As part of my job managing an IT help desk, I have to call hardware manufacturer’s from time to time. As a super computer user, I also have to contact technical support from time to time too. Sometimes it goes well… other times it does not. I’m here to help you have a positive technical support experience. Because no one should have to deal with faulty hardware!
Since I am most familiar with Dell I will be discussing how I usually go about getting support from them. I’m sure you can find similar methods from your own hardware manufacturer.
1. Access the companies support webpage. In the case of Dell it’s support.dell.com From here I usually scroll all the way to the bottom to find a “contact” link. Since I know a lot about computers I have usually exhausted any software/operating system errors and narrowed it down to a particular piece of hardware. You may not be so lucky, so first you might try and search their knowledge base for your exact error message. Once you find the contact information you can decide how you would best like to contact them.
2. Contact the company. My favorite method of contacting Dell technical support is the Live Chat. I don’t have to sit through voicemail hell, I don’t have to wait for an email reply, it’s very instantaneous, and extremely helpful because they can send you links to exact articles discussing your issue, or even take over your computer. I also enjoy the chat feature because if I have to walk away from the computer for a minute, it’s not a big deal. Or if you get a phone call during your chat, you can take care of that while you are getting support! It’s the ultimate in multitasking! Dell even has a convenient link at the top of it’s main support page for “live chat”.
3. Prepare to be serviced. If they are coming out to replace your hard drive, make sure you have a good backup of it the night before they arrive. If they are replacing your CD drive, have a CD on hand that you know for a fact works to test out the new install. If you have to send your machine in to be serviced, and the problem is NOT with your hard drive, the best rule of thumb is to just take your hard drive out and send the rest of the system. They won’t be held responsible for any lost data.
Hopefully your contacts to tech support will be few and far between, but when you do have to contact them make it as painless as possible. NEVER buy a computer without a warranty. Hardware breaks, it’s just a fact of life. Without a warranty you’ll be very sorry when it does.
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