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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Should I tell people how to do everything or let them learn on their own?

Should I do everything for people or let the discover for themselves?

This stems from a Computer experience.

With all the new switcher coming to the Mac market the whole tech support thing is becoming more and more of an issue.

Advice in a forum like this is one thing, but how much support is enouph?

Apple gives support (kinda)
Apple Care gives support (kinda)
Rogers & Sympatico give support (kinda)
Adobe gives support (kinda)
Third Party give support (kinda)
IT departments give support (kinda)
Computer Stores give support (kinda)
Books give support (kinda)
The Internet give support (kinda)
My Mac Geek buddy gives support (kinda)

What should a Mac user/purchaser expect in terms of support on their new G4 Ghz DVD burning machine?

How much for free?

Should we pay money for support and how much?
Example:
<UL TYPE=SQUARE>Setting up a router
Connecting to the internet
Setting up your email program
Learning Mac OS X
Burning a CD
Using iMovie
Using iTunes
Finding Music on the internet
(Oh yeah that illegal, but I get asked all the time.)
[/list]

How many hours should I put into it?

I am not pointing fingers or refering to any specific situation but am interested in a discussion as the ehMac Community has all the opinion I need.

From Resellers, New users, Old users, Independent Consultants, Corporate IT, Home users, PC users, Small Business, Large Business.

Damn, I didn't want to rant, well anyway...
Thank you for your time.
 

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I think it really depends on the person who has been asked, I know for one, if they want to pay me for the help I've given I'll take it, but they set the rate as I don't feel that my knowledge warrants charging large fees because I'm one of the few people in the world who can do it.

You listed:
Setting up a router
Connecting to the internet
Setting up your email program
Learning Mac OS X
Burning a CD
Using iMovie
Using iTunes

Personally I believe all these should be free as their should be a manual or something that allows you to set it up easily, effectively otherwise if someone needed to use a Mac to get away from the hassles of the Windows world, why would they move from one headache to another?


One thing I like about the internet and especially these kind of user groups, is that if you go looking and ask you can get your answer. I find tech support almost an enjoyable challenge because especially with Windows machines, the problem is never apparent. And also what makes maintaining Windows machines a breeze, is that when you can't figure it out, the shotgun fix always works. (Shoot computer after backing up important files, buy Mac)
 

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Something simple, there should be no need for technical support. Everyone can bother the local little kid or someone to help them out setting up hardware or software. I think that if you buy a machine from a location, they should offer help with the initial setup and then if you have questions they should be able to answer simple things like how do I setup my mail account, but not complex hardware or "tweaking" questions.

This is not an easy question to ask, but I think you'll get a huge "flame" war going.. I also think it depends on the shop... if you have the time to give personal service.. all the better.. but without compromising sales or effective marketing.. in other words... if you have a few minutes to help someone why not, but if you are busy as hell, you have to make a point that umm.. I'm busy.. if you absolutely need me right now.. well, it's 45 bucks an hour...

Cheers,

RtC

P.S. I think it would be an excellent tool to refer people to online sites that can offer the assitance. Here, I've helped a few people and others have helped me. So, as a Mac user, I would gladly refer people here, or to resource people I know.
 

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I am going to answer your list stictly from a computer sales person's point of view. Not from a Mac Specific point of view either, because most of the things ou list aren't really mac specific.

Setting up a router
A router comes with a manual and usually a quickstart guide to get you going. 90% of manufacturers also have an easily accesable help webpage and a phone support line. When you call a store for help with a router do not be surprised if they say "sorry, I can;t help you" because setting up a network (which is what setting up a router is) is hard to do over the phone, especially when the salesperson you called doesn;t know any of the specifics of setting up whichever router it is you bought.

Connecting to the internet
Setting up your email program

Much for the same reasons as above, don;t call the store you boughtt the modem at because they don;t know anything about what ISP you are using. YOur ISP has a help line specifically to get you going. Granted, some arent as Mac friendly as others, but if you have ever set up an email app on a PC you can probably figure it out which settings go where on a Mac.

Learning Mac OS X
Burning a CD
Using iMovie
Using iTunes
Finding Music on the internet

In order:
Websites and Books
Apple.com
Apple.com
LimeWire/Acquisition/etc.

In all reality a sales person doesnt have time to take a support call. FOr most of us the amount of money we make correlates directly with the amount of time we spend on the sales floor selling product. It's not that we don't want to help you because we dont like you or don't want to deal with you it's because taking a support call is basically like talking money out of our pockets and you have a wealth of other support options at your finger tips.

