PC tech support to customers: steer clear of Windows 10

By Shawn Knight · 54 replies
Nov 6, 2015
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  1. Microsoft has spent a considerable amount of time, money and effort developing and marketing Windows 10. Some of its manufacturing partners, however, apparently aren’t as enthusiastic about the new operating system as Laptop Mag recently found out.

    The publication runs an annual feature in which they reach out to tech support from various manufacturers to gauge the advice and overall level of service they receive. This year, the team encountered multiple agents that weren’t exactly sold on Microsoft’s latest OS.

    In a call with Dell to ask how to change the touchpad scrolling direction on an Inspiron 15 5000 that was recently upgraded to Windows 10, a rep named Jalvin said they’ve received a lot of calls from Windows 10 users and recommended reverting back to Windows 8.1.

    The editor was transferred to another agent who added that Windows 10 has a lot of glitches. Ironically enough, the “issue” they called about wasn’t even related to Windows 10.

    In a separate 57-minute-long call to HP regarding how to enable the CoolSense utility on a Pavilion x360 that had been upgraded to Windows 10, an agent by the name of Kate remotely logged into the machine to have a look. After not being able to get the utility running, she recommended rolling the system back to Windows 8.1. During the rollback (which ultimately failed), the rep said she doesn’t recommend customers upgrade to Windows 10.

    The publication also reached out to Lenovo to ask how to enable Cortana’s always-listening mode. After having to explain exactly what they wanted to do to two different agents, the second person, Cherylnn, asked why they didn’t just set the microphone to always on.

    As you may know, that’s not even an option in Windows' audio settings. When asked how to do this, the rep said they’d need to spend $19.99 per month on a software support program to find out.

    When later asked about the situation, both Dell and HP stood behind their agents’ recommendations. At the end of the day, HP VP of Customer Experience Mike Nash said, the person’s job is to get the PC running. Given the scenario, he added, it might have been the most expeditious thing to get them back to a known good space.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Yeah...sounds about right.
    ypsylon likes this.
  3. 3volv3d

    3volv3d TS Addict Posts: 155   +59

    Well is this not typical of new softwares anyways? Windows 7 was great and found drivers straight away. I have never had an issue.

    Never wanted 8, it always looked awful, I don't understand why people thought they should buy computers with this monstrosity installed. But look at the article, both calls talk about rolling back to said monstrosity. I can't help blame the fact nasty windows 8 was on the devices in the first place, with shoddy drivers.

    Now had it been a Win 7 machine upgraded to 10... Ah I jest. Who really knows? I kinda want windows 10 because dx12, performance improvements in areas ( apparently ... ) but, the calling home spyware parts that I just could do without. We have enough govt. snooping as is.

    I want DOS 2016. Can we do that?
    worker17 likes this.
  4. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,821   +628

    Well if your "tech support" is not adequately trained to solve some basic issues they will always fall back on the "revert back to defaults" option, regardless if it'll solve the issue or not. This is not an issue with Windows 10 but instead an issue with these so called "support" agents, honestly their names were not necessary in the article, do I really care that Kate from HP knows absolutely nothing that pertains to tech support, not at all. What matters is she's employed by HP as tech support and cannot do their job very well, it reflects badly on HP and not the individual. Nor is it supports fault that software development can't get the software working properly in the first place.

    What people should really be steering clear of are companies that employ under qualified individuals to help them solve their IT problems. What the article should be called is "PC Tech support: Under Qualified to Handle Windows 10"
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,795   +1,202

    Kind of difficult to train your people to support something that's in permanent beta state. Besides, half the issues are with hardware. If you want to blame anyone, blame Microsoft and/or the hardware vendors for not providing functional drivers for some of the most common components.
    DaveBG and Darth Shiv like this.
  6. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,734   +643

    While 10 may not be stable and hardware manufacturer's are not providing good drivers, I have had some encounters with tech support that were less than ideal. Like the guy from HP said, tech support's job is to get the computer working, and to that end, tech support will often suggest circuitous routes like reinstalling the OS or package xyz whether or not the person on the other end of the phone can accomplish the reinstall. Personally, I wonder whether the point is to get the person on the other end so frustrated that they will buy new hardware.

