Having worked as tier2 tech support for a major corporation, although I primarily dealt with their field techs, the rule of thumb is; Linux is unsupported, but it is your judgment on if you can field it. In other words, our best effort. For me, I hated mail clients. I never used them, and so I had to follow a script on how to configure them. I also could not stand tier1. Tier1 was one extreme or another. Either tier1 was the type to answer the phone like “Hello and thank you for calling ABC company this is <rep name>, how may I direct your call?” and then transfer the call to us, or they would go beyond their scope of support and do stuff they weren’t supposed to, and then we’d get it and have to fix it.
Their weren’t many of us that knew Linux. Those of us that did were considered uber techs.
One call I had was from a specialist, where he had been dispatched to fix their pc. It was this companies version of the Geek Squad. So why was he calling me? Don’t know. He describes the problem to me. The resolution is off when viewing web pages. I am thinking it’s a plugin issue. This was one of those where tier1 had had their hands in it. It turns out that tier1 had the customer uninstall some drivers. This tech in the field says he has never seen anything like this before. As it turns out, there were no video drivers installed. I tried surfing to the VIA site to get the drivers the customer needed. We tried all 3, and none worked. Finally we did a system restore. After being on the call for 90+ minutes, I decided my manager would kill me if I didn’t wrap it up. The system restore did work.
Unfortunately these ISP’s that provide tech support are more interested in 2 things. 1) Talk time, and 2) That you don’t call back for the same issue.
That is why you get frustrated with their support. The other person on the other end of the line, the rep, is having to meet certain metrics to keep their job. So talk time is one of the biggest things. The ISP’s figure they can train people to become techs, but customer service…that’s kind of another matter. Of course the problem with the ISP’s training people to become techs is that you get those who all they know is to follow the script.
The ISP’s develop tools so that techs don’t have to do much thinking. The tools are supposed to tell all, and even fix most. When I was working there, I could almost tell exactly where the problem was. I could read/interpret the data that well. And yet the ISP was working to develop the tool to make it so you didn’t have to interpret it. It was color coded, and gave certain messages and even suggestions. This is what was in the works when I left.
Don’t assume it’s the rep. Alot of times, the rep is just worried about his metrics. Instead, write to your ISP and tell them how you feel. If enough of us do it, it might just make a difference.