> > Sidebar:  I never call these companies unless I have a
> > product that failed in warranty and need to make a claim.
> > This happened with a Linksys Cable/DSL Router last week.  I
> > called them, got connected to a supportdroid who was probably
> > working the late shift in India.  I told him the unit's red
> > "Diag" light was on and would never go off.  He then asked me
> > what operating system I was using!  DUUUUHHHHHH!  I played
> > his little script game until finally he told me to go to the
> > website and fill out a form to get a RMA to send the whole
> > thing back.  I decided to do a little more investigation (I
> > noticed the red light was awfully dim).  Using a scope, I
> > tested the wall wart under no load, and it had a 5V output.
> > Then I got a 5 ohm, 10 W resistor and loaded it down, it went
> > down to a very noisy 2V.  Aha!  Bad power supply!  I grabbed
> > another wall wart with similar ratings, plugged it in and the
> > unit came up and started working.  So I will be claiming a
> > new wall wart, instead of complete new unit.
> Don't you hate that??!! When they piss me off, I usually tell them I
> design electronic systems for a living, and I want to talk to someone
> with some real high level knowledge of their products and I do not want
> to participate in the silly QA sessions of tier 1 support.

The supportdroid was at least polite, so I tried not to jump down his
throat.  Nerds are known for their lack of social skills, so I try not to be
too "nerdful" when I talk with regular folks (or supportdroids).  I knew
what the conclusion would be anyway - that I would have to send something
back for replacement.  I had already jumped to the correct conclusion, I
just had to wait for him to catch up to me!

BTW, I misstated in my original posting that he asked me what OS I was
using.  He actually asked what version of Windows I was using.  How foolish
of me, we all know there is just one OS, right?  ;-)

Most consumers don't know just how clueless supportdroids (and salespeople)
are.  Salespeople can sell anything to them.  Case in point:  I was in Radio
Shack (motto:  "You've got questions, we've got answers") a month ago buying
an S-video cable.  They are really expensive.  I asked the guy if he had
some that were not faux-gold plated and cost less.  He assured me that it
was crucial to have gold on the connectors to get a reliable signal.  He
stated that since S-video was digital, if the signal was corrupted, the
entire video signal would be lost, not just degraded like analog video would
be.  I then proceded to explain to him that S-video is NOT digital, it is an
analog video signal where the chrominance and luminance signals are split
into separate signals, instead of superimposed on each other like composite
video is.  That went way over his head.  He then retrenched and said
"someone told me S-video was digital".  The irony of this story is that I
never could get a job at Radio Shack when I was in high school and college.
Even though I knew a lot about electronics, they were only interested in
hiring business majors.  To this day, of all the Radio Shacks I have been
in, not one salesperson has had electronics background.  Maybe the reason is
that nerds don't have good enough social skills to be salespeople.  However,
I would think it would be easier to train a nerd to be socially capable,
than it would be to train a schmoozer to be a techie.

Other lies I have heard from salespeople:

Sales:  "This CD player is better because it has 3 digital filters instead
of that one that only has 2."
Shopper:  "What is a digital filter?"
Sales:  "It works like Dolby noise reduction, except for CDs."

Sales:  "This TV has stereo sound!"
Shopper:  "I see only one speaker and one audio output jack.  How can it be
stereo if it only has one speaker and one jack?"
Sales:  "I don't know how it does it, but it is stereo!"

Sales:  "These speakers are better because they are digital-ready!"

Sales:  "This scanner covers all the police frequencies, and if you are
close enough to them, you can also talk to them on it!"

Sales:  "These speakers have 100 watts each!"
Shopper:  "Is that peak watts or RMS watts?"
Sales:  "Whichever is higher."

Sales:  "This new version of Protel has more features, seamless integration,
and increased productivity!"
Licensee:  "Does it fix the bugs of the previous version?"
Sales:  "This new version of Protel has more features, seamless integration,
and increased productivity!"

Best regards,
Ivan Baggett
Bagotronix Inc.
website:  www.bagotronix.com

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