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    AGW #31: The Last Rant
    Author: JonnyGURU
    Date Posted: April 3rd, 2002
    Pages: 1 2 3
    >> Discuss This Article

    First off, he had PCI cards installed in the machine, all sorts of drives, etc...I told him to unplug everything. He fired it up the way I told him to have it and the PC still locked up.

    Fair enough.

    So now we've got the PC down to a motherboard, CPU and RAM that was tested good and a power supply and video card we know nothing about. Let's try the video card first and then the power supply.

    Swapping out the video card didn't help, so it was on to his power supply. He had to set the phone down to swap this power supply out with one from another case that he laying around.

    As the phone was lying on the customer's desk, I could hear him talking to his wife. "I think there's something wrong with this motherboard, but this guy wants me to try all of these other things. I'm just going to humor him until he's willing to admit that there's something wrong with the motherboard."

    I don't honestly think he knew I could hear him. I mean, here I am insisting that the problem is not the board because we tested it and it worked here, but he's telling his wife that despite this, the problem is still the board and that he is merely going to "humor me" until I am willing to admit this.

    He swapped out the power supplies, got back on the phone and fired up the PC.

    Sure as shit, it locked up.

    I told him to hold on while I thought a moment. We tested the motherboard, CPU and RAM and it was all good. He just swapped out the power supply and the video card. The hard drive works in another PC. What's wrong? What is wrong?

    The heat sink!

    "Sir," I begin to ask, "isn't it true that we have eliminated all part except for one and that one part is the heat sink?"

    "I suppose." He replies, "But it's installed correctly. I've already gone over that with one of your guys."

    "I know. But if you have a different one, I would like for you to try it instead."

    He does try another heat sink and it actually fixes the problem. "This is great! It's booting up into Windows and everything! I guess there's something wrong with the surface of this heat sink I was trying to use! I'm in Windows and everything! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!"

    Meanwhile, I'm whacking myself in the head with the handset of my phone because I just spent the last 30 minutes troubleshooting with a guy and his problem turns out to be a $20 heat sink fan.

    At least the problem wasn't the motherboard!

    I had another customer this week that was worth of ranting about. He had bought one hard drive enclosure and three caddies, just over a year ago. This drive enclosure and the caddies were made by a different manufacturer then the ones my workplace currently carries. They are physically interchangeable, but apparently are somehow wired differently.

    This customer bought three more caddies for this "older" enclosure. Needless to say they did not work. Now, I don't know who gave him the RMA to return these, but the customer exchanged these three caddies for three more.

    I had the pleasure of speaking with him after the sixth caddie did not work. Unlike the person that spoke with this customer before, I knew that the problem was that the caddies were not defective, but rather not compatible with his older drive enclosure. This took a bit of convincing for the customer has he was honestly under the impression that he had received six bad hard drive caddies in a row!


    I also get the type of customer that is hopelessly incompetent but keeps coming back for more.

    One gentleman in particular stands out with me. He's a very egotistical gentleman, but has every right to be as that he really is very intelligent. He writes software and manuals about writing software for a living. I'd say that makes him more accomplished than I.

    When it comes to computer hardware, however, he's a little less than competent then the average bear and him and I always butt heads because he has to prove that because he is so much smarter than I am, that I couldn't possibly tell him how to do things.

    Then why does he bother calling?

    Unlike my previous examples, this gentleman doesn't place blame on our company selling faulty parts or that tech support ships product back to customers without testing them first. He's already bought parts from 50% of the vendors on Pricewatch and still manages to return 25% of what he buys.

    All by himself, this gentleman has come to the conclusion that computer components simply have a 25% return rate by nature. When I try to convince him that the actual failure rate is only actually 3% across the board in this industry, he starts giving me examples as to how he is smarter than me and that I must be wrong because I am inferior in intelligence.

    I've learned to not fight him anymore and actually look forward to his calls as a source of humor in my day.

    Basically I'm saying that I believe that people just need to think before they react.

    Most don't.

    I admit that I really have to do the same myself. I have written what rants I have written as a way to release stress. I didn't mean for people to think of my rants as a sign of hatred of my job or of people. I've gotten used to the customers and have been able to turn most situations around with a simple, "what's it going to take to make you happy" before the situation explodes into something that is worthy of rant material.

    Perhaps this is the "last rant" because I don't want to be conceived as an angry person anymore. Perhaps this is the last rant because I am managing to eliminate the source of all of my material...

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    Previous 3 AGW's:

    AGW #30: Intel Now Faster Then AMD Clock For Clock

    AGW #29: RAID Crazy

    AGW #28: Videogame Consoles

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