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Caller I.Q.

A way for techs to know the real story.
  (+9, -4)
(+9, -4)
  [vote for,

Anyone in the computer tech business has had to deal with the inanely, stupid customer at some time or another. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to weed out those calls long before you're stuck in a two-hour conversation about what an IRQ is? That's where Caller I.Q. comes in. This handy-dandy device enables tech support staff to instantly know the level of knowledge of the caller before he or she picks up the phone. Avoid the hassles of figuring out that the non-booting system is due to the surge protector being turned off. Who can forget the broken "automatic coffee cup tray?" All this and much more can be conveniently forgotten about with just a simple glance at the LCD screen. No muss...no fuss...no end-users.
Reverend D, Jun 01 2001

StarChaser's 'Doofus of the (Unspecified Time Period)' http://web.tampabay...starchsr/doofus.htm
The 'cream' of 4 years of tech support, for melanerpes. [StarChaser, Jun 01 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       WIBNI.... however, in this case no....that's why they pay you guys the big bucks <grin>, your honour
Susen, Jun 01 2001

       I know, but we all have our pipe-dreams <grin>.
Reverend D, Jun 01 2001

       Isn't this a WIBNTBAT? (see idea description...)
globaltourniquet, Jun 01 2001

       "... may be monitored. Your call is very important to us. If you know the next number in the series 8 5 4 9 1 7 6, press it now to be transferred to our smartass department. Otherwise, please continue to hold."
jutta, Jun 01 2001

       How are you spelling "two" and "three"?   

       (Of course, the real smartass knows that there are an infinite number of definable series beginning with any finite sequence...)
bookworm, Jun 02 2001

       The real beauty part: Those most needful of Caller I.Q. Block™ will never figure out how to activate it.
The Military, Jun 17 2001

       something similar to this appeared in a ren & stimpy comic
technobadger, Jun 17 2001

       Something similar to Ren and Stimpy appeared in The Ruff and Reddy Show.
The Military, Jun 18 2001

       How about "Answerer A. Q." Arrogance Quotient.   

       The tech support folks are supposed to answer phones and help USERS! That is, people who paid real money for software that is frequently underdocumented, and bug-ridden. I have spent hours, days, and weeks trying to solve a problem that was not mine, but I was too intimidated to call tech support because I might reveal that I don't know what an IRQ is. Believe it or not, a computer is not an end...it is a means. Why should a user know anything about a computer?   

       These high-tech high I.Q. folks type my question into their computer and read me the answer that pops up. Mostly, the answers are useless and I hang up and go back to work and solve the problem myself.   

       I may not know what an IRQ is, but I know what a JIRQ is.
melanerpes, Jun 19 2001

       [Apologies for this rant...]   

       melanerpes: What's worse is when you ring up your ISP's tech support not because you've messed something up or need assistance, but because there is something broken on their end.   

       I don't want to name names here, but my ISP appears to be completely incompetent in this regard, especially in the area of admitting that they've broken something, and then fixing it.   

       Example 1: replacing the chem.com.au web page with someone else's (presumably because they made a typo somewhere in their server configuration); the tech support at first didn't understand the problem, and then proceeded to make things worse by fiddling with random things. It was eventually fixed, though.   

       Example 2: their dialup system randomly refused to accept our username and password. They eventually verified that this was a problem by trying to dial up from one of their computers, and fixed it (without telling us what was wrong in the first place); however, before that they tried to do various things to our computer which didn't fix anything, but _really_ screwed up our LAN to the point where I had to reinstall networking on that machine.   

       I could continue to grizzle and rant, but I think everyone gets the point by now. It isn't only end-users who are stupid. In fact, most of them aren't. I just wish I could say the same for my experiences with tech support ;)
cp, Jun 19 2001

       Glad I hit a nerve here. [melanerpes] You should understand that this product is made to deal with customers that "think" they know more than the techs they are calling. I had yet another wonderful experience with an end-user yesterday. We were attempting to get a program to work that requires the user to have IE 5.0 or higher. I spent 25 minutes explaining that Netscape wouldn't work because it wouldn't accept the ActiveX plug-in that was needed to run the program. He argued over and over that a browser was a browser and Netscape should work. I ended up convincing him to transfer me to someone else.   

       This product is not made to block out intelligent people that are willing to work with the people they call for assistance. Just the ones that you want to end the conversation with, "if you didn't want my help, why did you call me?"   

       [cp] The major difference between an end-user and a tech is the power of choice. We can't control who we deal with, you can. If your ISP is chocked-full of half-wits, get a new one.   

       Just an additional note: Support techs don't hate end-users. We wouldn't have a job without them. I've helped 4th graders install complex, network software and talked customers (with no computer experience) through rebuilding their PCs. I've even helped customers install a competitor's software, because that's what I do for a living. I help people. I enjoy my work. But in order for me to do my job, you have to be smart enough to want to be helped and that's where Caller I.Q. comes in.
Reverend D, Jun 19 2001

       What he said.   

       Yes, sometimes you might get a bad tech. More often, we get bad users. People who try and tell us how we WILL fix their problem, without caring whether it's actually possible or not.   

       Take a look at my webpage for examples of these.   

       Yes, we're supposed to help users. However, you need to remember that WE DID NOT WRITE THE SOFTWARE. OR the documentation. We have no control over how it works or does not work, and we sometimes need to do a little looking around to figure out how it isn't working. Bellowing that 'I can't get to Outlook!' withouth telling us that A) You recently changed ISP's but wanted to keep your old email address and B) you're not dialed in because you didn't know how to change the dialin number makes it hard on us.   

       And no, it's not just 'type your question into our computer and read the answer'. If it was, we'd probably include the database on the CD. Of course, since lUsers don't ever read the documentation or help files anyway...
StarChaser, Jun 22 2001

       This could be approached from a more positive light... and possibly do some good.   

       It really could be a rating of technical ability (as opposed to human kindness quotent or other important items) that would help a tech know what level to start out with a support call. If the system pops up "newbie, nice" then you can be polite, chatty and make sure you specify every mouse click and key press. If it says "newbie, asshole" you can be cooly professonal, with the recorder on, and get them finished ASAP (which is what an asshole newbie wants anyway). If it says "techgod, angered" you can apologize, and esc the call to the next level without wasteing time.   

       I even think that a system could be implemented for rating each call after the call is done... the phone system just hangs on a sec after the caller hangs up and asks you to rate the callers technical ability from 1 to 9 and the callers personallity from 1 (asshole) to 9 (sweetheart).   

       Maybe the same system could be used to allow the caller to rate the tech... sort of like the ebay feedback system.
James Newton, Aug 19 2002

       An awesome idea! Where do I get one?
bspollard, Dec 05 2002


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