn't a total loss. (stops _way_ short of saying it was worth it, though. Why does tech support have to suck so badly?)