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Topic: Tech Support via telephone. Watch out for this scam.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 17, 2009 12:33PM)
I don't know whether this is an intentional scam or just an example of rotten tech support. In either case, it's wrong and should not be perpetrated on customers.

My old All-in-one printer (name not mentioned here) finally gave up the ghost, so I shopped around and found a replacement which was made by a very well-known computer company. I installed it according to their instructions and found, much to my chagrin, that it would not scan properly with some of my programs, nor would it print from one that had the access to all of my labels. The thought of converting all these files to another format really worried me.

So, I called their customer support line. The first technician spent an hour and a half poking around my computer and trying various things. Finally after giving up, he told me that there was "a printer specialist" who worked as part of the staff, and for the low, low price of $59.99 plus tax, if applicable, he was guaranteed to find the solution right now.

I paid the fee via credit card (the tax was applicable, BTW -- no surprise here) and spent another hour with the "specialist" who performed exactly the same tests, etc.

[I had also asked both of these fellows if another program I had, which would work with the program in question would work with their computer. They didn't bother to look that up.]

His conclusion -- "I cannot fix this right now; however, I will consult with the rest of the staff, and will return your call in 24 to 48 hours."

I was not happy. I explained to him that
1) I did have a life outside of installing printers on my computer. So I could not waste 24 to 48 hours waiting for a call.
2) His shill, I mean co-worker, had assured me that HE, the specialist, would be able to fix the problem.
3) Since I had been misled, the following four actions would occur in rapid succession:
a) They would refund my money.
b) I would call Visa and dispute the transaction, in any case.
c) I would box this piece of junk up and return it to the retail outlet.
d) I would NEVER purchase another one of their products again. (I've had 3 of their printers and two of their computers)

I knew these guys had left out an important step. I just couldn't put my finger on it. Then I remembered a basic principle of working with Windows. (I know, if I was using a Mac I wouldn't have this problem -- BIOYA!) If a program doesn't work, reinstall it.

I uninstalled the printer and reinstalled it. Now the scanning worked. I reinstalled the program. Now the printing worked. Total time expended for my solution -- 20 minutes.

I got a call the next day from a supervisor. He said that they would refund the money. However, he did offer me the option of future customer support instead of a refund.

I told him the following:
1) there are many on-line expert support sites that offer better support for less money.
2) They needed to find some tech support people who really understand computers.

The money I paid was really of less importance than the time they wasted. They wasted 2 1/2 hours of my time. If you are 25 years old, 2 1/2 hours isn't much. If you are over 60, it's worth a lot more!

Rant over.

Carry on.