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[ale] Let's draft a support personnel competency test! [was:Avent and whine - ignore with dignity]

I totally agree.  I've worked with many an Indian and even a few
Pakistanis here in the U.S. and they've by and large been rather
intelligent and qualified for their positions.   I even once spent 5
weeks in India and dealt with intelligent and qualified people there.  

Therefore it seems that whoever is staffing call centers for U.S. based
corporations over there must be doing so entirely from the large village
of inbred proto-simians.  

I've sent EMC several negative reviews for their support and always
point out the issues with their Indian call center.   Rather sad state
of affairs for a company that in the past was a Sysadmin's dream due to
the stability of their products and effortless support.

-----Original Message-----
From: ale-bounces at ale.org [mailto:ale-bounces at ale.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 1:18 AM
To: ale at ale.org
Subject: Re: [ale] Let's draft a support personnel competency test!
[was:Avent and whine - ignore with dignity]

So I'm on CHAT support with Earthlink -- clearly with someone on the
other side of the planet as evidenced by the misplaced verbs and other
curious grammatical choices.

Problem is that Earthlink is dropping our PPoE connection on an
hourly basis, leasing a different IP and requiring a local manual
reset of our gateway router to reestablish our connection.   
Potentially a
failing modem indicated with tests to that point, since DSL sync light
stays on through the connection drops and earlier contact with ATT/Bell
south confirmed a good line.

I explain all this to the Chat support monkey boy, but he is stuck
in the script and carrying on about DSL line filters.  Worse is that
he's reading the script backwards and tells me I should move the
filter to the MODEM line.  I politely explain that NO, this will  
that the DSL signals can't get through at all and will make it  
to establish an internet connection. I also remind him that our chat
conversation is taking place on the currently working modem
connection and that disconnecting the modem will disconnect us.
He insists we cannot continue until I try moving the filter to the
modem line so I have to dump him and go to phone call support.

On the phone I push the buttons and go through the script with
Hindustani support monkey #2 for another 30 minutes until he finally
listens to enough of what I'm telling him about the problem and my
testing to realize the ticket needs to be escalated to Tier 3, where  
can check the lines (redundant to what I've explained that ATT / BS
has already done earlier in the day).

Another half an hour of jumping through hoops with Hindustani
on Tier 3, who is too busy repeatedly telling me the line checks out
to listen to the fact that the physical line isn't the problem.  
we agree that the modem is likely the problem and he lays out the
requirements for getting a replacement modem:  minimum $20 for
slow boat shipping plus a 12 month contract extension OR add another
$49 to purchase it outright. (The company has been Earthling DSL
customers for 7 years, but apparently you can't get any credit for  
I had two older DSL modems around, so I decided to test with them
before spending the owners money.  Both worked... until Earthlink
dropped the connection and required a reset.

Yet another call to Hindustani land to explain that the problem is
ENTIRELY Earthlink (as I had suspected after router swap number 1)
and they need to STOP dropping our connections.  45 minutes later
and she is still wanting to explain to me that our service level only
provides Dynamic IP.  I'm repeatedly acknowledging that I totally
understand this and am noting the hourly IP lease changes because
they are not normal and are a clear indicator that  the source of the
problem is with the Earthlink PPoE cicuitry.

I finally had to demand U.S. support (since they are the ONLY
ones who have ever been able to address service problems in
the past).  I got their phone number, but have to call during EST
business hours.  The connection stayed up today, so I haven't
had to waste more time on it yet, but the US support number
is going on permanent file.

I have never had any Hindustani support person with the ability
or authority to address any of my technical service issue.  They
are a total waste of time. Just another big fat greedy corporate
fraud, bringing new pain to the world of customer disservice.