    From my viewpoint, it is almost impossible to trouble shoot a PC when you do not have the PC in front of you and you are talking to someone on the other end of the phone that may barely know what a PC is. Many people have a "fix it now even though you cannot really see what is going on" expectation and that is part of the problem. Offering tech support as a hardware vendor is something that the manufacturer needs to do to stay in the market. What is not obvious to the end user who is not highly technical is that the over the phone model of tech support seems something that is not really viable. Take a knowledgeable person who has the hardware in front of them vs the phone support, and I bet that that the knowledgeable person with the hardware in hand will be far more successful and likely to solve the problem than phone support. As I see it, phone support will almost certainly suck and end up with the rep saying something stupid like reinstall the OS where the support person who has the hardware in hand will have a much higher probability of success without taking drastic actions like reinstalling the OS or package xyz.
  7. TwunnyToo

    TwunnyToo TS Rookie

    I've always looked forward to Windows releases. I've even started installing Windows 8.1 over 7 on all my PC's, but Windows 10 just pushed me BACKWARD for the first time ever.
    Buggy performance, hangups, expensive software stops working...and then the small things...like not choosing a window color? Seriously? Yeah, there's a "trick" to get it, but it should be obvious. People like their customization.
    Windows being closed in one spot, then opening in another...I had enough. I went back to 8.1 and everything was faster and more stable. Maybe in a year or so....
  8. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 700   +377

    Dell is one to criticize. L O L !
    They need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to manage their product support pages. What a complete train wreck. Anything but coherent and relevant. Other companies have figured out how to do this, why not the seasoned Dell ? No excuse considering the way
    they operate internally and mandate all kinds of requirements on their suppliers.

    Until they excel at their own business, I take any of these hit-pieces as totally ignorable.
  9. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,263   +453

    I've had exactly 0 hardware issue with Win 10 64-bit and only the occasional odd group policy related software issues. Nothing has been serious enough to roll back though. So far I think I love Win 10, but I also wasn't resistant to Win 8 or 8.1. Both were incredibly fast in my opinion and since I'm a big shortcut keystroke kind of guy getting around was really easy. Once you realize the "monstrosity" is just a big view of the Start Menu it gets really easy to move around and the rest of the desktop is still the same as it was in previous versions.
    p51d007 and MrBlkfx1 like this.
  10. pacav69

    pacav69 TS Member Posts: 16

    I think it should be the companies that employ these personnel to train them so that they can provide adequate support.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  11. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    What happened to the Insiders who were promising amazing support and thoroughly refined functionality a few months ago? The ones who said the skeptics were just afraid/haters & such?
  12. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,952   +203

    In related news this commenter recommends people to steer clear of support centers as they are staffed by people that usually have no idea what they are doing.
    Puiu, DaveBG, Darth Shiv and 5 others like this.
  13. thelatestmodel

    thelatestmodel TS Booster Posts: 109   +36

    Well, I agree with them. 10 isn't ready for prime time.

    Almost every computer I upgraded (4 out of 5 for those wondering) had some kind of network or graphics issue, one of which could only be resolved by downgrading. It also broke programs I use regularly and the automatic updating is an utter pain in the rear.

    I wanted so badly to love it, but the simple fact is that all of my computers are currently better off running 8.1. Will check back in a year or so.
    Darth Shiv and EClyde like this.
  14. loading

    loading TS Enthusiast Posts: 67   +13

    Most support centers are just warehouses of individuals reading from a manual. Your money is better spent elsewhere. Visit your local PC repair shop instead, dump that money back into the local community. Don't have one? I'm sure you may know someone that's "tech savvy" enough to figure out the issue.

    Honestly I haven't had a single issue with Win10. Well I take that back, the only odd bug I have incurred is my taskbar sometimes doesn't minimize until I right-click and then click off of it.

    However I do tell businesses to steer clear of Win10. Most work environments tend to use unique software and most of the time it just flat out doesn't work.
  15. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,193   +382

    If you want win 10 good for you and I hope you like it. I run win 7 and I like it. 10 blows chunks IMO. It isn't an OS it's a happening
  16. TSjat

    TSjat TS Rookie

    All computers / OS are great when they are working. Contact any support center supplying voices on minimum wage and you end up with the old joke "turn it off.. and back on again". Try going in to the specialist store and explaining the USB sold with your new computer supporting only FAT format isn't compatible with certain Windows 10 features (30 minutes of my life lost talking with "experts").

    Seriously though.. as I don't want to sign in to a Microsoft account to express dissatisfaction with your product can you please listen to the users. GIVE US REAL options over updates - to date my only niggle having bypassed the abysmal Windows 8/8.1 is the annoying feature where you push the updates on to my computer and re-install software I have chosen to uninstall (Maps, Calendar, Groove).. I would also like to get rid of your other unwanted bloatware OneNote, Edge, Cortana.

