Support just keeps getting worse.
Do you remember the days when you would call technical support and actually get someone knowledgeable on the phone who could help you resolve a problem? I remember a time when this was true, or maybe I just want to remember it that way…kind of like remembering how I used to walk to school, uphill, both ways, in the snow…..barefoot. My latest support nightmare revolved around trying to get an IP security camera configured. I took it out of the box, followed the directions….nothing. I then verified via the DHCP server that it was grabbing an address and it was…good news. Tried using the software that came with the camera to access it once again….nothing. Tried accessing the web interface…nothing. Port scanned the device…nothing. Power cycle and repeat…nothing. Break out the paper clip and reset the device…nothing.
Seems like the web server built into the camera is defective, but maybe, just maybe there is some secret piece I am missing. The call to tech support begins.
Starts out simple enough, give out my name, email address, camera model, and serial number. The woman, who has a heavy accent (India if I had to guess) is having a hard time understanding me as I spell out the information. I explain the problem and what steps I have taken to troubleshoot the problem.
Her: Did you install the software?
Her: Did you search for the camera?
Her: Did it find the camera?
Me: No, that is why I am calling you.
Her: Is the camera powered on?
Me: Umm…yes it is powered on.
Her: Is it connected to your network?
Her: With a cable?
Me: Yes with a cable…it is blue in case that matters.
Her: Lets uninstall and reinstall the software.
Me: I already did that. It didn’t make a difference.
Her: Let me know when the software is uninstalled.
Me: I already uninstalled and reinstalled, it didn’t make a difference.
Silence for about a minute.
Her: Is the software uninstalled yet?
Me: ummm…sure…I mean yes, yes it is.
Her: Ok please put the CD in and install the software again.
Me: Reinstalled….same problem.
Her: That was fast, what software did you install?
Me: My computer is super fast. I installed the config software.
At this point she has me repeat the search process using the software. Still no dice. I explain that I know it has an IP address on the network.
Me: Is there a way to configure this camera without using the software?
Her: Lets reinstall the software again.
Me: Do we have to use this software for the initial config or is there a special admin page we can connect to on the device?
Her: Lets do a reset of the device while you reinstall the software.
Me: DO I NEED TO USE THIS SHITTY SOFTWARE TO CONFIGURE THIS DEVICE?
Her: Yes, the software is required for initial setup.
30 minutes later after rebooting, resetting, changing cables
Her: Ok, the software is not working. Lets configure this manually.
Me: You mean configure without using the shitty software?
Her: Yes, please open Internet Explorer and type…
That didn’t work either.
Her: What do you see for lights on the device?
Me: I see a solid orange light.
Her: Do you see a green light?
Me: No, I see an orange light.
Her: Is there a green flashing light?
Me: All I see is a single light. It is ORANGE, not GREEN, and it is not flashing it is solid.
Her: Please unplug the power to the device, I will tell you when to plug it back in.
Her: Did you unplug it?
Her: Did you plug it back in?
Me: No, I was waiting for you to tell me when to plug it back in.
(wait 20 seconds)
Her: Did you plug it back in yet?
Me: Still waiting for you to tell me.
(wait 30 seconds)
Me: Do you want me to plug this in yet?
Her: Oh yes, please plug it in now.
The device goes through it’s boot process and when it settles down.
Her: What do you see for lights?
Me: I still only see an orange light.
Her: Do you see a green light?
Me: I only see an orange light.
Her: Is the green light solid or flashing?
In the end I just told her to give me the case number and I would get a new camera because as much fun as this phone call has been I can’t take it anymore.
New camera arrived yesterday and appears to be working just fine….for now.
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