An Unwilling Tech Support Agent Rants Away

Chest Clearing Morning

I’m not very good at tech support, so why do find myself doing it all the time?

Warning- rant on the way. 

To Tim Cook, CEO at Apple and Proud Auburn Graduate. 

Dear Tim,

War Eagle.

Congrats on the new iTunes Tim, it’s real neat and after I spend my entire Saturday relearning iTunes I’m sure I’ll like it as much as the fan sites say I will.

Tim, I know you’ve been busy lately, taking a lot of heat about maps and directions and trying to get out of the shadows of your old boss and all but I need some help. When the gang over on Infinity Loop in Cupertino decide to introduce change into your core applications, do you have a focus group for these changes? Do you have one that includes middle aged technologically and change adverse housewives or do you just stick to black turtlenecked old dudes like me and some young Apple Fans? I ask because with your latest change to iTunes life around my house is going to suck for a while.

I don’t know if you realize this but women in this focus group tend to look for tech support locally, like within 15’ of themselves. Oh, in a pinch they might call people, people who are are already in their iPhones. Since my middle son, the one who used to provide my wife with her all her tech support has moved to Alabama to attend YOUR alma matter I wonder if you wouldn’t mind doing me solid as a member of the the Auburn Family, after all as they say on every letter asking me for money; the Auburn family is “All In”.

I guess what I’m asking Tim is could you please send me your personal cell phone number? When these changes are introduced and my wife gets frustrated with your products, I think she starts to confuse the two of us as I find myself getting held accountable for things your company is doing.

If you can get me out of being the middle man between my wife and Apple I’d be most grateful.

Eagerly awaiting your response,

The Sankster.

And as long as we’re on the subject of Tech Support-

To: Charter Communications Product Innovation Team

Thank you for being as understanding as you were about my cable issues and helping to understand what I was getting for my $8700 a month cable/phone/internet and puppy bill. I think we have come to a much more reasonable monthly bill, I appreciate it. (Seriously, phone support is great, social media team is great, online chat support, seems to be staffed by monkeys on typewriters in Khadahar. Nothing but lousy interaction with them)

Ma’am, I will not be stopping by the office to pick up another cable box for my basement TV. To be clear, even it were free I wouldn’t stop by to get one, much less pay $5.00 a month for it.  I do understand that my service will be limited to just 30-40 channels on my second TV without a box. I would suggest that 30 channels is 15 more than I need down there, I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’m not sure you understand the constraints we have in our home which keep us from realizing the full majesty of digital entertainment. It boils down to one pinch-point in the TV viewing experience, that pinch point- the remote.

I would like to comment and offer a suggestion.

We are basically a one TV family. We have a list of programs we like to watch, we regularly view about 15 or so channels. Seriously, that BYU channel, am I paying for that ‘cause I’ve never watched a minute of it.

Where we have a problem, and this could be us, could be user error, is that we do not seem to be able to figure out the proper sequence of buttons to push which enable the remote to operate our devices. We push things and we get unexpected results.

When this happens to me, I feel frustration in my heart, but being a man I keep pressing away and eventually everything comes on, except the sound for some reason, but I start over and finally get to where I need to be. To be honest I’m not sure that someone with a sense of humor over in your office isn’t mixing up the sequence every few days just  to be funny. Or maybe my remote has some sort of randomizer chip to mix it up. Who knows?

When this happens to my wife on the other hand, she also get frustration in her heart. However, when she gets frustration in her heart, well that’s when things like the remote, my camera, her drink glass, my dog can wind up imbedded in my walls. And if this happens during the day, oo boy. Lets just say I know when there are AV issues at home because I’ll find 26 missed calls from my wife in 11 minutes.

My wife has very eloquently summed up our issues with the remote on numerous occasions with the statement, and let me make sure I say this right um… it goes like this


And like always, she’s right. Does this have to be so fucking hard?

It’s very embarrassing to be seen in business meetings whispering into the phone, “push the aux button, then power, then the cable button and then power again. No don’t push the white power button, push the red one. yeah since some things are on and some are off you have… ooo I hafta go, I’ll call you later”. And you know what, I’m don’t really want to call her later because I’m scared shitless of her when she gets that angry. Is there really no way to create a simple remote that operates everything, I think it would improve your market share dramatically if you could advertise yourself as being the one service in America where the remote has only one button. Every wife in America would sign up and every husband would rejoice.

