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Computer Technician Code of Ethics

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#1
Hey, Im writing a page for my coworkers that is to assist them with diagnosing and repairing computer problems over the phone. The first page of the site is going to be for Explaining the ethics of being a computer technician. The big thing here is to make sure that the agent understands the ethics of computers and that it is logical. Any suggestions?

I was thinking of obvious ones like : Never lie to the customer. Always make sure that the customer understands what you are doing....
 

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#2
Always assume the customer knows nothing about computers.

Always explain things in a simple way

Tell the customer what is going on while the tech is doing the job

Always, always be as polite as humanly possible

Just a couple that I thought of off the top of my head LOL
 
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#3
Take into consideration that the costumer knows less than you (or nothing at all).
Be patient and explain every step of the process clearly, justify when needed.

My favorite: The costumer is always right. :p

If I remember some more, I'll post them.
 
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#4
My favorite: The costumer is always right. :p
well if you say the costumer's wrong he'll make you look stupid. the customer on the other-hand can be a complete $%&$# :)
really though, they are not always right. but you have to pretend they are if you want repeat business. i don't see that as ethical so much.

for a code of ethics i would say:
1) computers, hard drives, and the information within are personal property. copy, backup, etc - but do not look at any of it.
2) obvious one: do not overcharge because you can. charge a fair price to everyone.
3) do not use pirated software for any reason. do not use a legit license more times than allowed.
4) keep track of all the time and work done. this is for their benefit and yours.
5) if you set an appointment, keep it. again - their benefit and yours.
6) do not push unnecessary work/upgrades. the need for speed is relative, if it does the job of the customer it is good enough. just because it is old or slow for you does not mean they need a new machine. however, within reason ;)

and a note: I keep a 1tb hard drive with about 20 or so clients backed up. i don't keep it forever, but more than once i have re-burned a disc with pictures they thought were lost forever. following rule 1, and keeping it secure - if you can spare space keep a backup of pictures and the documents folder.

NEVER do tech support for your family. Nothing good ever comes of it.
That should be at the top of your list.
extended family maybe be wary, but it's really a subjective thing. my family relationship is not yours, and vice versa. i do all work for my parents, sisters, and grandparents. i rarely do for cousins or aunts but am always the first called. it's a drag sure, but they're family :)
 
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#5
NEVER do tech support for your family. Nothing good ever comes of it.
That should be at the top of your list.
 
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#6
Yeah do family members/friends expect free diagnoses and legal advice from attorneys and doctors? No but they do expect free professional help from computer techs.

Sorry; I know this isn't what the thread is about. Digibucc covered all of mine mainly. Especially the first one as you said "ethics" not "best practices".
 
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#7
ok, what about good business practices? If the goal is to fix the issue, and make a sale ( i know this goes against the concept of tech support but our company demands we sell something every call) what would help and cover our a$$? I don't make many sales because i have been looking out for the customer and not trying to sell them something they do not need but our company is putting on the pressure.
 

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#8
Don't laugh at their mistakes. Or make obvious gestures like face-palm etc. where you show that you think your customer's stupid.

It's very hard, especially when someone of the elder generations calls you because their computer's broken... and you find out that the problem was that they expected to use their ISP username and password to access all forums/websites on the net which require a username and password, "the computer" refused to comply so the computer is "broken".....
 
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#9
ok, what about good business practices? If the goal is to fix the issue, and make a sale ( i know this goes against the concept of tech support but our company demands we sell something every call) what would help and cover our a$$? I don't make many sales because i have been looking out for the customer and not trying to sell them something they do not need but our company is putting on the pressure.
Tech support with a thinly veiled motive to sell stuff, I'm sure a lot of customers can smell that.

In quite a few cases, I'm sure there is an opportunity to sell larger hard drives and memory, possibly CPU upgrades and monitors.

