Fun with Tech-Support

December 28, 2006

PhoneNot much of an update today but I did want to share a humorous phone call I had with an un-named company’s tech-support hotline earlier today. Recently one of our projectors began acting up with HDMI sync errors, grey vertical bands over the left-hand portion of the screen, and occasionally the entire image flips over as if it was set for table-top orientation (its ceiling mounted). Needless to say, hardly the type of stuff I’d want to demonstrate to a customer.

Tech-Support: Hello thanks for calling ***** How can I help you?

Me: Hello, I’m a ***** dealer and we’re experiencing a problem with your ***-**** projector.

Tech-Support: Yes I’d be glad to help you, can you give me the model number?

Me: It’s a ***-****

Tech-Support: What is the problem you’re having?

Me: Well we’re getting 3 bars of grey, vertical bands along the left hand portion of the screen

Tech-Support: (interrupts) Ah yes sir that’s completely normal with 4:3 material on that television. It’s how the displays mask’s the empty space beside the image.

Me: (laughs) No, it’s not a television it’s a projector and we’re not seeing this with just 4:3 material, it happens regardless of source.

Tech-Support: Ah ok, sorry for the misunderstanding. Does it happen with cable or satellite?

Me: (slightly confused) Yes… it happens regardless of the source material.

Tech-Support: Ok, sir could you change the channel?

Me: I don’t think your following me here, it happens randomly regardless of what source we’re viewing.

Tech-Support: Ah ok, well lets see could you zoom out the image past the vertical bars?

Me: (at this point I’m wondering if I dialed the right number) Uh, well yes I suppose I could do that, but I won’t. I have a 92” screen and I kind of need to just fill 92” of screen, ya know?

Tech-Support: Yes sir, I suppose that makes sense. What were the other problems you were experiencing?

Me: Well, random HDMI sync errors and the image flips horizontally and then flips back a few seconds later.

Tech-Support: That doesn’t sound normal, the image flipping over that is.

Me: (ah but the HDMI errors are, come on admit it) Yeah I’d say so.

Tech-Support: Ok sir I’m going to arrange a service call for you.

That’s pretty much the synopsis of our conversation and hey I know tech-support guys have to follow their script to a certain degree; so don’t take this as a knock if your in that field, I just couldn’t resist sharing this.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Home Theater Projectors


Comments

  • shoobe01

    Oh lord. I usually try to avoid tech support, as I get that typical by-the-script mentality. And its never their device’s fault. Ever. Recent IM (as calling is just impossible with most people)

    The order was:
    Firmware
    Its your computer
    Check the port
    Check the cables
    Power cycle
    Reset…Which I refused to do, so we’re back to “its your computer…”

