Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Outsourcing of Charter's Technical Support

This afternoon I had to pick up some medicine for my son and drop it off at home. My son has had a cough for the past two weeks so the doctor felt it was time to medicate.

When I got home I found my wife in a frantic mess. The internet was down and since no one can operate with out it, she insisted I call tech support and get stuff figured out.

Having a degree in engineering, I figured I'd walk through the normal troubleshooting steps before I broke down and called support. Rebooting computer, modem and router did nothing. I kind of expected that, as she "said" she did the same before I got home. But you never know ;).

When I called Charter (our vendor for high-speed internet) I got the standard automated questions. "Are you calling for new cable service?" No. "Are you calling for new high-speed internet?" No. "Are you calling for any other products we can try to sell you since your current bill from us is only $150 a month." No.

Finally I got to the tech support and was expecting a live person in India. It now appears Charter has outsourced basic technical support to a computer with a nice sexy voice. The automated voice was able to walk me through the basic steps (which I did already, but followed along just to be nice). She (the computer voice) was able to "reset" my router from the home office (or data center) and then have me reconnect. All steps that in the past were done by a human.

Sure enough, once "she" reset my router from her cozy server rack, we were back in service. I only share this as I think it's cool that as this type of technology takes off, the outsourced jobs we are so worried about will be stuffed into a server rack.

No comments: