The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Friday, 07 November 2003]

The meaning of unsupported

Reading through the forums on Macintouch, MacFixit, and those sorts of sites, there seems to be a great deal of confusion regarding the meaning of the word “unsupported.” If you call Apple, Microsoft, Dell, or whoever made the product you’re having a problem with, and they tell you that what you’re trying to do is unsupported, that does not necessarily mean that it’s impossible or will not work. All unsupported means is “we’re not going to spend the time to tell you how to do it.” That’s all. Now, what you’re trying to do may actually not be possible. It may not be within the realm of possibility to get your ImageWriter working with your Dell laptop. But that’s not what it means when Dell tells you it’s unsupported. It’s just not a part of what the company feels they need to help you accomplish. Hence, unsupported.

Remember that customer support is a necessary evil for companies. Every dime Dell has to spend on having somebody in a cubicle tell somebody how to install a printer driver is a dime that doesn’t go into the share holders’ pockets. There’s a fine line: Make your tech support to skimpy, and you’ll get a bad name among consumers; make it too extensive, and you’ll bleed money like a stuck pig.

Also bear in mind when you make that tech support call that phone support is the rat-infested, cholera-plagued trench of the tech industry. The perceived helpfulness of the rep you talk to will be influenced by your own attitude. If you’re friendly and respectful, you’ll get a lot further than if you treat the rep like a serf. Trust me on this. You’re probably frustrated when you call, since obviously something isn’t working right, but taking that frustration out on the rep will not help anybody.

Oh, and threatening to never buy the company’s products again will not cut you any ice whatsoever.

« The greatest of all usabilities

 »


Enjoy the ten latest posts!

Often injustice lies in what you aren’t doing, not only in what you are doing

Die in a ditch

After all these years, Nic still can’t understand the American attitude to healthcare.

The big thieves hang the little ones

Book roundup, part 29

A sci-fi and fantasy heavy installment that includes The Valedictorian of Being Dead, The Mastermind, Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, Tiamat’s Wrath, The Raven Tower, The Liberation, The Light Brigade and Cryptonomicon.

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable

Book roundup, part 28

Includes The Incomplete Book of Running, Aching God, The Murderbot Diaries, Lies Sleeping, The Consuming Fire, and Rendezvous with Rama.

Las Vegas trip report

Did you know Las Vegas is kind of nutty?

Book roundup, part 27

Includes Hollywood Dead, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, The Court of Broken Knives, and Port of Shadows.

To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle

“Cancel everything. You’re going into emergency surgery today”

Nic has a retinal tear and has his vision is saved by a laser.