    Hi, my name is Edelma (26740). How may I help you?
    Steven: I IM’d a few days ago, and went off as suggested… Vonage confirms my firmware is up to date.
    Steven: Do you need a minute to look up my old case info or do I have to restate it here?
    Edelma (26740): Thank you for the information. Please give me few minutes to search for your previous session.
    Steven: k
    Edelma (26740): Thank you for waiting Steven.
    Edelma (26740): Basically when you added computers on your network, they are not getting an IP address from the router?
    Steven: Yup. They used to work, then one day, they do not. Today I determined that they can see the router (like, the web-served config screen) but cannot get out to the internet.
    Steven: I can also see other computers on the internal network.
    Edelma (26740): I see. So you wired this computer to the router right?
    Steven: yup.
    Steven: Well, technically, all router outputs are thru one port, and then there’s a switch, but I checked with router ports and its the same thing.
    Edelma (26740): But the other devices attached to it previously are working just fine until now. Is that correct?
    Edelma (26740): I see.
    Steven: Yes. The desktops that are always on work, even when they are re-started, the router is re-started, etc. There are also two printers, with fixed IP addresses, in the right range, but they don’t seem to have any effect (on, off, unplugged, etc.)
    Edelma (26740): So there’s a switch in between the router and the pc, but with that computer wired directly to the router still it won’t get an IP address via DHCP?
    Steven: It seems that some devices cannot see the gateway, and indeed the settings screen for this one laptop has just a blank spot for the router address.
    Edelma (26740): Have you checked if the Ethernet card of that laptop is working properly?
    Steven: Yes. The switch seems to work properly as removing it has no effect. There are wires thru the building, so its pretty inconvenient to work without the switch; wires won’t reach the back of the router and there’s no good place to sit and type like this in the wiring closet. So, I put it back on.
    Steven: Yes. All these devices work fine on other networks.
    Steven: Also, same failure for several laptops.
    Edelma (26740): How many computers are experiencing this problem?
    Steven: Two, which is all I have. Since they work otherwise, I am sure any others would fail the same way. Is clearly a network issue at this location.
    Edelma (26740): Have you tried using these laptops with another router? (wired).
    Steven: Not at this location, as I do not have one. But yes, a variety of them at other sites where they connect fine to wired networks.
    Edelma (26740): To which port of the router did you connect the laptop by the way?
    Steven: No idea. I think I tried several and I think the switch is currently on 2, but its dark and they are poorly labeled. It could be something else.
    Steven: Regardless, not the same one for all this, so its not a single bad port for the router or the switch. Cables have also been changed, etc.
    Edelma (26740): I see.
    Edelma (26740): Well since your vonage provider already confirmed on the firmware of this router, the resort that we can go to right now is power cycling the network. And if that will not do it then I suggest resetting and reconfiguring the router.
    Steven: I have restarted all network components, repeatedly. Aside from the fact that it’ll drop this chat, I’ll need time to take down my firewall and port forwarding settings.
    Steven: Is there /anything/ specific I can try though? This is all very typical answers (double check, firmware, cycle, restart, reset).
    Edelma (26740): I understand that it’s going to be a big job reconfiguring the router considering your network there. May I know how you did the power cycle?
    Edelma (26740): I mean in what order.
    Steven: Um… Everything off. Then switch on, modem on wait 1 minute for it to boot, then router on and watch it connect. But the router has also been reset by its lonesome a few times, and there may have been other orders. I have been playing with this for a while, and power outages and other hangs have not resulted in permanent issues like this before.
    Edelma (26740): I see.
    Edelma (26740): So in this order, modem,router,switch and computers. Is that right?
    Steven: Switch, Modem, Router. Computers and network printers are pretty much always on.
    Edelma (26740): By the way let me just confirm as well, the corresponding led light on the router where these laptops were connected are lit as well?
    Steven: Yes. And there is network traffic, remember, as I can use the laptops to get around the internal network, just not out onto the internet.
    Edelma (26740): I see.
    Edelma (26740): So since you can use the laptop around the internal network, that means that the laptop is getting an IP address from the router. Correct?
    Steven: No. No IP address is assigned (it has a fake one, assigned by the card) and it does not appear in the router’s DHCP table.
    Edelma (26740): What is the IP address then of the laptop since it is able to communicate to your other computers inside the network.
    Steven: Its blank on the config screen. Trying to see if I can find the fake IP it got assigned.
    Edelma (26740): Is it the 169.x.x.x?
    Steven: Not so far. Seems to only be one way, btw. It can see the network, but the desktop, for example, cannot see it.
    Steven: Yes, when it gave me the popup when I connected a while ago it was a 169-series value. Cannot get it to redo that as it knows its on the same bad connection…
    Edelma (26740): You mean when you view for network places, you see your other computers from the laptop? If so, can you open them from there?
    Edelma (26740): Let us check for the Ethernet card of that laptop Steven.
    Edelma (26740): Can we go to your device manager please? By the way is this windows XP?
    Steven: OSX 10.4.8 8L127
    Edelma (26740): What is that OSX?
    Steven: Apple
    Edelma (26740): I see. So it is a MAC OS then.
    Steven: The ethernet works fine. Promise. And, I have another computer right next to I can power on and get the same response if need be.
    Steven: Yes, OSX or OS X is standard parlance to refer to it.
    Edelma (26740): Smiles.
    Edelma (26740): Okay, is the TCP/IP of that adapter on the OS X properly binded (just like with the windows computers).
    Steven: I don’t know what “binded” means.
    Edelma (26740): I am sorry. It is the protocol on your adapter installed on the computer that is installed properly for it to get a valid IP address on a source.
    Edelma (26740): When this was working on another network wired, you did not touch anything on the computer settings prior to this testing?
    Steven: But: It works on every other network I attach it to, it worked on this till the day this network stoppedworking for a lot of things, and at least one other computer doesn’t work on this network also. Its not gonna be the client computer settings.
    Steven: There were no changes to the client hardware or software synchronous with this failure. No power outages, no…nothing. Just stopped one day in the middle of the day.
    Edelma (26740): Yes, that’s why I asked. Seems that our other option now is resetting the router and reconfiguring it.
    Edelma (26740): Do you have a backup feature on your router so you don’t have to manually input everything?
    Steven: Fine… if not I’ll call vonage and tell them to replace the router with something made by a company other than linksys or cisco.
    Steven: disconnected
    Edelma (26740): disconnected

