Help Lines&Tech Manuals

Subject: Help Lines&Tech Manuals
From: Nancy Hoft <itech -at- MV -dot- MV -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 1994 18:03:59 -0500

There's a WONDERFUL article in today's Wall Street Journal (American
Edition), beginning on page B1 and continuing onto page B6.

Here's one of the best paragraphs from the article:

The questions are often so basic that they could have been answered by
opening the manual that comes with every machine. One woman called
Dell's toll-free line to ask how to install batteries in her laptop.
When told that the directions were on the first page of the manual, says
Steve Smith, Dell's director of technical support, the woman replied
angrily, "I just paid $2000 for this damn thing, and I'm not going to
read a book."

There are other amazing stories in here, too. One about a woman who
tried to power-on her PC by pressing the foot pedal. Foot Pedal?? The

Another person took the mouse and held it up in the air while clicking
furiously on the buttons expecting something to happen.

One final tale. One person bought a PC, brought it home, unpacked it,
and plugged it in. She sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to
happen. Nothing did. She called the hotline. WHY DOESN'T ANYTHING
HAPPEN? she inquired. Perhaps you should press the power switch, the
telephone support person asked. "What power switch?"

The title of the article:"Befuddled PC Users Flood Help Lines, and No
Question Seems to Be Too Basic," by Jim Carlton.

Happy writing tech writers!

-- Nancy Hoft, itech -at- mv -dot- mv -dot- com

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