You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Tuesday, I spent 50 minutes on the phone with a Microsoft tech, attempting to determine why Motor Man’s desktop computer wouldn’t communicate (wirelessly) with a new printer we just purchased. My first mistake was calling Microsoft, other than HP.  I just clicked on the 24/7 helpline icon on Motor Man’s computer.

I had to tell the first tech not to be so upset with me because I couldn’t understand what he was saying, and that I did NOT like his attitude.  He  then connected me with another tech, who was only slightly easier to understand. I gave permission for him to “take over” the computer, and he spent most of the 50 minutes telling me that we had malware, which had taken over the files on our computer, infected files, etc.  He said it was causing our computer to operate at a fraction of its capacity, and that this malware had caused the printer functions to be turned off.

I asked could he fix it, and this is what he said: if he removed what was causing the problems, it would just keep coming back. (Keep in mind that when we purchased the computer, less than a year ago, Best Buy installed Kaspersky anti-virus program on it. I asked the tech why that didn’t prevent this problem. He said that the Kaspersky program was for Windows 8, and our operating system is 8.1.)

I was told that we had the option of taking the computer to a certified Microsoft technician or we could go with online support. I gave him our zip code, and learned that the nearest Microsoft technician is 132 miles away. IF we chose to take the computer there, it would cost us $399.

I replied that, first of all, I wasn’t going to take a computer 132 miles one-way to have it repaired. And secondly, we could buy a new computer for not much more than $399.

The other option was to go with online support.  I learned that, as a female, if I’m over 40 (or for a male over 45), we could have online support correct the problem for only $199. He became a bit upset when I told him that I was NOT going to commit to the online support at that time; that my husband and I needed to discuss the matter. He didn’t like that answer much, but he had no choice. We ended the call.

A few minutes later, I googled “HP printer tech”, and found a downloadable program  that would research and correct printer connection problems. We downloaded the program, and five minutes later (and $0), we printed a test page.

Then I took two ibuprofen for the splitting headache I had and told Motor Man he owed me lunch.

Perhaps I should have asked Gypsy's advice. Ironically, this photo was taken one year ago Tuesday.

Perhaps I should have asked Gypsy’s advice. Ironically, this photo was taken one year ago Tuesday.

~These Days Of Mine~

20 responses to “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

  1. I have never talked to a so-called tech who knew what they were doing and after a few long, barely understandable conversations, prefer figuring it out on my own now! It’s amazing that you can find ANYTHING online though including help when you need it.


  2. The fact you could google a potential solution and had the smarts to download a program puts you leagues ahead of people like my parents who are so vulnerable to these “support” technicians and their expensive solutions. They’ve learned now to just call my husband. Egad, what a day for you!

  3. After having similar experiences, I’ve learned to Google my computer issues with great success. Communicating with these tech people overseas is the worst, almost as bad as dealing with the cable company. 😦 I’m glad you resolved your problem, Dianna.

  4. So sorry. These issues are exactly as you put it, a real headache. I will say I loved our Connect Tech support with AT&T when we were in the city. They always fixed my problems. Now we’re with someone else and lo! they speak native English and are based in Utah AND they fix the problem. I have to have reliable support for the consulting work I do. Cute picture of Gypsy. She thinks she’s helping, doesn’t she?

  5. Next time, Dianne, just call John!! You know he’s my computer guru but he probably would have done the same thing you did and found the solution online!! Sounds like Microsoft is trying to plain and simply get that almighty dollar!! Gypsy would have helped you just as much plus looked cute doing it!!😇

  6. What a frustrating experience! I would be very wary to part with any money in those circumstances as well. I must say that we have only ever communicated by phone with Microsoft to verify serial numbers when we’ve reloaded Windows and that was fine and they don’t charge for it. For techie stuff I usually prefer to google for help first and if that fails ask a couple of techie friends for advice and failing that take it to a professional. We have had the overseas call centre scammers call us ( we knew what they were up to.) several times so I’m highly suspicious of anyone who wants to take over my computer.

  7. Oh my. I am so glad that you got it all figured out. I think there are a lot of scammers out there now and it sounds as if you got hooked up with some of the best or worst, actually. Way to go to get it fixed on your own. I am very grateful that I have techies in my family to take care of stuff. The great thing with having a Mac is that I really quite honestly have never had any issues with my laptop anymore. Good for you for getting it all fixed for you!

  8. FRUSTRATING! YES!!! Glad you were able to solve your solution, costing only two ibuprofen. …And wouldn’t you like to talk to tech support in the USA – Helps a lot!!!

  9. CH’s laptop is at the shop for repair as I type. He got the big fatal error message. Good for you for figuring out how to get the printer and MM’s puter to talk to each other. We haven’t talked to tech support for about five years after a similar experience that you had Tuesday. LUNCH out.. that sounds like a plan for today!

  10. Oops! That seems to be running rampant these days. I get very agitated when I cannot understand what they are telling me and then I always have that feeling they are going to CHARGE for their help! Happened to me recently and I was not a happy camper.

  11. Ooo, I feel your pain and it’s true, you can’t make that stuff up! Any time our computer acts up, I refuse to call those so-called ‘support’ lines. Can’t understand a word of it and I just get frustrated and angry. So I hand off issues to my hubby and if he can’t figure it out (he googles it too), we call on our son-in-law to help us by phone. I can understand him!

  12. If only we could have Gypsy’s attitude. How frustrating though! It’s a whole new world and I don’t much like all the “progress.”

  13. That was so funny–yet so not funny! it is terrible to feel so stupid and vulnerable FOR NO RESON. I feel as soon as they realize the age of the caller they add 300% to the price. You did so good to beat the system AND at the low low price of nothing but a terrible pounding headache! Thank goodness for ibuprofen! Well written and column worthy. You should submit it!

  14. I know your frustration and I think most people especially the “older” generation have experienced it. I’ve learned not to talk to tech support over the phone. They only infuriate me! I take my Apple products to the Apple store and let the nice young people there fix it for me! There is one right down the street from me in PA but unfortunately I have to go to VB to get it fixed when on the OBX. It was still well worth the drive and I got to shop!

  15. Whee are not good on this stuff but luckily have little hoomans who are! Paws crossed it’s all sorted out!


  16. I know… don’t you just cringe when you have to call for something like this?
    50 minutes… ??
    I don’t think I’ve ever lasted that long with one of them 😉

  17. Ooph. Oftentimes, techs are great computer fixers, but they can’t seem to communicate in plain language. Glad you were able to fix the problem! Ellie

  18. What a pain in the backside! Glad you didn’t listen to him! Two pills were MUCH cheaper!

  19. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    At least it ended well, Dianna, but sorry about the headache.

  20. I certainly can understand a headache after that session. You don’t know who you’re going to get on those phone numbers. Glad you figured out the solution–but beware of ever turning your computer over to anyone like that. The conversation you had sounded exactly like someone else’s experience I read about when I was helping a friend with her laptop issues.

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