The song of my people or “The Indian helpdesk of doom!”

09 Sep

Let me sing you the song of my people!

We all, or most of us, had to deal with some level of technical support at one time or another. And we know the dumb protocolls they often have to follow and we will be annoyed and just keep saying “yes” until we get to explain the problem.
We also usually have heard of the odd way Indian call centers and service desks work.

But what I have encountered for the past two weeks is a whole new level of incompetence. Let me share this uber-facepalm with you:

One of the tools I use at work has a phone adapter so I can handle calls with that adapter instead of the physical phone on my desk. This is very convenient because it has more functions. When that adapter breaks or stops working, then I am not able to do my job because half my job is taking and making calls.
So of course what had to happen, the phone adapter was gone.
It worked on the Friday before > I logged off > turned the computer off > went home > came back on Monday > turned the tool on > phone adapter gone.
So I talk to my supervisor and he tells me to please open a ticket with the IT helpdesk.

At this point I would like to mention that the IT helpdesk sits in Pune/India. But that was not a big deal as I thought, how bad can it be. I explain, IT checks, fix, adapter back.

So I called and nice young lady answers the phone. We have pretty much this conversation:
Me: Yes hi, my phone adapter in tool xyz is gone.
She: Did you have access to it before?
Me: Yes. On Friday I was able to work with it but now it is gone. I do not even have the option to open it because it is just not there.
She: So you are having trouble logging into the adapter?
Me: No, it is completely gone.
She: Ok, let me log a ticket for you and a technician will get back to you.
(if you want to count, I told her 3 times that the adapter is completely not there)

Half an hour later I received an email that confirmed my ticket has been logged and aknowledged.
So I go and check what it says there.
And in there it says literally this:
“User cannot log into phone adapter. She was able to log into it before.”
Ticket was set on priority “low – minor impact”

So I go ahead, make a comment in the ticket to clarify:
“I see that the note is incorrect. I can’t just not log in. The adapter is completely gone. Also the priority is not low, it is high, I cannot work properly anymore as I work in customer care.”

An hour later an email telling me that my user profile shows that all the settings for me are correct and that I should be having access to my phone adapter.
So I go ahead and make a screen shot to show that there is no f**** phone adapter there.

For the next two days I try to find work arounds on the intranet and follow advice of coworkers who used to have similar problems but nothing helps. Stuff like enabling pop ups, trying different browsers etc.

*** two days later ***

Some Indian IT guy messages me on our intern chat system and asks me for an interactive session.
I tell him all the troubleshooting I have done but undestand that he has to look for himself. It’s fine, I tell myself.
He asks me if I still have trouble logging into my phone and I get anger-pimples but keeping calm.
I tell him that I do not have the adapter at all.
He shares his screen, logs in as me and shows me that he can log in and has the adapter when using my profile.
So I ask the valid question: “So why do I not have it?”
I share my screen to show that it is not there.
We work out a short term work around and I am happy that I have a phone now, by using that work around.

During the next few days I receive emails asking me over and over if I still cannot look into my phone and email telling me that my profile looks just fine.
At some point another (the third different) IT guy talks to me on the chat system.
Asking the same questions and telling me the same stuff.
At this point I ask myself whether they are not able to read a fucking email log that has ALL the info in it.
He tells me he will get back to me

Yesterday (Tuesday) suddenly my phone adapter shows only an empty box with an error message about some SSL error.
So I get into my open IT ticket and tell them that I have this error now. I make a screenshot and attach it. Then I wait.
A few hours later, the fourth IT guy messages me on the chat.
*breathing calmly*
So he asks the same questions, I tell him the same answers, I give him a current screenshot of the tool in each browser.
No answer for five minutes. Then this:
Him: I have the vendor here for trouble shooting. Do you have a screenshot?
Me: *putting screenshot in again* Yes.
Him: *five minutes later* ok
Me after a while: Yes?
*sudden request for screensharing*
I shrug and click ok.
Him: Can you share your screen please? I have the vendor here.
Me: Yes, one moment, I have to save something first. *thinking: because i know you are going to fuck shit up, I have this feeling*
So I save and share my screen.
*no response but a wordless query for him to control my mouse*

– side note – at this point I had been talking about this ridiculous IT “support” to my coworker on the same chat system and got kinda afraid that the IT guy would be able to see it but lucky me, it was on the other screen and he was only able to navigate on the screen I shared.

