ANOTHER DAY WITH CUSTOMER DISSERVICE

As soon as I saw that Microsoft was planning to make “updates” and “downloads” automatic for Windows 10, I knew it was going to be trouble. I had managed to completely evade Windows 8 and 8.5. I had stuck with Windows 7 and been really grateful, but a bunch of newer apps were coming out and they wouldn’t work on Windows 7. These included several new graphics packages and the reader for Audible.

It’s not that the windows Audible reader was good. It stunk, but it stunk less than the alternatives. The only other option I’d been offered was to listen online only and I have strong reservations about that. What happens on an airplane? In the doctor’s office? In the car?

They designed, finally, a new reader … but it would only work on Windows 10. The old “reader” was barely crawling along the virtual ground and several graphics packages just stopped working.

I got a new computer and yes, Windows. Because Apple is great, but I’ve never been  happy with its floating operating system. I like more organization than that. And I have a fairly big investment in Windows applications. So … I got this computer. Which is great. Remarkable. Fast, powerful. Terrific computer. And the first version of Windows 10 with which it arrived was a breeze to use. I should have known it wouldn’t last.

Windows makes operating system decisions based on what their Public Relation Department tells them is good. It has to be that because it isn’t based on conversations with users. As soon as I happily settled down, they decided to massively upgrade the BIOS, which killed a lot of applications. Killed the sound. Made a godawful mess and as I gradually unraveled from the quagmire and made peace with the new system — which included downloading and installing an entirely new version of Windows 10 Pro — I realized that they had no idea what the problems were. I eventually doped out how to fix everything.

This was another one of Those Days. Somewhere along the line, they downloaded something that ruined the fix I made the last time. Which was because my customer service top of the drawer super high-quality experts didn’t know when you have two hard drives, you can only recover the one on which the operating system resides. In this case, my solid state drive.

So I already knew that you can’t recover both drives. I back up the data on the D drive on external drives and I count on “recovery” to manage the operating system, registry, et al. Everything had been going well, so I had no reason to recover anything or roll anything back. This morning, WordPress got wonky. I tried to roll it back and realized Microsoft had completely changed the interface and the restore/recover function was effectively gone. What’s more, all my previous recovery saves were gone and all of the ones they had logged contained both C and D drives. Which meant none of them would work, but I (pointlessly) tried anyway.

Not only that, but they have eliminated the interface that lets you define which drive you want backed up. In fact, they eliminated the entire recovery interface. You could replace Windows (and save your data), but you couldn’t back up to a previous point in time. And the helpers couldn’t help me. They tried to restore me to an earlier version of Windows that had a recovery option, but it failed and finally, I tried deleting everything in the recovery folder and setting it up from scratch. That worked.

This is because I have bookmarked the older interface items which have the selections to make this stuff work.

I never ever call customer service on the telephone. I only confer online by text. Why? Because if I’m on the phone, I’m going to start to foam at the mouth and yell terrible things at the people who would like to help me, but don’t know enough.

Oh, and the updates don’t show up in the notification section anymore. You have to go into settings and look for them. They will never tell you what is coming, why it is coming, what is likely to happen, and how many — any? — of your existing application will still work after the updates.

I’m not that picky. I’ll take an email that warns me of what is coming, why, gives me the right to reject any I feel will damage my system. We should all demand of whoever who builds our operating systems to at least have minimal authority to say “no” until they convince us that “yes” is a better answer.

Use the chat function. Yelling is bad for vocal chords.

31 thoughts on “ANOTHER DAY WITH CUSTOMER DISSERVICE

  1. We have 7. My hope is that we do not live long enough to be forced into what appears to be a permanent Windows 10, with an endless stream of updates and mandatory fixes and lord alone knows what else. I feel your frustration, big time.
    i stopped downloading those updates a few years ago, since most of them were utterly unrelevant to me, and took up huge amounts of space and time. Yes, you could delete them. One. At. A. Time. Delete, restart, delete, restart.
    My other vain hope is that by the time we have to have Win 7 pried out of our trembling old hands Win 10 will have become half way decent.

    Deep breaths, lady. You can do this.

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    • I’m just frustrated they they don’t know enough to fix their own equipment. They spent 7 hours on the phone with me … and they couldn’t fix it. I fixed it. They are NOT past their use-by date. They never had a date.

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  2. My neighbor, a retired IT professional, has been working with my computer recently — I don’t know how many times something he tried didn’t work, followed by a search and “oh, that’s what they’ve done with it.” He not very happily tells me that when you buy windows, it is not yours, but theirs!

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    • That is equally true of Apple’s OS and for that matter, Android. They do what they want and when they screw it up, they say “we are really sorry for your inconvenience.” If they understood the system better, they could stop apologizing and FIX it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. You never seem to have luck wit your computers every time there’s an upgrade. Maybe we should go back to rotary phones, analog cameras, and black and white tv’s. Wouldn’t that be nice? 🙂

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    • I would just like it if the people doing customer support knew as much about the system as I do. It is demoralizing to realize they can’t help me because they don’t know enough. It was a simple solution, once i doped it out. Extremely simple. They just didn’t know what to do. Mostly, they apologize for inconveniencing me. I’d rather they gave me a helpful solution. It’s infuriating.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We seem to have reached the point where we can’t fight problems for the battle with the system. I’ve been a writer for over 50 years. All my my important stuff is save on flash drives or hard copy in a file cabinet.. Someday the USB will go the way of the DB-9 and that will be when have to make a choice – cloud or my Olympia typewriter I’ve packed from pillar to post for the last 35 years.

