A Guide To Successful Customer Support Inquiries

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Dear readers,

Has this ever happened to you? You’re bumbling along, trying to be productive, and suddenly a piece of technology doesn’t work. It might be your broadband Internet. It might be your cloud storage. It might be that your humidifier/de-humidifier starts trying to do both things at the same time.

Regardless, you have only one option, right? You contact Customer Service. But just how do you frame your request for assistance? What are the steps you must take before you contact Customer Service? These are perfectly natural questions, and I’ve provided answers below, complete with an example letter that I (really) sent to otixo.com today. Feel free to use some or all of it yourself.

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  1. Figure out how to describe your problem.
  2. Google your problem. Investigate various forums where somebody with your exact question either never receives an answer, or does get an answer, but the answer is e.g. “buy a different brand of computer, your computer sucks.” Wonder how members of the forum get those little animations to appear at the bottom of their posts (usually a looping GIF from the film Back to the Future).
  3. Go to the product website. Get funneled irresistibly into their “Knowledge Base,” all of which is written by either Warren1225 or Leslie. Based on their answers, Warren1225 and Leslie seem to believe you are a very smart orangutan who has just been given an iPad by the zoo. “Do you know what a password is?” is the sort of question they love to ask.
  4. When you are asked “Did this resolve your issue?” or “Was this helpful?” you are getting close. Too close. Answer “No.” Win a prize for answering correctly. Your prize is a Customer Support form.
  5. Fill out the form, basing your letter on the example below. That’s it, you’re all done! (Estimated time: 1 hour.)

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Dear OTIXO,

Houston, we have a problem. Check out the Firefox screenshot I’ve attached. ZERO SERVICES. Nor can I add/re-add any — I get a red bar and error message. (Sometimes. Sometimes I don’t get anything but a blank red bar. One time I got a PowerBar.)

Are we living in parallel universes, where in my universe, I bought a lifetime subscription to a service that doesn’t work, and in yours, you have this great product called OTIXO? Can we get on the same page here? I’ve been having problems with OTIXO for years and I just want it to finally, you know, function.

Reset my account. I’ll happily re-add my cloud accounts.

I’m running Windows 10 on a laptop that is so fast that it makes your laptop look ridiculous. I’ve tried logging in on Chrome, and that doesn’t work either. (And my versions of Chrome and Firefox are the alpha bleeding-edge versions, Canary and Nightly. Sometimes I can actually see little pieces of code being added to them while I sit there and browse.)

I can literally hear you saying, “Oh, that’s the problem! You’re running unstable versions of browsers!” But let me assure you, I ALSO have a different laptop that runs Linux, and a stable version of Firefox, and OTIXO doesn’t work on there either. I use that machine for two things only: proving that I need customer support and watching episodes of Mr. Robot. My “Linux box,” which is what I call it to annoy people, has no cookies on its browsers, doesn’t block pop-ups, and never cheats at Scrabble.

Dear support person: we can do this. I believe in you. Today is our independence day.

-Dr. Joseph Kugelmass

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