Thank you.

PS- when you figured out how to put a “back 30sec” button on the remote did it not occur to anyone to put a “forward 30 seconds” button on it as well, cause when I’m watching a show on the DVR, that would sure be handy.



Filed under Life

12 responses to “An Unwilling Tech Support Agent Rants Away

  1. JeffPR

    I’m not sure there ever has been a focus group done at Apple. That’s kinda the point of the Job’s genius, “I’ll tell you what you want…and you’ll learn to like it.” it’s worked out pretty well so far. But the next chapter will be really interesting to see if the magic can continue?

  2. RAH

    Hi- Larious! Snickering out loud. Yep that’s our house too. Last time Mr H was gone the cable was “broke” for 3 days as I didn’t understand I had somehow turned the box off.

  3. Clyde of Mankato

    Good rant. My son used to have encounters with Steve Jobs at exhibitions. Mr. Jobs did not lose encounters.
    My daughter-in-law is an Apple Genius, that’s really her title. Genius. When people come into the a store with a tech problem, they start with her. 80% of the customers are just not able to handle the simplest parts of all the sophistication they bought, which is again how all tech companies work, sell you the latest new version you do not need. My daughter-in-law used to work in the Los Gatos store (by San Jose) and one of her customers was Steve Wozniak. My son produces games and apps for Apple products. The way their company works is so high tech. For instance, they do everything on a cloud. Everyone on the development team has access to the cloud wherever they are. Some days they do not go into work because they can all just access it all and communicate what they are doing on cloud. It all reminds me of Asimov stories from the 1950’s that seemed only possible in the distant future.
    Cable. Now I would rant. I agree about paying for channels we do not watch. But our cable is terrible, pixelates and freezes, remotes don’t work well, goes into its own private world from which only they can extract it. They have quick and free service but you have to wait half the day for them to show up if they cannot fix it from there, which they often can. I want to dump it all, but my wife is close to an invalid and has memory issues. She wants her HGTV and changing to the other cable company, we once had and it was poor, but changing would mean my wife would have to learn a new sequence of buttons and channel numbers, which would frustrate her. So they own me by her techno-rigiidty. Fortunately their Internet access is flawless. I want to dump our landline too, but my wife cannot imagine how you cannot have a landline.

  4. Try explaining that remote stuff to an 82 year old woman in an assisted living facility whose only daily activity is to eat meals in the dining room and to watch television. My husband is a saint.

  5. This middle-aged working womyn (sorry, coudn’t resist) took herself a few courses at the Apple Store. And it has made ALL the difference. In MY house, when it comes to Apple Technology (or technology of any kind, really), my middle-aged househusband comes to ME…

  6. Clyde of Mankato

    I’m the only one in this family who does not have a Mac, cannot afford it. My son and d-i-l have the ultimate Laptops, of course, with their jobs. My daughter and her husband have them. They all love them, all pretty good with tech and can call the Genius as they need. Wonderful tool and toy, no doubt.

  7. OMG, the remote! My sympathies. I have, at least twice, been reduced to calling Comcast support because I didn’t know which button to push to get my picture back. So embarrassing! And it’s worse if the cat steps on the remote (yes, it’s happened several times) and I have absolutely no clue which button was pushed. Half the buttons I’ve never used because I don’t have a DVR (why does one of their buttons say DVR while another says VCR?). The darn thing controls both my TV and the cable box (separately, of course), On Demand (which I never demand), and the nonexistent DVR. There’s a volume control, but I have some external speakers hooked up and they have their own remote. Then there’s the Xbox, with its remote and controller, which operates through the TV and the external speakers … thank gawd my son is a developer/geek.

  8. BYU channel, lol. I’m Mormon and I won’t even watch that snooze-fest.

  9. theothermotathq

    Comcast isn’t any better. We lost Turner Classic Movies and “gained” the BBC channel. Every time I go there, they’re showing a Star Trek, Next Gen marathon or some Hollywood movie. What the heck does the Telly license fee pay for over there, anyhow?

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