• Randy’s top 10 customer-support issues: Identified!

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    ISSUE 19.33 • 2022-08-15 SUPPORT By Randy McElveen You hear pretty much everything when you’ve been in the computer-repair business for as long as I h
    [See the full post at: Randy’s top 10 customer-support issues: Identified!]

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    • #2470352

      I don’t see many solutions for the listed problems, other that stating the obvious.

      • #2470358

        Interesting comment … Randy stated right at the beginning of his article.  (Quote)

        Let’s start this week by simply identifying the most common things I see on a weekly basis, and then I’ll do a few follow-up articles to show what you can do to avoid me.  (End Quote)

        As a 50 yr+ tech in this arena and others, I enjoy ready, hearing, or actually watching other tech experiences either live or video.  Sounds like Randy’s been there and still doing it.  I’d say he’s also seen a lot of strange stuff.  This is my first read of his stuff.  I’ll be back to check on things.  Good hunting Randy….

        4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2470362

      I also work as a computer repair tech and hopefully, this will be the best article ever from Ask Woody! After all, I want tips that help me on the job.

    • #2470365

      Thirty-eight years of experience dealing with computer issues. I remember one of the first things I heard about this business: half of all problems are related to printing. After all these years, still rings true for me.

    • #2470388

      Thanks for the overview. I am looking forward to your hints, tips, and solutions.

      Mentions a flash drive… how much memory (size)?

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2470391

      Don’t forget about PEBKAC

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2470413

      And of the 70% of problems making up the number one spot, what percentage of that in recent years has been caused by not being able to turn off Windows Update and having the computer malfunction as a result, usually sometime in the middle of the night or the next time the computer gets turned back on.

      For my small IT consulting company, that has been the largest problem we see over and over again since Win 7 phased out and Win Server 2019 and Win 10 phased in, .  It just wouldn’t be a normal Monday morning (during the third week of each month) without getting at least one call about downed hardware caused by some Win Update screwing up!

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2470421

        One call per month out of how many client computers?

      • #2470440

        Same here but I have been noticing some things. It most cases it’s because of bloated anti-virus or people ignoring their computer manufacturer’s app telling them to do driver or BIOS updated before the Windows updates hit.


        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2470493

        If you have a router that can do DNS or one with parental controls or outbound firewall rules you should be able to block the few domains that Windows users for Windows Update. Been doing that for years. On my LAN, you need a VPN connection to bypass the router to run Windows Update.

        Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org and Defensive Computing at DefensiveComputingChecklist.com

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2470521

      Randy, I’m looking forward to your future expanded posts!

      Custom desktop Asus TUF X299 Mark 1 16GB RAM i7-7820X
      4 27" 1080p screens 2 over 2.
      Laptop Clevo/Sager i7-9750H - 17.3" Full HD 1080p 144Hz, 16GB RAM Win 10 Pro 22H2 all

    • #2470647

      recent years has been caused by not being able to turn off Windows Update and having the computer malfunction as a result,

      This is so true. MS has create all home users to be alpha testers since they do not want to pay people to this function. MS release bad updates since their internal people are clueless. MS telemetry is just a big spyware to gather info and be able to know which stocks to buy and sell to make MS more money.

    • #2470738

      To add to your the nerd squadron,

      • User call helpdesk…get person A who created a ticket 1. Person A can not solve it. Pass it to Person B. Person B can not solve. Pass to Person C. etc etc until Person J  can not solve. Pass it to Person A. Person A says same thing as before and pass to Person K. Person K can not solve passes to Person L says it is not in their scope and close ticket 1 and tells user to create another ticket to get the right support person. User creates another ticket 2 and gets Person A again and start the whole cycle again but goes to Person O etc etc….8 tickets later with 40-50 IT person and finally might solve or users give up asking for help. Had this happen several times with current IT support that are outsourced and use checklist to help users.
      • User call help desk….get person C. Person C tries to solve but does not solve it. Stop reply to user.  About 2 days later, user gets an auto email saying that ticket has been marked as solved and ticket is closed. Have 3 days to reopen ticket. User reopens ticket. 5 days later no response. Another auto email ask if user still needs help. User replies yes. 3 days later ticket is closed and report if still need help. User reopens ticket again. Person D goes to same steps as person C and can not solve it even though user told that it was already tried. Ticket stay open for few days and closed again. User has a choice reopen ticket or give up…
      • User call help desk… get person G. Person G can not solve it and pass to next Person L. After few other people, user finds a bypass/work around online and use it. Person M contacts user that user broke policy by using this bypass/work around even thought it solve the issue.
      • User call help desk…get person V. Problem is laptop is over heating. Person V tell user to get a cooling pad since can not do anything about.
      • User takes computer to store for help. Store person claims it has virus but it is a news anchor doing a story about store charging users for virus removal when there are no viruses.
      • #2470827

