How to Talk to Tech Support

No matter how reliable your computer is, that dreaded day will arrive: Your machine will do a meltdown. For tips on getting help, we turned to the manager of the technical-support staff at a large computer firm (who preferred to remain anonymous).

1. Wait until Monday afternoon.

“Many support lines are closed on the weekend, so they tend to be overwhelmed on Monday morning.”

2. Don’t criticize the product.

“Don’t assume that there’s something wrong with the system. There might be a bug in some third-party software program.”

3. Listen to what the man says.

“To find the cause of a problem, a tech-support guy usually follows a process of elimination. So do exactly as he suggests. If you don’t follow his instructions, you’d better be ready for a very long call.”

4. Keep a lid on it.

“There’s a clear line between being annoyed and going ballistic. If you start swearing, I hang up.”