He starts clicking around obviously having no idea what he is doing. Opening unrelated options in my tool (example: opening tickets I work on). He goes through my browser options and resets them all to default (now: passwords, history, bookmarks, cookies gone)
He keeps randomly wiggling my mouse around the screen, pointing at stuff without saying anything to me. No communication to me at all, and at this point I assume he wasn’t talking to anybody any longer. He keeps changing my settings all over for pretty much everything. Unrelated settings by the way, like hiding my bookmarks toolbar etc.
As he is done fucking things up as I thought he would, he tells me to log into my tool again but does not release my mouse for me to do so.
Him: Please log into the tool.
*me not able to do a thing*
Him: ???
*me hammering on my keyboard, being completely pissed at the guy for fucking everything up*
Him: *obviously annoyed about the lack of response from my side, starts frantically clicking around again*
*me smashing my mouse on my desk starting to curse*
Him: Please log in here.
*me saying out loud at this point* “Are you a fucking idiot?!”
Him: ???
Two minutes later he seems to have figured that I can’t control anything so he clicks into the first log in field in the tool for me.
I put my name > tab > password > enter (yaaay i can without my mouse!)
He starts clicking around like an idiot again, fucking up settings inside my tool now.
At this point I try everything I can to get control over my mouse back. I press Esc, go through all F1- F12, press tab, try to click around to disturb him. And of course I course loudly at this point.
At some point he logs out and has me log back in again and keeps clicking and I only see red and rage quietly.
I facepalm helplessly and wait for this to be over.

At some point, about an hour later, the IT-moron decides he is done fucking everything up now.
Him: Ok, I will email the vendor so he can join the session and I will get back to you when I hear back.
(what fucking vendor anyway??)
Me: So how do I get all my bookmarks back?
Him: What?
Me: The ones you just deleted.
Him: Oh sorry, I though you just started using that browser.
I facepalm once again – my forehead has to be red at this point from all the facepalming.
Him: In the meantime, can you please uninstall Internet Explorer and re-install it to see if that helps?

I close the chat without another word because anger issues.

Still after all that fuck-up and although my mind is screaming “do not uninstall IE” I do it because he is the IT guy, he shall know this stuff… right? RIGHT?

Turns out you can’t just uninstall IE, you can always only go back to the previous version. So I do that and suddenly half my tools stop working.

At this point I walk up to our onsite IT office.

IT Angel: So what’s up?
Me: So I opened a ticked with the helpdesk in India.
IT Angel: Why would you do that?
Me: Well, my phone adapter disappeared and my supervisor told me to open a ticket with them.
IT Angel: Oh, you should have come to us right away. We can help with that.
*He looks at my computer (we have those thinkpads) and fixes the issue with the phone adapter with 3 clicks! Then he clicks around and notices my IE.
Me: This Indian IT guy told me to uninstall IE and it only downgraded and I can’t reinstall it anymore.
IT Angel: *puzzled look* Why would he tell you that?
Me: I don’t know. I thought he knew what he was saying.
– I learn that half my tools are based on IE and that the downgrade broke them all –

Now here is the thing. My company is splitting in two. My computer has migrated to the new company last week so the old IE settings are incredibly difficult to get back on my new system because they are based on the old one and the migration was painful and long.
Well, we spent another two hours finding a way to get my IE back to the version I need and my tools up running.

Here is what I learnt:
1. Indian IT team is completely incompetent when it comes to the technical side of support.
2. Indian IT team does not communicate with each other, hence asking same questions all the time.
3. Indian IT team will understand what they want to understand but not what you say.
4. Indian IT team is completely incompetent when it comes to communicating with those they are supporting.
5. Onsite IT Angel has a new fan!
6. Onsite IT Angel works with a similar mouse that we have at home for gaming.
7. Onsite IT Angel plays a lot of Xbox
8. Onstie IT Angel has good trouble shooting skills and a quick mind > hooray!

NINE >>> I will never open a ticket with Indian IT team ever again!

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Posted by on September 9, 2015 in Uncategorized


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