Always RTFM before you call anyone.

All of that said, I always recomend ehMac to my Mac Customers because that way they a) don't have to call me and b) have access to more minds than just me. I know a lot, but I can't match the wealth of knowledge posessed by the likes of GordGuide, jfpoole or macdoc (to name a few). Some might rank me up there with them, but I can;t compete with any two of them together.

I also recommend some PC sites to my PC customers, sites like ArsTechnica, Tom's Hardware, and PCMag.com (for the forums) to name a few.

The internet is the biggest source of help and info that we have these days and it actually pains me that some people don't see it that way.

And always ALWAYS RTFM!

--PB
 

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What.... read the manual....are you insane man.....that would be work.

I think Apple has it right with the 90 day free support. If you last that time frame, you're good to go for as long as you own the Mac.
I for one am tired of the laziness of people in a time when information is so easy to get. (yup, I used to work retail :D )
The mind is a muscle that does need exercise.
Robert
 

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And because it hasn't been stressed enough...

RTFM!

Seriously. Having it said 800 times still wouldn't be stressing it enough.

:cool:
 

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Tech is only as good as the people on the other end of the line.I've been doing it for over 2 years now.In this time,my co workers proved to be the more useless than the customers.(Not Canadian of course!)
We're out sourced from a huge jap. corp. and I've been begging them for about a year to let me be Mac tech support for their MFC's,but no.The word from the "important" people is that we dont get enough Mac calls.So instead,we offer call backs that take 24-48 hours.Most people arent happy with that and I have to diffuse them.Point being in all this,is that NOT ONE company takes customer service seriously.It really is no concern and they do it just by the seat of their pants.And these are the place's that have won industry awards and such.I dont even want to think about the other places.
 

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MacDaddy steps into the Rant Arena:

First of all, as much as I agree with RTFM, what M do mac users use? Mac Products come with very basic manuals that do not detail stuff like using iTunes etc.

As for paying for support for this type of thing, I agree. I can't tell you how many times I have had people come in for "Free" Tech support on how to use something like iMovie or iTunes and end up wasting and hour or two of my time that could be used to help other clients. Now I generally recommend a good book to help them out as well as ehmac and other boards, but I would not be against a small charge for in house help like that.
IMO anyway.
 

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From my experience doing live chat support for a cable ISP based in the US, it seems people will always try to get you to support whatever they can. Personally, I can't imagine contacting my ISP for information on why my printer won't print or how to download music from the Internet. To many people, if I do it on the Internet then my ISP is responsible for providing assistance. In fact, they think that beyond providing a connection and the ability to send/recieve mail, we should also tell them how to use Outlook Express to change the colour of the signature on their E-mails, coach them through missing .dll files and absolutely anything to do with their browser. Hello!? Can you say Microsoft? Many can't.

This may be a little off topic. Sorry for the rant. Life would be a lot easier if people could occasionally do a google search about their issue. Sometimes it's what I have to do. How about a little personal responsibility?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>This may be a little off topic. Sorry for the rant. Life would be a lot easier if people could occasionally do a google search about their issue. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't think it is off topic at all, it goes along with my opening statement

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Should I tell people how to do everything or let them learn on their own?

Should I do everything for people or let the discover for themselves?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 

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well I think the selling dealer should provide at least minimal support where it does not interfere with their primary function of sales Read Posterboy's postings

I really feel that a First Class Mac dealer should not have their sales people on commission and thus they (the sales force) will treat each and every customer the same. I realize that this might not be practical But if the Mac Dealer wants to distance themselves from the Big Box (read Future Shop) type of outlet who just wants to move the box out of the store then they have to provide a level of service above and beyond that of the Box Store

That some clients "need or want" a superior level of service it should be provided. That "hands on holding" should have to be provided by "Tech support" at the the higher level of an Authorized Apple Tech support person at 90 dollars an hour is questionable

These people, who have very technical training which may justify their hourly charge, are really not needed to solve many of the minor problems that newbies bring into the post sale envirorment . User groups should be identified and suggested Applecare which is available for all in 90 days should be suggested It is my feeling that Applecare should be "a mandatory purchase" for all new 'switchers" and perhaps all people in that it gives 3 years of online support and if ANYTHING fails in that period its probably a good buy

JUST IMHO people
 
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