I work for an internet retailer that shall remain nameless until I decide to quit. My employer recently signed a contract with Compaq that makes us an authorized reseller. So, as part of that contract, we have to provide some basic technical support to the customer. That’s where I come in. I’m the support, along with another person.

Since this is a brand new thing for my employer, we have had to hammer out a lot of problems, policies, and chain of command type things. The following is a summary of one of the first calls I had to deal with.

Cast of Characters
Phil – the other support tech
Mary – my immediate supervisor
Stacy – upper management (head of customer service)
Vinnie – upper management (vendor relations)

9:30am - Got a call from a customer who was having problems with their computer. It was a Presario 5834. When they booted it up, the computer would beep at them, give them keyboard and mouse errors, and if the customer moved the mouse the computer would make horrible shrieking and beeping noises at them. Phil and I determined that the problem was a bad motherboard.

I told the customer I would start a case with Compaq to certify the unit as defective so he could return it to us. Promised to call him back before 3 pm this afternoon, as that was when he was leaving work. Hung up with customer.

Called Compaq Dealer Support. Used the reseller ID we were given. Talked to Ron. Ron did not show our reseller ID as valid in his computer, and refused to give me technical support. Ron did look up customer's serial number, and told me that the product came with a 90 day warranty. Our site says a 1 year warranty. Ron gave me a case number to record our phone call, but stressed that this case number did not certify the unit as defective and we could not return it yet. Hung up with Ron, and went to talk to Stacy to get a different reseller ID.

Talked to Stacy. Got ID. Called Compaq again. Talked to Luis. Luis was unable to help me because this reseller ID was also incorrect. Hung up with Luis. Went to talk to Stacy again.

Stacy was not there, so I talked to Vinnie, who conference called me with Matt, the buyer in another state. Matt gave me two more reseller ID numbers to try. Tried to use them, but they would not even let me into the phone system to talk to someone. Went back to talk to Vinnie.

Vinnie was not there. Talked to Stacy. Stacy said she would contact another buyer to get an ID, and suggested I call 800-OK-COMPAQ which is the customer support line instead of the dealer support line. I went back to my desk and called the customer line. Waited on hold for a while to talk to someone. Talked to Sohrab. Had some problems understanding Sohrab since he was not a native English speaker. Was put on hold for a while, then told that he could not offer me support because I was not the customer and to call the dealer line. At that time, I was handed another dealer ID by Mary.

Called Compaq dealer support. Talked to Ann. The reseller ID was recognized. Ann was able to help me! However, Ann was not sure what to do, and put me on hold repeatedly. I spent close to an hour on the phone with Ann, on and off hold, while Ann tried to figure out how to get me a case number. At the end of the call, Ann was unable to give me a case number for the customer that certified the product as defective, but recommended I call the Compaq Works RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) department and gave me the number. This is who we bought it from. Compaq Works deals in refurbished computers. She asked me if I was satisfied with the service I had received, and I said "Not really, but I'll take what I can get.". She gave me my case number documenting the call. Hung up with Ann.

Talked to Mary. Mary OK'ed an RMA from our company for the customer, even though we had no case number, which is against standard procedure. Issued RMA and called customer back. Gave customer RMA and instructions, and helped him order a replacement product. Hung up with customer. Closed service request with lots of notes.

2:00pm - went to lunch

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