The art of selling is convincing a person to buy something they don't need with money they don't have. (LOL - a quote from somewhere)

Here's Dogbert selling a mousepad:

 
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#10
ok, what about good business practices? If the goal is to fix the issue, and make a sale ( i know this goes against the concept of tech support but our company demands we sell something every call) what would help and cover our a$$? I don't make many sales because i have been looking out for the customer and not trying to sell them something they do not need but our company is putting on the pressure.
it's not really technical support then. not saying your service isn't, but the moment you switch from trying to find the cause of the problem to trying to figure out what you can sell them and how, you are looking for sales advice not specific to computers.

i am a horrible salesman, simply because i don't much like to deal with people. I can do tech support because i am dealing with a logical problem, whereas a person brings emotion and bias into it, and at that point i have difficulty deciphering things in real time. writing (email, etc) are fine, but face to face or phone and i don't think fast enough (gasp). i am too busy processing logical information to realize they made a joke or are upset or thinking about something totally unrelated.
 

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#11
ok, what about good business practices? If the goal is to fix the issue, and make a sale ( i know this goes against the concept of tech support but our company demands we sell something every call) what would help and cover our a$$? I don't make many sales because i have been looking out for the customer and not trying to sell them something they do not need but our company is putting on the pressure.
Sell them shit or get a different job. You job isn't technically tech support then. It's a sales job covered in BS support.
 

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#12
Yeah do family members/friends expect free diagnoses and legal advice from attorneys and doctors? No but they do expect free professional help from computer techs.
You're comparing computer tech with doctoring? :wtf:

Anyway, some stuff I found helpful when I was at tech support, some of it is basic, but whatevs:

Smile. Even when on a phone/headset. It helps you and the customer.
See the people as customers with a legit need (unless they're assholes, such people exist) and not things that get in the way.
Always keep your cool. Nothing good comes out of losing it.
When people insults you or yells or stuff like that, inform them that if they do not calm down you WILL hang up. If they keep on, hang up.
Be sure of what you say. Don't do guesswork.
Keep to whatever rules/principles/guidelines your company have.
Take responsibility for what you say. Try not to say stuff like "I'm sorry, but company guidelines say that.." because that sounds bad. Sometimes you have to do it of course, but don't say you're sorry. EVER.
Positive thinking will get you a long way. It makes the job easier on you and you will probably perform better.

... uhh that's what I thought about right now.
 
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#13
treat the pc like yours. some technician who called to fix it does bad job, although the problem fixed they left several things that make uncomfortable, like forgot to install driver, or forgot to plugin molex to optical drive
be honest of course, some err you may not know how to fix it. so try, if you cant tell them. dont lie to them. some user may more expert than you think so if you lie to them you just throw their trust out of windows
 
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#14
For any of you thinking you should never try to sell stuff and do I.T. Support and diagnostics are crazy, because every company needs profit if they have shelves(ruthless world).

I used to be a I.T. Tech at a local in-store shop (sadly out of business) where we also had store shelving stock.

We had over 6 case's, Intel and AMD dual to latest processors, Motherboards for all processors,
DDr,ddr2,ddr3 ram and so-dims for the laptops. We had antivirus software, security "camera" software, even POS system software. We also had windows vista-7 and XP(not after micro s. stopped shelving XP) we had everything, like a mini Fry's or Micro Center store. We had more tech then bestbuy in the same complex(client reference).
(we would restock from a weekly trip to LA to distribution warehouses like D&D)

One of the reason's we went of business is because there just was not enough sale's to cover the building utility's, renting/loan, and licensing needed to make the computer shop run. We had a good number of client's that liked the quick I.T. work.

In 1-3 days every system was on the bench then finished and returned, and that was with any problem(bad drives, salvage data, virus, maintenance, system build). I saw as a lot of work was being done for clients and there computer's, but are profit was coming from the work order's and barley any sales, and we were already low balling on charge's.

