Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 23

| Right | January 9, 2016

(I get a call where the modem is online and other devices can connect to the wifi, but the computer that is connected to the modem with a network cable can’t get online. I log into the modem and can see that it’s not detecting anything plugged into it.)

Me: “…so it’s probably just a loose cable. So can you please check the cable at the back of the modem?”

Customer: “Yeah, it seemed a bit loose, but now it’s in tight.”

Me: “That’s strange; I still can’t see it. Is the computer on right now?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “Because I can’t see it if it’s not turned on.”

Customer: “Yeah, it’s on.”

Me: “Okay, then, can you please check the cable at the back of the computer and make sure it’s not loose there?”

Customer: “It’s tight.”

Me: “I still can’t see it. Maybe it’s a bad port. Can you move the cable in the back of the modem to the next square hole over, please?”

Customer: “Okay, done.”

Me: “I still can’t see it from here. Can you get online yet?”

Customer: “No, it’s still not working.”

Me: “Okay, then, let’s try the next port over. Now, the computer is on, right?”

Customer: “”Yeah, it’s on.”

(We spend the next ten minutes trying every port in the back of the modem, having them try a second “network” cable (that ends up being just a regular phone cord from the fax machine, which of course doesn’t work). I still can’t get the modem to see the connection or the computer online, and they don’t have any other laptops or anything that we can plug in instead to test the cable. Finally…)

Me: “Okay, I don’t know why the modem can’t see the computer. The cable seems to be in decent shape, and I can’t believe that all four ports spontaneously died at once. I’ve got to check what IP your computer’s getting. Go over to it, please, and click on the Start button in the bottom left corner of your screen, then “All Programs”–”

Customer: “Just a sec; I have to turn the computer on.”

Me: *in disbelief* “The computer isn’t on.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “I asked you a few times if it was on. You told me it was.”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “Because I can’t see the connection if the computer’s not on!”

Customer: “Yeah. Sorry.”

(As soon as the computer was on, we checked her Internet, and lo and behold, it was working. The network cable had been loose after all; and we had spent the next half hour or so trying to troubleshoot a problem that didn’t exist for a computer that wasn’t even on! And customers wonder why tech support agents tend to talk to them like they’re morons. Statistically, they probably are.)

 

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