    Currently asking Toshiba if this hardware can fly LINUX! Plan B - Windows 7 Retail CD before it is too late.
  17. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Maniac Posts: 190   +155

    Yeah I agree. Finally someone in the PC world is making products that actually look like they're built with quality instead of the cheap steel cases and plasticy laptops all the oem's are producing. I used to be a big fan of ASUS for their high quality stuff, but the moment they started shipping desktops that looked just as cheap as the others, I was pretty disappointed. Some of their laptops are decent, but nobody can even touch the, for lack of a better work, beauty of the surface pro and surface book. It's nice to see that Microsoft woke up and upped the ante on their product design department to match that of Apple. I have to give a bit to the OEM's though as Windows 10 is a bit buggy likely due to having to rush for the release, but the OEM's are likely complaining about everything now because they actually have to change for once, instead of the old "it's good enough" approach.
  18. gamoniac

    gamoniac TS Guru Posts: 305   +71

    Come on, TechSpot editors. I know it is Friday...

    That clearly shows that the reps were trained to handle the new OS. Regardless, is this newsworthy?
    Puiu likes this.
  19. George Graham

    George Graham TS Rookie

    Well had Windows 8 on a new i5 laptop, was almost going to root it out as got so many adds and the OS had a mind of its own. No wonder they fired the development boss. Upgraded to 8.1, better, stable, runs most of my old games. Only problem is can't find a lot of installed programs unless there on the desktop. You can list them for uninstalling but cannot list them to click and run. Does not seem that well thought out from a user's perspective. Run Linux on most of my machines, Zorin, a Ubuntu derivative. Koppix and others. Have fast boot times, no long updating and they run like hell and are LOGICALLY organised. The only reason I have one machine running Windows is for gaming and formatting flash drives, can't seem to find a linux program that handles large capacity ones yet. Everthing else runs better under linux.
  20. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 678   +251

    I have another perspective on the matter myself. I think this is an issue that Microsoft has created themselves. By thinking it was such a 'jolly good' idea to constantly update an operating system by pushing updates onto people like dope dealers push meth, regardless of consequences, it makes tech support specialists jobs all that much harder. How they are supposed to know an operating system in depth when it is constantly changing and morphing day by day?

    I knew this addiction for updates would come back to haunt Microsoft. *face palm*. It's been nothing but downhill for Windows since version 8. This is what I hate about Windows 10. Sadly, there will probably be more horror stories before it's all over. I don't blame the tech support reps or assume they are stupid of incompetent. I blame Microsoft for all this baloney.
    Phr3d and Rorshirk like this.
  21. poohbear

    poohbear TS Addict Posts: 132   +77

    Win 8.1 is rock solid for me. don't know what you're on about. I bought the Start8 start menu from stardock for $5 and it looks the same as win7 but much more efficient.
  22. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,461   +363

    I just wanted to say this post was absolutely fantastic to read, and that's coming from someone that is involved with PC Tech support. While I'm learning the OS on my own, 1st and 3rd party vendors are keeping us my company upgrading to Windows 10 until their software "supports" it, so at least I have not only an excuse, but time to ready up for when it does start happening.
  23. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Addict Posts: 294   +99

    I've upgraded a handful of devices to Windows 10 without any problem. The latest one, was my brand new Asus Zenbook UX305 and is working great, the battery has even improve. Related to the news, customer support on tech companies/stores has always been awful, they don't even know how they got the job.
  24. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,797   +459

    Windows has always been a productivity focused tool. For that to work, you need reliability. A phone has very limited function by comparison. Some things just should not be on a continual update model. A desktop OS definitely is something I do not want to be on that model.

    Now Uncle Joe has an upgrade. He has problems he and Dell support are unequipped to solve. The reason he was upgraded was what exactly? What did he gain? Sweet stuff all. He gained IT problems I guess. And unnecessary headaches. Now his WiFi doesn't work, nor his printer.

    Next week what is MSFT going to break? And don't tell me they don't. I see the Windows updates that break PCs. There are many a year. I can think of at least 3 or 4 last year that hosed machines that system restore couldn't solve (which is what average Joe will be asked to try).
    Rorshirk likes this.
  25. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 290   +90

    Revert back to windows 8.1? The worst os ever invented? LOL...
    Anyway I will stay on windows 10 until the spying stuff on windows 10 is removed completely.

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