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Not All Problems Can Be Solved


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#1 Guest_gooky_*

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 02:31 PM

I think it is true, in all occupations (including our Information Technology occupation), not all problems can be solved. I've seen doctors telling their patient their disease cannot be cured. If you think about it, I think it is true not all computer problems can be fixed. However, my experience is that if I tell the user so, some users don't agree, and would ask for someone else or my supervisor. Have you ever encountered such kind of users? This is a big stress working in IT.

How do you go about telling the user that their computer problem cannot be fixed, and how do you manage it if the user does not agree?

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#2 JohnWho

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 03:54 PM

I guess the main question is:

What do you mean by "can't be fixed"?

A malfunctioning monitor can be repaired, but most often the cost of repair would exceed the cost of a replacement.

I believe that all problems in the IT arena can be fixed, but often the fix may not be cost effective or the time frame not acceptable.


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but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!


#3 BlackSpyder

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 04:13 PM

a machine of any kind can be fixed the question is is it worth it. I Mean you total a car when the damage exceeds the value of the car I assume the same can be done to a computer

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#4 Venek

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 04:46 PM

Kind of like being a graphic designer. My boss e-mails me an image from a web site and wants me to blow it up to poster size and change colors. Well, when the image is only 72 ppi and just a couple of inches high at most, there's only so much I can do. Of course, boss doesn't want to hear about it.

The problem is that so many people expect results and given the technology we have today, there isn't anything we "can't" do. Drawback of the advance of technology I guess.
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#5 groovicus

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 07:23 PM

I think it is true not all computer problems can be fixed


Truth be told, the problems that can not be solved by a computer far outnumber those problems that can be solved. For instance, a computer can not tell when it is in an infinite loop. Or a program can not know if it has terminated. There are a whole range of problems that are theoretically possible to solve, but we don't have the hardware or algorithms to do it. Then there are an infinite number of problems whose possible solutions grow exponentially, and can never be solved by throwing hardware at it.

How do you go about telling the user that their computer problem cannot be fixed, and how do you manage it if the user does not agree?


Easy. "I appreciate that you don't agree with me, and I hope you seek out another opinion. I would be delighted to find out I was wrong, because then the next time someone has the same problem, I will be able to help."

#6 Walkman

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 09:20 PM

I will make this short, because I'm trying to stay away from the General Chat discussions. I tend to flare up peoples' blood pressure. :thumbsup:

This is what I've learned.

no#1. For every problem, there are a minimum of 10 solutions. As you get to solution no#3 and up, it gets harder to give a solution, but it's there. I know.

no#2. Going back to no#1, all computer problems can be fixed. There is no question about that part. It's just the matter if the person wants to do it or not.

no#3. When people want to speak to your higher-upper, be glad to do so. At least you don't have to be on the phone,, or where ever trying to convince them otherwise.

no#4. I've dealt and deal with so many people on the technological scale, I very rarely get others to debate what I say.. especially since they came to me. I do computer repairs, trouble-shooting, upgrading, and whatever, and 9 out of 10 of the patrons never argue with my decisions, diagnosis, etc..

I don't know it all when it comes to computers, but I'm very convincing. Know what you're talking about, and talk to them in the same manner, and your confidence in what you're saying will make believers out of them. Honesty is the best policy. I agree too. People bring computers to me all the time, and I tell them the truth. I never salvage parts that I know that they need, but if I know they won't/don't need them.. I just ask for the computers/parts... and to this day, they never have said "no"

I've done IT tech support for years, and I'm proud of how I talk to people, because I always put myself in their shoes..... always. I treat people as if they're my own family member or friend. I never brush them off, and I never try to make them think that they need to buy something, when I know they don't need to.

People get pissed, when they call tech support and sometimes they're being brushed around, and at the same time, they're having computer problems. The bad thing about company tech support is that the techs cannot give their personal observations/suggestions to a problem.....and that is the main problem with today's computer tech support. Not everyone,, but most. People are treated as they're dumb. And many tech places you call, they try to walk you through something, but you're telling them.. "I've tried all of this just before I called you".


