Apple launched a tech support Twitter account this morning. It already has over 55,000 followers. Shockingly, no one's trolling it. People are asking actual tech support questions.
Tagged With tech support
Now that all of our computers are much faster thanks to solid-state storage, it's probably time to start thinking selflessly and gear up those around us so that they can enjoy fast boot speeds, too. But being the IT guy for your family sucks, right? Thankfully, Samsung understands, and has released a new parent-proof SSD kit.
I just bought a new computer and, seeing as hardware failure rates are pretty high these days, I want to make sure it isn't going to suddenly die on me in the middle of an important project. Is there anything I can do to ensure it isn't a dud? Sincerely, Paranoid Computer Buyer
If you thought your IT job was filled with annoying questions, try working for Florence Henderson's new FloH Club. It's a telephone-based tech support service for old people.
This according to a young gentleman in New York City, who says that a Verizon support guy sent to fix his phone ended up fixing his face, with fists. In corporate speak, I believe that's called "thinking outside the box."
Stan Veit—first editor Computer Shopper—has a fascinating first-person account on the very early years of Apple, starting with what may be the very first Apple tech support call ever, answered by Steve Jobs himself.
Netgear is launching their new GearHead service, which provides support and assistance in setting up any of your home networking gear—whether it's made by Netgear or not. The brand independent service is a service in the same vein as Best Buy's Geek Squad, except it's focused soley on home networking (and they probably won't steal your porn). It's available 24/7, and comes in two different pricing plans: An annual subscription that offer's unlimited support, or a one-off, pay-per-incident service.
You've probably wondered what it takes to become a Genius at an Apple Store. I mean, they're called Geniuses, and it's Apple, and they only deal with Apple products, so they know them to the core, right? Well, in at least one Apple Store, not so much. MacBlogz's Aviv went through the whole process of applying, which he has helpfully documented for us. After answering 17 out of 20 ridiculously easy technical questions correctly, he was offered the job for $US17 an hour (which you can see in the letter below). Because that made him not just a Genius, but a superstar.
As part of their US$300 Million ad campaign Microsoft has announced that they will begin to deploy in-store representatives to large chains like Best Buy and Circuit City to help consumers with their PC issues. Like their Apple counterparts, The "Microsoft Gurus" will not be paid on commission and they will be available to handle general questions and give demos of products—but they will not be available for any real tech support or repairs. So they are kind of like Apple Geniuses, only a lot less useful. Nonetheless, Microsoft plans to roll out around 155 of these trained experts during an initial trial run sometime before the end of the year.
You see, today Dell and Gizmo announced that they were going to get intimate, with Gizmo services like setting up your Dell PC or setting up a wireless network available as an optional extra when purchasing a new Dell machine.
While it's highly unlikely that anybody reading this would need tech support to set up their own computer, this could be the kind of thing that you purchase for your own mum or dad when buying them a PC, so you can save yourself the 1,742 phone calls about how to get the computer working or, in John Mayer's case, finding an application.
Pricing is a bit on the expensive side, but look at it this way: they have to put up with all of those inane questions from old people so you don't have to. Isn't that worth something?
Pricing is below.
newVideoPlayer("/johnmayer_gizmodo.flv", 476, 376,""); In a twist of destiny, John Mayer—the guy who writes to Apple Support saying "Hey guys, John Mayer here" and actually gets replies back—had to turn into tech support guy after his dad called saying "Hey, John Mayer's dad here." The musician tried to guide his father through Mac OS X in order to find his Entourage icon with no success, getting more and more frustrated with every turn of the conversation. We were able to grab the hilarious 100% unedited clip from TMZ before it disappeared.