        To add to your the nerd squadron,

        Ha Ha. I took had some of those similar experience with IT help desk.

        One other was that got a new computer and need to add other users to the computer. IT help desk said that it can only be done in the office. It can not be done thru VPN. I asked why did it work before on VPN. IT help desk replied that for security reason can not add other users over VPN and need users to be in the office. I asked how can this be can since office are shut down because of the pandemic.  IT help desk replied well you will have to wait until office reopens. I asked when will that be. IT help desk reply that not sure. I had to google it and found that can run as command prompt to add add users over VPN. No need to go to the office… How can IT helpdesk be so unhelpful?…Most people have lost all common sense now a days.

      • #2470917

        Well that made me laugh but it is sad laughter.  Way too true and happens to so many people looking for help because they really need it.  I used to tell friends bring it to me before you go anywhere.  I may not be able to fix it but I can most likely narrow it down.  If people can listen and learn that works and usually I can fix it.  Others I tell to just go buy a new computer and we will wipe the old one and they can give it away (if it indeed is still good).  Some people have no patience for tech or problem-solving.

        No formal training – I just got into a disastrous situation in my office in the 1986 where the one computer  sent out for repair to the dedicated company we bought it and the software from came back fixed.  LOL – they had completely wiped our disk and lost all info.  As office manager I had a good recent back-up (on 27 floppy disks) and had to reload everything from drivers to data over the phone talking to the Vietnamese-speaking main engineer with the company.  He was smart and patient and I learned a lot though instructions had to be repeated many times because of his heavy accent.  It worked and I vowed never to trust anybody else again.

        I took a weekend course where we learned the architecture of a 386 PC – went out to lunch and everybody (teams of 3) faced a broken computer.  Our job was to find the problem and fix it.  My team was 2nd and I went and bought a giant book on computer tech, a set of tools, a wrist band and rubber mat and I was off running.  From then on I became the seat of the pants IT for our business until I retired.  By that time online forums and videos were everywhere to help out.

        Now my hands are arthritic and I can’t seat cards or even screw things in, but I found a really nice guy who has been in the business for 20 years and works out of his home and charges rational prices and can get good hardware wholesale and is super competent.  Between the 2 of us we keep all my family’s home computers and most of my friends running well.  Or have them buy new when it is time.  And of course, I am still diagnosing people’s problems over the phone and in person but it is getting harder to keep up.  Still I can usually figure something out.

        What a shame that so many places don’t teach anyone how to really diagnose or fix – they just say weird stuff and wipe the disk.


    • #2470837

      Most people have lost all common sense now a days.

      I would say 97.999% of people have lost common sense. In the old days, only 20-30% had no common sense.

      There are only very few IT help people less than 1% that know how to solve issues.

      I had an issues and IT help person could not turn off firewall to test if firewall is blocking access to site. Need approval from third party vendor to turn it off which took 3 days. For 3 days had no access to site need. When another IT help person was assigned, was able to turn it off after give me local admin rights in 10 seconds. It turn out it was the third party blocking the site since they categorized it as a malicious site. Third vendor took another 2 days to fix it. 5 days without access to site.

    • #2470920

      I look forward to the wisdom of your future articles.  There is more to learn all the time and I maintain a lot of aging computers.

    • #2471021

      The series of articles looks to be worth much more than the price of a subscription all by itself (the rest of the newsletter is already more than worth it).

      Very much looking forward to the follow-on articles.

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