I've found that a vast majority of people are massively devoid of clue on this particular topic, so without further ado, here is my little guide on how to talk to tech support.

  • Speak, don't bark.
  • Don't expect us to remember your name just because we talked to you last week.
  • Try and present us with a question instead of a statement. 'My web page is not working' does not tell me what your problem is.
  • Be as concise as possible. There're few things more frustrating than hearing someone's problem and knowing how to fix it right away, but being forced to listen to 5 minutes of inapplicable stuff.
  • If you are indeed one of the few with clue who call, don't be an arrogant ass. If you're so damn smart, why are you calling?
  • We do not give a rat's ass about your MCSE.
  • We know your email is important. You do not have to describe its contents.
  • Try not to whine. We know it's hard not to, but please try.
  • We're not a support group. We don't care to hear about your problems with your kids, co-wokers, other providers, ISP, phone company, vehicle, Network Solutions, etc.
  • The error message is usually correct. Disputing it will only frustrate you.
  • Contrary to popular belief, we are actually correct a large percentage of the time.
  • NEVER call tech support for someone else. Have them call. If they are 'too busy' to 'waste time' talking to us, then so are we.
Once again, that's it. Any additions, complaints, etc? Scroll down and node that puppy!
For ShadowNode: If you just need something specific, and ask for it, then you're not being an arrogant ass. And yes, a lot of tech support people are merely screen readers, and justifiably so. I just work at a small webhosting company and am thus getting to play tech support AND sysadmin. Joy.