On 2010/06/21, at 19:28 , Jim Kinney wrote:

> reverse the order of those two questions...
> customer service candidate job questionnaire for cable/phone co:
> 1. Do you have a pulse?
> 2. Circle the telephone in this picture.
> 3. Can you count to 10?
> ...
> On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 6:41 PM, Lightner, Jeff  
> <jlightner at water.com> wrote:
> Hell I'd be happy if they could just answer yes to the question:
> "Do you have access to the manual for this crappy piece of equipment  
> you
> sent me?"
> Of course then I'd have to follow up by asking if they knew how to
> read...
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ale-bounces at ale.org [mailto:ale-bounces at ale.org] On Behalf Of
> Byron Jeff
> Sent: Monday, June 21, 2010 2:59 PM
> To: Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts - Yes! We run Linux!
> Subject: Re: [ale] Let's draft a support personnel competency test!
> [was: Avent and whine - ignore with dignity]
> Ah. I'll play just for funsies.
> BTW while you not bother with the first tier of support, or possibly
> even
> the second, you also have to be prepared to answer everything in their
> script. For example with Comcast I start with already rebooting the  
> box,
> releasing DHCP, and the like.
> On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 01:46:34PM -0400, Michael B. Trausch wrote:
> > On Mon, 2010-06-21 at 13:30 -0400, Richard Bronosky wrote:
> > > I would like to draft a list of ~5-10 questions that could be used
> to
> > > pre-screen (like you would to a job applicant) your support
> > > technician. If they fail, you say "I'm sorry but you do not appear
> to
> > > be qualified to handle my support requirements, please transfer me
> to
> > > the next tier of support." I don't know how well it would work,  
> but
> it
> > > would be a fun exercise. We just may end up creating a new meme in
> the
> > > process.
> > >
> > > Here is my v0.1 draft:
> > > 1. An IPv4 address is composed of how many octets?
> 4.
> > > 2. The OSI model is composed of how many layers? Name them.
> 7
> Application
> Presentation: Designed to handle protocol translations if necessary.
> Session
> Transport
> Network
> Data Link
> Physical
> >
> > I would expect most people to fail this one.  I expect people to  
> know
> > that there are 7 layers, not what every single one of them does...
> most
> > people are too far removed from that model to reliably be able to
> recall
> > it anyway.
> >
> > > 3. What purpose does an ARP table serve?
> Directory that maps IP (or other network) addresses to physical
> addresses.
> Only functions on the local network inside the route. Non routable.
> Broadcast call/response with caching and timeout.
> > > 4. How many runlevels are there in conventional "system five"?  
> What
> > > does zero do? What does six do?
> 6 AFAICR. Zero halts. 6 Reboots. I'm an everyday Linux user and I
> haven't
> looked at an init table in a long long time. Ctrl-Alt-Del abstracts  
> the
> process.
> >
> > Doesn't say yay or nay on terms of network support.  Keep the
> questions
> > platform-neutral and OS-neutral.
> >
> > > 5. How do you identify and bounce a network interface in a
> POSIX-like
> > > OS without rebooting?
> >
> > Same as for #4.  I would expect 100% of tier-1 and tier-2  
> technicians
> to
> > fail this test unless they include UNIX or POSIX (or UNIX-like or
> > POSIX-like) system support in their realm.
> Agreed. And ifconfig does have a bit of difference between different
> systems.
> >
> > Perhaps:
> >
> > 1.  What is an IPv4 address, and how many octets does it have?
> > 2.  What is,, and
> Private IP address. Non routable.
> > 3.  What do the ping and traceroute tools do?
> Nothing in today's network. Sigh. Virtually everyone fails to  
> respond to
> ICMP packets anymore because of security concerns.
> > 4.  What is the purpose of a routing table, and what happens when  
> it's
> >     broken or missing entries?
> Facilitates the movement of packets from one network to another. Can't
> do
> that with (or send to the wrong network) with broken/missing entries.
> > 5.  In addition to the Web, what sorts of services does the Internet
> >     house?  [Because most stupid people think the Web *IS* the
> >     Internet, maybe this should be #1.]
> You mean it's not? ;-)
> This was fun. The real question is what are the techs supposed to
> support?
> It's likely at this point I would fail a Windows test in this same
> ballpark. Every time I mess with a broken Windows box (which is just
> about
> the only time that I do) I have to refigure out how to access
> everything.
> --
> Byron A. Jeff
> Program Coordinator: IT/CS/CNET
> College of Information and Mathematical Sciences
> Clayton State University
> http://cims.clayton.edu/bjeff
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> -- 
> -- 
> James P. Kinney III
> Actively in pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness
> Doing pretty well on all 3 pursuits
>  Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is  
> by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own  
> merits.
>    Dan Barker, "Losing Faith in Faith", 1992
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