Didn't go well, we couldn't keep up with the low charge's on our work order's without any sales for all the store merchandise. So don't get angry at anybody trying to sell anything, because frankly no one win's if there is not enough profit, and the client can always say no or get a refund

Tech Ethics:
*Always refer to the "customer" as the Client so there isn't this sense of best buy sales rep.
*Never argue with the Client, and never disagree with the Client unless you peacefully explain and they understand.
*Always ask for what the client want's before you get into the diagnostics, you want to make sure you clarify or assure if it can be done. (sometimes there is confusion so take it seriously on this one)
*Call the Client with any notifications if there are more problems found, and if there need's to be any extra charge's. Also notify immediately if your done with the machine, so you have a happy client.
*Explain to the Client that you will assist them if there are any problem's, (give them number for contact) some people give out there cell numbers for anytime assistance.
*Just assume that all Clients are low in knowledge and explain it as if you were telling a semi elderly man that's just not the tech geek.

there's some obvious suggestion's like, get the work done on time, do it right, and know what your doing.
 
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#15
yeah it's hard but you don't need to keep so much in stock. if a replacement part is needed RARELY is 1-2 days for free shipping from newegg for example not an option.

I also do in home tech support, and do in house repairs out of my home office. i do it all myself and so do not have employees, extra costs associated, an office building, etc.

Granted i am not doing as many repairs as a shop but as much as any one guy in the shop did i'd imagine. yes companies have to make money but then you are sales/service not service. not a technician finding the cause of the problem but rather a salesman finding an angle to sell a product.

if a replacement part IS needed, that's obviously one thing - totally different than upgrading a piece of hardware that already worked - and was fast/powerful/quiet enough for the customer.
 
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#16
yeah it's hard but you don't need to keep so much in stock. if a replacement part is needed RARELY is 1-2 days for free shipping from newegg for example not an option.

I also do in home tech support, and do in house repairs out of my home office. i do it all myself and so do not have employees, extra costs associated, an office building, etc.

Granted i am not doing as many repairs as a shop but as much as any one guy in the shop did i'd imagine. yes companies have to make money but then you are sales/service not service. not a technician finding the cause of the problem but rather a salesman finding an angle to sell a product.

if a replacement part IS needed, that's obviously one thing - totally different than upgrading a piece of hardware that already worked - and was fast/powerful/quiet enough for the customer.
New-egg is great. But doesn't have everything and is more expensive then the warehouse's, product's come in the next day.
Yeah there was around 10-30 machine's in the shop at 1 time, most every charge was like 30-150$ for multiple diagnostics and repairs.
The only angle's that sold product's where for either client purchase(no computer turned in, just getting parts), or if the client needed that new hard-drive, ram, case fan, ect... (failure)
All we did carry in stock was what was really sold with some extra cables and wires.

Never did we send everybody out with that anti-virus software, or pointless mouse pad ect...

Just client satisfaction, needed them to comeback :p

PS: Never had a video card over 120$, a Processor over 3-400$, or a case over 50$:p Never carried "upgrades" that enthusiast love :) Just the replacement's and essentials

If any client needed that high end part, it was in stock and in our doors in 2 days or less.
 
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twilyth

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#17
I think you can cover it with one basic rule: Treat the client the way you would expect to be treated if it involved something that you knew nothing about.

Even if the client seems like an asshole, try to look at the problem from their perspective.
 
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#18
Simple stuff really:
1) Never report the client to the Fed for copyright infringement unless their collection includes some really epically bad movies, like Mean Girls, Navy Seals, etc. My limit was seven bad movies before I reported them; some of my coworkers did less or more.
2) The client always expects you to rate their porn collection, belittle them for not hiding it well and discuss the best porn sites with lots of colorful language. So be prepared.
3) If the customer comes in looking for memory, tell them they need a hard drive; if they need a hard drive tell them they need memory; if they tell you they need both, tell them that neither are compatible with their system and/or they don't make them anymore.
4) Don't shower, especially if you travel to the customers site. This is the best way of avoiding having to talk to the client.
5) If the user doesn't know a lot about computers, use a bunch of gibberish terms like "flux capacitor" and "neutrino deflector". Make sure to throw in jabs about how unattractive and unintelligent they are.

I've been doing it for 10 years and it keeps them coming back.
 