Just help the people out the best you can, and do all you can. If you're talking to them as if they're a friend or family member, they may take a better understanding of what you say. Don't ever make them feel that since they paid for the computer/product, now it's out of your hands, and they should know what they're doing (although they should..... it's like buying a car, and then complaining that you don't know how to drive, to the company that sold/made the car).


I'm out.. BleepingComputer is awesome.

Edited by Walkman, 25 March 2007 - 09:39 PM.


#7 Orange Blossom

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 12:37 AM

I've seen doctors telling their patient their disease cannot be cured. . . . However, my experience is that if I tell the user so, some users don't agree, and would ask for someone else or my supervisor.


This happens with doctors too.

Be honest, and if they want a second opinion be very nice and polite about it and let them know that you are sincerely interested in knowing what they found out. If it turns out their machine can be fixed, you would appreciate knowing so you can help others with that problem.
------
I must admit that I'd probably seek a second opinion if I were told "I can't fix it" unless I was very well acquainted with the tech. person and knew he/she wasn't stringing me along in order to sell a new machine. I've run into so much of the "It can't be fixed. You have to get a new one." routine (Not necessarily in terms of computers as I haven't gone to a tech shop, but in many other things). In half those situations it turned out I was able to fix it myself with additional study. With many of the others, someone else was able to fix it. In some cases it could have been fixed if the necessary parts were still produced. How frustrating that they weren't. Perfectly good equipment if the parts could be found, and better quality than a lot of the new stuff that comes out.

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#8 Andrew

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 09:46 AM

Here's an example of a computer problem I couldn't fix:

complainant: I was working on this spreadsheet when the power went out.
me: okay...
complainant: I hadn't saved it yet...
me: (groans) yes...
complainant: when the power came back on, my spreadsheet was gone!
me: that's logical
complainant: so, where'd it go? I need it now!
me: (groans again)



PEBKAC

Edited by Amazing Andrew, 26 March 2007 - 09:46 AM.


#9 JohnWho

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 02:27 PM

Here's an example of a computer problem I couldn't fix:

complainant: I was working on this spreadsheet when the power went out.
me: okay...
complainant: I hadn't saved it yet...
me: (groans) yes...
complainant: when the power came back on, my spreadsheet was gone!
me: that's logical
complainant: so, where'd it go? I need it now!
me: (groans again)



PEBKAC



Ah, but just because you couldn't fix it doesn't mean the complainant can't.

Easy - recreate the spreadsheet!

Moreover, troubleshoot the problem -

"power goes off - computer shuts down", hmmm...maybe it's time to buy some UPSs?


I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!


#10 Orange Blossom

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 05:34 PM

Here's an example of a computer problem I couldn't fix:

complainant: I was working on this spreadsheet when the power went out.
me: okay...
complainant: I hadn't saved it yet...
me: (groans) yes...
complainant: when the power came back on, my spreadsheet was gone!
me: that's logical
complainant: so, where'd it go? I need it now!
me: (groans again)



PEBKAC


Oh, my. I must say, that this guy's got a problem that can't be fixed the way he/she wants.

And didn't SAVE it? Gee whillikers. Must've thought the computer was on a fancier version of an electric typewriter.

It can be fixed - the hard way, provided he kept all the information used to type into the spreadsheet in the first place. He'd better lubricate his fingers and type like mad.

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#11 JohnWho

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 06:21 PM

I agree Orange Blossom.

Moreover, the loss of the file isn't the problem,

it's a symptom.


One of the early stages of troubleshooting would be

to separate the symptoms from the problems.

:thumbsup:


I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!


#12 Orange Blossom

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 06:50 PM

Boy, you sure got that right. And that goes for all fields including medicine.

Orange Blossom
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