  • shoobe01

    Oh lord. I usually try to avoid tech support, as I get that typical by-the-script mentality. And its never their device’s fault. Ever. Recent IM (as calling is just impossible with most people)

    The order was:
    Firmware
    Its your computer
    Check the port
    Check the cables
    Power cycle
    Reset…Which I refused to do, so we’re back to “its your computer…”

    Hi, my name is Edelma (26740). How may I help you?
    Steven: I IM’d a few days ago, and went off as suggested… Vonage confirms my firmware is up to date.
    Steven: Do you need a minute to look up my old case info or do I have to restate it here?
    Edelma (26740): Thank you for the information. Please give me few minutes to search for your previous session.
    Steven: k
    Edelma (26740): Thank you for waiting Steven.
    Edelma (26740): Basically when you added computers on your network, they are not getting an IP address from the router?
    Steven: Yup. They used to work, then one day, they do not. Today I determined that they can see the router (like, the web-served config screen) but cannot get out to the internet.
    Steven: I can also see other computers on the internal network.
    Edelma (26740): I see. So you wired this computer to the router right?
    Steven: yup.
    Steven: Well, technically, all router outputs are thru one port, and then there’s a switch, but I checked with router ports and its the same thing.
    Edelma (26740): But the other devices attached to it previously are working just fine until now. Is that correct?
    Edelma (26740): I see.
    Steven: Yes. The desktops that are always on work, even when they are re-started, the router is re-started, etc. There are also two printers, with fixed IP addresses, in the right range, but they don’t seem to have any effect (on, off, unplugged, etc.)
    Edelma (26740): So there’s a switch in between the router and the pc, but with that computer wired directly to the router still it won’t get an IP address via DHCP?
    Steven: It seems that some devices cannot see the gateway, and indeed the settings screen for this one laptop has just a blank spot for the router address.
    Edelma (26740): Have you checked if the Ethernet card of that laptop is working properly?
    Steven: Yes. The switch seems to work properly as removing it has no effect. There are wires thru the building, so its pretty inconvenient to work without the switch; wires won’t reach the back of the router and there’s no good place to sit and type like this in the wiring closet. So, I put it back on.
    Steven: Yes. All these devices work fine on other networks.
    Steven: Also, same failure for several laptops.
    Edelma (26740): How many computers are experiencing this problem?
    Steven: Two, which is all I have. Since they work otherwise, I am sure any others would fail the same way. Is clearly a network issue at this location.
    Edelma (26740): Have you tried using these laptops with another router? (wired).
    Steven: Not at this location, as I do not have one. But yes, a variety of them at other sites where they connect fine to wired networks.
    Edelma (26740): To which port of the router did you connect the laptop by the way?
    Steven: No idea. I think I tried several and I think the switch is currently on 2, but its dark and they are poorly labeled. It could be something else.
    Steven: Regardless, not the same one for all this, so its not a single bad port for the router or the switch. Cables have also been changed, etc.
    Edelma (26740): I see.
    Edelma (26740): Well since your vonage provider already confirmed on the firmware of this router, the resort that we can go to right now is power cycling the network. And if that will not do it then I suggest resetting and reconfiguring the router.
    Steven: I have restarted all network components, repeatedly. Aside from the fact that it’ll drop this chat, I’ll need time to take down my firewall and port forwarding settings.
    Steven: Is there /anything/ specific I can try though? This is all very typical answers (double check, firmware, cycle, restart, reset).
