Technical assistance from a hardware manufacturer, software publisher, internal help desk, educational institution or third-party support company. The most important thing to understand about getting help from tech support people is the amount of detail you need to supply them.|
Be At the Computer
Unless you have a question that has nothing to do with a specific problem you are having with your computer, be sure you are sitting at your computer when you call the tech support line or help desk. Also, have the application running and on screen if at all possible. This is a very precise business (a misplaced comma in a router's table once caused thousands of Internet customers to be down for days).
Write Exactly What It Says
Whenever you get an error message, be sure to write down exactly what it says. "I don't quite remember" will generally not help you get your problem solved. In addition, these people may take hundreds of calls every day and may have little patience with you if you cannot describe your circumstances in exact detail. Be patient with them too, because they must have an unbelievable amount of patience to help people with their problems.
Intermittent problems are extremely difficult to resolve. If you cannot recreate the problem on screen, there may be very little a tech support person can do to help you. See help desk analyst.
Types of Tech Support
Free support is generally by e-mail or a long wait on the phone on your nickel. Go to the vendor's Web site and look for the "Support" option.
E-mail responses generally take from one to three days. Waiting on the phone takes a couple minutes until you run out of patience.
There are premium services where you pay in advance by the year or some other period, and there is typically a per-incident service. For a flat fee usually in the range of $25 to $50, the company agrees to solve a single problem over the phone no matter how long it takes. See how to find a good computer book.