Using Tech Support

-Generally use tech support as a last resort, as getting help can be a lot more difficult than you may think. Only use tech support first when you specifically paid for it or paid a lot for a certain computer product and expect a lot from the manufacturer!

-Tech support is available for practically any piece of hardware or software that has to do with a computer.

-There is a big difference between good and bad technical support. Good technical support isn't timed (you can talk to them as long as you want). Bad tech support is generally limited to one 15 minute session before the tech support person tries to get rid of you by referring you to someone else, the computer's documentation, or suggesting a drastic (usually unnecessary and ridiculous) solution to your problem.

-If your computer is less than a month old and you already need tech support, return it!

-Remember that tech support is generally free for the first month or so, and then they will charge you for calling tech support.

Before Calling Tech Support

-Try solving the problem yourself.

-Know if it is a hardware or software problem (refer to the article on this website).

-Have a lot of information on your computer before you call (right click the "My Computer" icon and click on "Properties").

For tech support in application, remember to use the Help tab in the application and if you want to go further than the help they provide, open the program, click on Help and About. This will probably tell you what you need to know before calling Tech Support (or even refer you to tech support once you're there!)

Calling Tech Support Tips

-Be nice.

-Press 0 for the operator if you dislike talking to the Tech Support robots.

-Remember the 15 minute rule and know beforehand if they're charging you for this call!

-Have a notepad or piece of paper handy when calling tech support in case they give you instructions that you want to write down to try later.

-Follow their instructions as closely as you can.

-Get the person's name and an ID number if you have problems later and want to talk to that person again.

-When you are done with tech support, thank the person and see if you can get an email of the conversation for reference later on for solving a specific computer problem.

Finding Tech Support on the Internet

-Use "Live Chat" if you can.

-With software, try using the application's Help Menu to find an "About" or "Support" link to the software developer's website for help.

-With hardware, use the Device Manager (by pressing the Windows Key+R and typing in devmgmt.msc and pressing Enter) to find the problematic piece of hardware and then look it up on a search engine to try to find the manufacturer's website for help.

-If you need to download or update a driver (a driver is a software program that controls the computer's hardware) on your computer, please remember that:

*You should download directly from the hardware manufacturer's website. Any other website may try to make you pay for the driver.

*Write down the directions for installing the driver.


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