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#19
Hey, Im writing a page for my coworkers that is to assist them with diagnosing and repairing computer problems over the phone. The first page of the site is going to be for Explaining the ethics of being a computer technician. The big thing here is to make sure that the agent understands the ethics of computers and that it is logical. Any suggestions?

I was thinking of obvious ones like : Never lie to the customer. Always make sure that the customer understands what you are doing....
Having been a technician for a few year and servicing the general public, I highly recommend you make yourself and co-workers aware of the companies policy's when it comes to discovering "questionable material" (i.e. pornography , CP ect.) as I went through a year long lawsuit for turning in a customer that had CP on their machine.

I also recommend being selective about customers. If this is in a corporate enviroment, make sure your not disturbing peoples work places, and above all use common sense.
 
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#20
I went through a year long lawsuit for turning in a customer that had CP on their machine.
I think you did the right thing, obviously. but how during regular technical repair did you come to find they had that?
 
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#21
Always assume the customer knows nothing about computers.
That is the only one I hate HAHA! Simply because it's like...

hey, my internet isn't working. I dropped the router into some water. Could that have caused it?

Answer: Alright sir, have you tried to restart the PC?

-.-

LOL!
 
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#22
You're comparing computer tech with doctoring? :wtf:
Fine but the point stands. No other profession gets the "I expect free work from you" like tech support. I guess they think we love messing with computers all the time no matter what unlike, say, a roofer for whom it's just work.
 
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#23
Fine but the point stands. No other profession gets the "I expect free work from you" like tech support. I guess they think we love messing with computers all the time no matter what unlike, say, a roofer for whom it's just work.
well computers are more of a lifestyle than say roofing. also it's harder for people to understand what we do than it is for other service professions. a physical repair makes sense to someone but spending hours on bits and bytes is not easily understood.

customers tend to think it takes an hour. not an hour and 15 years experience.

that, and it really is a relative cost. depending on where you live an hour shop cost can be anywhere from $25 to $100 or even more. with that kind of range it's understandable the common user has no real concept of value with regards to troubleshooting and repair.
 
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#24
From real life scenarios:-

Do not burst out laughing when you ask the client what the name of the missing folder(s) is/are and he shows you written on the palm of his hand 'shemales and wrestling'.

If you are serving a hot female friend of yours by recovering her data from her coke spoiled laptop and find hardcore solo sex clips of her in amongst the wanted data, do not mention you saw it.

If a client is an old man and shows their gratitude by pulling a lollipop out of his pants pocket for you, take the lollipop but don't eat it.

If you call up a customer to say their data is lost due to a failed HDD and they start crying, be as courteous as possible.
 
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#25
I think you did the right thing, obviously. but how during regular technical repair did you come to find they had that?
Can't answer to his issue, but I know that I've seen all sorts of things due to viruses... The love bug infecting all those files caused the scanner to list them as they were found/cleaned/deleted, and some of the names were pretty explicit. We had a family member of the owning family in from Europe, infested with some crap or other. In deleting the content.ie5 stuff, and cleaning with a scanner... some of the files... whew....

I don't particularly care about Company Policy when it comes to child porn. you report it. period.

2 Notes I've got on my desk for my own assistance are:

Don't assume the customer is wrong.
and
Don't Get Comfortable.

Sometimes, the user actually does get it right, whether they know what they're talking about or not. It never hurts to double check, and gives them a sense that you respect their opinions, and don't look down on them.

I've also been in the position of being too comfortable in my job, and it hurt my performance. Never assume you're going to get paid the next day, or that you can't be replaced, or that you know as much as you say you do.

Along the lines of the client, I hear at least once a week "I don't know anything about these things!!" or something along those lines. The best response I've come up with, is "Well, I promise not to (repair cars/sell carpet/do your payroll), if you'll promise not to work on the computer ;) "... Usually gets a smile and a laugh. Puts them at ease, lets them know that you're pretty confident that you'll take care of them, and also lets them know that you're sure that they're good at their jobs.