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    • We no longer have typewriters and I’m with you. I’ve got my world on FIVE count’em FIVE external hard drives. I’m sure they will disappear as everything else has. Like all the floppies and not so floppies and DVDs. I don’t keep up with much, by i try to stay on top of back up solutions. The cloud is too dicey for me and I’m sure there will always be some kind of local HD. For now, at least, they are affordable. If I live more than another five years, I probably won’t care.

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  5. I’m a happy(??) user of Windows 7. I go way back to MS-Dos before there was a Windows # anything. Previously you bought the Operating system (often preloaded onto your PC) and if you knew something about how operating systems worked you could largely fix any problem yourself or look it up if you had to. Microsoft have realised that this costs them money in less frequent purchases for their new (and frequently error prone) products. They have found a way to fix this ‘problem’.

    Now Windows 10 is a ‘service’, not a product, and you have to basically pay them to upgrade and fix things for you and purchase a bunch of new stuff to replace the existing stuff you have that does all that you want it to the way you have just got used to and are comfortable with. This gives them near total control over your computer ‘experience’.

    Now the whole operating system has become so big and complex that the software programmers, let alone the poor customer service reps, are struggling to understand and explain it or fix the problems that inevitably ensue when a new programming change is made.

    Win 7 support/upgrades ‘ends’ in 2020. The Cloud is the future – i’m not sure i can face (or afford) that?

    love

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    • They didn’t charge me anything. And I DID figure it out. Win 10 is just another version of a GUI over DOS, which is what ALL windows has been since the beginning of the system. That’s 20 years plus. That hasn’t changed and anything that was ever in the system is still there. You just have to go looking for it. That’s what I meant when I said they can’t help me because they don’t know their own system. The kids on the telephones really don’t know what to do because they don’t know where to look. they know this version of windows. They’ve never used any of the earlier versions. NONE of them know anything about recovery or backups and they don’t understand that dual HD systems work differently than single hard drive machines.

      I needed newer apps and using 7 wasn’t doing it for me. Garry is using my former machine and he’s a very happy camper because he doesn’t use any of the applications I use. For him, the Windows 7 machine could last for all eternity — and being a really good machine, it just might.

      It’s frustrating to spend all that time and realize that the assistants/associates really don’t know what they are doing. It’s terrible management by Microsoft. But to be fair, the people on the super high grade support system that came with MY computer? They don’t know the system any better. Each time, I wound up figuring it out myself.

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      • Knowing where to look is the Key – Wading through 35 or more gigabytes of operating system to find the bit i want is where i get lost. 😦 Way too many directories and folders (a lot of which MS ‘hide’) for me to follow nowadays.

        I could be wrong but i suspect MS are working towards doing to Windows hwhat they’ve done with Office – you don’t buy the new version, you have to pay a yearly subscription for the ‘service’. which might come with free help that probably isn’t really worth the ‘price’ to people such as yourself, and as i used to be.

        love

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        • They have talked about it, but i think they are afraid it would seriously drive people away … and they are right. It would do it for me. It actually isn’t that hard to find things if you remember the word you’re looking for. You need to turn off “cortana” so that it only searches inside the Windows application (rather than on the Internet). If you don’t know how, i have instructions you can follow. Type the word you are looking for and don’t quit until you get the menu you want. The thing that’s good is that after you fix it, it will generally stay fixed — until the next update and if you’ve found the solution once, you’ll find it again. Windows is built like an old fashioned keyed data base with word links, so if you know the words, you can find the function.

          They don’t update nearly as often now as they did for Windows 7 (or 8 or 8.5). It’s more like once a month, not every week.

          I also do NOT use Office, not any part of it, not even the parts they will give you for free. I wouldn’t use the entire application for free. I use OpenOffice which IS free, all of it, everywhere. I stopped buying Photoshop when they required a subscription and when the old version stops working (no obvious danger of that happening that i can see), I’ll find another application.

          Despite rumors to the contrary, there ARE operating systems — like Linux — that will work on our computers. And Linux is getting friendlier every day.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m like Garry – still on Win 7. I tried to get the ‘free’ Win 10 once but the download (that took hours to even begin to load) would have taken my entire ISP download data limit for 3.5 months! I’m on a 5+5 gig plan.

            I got Libre Office which is similar to open office and has all the features i could want for free – but is European based.

            I’ve had it too good(??) for the last 7 years with Win 7 so i guess come 2020 i might buy a new pc and peripherals and use whatever version of Windows it has loaded, or has the least bugs.

            Although i am strongly tempted to start learning more about Linux machines. 😉

            love

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              • I am in full and complete agreement with you on that one… It should not be too long now before typing is a thing of the past and we use Star Trek like voice communication with all our devices and point with our fingers not a mouse. 🙂

                But there will be far greater changes and likely sooner than we think is possible.

                Will human physiology /psychology be able to keep up? I’m not so sure?

                love.

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    • Not THAT problem. I haven’t seen that in years. No, this was the failure of them to recognize that a dual HD machine works differently. Their inexperience and lack of training is the real problem. I eventually figured it out and probably, had I never called them, i could have saved myself four or five wasted hours.

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  6. The last big update I had on windows included something called creator which I did not need or want as 3-d drawings is a joke. The problem is they include other stuff that you need and keep reminding you to do it especially if you press the “later” button. Eventually I could no longer avoid it. And now I have heard someone at Microsoft has had yet another new dream.

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