How to deal with user errors/ignorance

smyoung

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 4, 2001
Messages
10
I've recently sold a fully loaded system to a customer, which replaced his Pentium 166 Compaq. I'm getting about 3-4 calls a week from this guy, and since he's a new customer I go out to his house, and everything seems to work ok. He has one genuine problem with his logitech wireless optical combo (I'm waiting for a reply back from logitech), but the other issues are slow internet access, and email related problems.
Each time I goto his house the downloads are about 5k a second. I've told him it's about as fast as it goes, but he insists his old computer was alot faster on the internet. He keeps insisting there is something wrong with the computer. He also complains that saving to floppy disk takes "so much longer" since he's upgraded to office 2000.

He says he is losing productivity for his business since he can't get his work done. The funny thing is, when I look at his history, 95% of the sites are porn. Lossed productivity my a$$.

Can anyone recommend how to sort out this problem? I can't keep running out to his house. Also when I tell him to call the ISP, he never does. On his old computer he was having virus like activity and I asked if he did a virus scan. "No I haven't", The next week, "The icons are still moving around the screen." "Have you done a virus scan?" "No", and the next week the same answer. When I installed the new computer I ran Norton and it found 15 infected files, and now the problem is gone.

What is the proper way to handle this without offending him, or making me look like I give bad customer support? I'm off to his house now, because he can't get his email...


-Steve
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2001
Messages
11,584
Steve
It is very difficult to suggest a course of action not knowing the individual personally. The best I can do is generically cover some points that I think exist and how to possibly overcome them.
It is also not possible to cover all talking points here, so the best I can do is give examples.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
With most customers perception is a key element in support.
Unfortunately there are the few that no matter what you do or say they will never be satisfied. When customer support is called they are already at wits end since they tried everything they could think of to fix the problem. In this case the customer is somewhat computer literate as far as operation but does not have a clue on how or what it takes to upkeep a system and expects the system to run flawless because it is new and paid a good price for it. For that matter they have little understanding of how the Internet connections work. They may say they do but they really do not.
With this type of individual Education is the best course of action.
You must capture the individuals full attention and explain the how and why's certain actions occur. For instance having a 5K download rate for a dial-up may be the fastest for your location. Explain to the customer (in basic terms) using analogies they will understand how information is transferred upstream and downstream. Include all the stops along the way such as servers
and phone companies that cause delays in transmission.
As it stands right now the customer believes the faster the computer the faster the internet connection.
In regards to the individuals productivity, making them aware
that accessing and downloading from suspect sites will affect the systems performance and possibly catch a virus or a Trojan.
I have a customer 84 years old that had 7400 plus temp files all from porn sites. The astounding part is he did not have any virus activity. Performance was way down but no viruses.
With all the customers I deal with I assume they have very little knowledge on how computers work until I know different. Explaining in simple terms using analogies allows me to determine the level of computer literacy of the individual I am dealing with.
Summary:
1) Do your best to explain why the customer must do certain things on a timely basis. (Create booklets to accompany new systems that define maintenance, upkeep procedures, and user responsibilities.)
2) Demonstrate if possible that their I-net speed is the same as it was before. (Possible use a laptop with their connection)
3) Set guidelines for them to operate under so as to keep the
the warranty in tact for software support.
4) Consider getting PC Anywhere and installing it on all the systems you sell so you can fix most software problems remotely.
5) Last but not least be firm with the individual but also be fair. Their perception of the situation is different from yours at the moment.
As far as you reputation? At this point you may have to bend over backwards for this customer if this individual is not normally like this. If they are influential and well known in the community then winning their confidence and support will be a bonus in the future.
Dave
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
3,992
Hi Steve

What kind of support did you agree to give him when you sold him the computer? If you only agreed to give him limited support you could start billing him by the hour (money talks).
"Unfortunately there are the few that no matter what you do or say they will never be satisfied." I don't know the situation but some people are just lazy and will expect you to do everything for them or will try to take advantage of your willingness to give them free support. Only you can decide what has to be done.
 

smyoung

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 4, 2001
Messages
10
Thanks for the replies.

