I’ve worked in the IT industry for 22 years, I put this website together and I now make a living from helping SME businesses and home users. Fairly early on in my career while still working for a big company, the Personnel Director (before Human Resources was invented) branded me the “Angel of Death”, so I’ve known my place for a while….
A friend knocked on my door recently to update me on the status of his BT service problem. It had been dragging on for a while and seeing as the line went completely dead while the Openreach chaps were hogging half of Rushmere Lane with a rented contraflow/traffic light thingy, we had a fairly good idea that they knew where the trouble lay.
“It’s OK” he said. “They phoned me this afternoon and said that they knew about the problem, they were calling from Windows and they took control of the computer and showed me all these errors. They said it would cost £200 to fix the problem, but I said I didn’t have that kind of money, so they settled for a lower price.”
It’s easy to stand back and make judgements, but when you’re expecting a call from your supplier to sort out a prolonged problem, you too will bite the bullet and pay a fee to get it sorted. And if you don’t, your neighbour will.
As he recounted the story my face fell – “We have to cancel the card,” I said. “was it debit or credit?” It was a Waitrose credit card and they were great. They stopped the card over the phone and they gave all the information about what was needed to block that transaction. By the time my friend had called them, the “reduced price” transaction had been put through twice.
Please don’t ever listen to anyone who calls you and says that their server has received some kind of distress call from your computer. Windows will not call you because Windows is not a company, it’s a product. If you are told that they are calling on behalf of your ISP, please ask which ISP that is. Make out that you are with Disney if you like but get them off the phone.
I will happily come to your house (HP1-6, with a smattering of 23) and take their call at a prearranged time and at no cost to you. I have had a (heavily accented) woman keep me on the phone, repeatedly telling me that my computer is distressed and needs her help.
I can assure anyone, my computer is not in the slightest bit distressed. In fact I have probably be been looking after computers since before she was born and if my computer was distressed, she is the last person it would tell. If in doubt, ring me. 01494 776882 or email firstname.lastname@example.org