I have VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service with Vonage Canada. In theory, this allows me to make calls over the internet. That is, if I could get my phone adapter to work.
I’ve just spent an hour being bounced around the Indian countryside by their outsourced helpdesk. Working with computers every day and running a large IT group, I consider myself fairly savvy and make a point of telling helpdesks things like “I do understand how network connections work” and “Yes, I know how to ping a router”. Doesn’t matter – they have scripts that they’re going to follow and you just better hold your horses Mister while I work through them.
The original calltaker spent 20 minutes rhyming off steps that I’ve already taken before he decided it just might be a hardware issue. No shit Sherlock! The level 1 tech had me reconfigure my PC to directly connect to the phone adapter (did I mention that I know how to do that?) 15 scripts later, he gave up and sent me to level 2.
First thing they ask is for my account number. Hmmmm…. not a sophisticated helpdesk phone system we’re working with. The only problem is that my account information is accessed online. Remember that I’ve reconfigured my PC? No luck with the account number. Level 2 asks me to hold for a minute and promptly disconnects me.
I’m old enough and I’ve been in the IT business long enough to remember when helpdesks were staffed by experts. Now it’s outsourced minimum wage earners who’s only requirement is that they can read English. The service sucks and when I calm down I’ll try to find a Canadian rep and let them know that they can take their adapter back and cancel my account.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bitching because the helpdesk is in India and the people have funny accents. I’ve had the same experience with local providers. You need some real knowledge to run level 1 and 2 support.
If my helpdesk worked like this, I’d fire the lot or quit. Users need to feel that they are speaking with people who have at least some hands-on knowledge.