TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bell System Photo by Ansel Adams

Re: Bell System Photo by Ansel Adams

Robert Bonomi (
Tue, 18 Apr 2006 19:00:55 -0000

In article <>,
Scott Dorsey <> wrote:

> Garrett Wollman <> wrote:

>> In article <>,
>> John C. Fowler <> wrote:

>>> What I'd like to see is an option like, if you pay an extra $5, we'll
>>> handle your support calls onshore.

>> There are companies that do that, only it's usually called "premium
>> support" and usually costs a lot more than $5.

> I don't care if the support is handled onshore or offshore. I don't
> care where the person is.

> What I care about is whether he can solve my problem or not. And far
> too seldom are they able to do that. It is very difficult in most of
> these outfits to be able to speak to an actual technician, rather than
> someone who reads a troubleshooting script.

> If the problem was soluble with the troubleshooting script in the manual,
> I would have solved it before calling tech support.

Hear, hear! I once had my account,for tech support calls, flagged with
"when this guy calls, refer it _directly_ to **level IV** support". (This
was a workstation vendor -- level IV was the 'guys in the back room, with
actual access to the O/S source-code'.) The Level II and III folks found
it awfully frustrating when they couldn't understand the question well
enough to figure out _where_ to start looking for an answer. I was _the_
support point-of-contact for our company, and these were the *only* kinds
of calls they got from us. Like with Scott, if it was anything simpler
than 'really esoteric', *I* answered it in-house without having to call
vendor support. I got that kind of access, because it was frequently
worth it _to_them_ when I called. We didn't have an O/S source license,
so the guy looking at their code _couldn't_ tell me much about what the
was looking at, but it tended not to matter. one typical conversation:

me: I think I've found a bug in the {mumble} library routine, under
_these_ circumstances. Would you grab the source code, and tell
me if this is right?
ts: ok. [pause] got it.
me: right. we enter the routine with things set like this, and first it
does _this_.
ts: uh-huh.
me: and then it does *this*.
ts: uh-huh.
me: and then it does =this*.
ts: uh-huh.
me: and then it does ...
ts: (interrupting) oh, *shit*!!!!
me: that's what I was afraid it was doing.

and, maybe an hour later, I have a patch for the problem in hand.

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