An Alternative to Telephone Support

The other day, the area in which I live was hit by a fairly nasty winter storm: snow, freezing rain, more snow, then wind resulting in downed power lines and intermittent power outages. We also found one morning our telephone had no dial tone and the Internet was inaccessible. Oh no!

Remaining calm, I rebooted the high-speed modem as well as the home phone modem (we subscribe to both through a cable company). Still nothing happening. So, how to reach support if you cannot call or send an email?

I had to work that day, and my wife was off and kept her cellular phone handy. Upon reaching work I called the toll-free support line only to hear that they were ‘experiencing a higher than normal call volume’. No surprise there. I don’t have a desk-type job, so I could not stay on hold for any great length of time. Fortunately, I do work in the vicinity of PCs, so I thought I would look at my ISP’s website to see if there was any information on local issues posted there. Since it is a national carrier, again, I was not surprised to find nothing regarding my area.

Then I noticed something on their support site.

Online chat support! Yes! Why did I not think of that earlier? I had used chat support with my web host when I had questions to ask before setting up an account with them. So I logged on to my ISP’s chat support, and told I was #2 in line. Great, better than the telephone already! Within less than 2 or 3 minutes “Joy” introduced herself and asked how I could be helped. I explained my problem, and she asked me to standby as she looked into it. Not finding any reports of problems in my area, she kindly escalated the issue to a technical support person, providing me with a link in the chat window to click on in order to open a new session with “Peter”. Again, he asked me to wait while he looked into the matter, and in a few seconds was back on the line with the information that there was indeed an outage in my area and it was being resolved as we spoke. That was the information I was looking for and thanked him.

So, just a few minutes spent in at my PC saved a lot of time waiting on hold on the phone, no doubt, and you are interfacing with a live person right from the start.

Next time you need support of any kind, look for an icon or text that says “Live Support” or “Online Chat Support” or something similar. It may be your quickest way to resolve your problem!