    Edelma (26740): I understand that it’s going to be a big job reconfiguring the router considering your network there. May I know how you did the power cycle?
    Edelma (26740): I mean in what order.
    Steven: Um… Everything off. Then switch on, modem on wait 1 minute for it to boot, then router on and watch it connect. But the router has also been reset by its lonesome a few times, and there may have been other orders. I have been playing with this for a while, and power outages and other hangs have not resulted in permanent issues like this before.
    Edelma (26740): I see.
    Edelma (26740): So in this order, modem,router,switch and computers. Is that right?
    Steven: Switch, Modem, Router. Computers and network printers are pretty much always on.
    Edelma (26740): By the way let me just confirm as well, the corresponding led light on the router where these laptops were connected are lit as well?
    Steven: Yes. And there is network traffic, remember, as I can use the laptops to get around the internal network, just not out onto the internet.
    Edelma (26740): I see.
    Edelma (26740): So since you can use the laptop around the internal network, that means that the laptop is getting an IP address from the router. Correct?
    Steven: No. No IP address is assigned (it has a fake one, assigned by the card) and it does not appear in the router’s DHCP table.
    Edelma (26740): What is the IP address then of the laptop since it is able to communicate to your other computers inside the network.
    Steven: Its blank on the config screen. Trying to see if I can find the fake IP it got assigned.
    Edelma (26740): Is it the 169.x.x.x?
    Steven: Not so far. Seems to only be one way, btw. It can see the network, but the desktop, for example, cannot see it.
    Steven: Yes, when it gave me the popup when I connected a while ago it was a 169-series value. Cannot get it to redo that as it knows its on the same bad connection…
    Edelma (26740): You mean when you view for network places, you see your other computers from the laptop? If so, can you open them from there?
    Edelma (26740): Let us check for the Ethernet card of that laptop Steven.
    Edelma (26740): Can we go to your device manager please? By the way is this windows XP?
    Steven: OSX 10.4.8 8L127
    Edelma (26740): What is that OSX?
    Steven: Apple
    Edelma (26740): I see. So it is a MAC OS then.
    Steven: The ethernet works fine. Promise. And, I have another computer right next to I can power on and get the same response if need be.
    Steven: Yes, OSX or OS X is standard parlance to refer to it.
    Edelma (26740): Smiles.
    Edelma (26740): Okay, is the TCP/IP of that adapter on the OS X properly binded (just like with the windows computers).
    Steven: I don’t know what “binded” means.
    Edelma (26740): I am sorry. It is the protocol on your adapter installed on the computer that is installed properly for it to get a valid IP address on a source.
    Edelma (26740): When this was working on another network wired, you did not touch anything on the computer settings prior to this testing?
    Steven: But: It works on every other network I attach it to, it worked on this till the day this network stoppedworking for a lot of things, and at least one other computer doesn’t work on this network also. Its not gonna be the client computer settings.
    Steven: There were no changes to the client hardware or software synchronous with this failure. No power outages, no…nothing. Just stopped one day in the middle of the day.
    Edelma (26740): Yes, that’s why I asked. Seems that our other option now is resetting the router and reconfiguring it.
    Edelma (26740): Do you have a backup feature on your router so you don’t have to manually input everything?
    Steven: Fine… if not I’ll call vonage and tell them to replace the router with something made by a company other than linksys or cisco.
    Steven: disconnected
    Edelma (26740): disconnected

  • Crazyick

    LOL, you have to just love it when they read from the script!

  • Crazyick

    LOL, you have to just love it when they read from the script!