The Senior Macintosh Center – My Mac Magazine #41, Sept. ’98

Every once in a while something gets me steamed. No, I am by no means angelic in my temperament but there are times when I really get angered by an issue that I think is absolutely ridiculous. Yes, da Mac man has climbed da miff tree! Fasten your seat belts!

Case in point:
I am a Macintosh Service Technician (as you already know). I fix broken Mac stuff. It’s what I do. I like what I do. It’s gratifying to recover someone’s crucial data (when I can) and turn their frown upside down. Often, I have to call the Technical Support Departments of different companies to get help with one or more of their products. Here is where I get mad… I am sick and tired of all this twenty-five, twenty-nine, etc. dollars per incident business! There, I said it. No, I don’t want to have my credit card information ready to give to the next Technical Support representative! No, I do not want to sign any waivers or any other junk just to find out what driver I need for a customer’s modem. No, I do not want to have call a long distance number to be told that just because my client’s product is 30 seconds out of warranty that I’m going to have to sacrifice my first-born just to get a human being on the other end of the line to talk to me. No, I don’t want to be referred to a list of FAQ’s that are absolutely irrelevant to my issue!!! Can you tell that I’m not happy? I thought you could.

Honestly, there should be some point of contact that can help you without having to empty your wallet every time you need support. I work as a technical support specialist all the time with many of my clients. They have a seemingly simple question and usually I can answer it. If not, I try to send them off in the direction that I feel can help them best. Shoot, some of my faithful readers ask me questions all the time (Hi Bennett!). Now, I’m not a martyr but some of these questions are simple enough that I don’t mind answering their e-mail or phone calls. Yes, it can get hectic but I figure that if they will rely on me for the smaller things then they won’t mind paying when the inevitable catastrophes strike. Yes, there are some bad apples that try to abuse my generosity and after a while it’s easy to separate them from the good clients. Do I charge for my technical support? Nope! I usually give each client 5 minutes of my time. If I can’t resolve the issue in that time I then get them to bring in their equipment. Simple! Then it’s billable!

Well, now you know why da Mac man is mad. It’s not a good thing. No, I don’t have a quick-fix solution. (Ping! An idea!) Tell ya what I’m gonna do. I would like those of you that have any ideas on how the standard Technical Support Department should handle questions e-mail me with your thoughts. Brainstorm! Put on your thinking caps. Go ahead, it won’t hurt. Well, maybe just a little. Let me know what you think. And the next time you read my column, I want you to have your credit card information ready for me…

I am as always, da Mac man (still miffed)!

Catcha L8r!

Ed Tobey

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