I hate when I have to call technical support. I will do everything in my power to not have to call technical support. First off…I never, ever have the correct number and after sitting on hold for way too long, I’m informed I’ll have to call another number. So of course I write that number down in my handy dandy file- but for whatever reason, 6 months later when I have the same problem, I suddenly need a different number??!! How does that even work?

I just wish when calling these automated systems they used a better screening program. For example, the first question should always be “Do you have the ability to understand and work with someone with a thick accent” When answered no, I would be directed to someone who spoke and understood English. The next question: “Do you know how to turn off your computer without being walked through it step by step?” By answering this question yes, I would be put in touch with not only someone who spoke English- but that understands I have a basic knowledge of computers. This simple screening process would eliminate half of my frustrations!

I understand the person I’m speaking with is going off a series of steps, regardless if it is going to help the situation at all but man is it frustrating. For example:

My internet goes down the other day with an error message saying the IP address is already in use. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable. I set up the network, I can dabble in DNS servers and IP addresses. So you can imagine my frustration when I couldn’t get it to work: last possible solution- call ATT. Where I run through a series of hoops just to talk to the person who can supposedly help me. Wrong again.

So I explain exactly what my problem was, the error message I had received and the steps I took to try and resolve it. She brushes me off and insists that I restart the modem (by explaining I need to push the button in the back!) She continues through multiple steps (all of which I had already performed) and takes more time explaining how I should complete a step, and me trying to explain multiple times I do have some understanding of computers. We could skip half the talking if she would just tell me what program I need to open. Instead she explains I need to click on the computer on my desktop, explaining this is my hard drive….really?! We wasted 4 minutes just getting to my system preferences, when I have a shortcut on my toolbar!!

She continues to hold my hand through the process, making sure I feel good about the steps we’re taking to resolve the madness and so on. Step after step.

Forty minutes goes by. My mind feels numb. My children are screaming making it even harder to translate the thick accent. We finally complete the last step and it doesn’t work, same error message. She has an ah-ah moment: Realizing my internet has worked the whole time if I plug my computer directly into the modem, its just not working through the wireless router. I’m livid. That was the very, very first thing I told her. Yet she insisted that we turn off everything, including the computer which meant closing down every program I had open. (I’m sure because her computer system told her to) I’m mad.

She tells me I need to call Apple because that is the brand of wireless router.

I breathe in and out and pick up the phone to dial.

But as I dialed, it was as if angels were singing. Wait, this technical support speaks English. Novel concept. I plead my case again, with more frustration than before. And within minutes I’m on my way to surfing the internet. Oh glorious day. And although my experience with Apple was indeed quicker and more productive than the first, my previous statement still stands. I hate technical support.

Whoever thought it was a good idea to place call centers in foreign countries or staff American call centers with foreigners, should be ashamed of themselves. Bad idea. Very bad idea.