No, I'm not inferring that you may be slightly overweight with a receding hairline.  I'm talking Tech Support.


So, I'm staring at my new home PC, which came preloaded with an Operating System that is providing me a spectacular vista view of various bluescreens of death.  It also won't update to Service Pack 2, nor will it support some of my software that used to work fine on that 'old OS'.  After multiple email back & forths, followed by a couple hours spent on the phone with Tech Support, its concluded that I should 'downgrade' to yesteryear's OS...and the company was willing to send me one of their dusty old discs for this purpose.


Sounds like things are going my way now, right?  Ha...  keep reading.


Fast Forward a couple days:  the fresh install of the old OS is now complete.  Would have been great to know that my PC was built especially for that great new bluescreen generator OS, which I'd just dropped like a bad habit.  Now I have a sound card, on-board video card and a network adapter that won't work.  And there are apparently no drivers for these three stooges.  But I just can't believe this, so I spend some serious time searching my PC maker's Support site, looking for drivers that just might work.  Believe me, I'm trying anything and everything I can, short of paying someone for chat time.  Eventually, my resistance weakens and the lure of solving this problem fast overcomes my greed.  $60 later I'm talking to a 'specialist'.  I won't bore you with the details, but 20 minutes into the call I'm being told I should 'prolly take that PC down to a local PC shop'.  Oh joy of joys.  Its the tech support equivalent of those 'spike strips' cops use to slow down a fleeing carjacker.  Speaking of lawbreakers, I'm now visualizing a detailed plan for either 'hostage taking' or else 'burning a couple tech company CEO's in effigy, on a busy intersection'.


You may be asking yourself, 'Self, why is he telling me this?'  Answer:  when I say I feel your pain, trust me...I feel your pain.  And all of us here at McAfee Support have walked down this Boulevard of Broken Dreams at one time or another.  And actually, this is a good thing.  We spend every day on the job, trying to safeguard our organization from ever being the source of this kind of pain for you.  I can point to one recent event providing evidence of this.  (Shamless self-promotion warning!)  McAfee wrapped up 2009, by receiving the 'Excellence in Consumer Support STAR Award' from the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA).  I don't expect you to know much about the TSIA, but what you can take from this is the fact that we beat out all the key competitors in the Consumer Support arena...from other Security Software vendors to PC-makers and sellers of wireless access points.  We know we're not perfect, but at least you can know we're leading the pack in the right direction.


p.s.  I got my PC fixed by spending another couple hundred dollars on a new network adapter, video card and 450w power supply.  An old sound card driver worked OK.  On the upside, the kids are now happily gaming again, the wife can print pictures taken with her new Christmas camera.  And I got a refresher on how bad a bad Tech Support experience can make you feel.  I'll let you know if I start hitting bluescreens again.  You'll see me on the front page of your local newspaper.


Your Turn now.  I'm listening...


Tracy Romine

McAfee Consumer Support Product Manager