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Microsoft Tech Support Sucks (and so does Linksys's)

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After I replaced my motherboard, I needed to reinstall windows. All went well until I had to set up my wireless settings. I had to set my WEP key manually, which is what I normally do, but I was getting a stupid message box that informed me that I could either type in X number of hex digits, or Y number of ASCII characters. I was angry because I had tried to type the WEP key about 50 times, and it worked before. I was POSITIVE that I had the right number of digits. I made a big mistake.

After calling Micro-dollersign-oft tech support and sitting on hold for 30 minutes listening to bad jazz, I was informed of how importent my call was and then left for 10 more minutes. I was transferred to some guy I could barely understand. I'm fine with outsourcing, but not for freaking TECH SUPPORT! Anyway, I told him the problem and he asked me who made my wireless router.

I smack my forehead, because I know he's going to blame that company.

I finally told him "Linksys" after failing to convince him that the "Wireless Options" dialog box was, in fact, created by Microsoft, and no, Linksys did not magically hack the dialog box so that it wouldn't work. He ignored me and told me that he would conference with Linksys, since this was a 3rd party issue.
Ignoring my anger and his incompetence, it's actually kind of cool that Microsoft will contact the company to see if they can resolve the problem. It was strange that they had Cisco systems (of which Linksys is a division) on their list, but no Linksys. I actually had to tell him their number. Of course, the tech support costs money, and I was using one of my free trial tech calls. I can imagine that the conference went something like this:

Microsoft Guy: "Hello, this is a customer support agent from Microsoft, I would like to help resolve an issue with your software."
Linksys Lady: "Yes, what is the problem?"
Microsoft Guy: "There is a problem with the WEP key dialog box."
Linksys Lady: "That's a Microsoft dialog box."
Microsoft Guy: "No it isn't."
Linksys Lady: "Yes it is."
...10 minutes later..........yes it really took 10 minutes...
Microsoft Guy: "Too bad, I'm transferring the caller now. You'd better have an answer." *Beep*

After telling me that he was unable to resolve the issue with Linksys (gee), he was going to transfer me to them. So they (also impossible to understand) Linksys lady tells me how she's going to walk me through all of the diagnostics.

"Please confirm that your router is turned on."

Did the Microsoft guy even TELL her the problem!? After walking me through pointless stuff for another quarter hour (which I have memorized, I have called Linksys tech support about 20 times and their script is always the same) she instructs me to remove the WEP key.

"No, I want to keep my WEP key."
"Well, we can make WEP key short. Only 64-bits, less typing."
"No, I want a 128-bit one."

She basically tells me that she can't really do anything, and I thank her and hang up. After playing with the problem some more, it turns out that you don't get the error if you copy and paste into the dialog box. The whole ordeal took several hours. Oh, and I didn't get my trial Microsoft tech call back.

I'm not sure whether Microsoft CS people really don't know what they're doing, or if, when faced with a difficult problem they blame the first 3rd party vendor you mention.

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MS Tech Support/Customer Suport => India

India Doesnt Know because the Problem isn't in their computers Data Base.

Ruthless world.

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I think it's now legally mandatory for customer service to suck. I've gotten crap like that from basically every company I've called in the last four years, even ones that have nothing to do with technology (like car insurance).

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Ironically, Computer Shopper magazine just did a write up of various companies' tech support. Hewlett-Packard's was the worst, because he was impossible to understand and kept trying to sell HP stuff.

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