I arrive at the guys house around 4pm. He has two ISP's, his old one is active just for the email. He connects through the other "good" one. I logged on the internet, opened outlook express, the good account recieved and email, and the other one took a second and fired back a message saying Password rejected. Spent five minutes explaining that the password was rejected and he blahblhablhablahb, so I told him to call the isp. He called them and is account had been disabled! It was disabled 3 days ago.
The good thing is he is going to Melbourne for 11 days at the end of the week, I told him I'd take the computer to my house while he was gone and use it to find the bugs. I may even bring it down to the local computer shop (I used to work there), and have them give a clean bill of health, after looking at it of course.

The only support that was discussed before selling the computer, was a 1 year return to base warranty. That's it. After I talk to logitech and get the keyboard resolved, he will have to start paying. I gave him a good deal on the computer, I only made about $100AUS (that's like 50cents US). He does have many contacts in the area, so I'll give him heavily discounted support. Maybe sell him bulk hour prepaid support.

I did cover most of the things Dave mentioned. <sarcasm>Maybe I'll just buy him Using Computers for Dummies.</sarcasm>

Shortly after arriving home from his house, I got a migraine? Haven't had one in years. Oh well. Thanks for the responses.


-Steve
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2001
Messages
3,054
Steve,

I've read this thread carefully as I did not want to overlook anything.......

Dave hit every one of the points you should have covered and it appears as you have already.

"4) Consider getting PC Anywhere and installing it on all the systems you sell so you can fix most software problems remotely.

I don't really know that I agree with this one as I think of this as over the top and liken it to baby sitting.....IMO

They the customer then believes that you can just flip switches at your place and fix all his problems, and the real problem is the customer........you and I and the rest of us know it but if you go here now you still have time invested and more likely than not you will still have to make "another trip to the customers residence"

I'm sure you weren't at all surprised when you went in and saw just where this guy spends his time surfing.
Knowing what you now know it would be wise you do as you plan and "give the box a clean bill of health" and return it to the customer.

Having done that you then need to think about what Lurker1 said:

"Unfortunately there are the few that no matter what you do or say they will never be satisfied." I don't know the situation but some people are just lazy and will expect you to do everything for them or will try to take advantage of your willingness to give them free support........."

You are at this point upside down on this deal and only you know if indeed this guy is worthy of you having to go the extra mile.
From what I've read I'D say just cut your losses now. Having done what you already have done and are currently doing should be plenty.

"After I talk to logitech and get the keyboard resolved, he will have to start paying. "

Stick to your guns on this.................

DS
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
2,218
Have you thought of taking the puter back ?

Might save you some headaches in the future.


:) Savvy
 

smyoung

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 4, 2001
Messages
10
I have thought of taking the computer back and recommending him to another place, but I don't need a 5th computer. I also just bought myself a nice 1gig athlon laptop w/dvd and burner. Woohoo! Also, it turns out I'll be moving to a house about 5minutes from his house.:eek:
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2001
Messages
3,054
Savvy,

Definately worth considering, that's what I see as the Ace in the hole.

When you look at the big picture here this may well be the best approach yet.........

He ain't gonna get another box like it at that price and he knows it..........
.......So to say "how about I just refund your money" it's like look pal "put up or shut up."

DS
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
2,218
Just sell it again... shouldn't be any problem & maybe you can recover some of the lost profit from originally selling it to him

:) Savvy

psst.. I wouldn't be bothered w/ him again
 

smyoung

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 4, 2001
Messages
10
I just made a connection between what he said after his ISP conversation and what he has been telling me. While he was on the phone with the ISP he said that he had several urgent international emails waiting for him. When he got off the phone he said he only was expecting a few emails from friends.
He also said he got a few blue screens earlier too. He said it said system error, or some other BS. He just opened the door to the way he acts. It seems if something appears not to be working correctly to him, he will exagerate the problem.

I'd take the computer back, but I finally got rid of that P3 1gig I had in stock. Although all I would have to take is the box, not the monitor, the HP K80 printer, or the logitech wireless optical combo.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2001
Messages
3,054
Come on now, please tell us that you've just come the the solution with a conclusion..........

Betcha he won't want to give that box back.

He ain't stupid he's just a whinner.......surely you are putting that all together now.

I gotta tell you there is plenty more where he came from, that you can be sure of......these SOBs (pardon me) thrive on this behaviour. I think if you'd upped the price and made him pay what it was worth to begin with then he would have better appreciated the whole thing IMHO

DS
 

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