I am well aware that a lot of customer support is subpar, but is everything completely their fault? Is the person on the other line just plain BAD with computers? It can be difficult to understand just how ridiculous some of the questions these people are asked and just how baffling things people say can be.
Take, for instance, my mom called our Internet Service Provider the other day. The person told her to enter something into the web address bar. Simple enough, right? Wrong. My mom INSISTED that she "didn't have one of those." How the hell are you supposed to respond to that? This is a person on a phone some distance away, they cannot point at your screen. The person proceeded to give her a general direction and still my mom insisted she had no address bar.
I run over to her computer and laugh. She DID have one, as I am sure all of you were able to guess. The reason she could not find it wasn't because she was an idiot, it was because the address bar was so small it appeared the size of a search bar, which no doubtedly, is what mom thought it was.
But let's think back on that. "I don't have one of those." The ISP rep. knew mom had Internet Explorer open (new computer, no chrome yet) so imagine how confused he must have been to hear that my mom supposedly "had no address bar." I mean really, HOW do you respond to that?
Of course, the people at Verizon are able to fix computers remotely with our permission, but this guy must have been very patient and waited for mom to get it. I encourage you all to ask the representative to remotely fix your computer if you are too confused to do what they say. It's very simple that way. They can take control of your screen and do everything themselves. If things get to stressful, this is sometimes a good solution.
But what about when something needs to be done outside of the actual computer system? Connecting an ethernet cable from the router to the computer, for instance (I have a modem-router). Many people have no idea what the heck an ethernet cable is, a lot of people don't even have one. Your first inclination is to say "google a picture." But that's not possible without an internet connection. The Verizon rep. from the other day tactfully called the ethernet cable a "computer cord that connects to the modem" the other day, to which I would have been "uhm, like, the ethernet cable?" My mom knows what an ethernet cable is, but for somebody who had not the slightest clue, would even his clever semantics have worked?
I'm not letting ISPs get away with terrible service, but this is certainly something to think about, especially in regards to people who know close to nothing of computers. How much is them being unskilled, and how much of it is your ignorance? Of course, since you're calling them, you're not expected to know how to bring up your IP address or set up a connection, but shouldn't you at least know how to find the web address bar? My mom knows a lot more than other people her age, I wonder at what THEY say to their ISP reps. "Oh, you mean this thing with the clicker?" I jest, but in all reality, a lot of "bad ISP customer service" might not be bad service at all.
If they tell you to click start and then go to the control panel and you insist you HAVE NO control panel (when we all know you do) whose fault is it that things are stressful? I'm not saying that it's our fault for our internet problems, and I'm not saying all customer service is spectacular (because it certainly is not) but how would you feel if you had to tell somebody where the sky was, you said "look up when you're outside," and they insisted there WAS NO SKY? I know it can be frustrating not understanding computers. Get the young people or tech-savvy people in your family to show you how things work! You don't need to know the ins and outs, just basic things. A lot of people hate Verizon customer service, but my mom always gets her questions answered on the first try.