DEAR ABBY: This may seem like a trivial matter, but as the holidays approach, I know printing this letter will help people in the fast-growing technical support industry, as well as the people depending on them.
When folks purchase large appliances and electronics this holiday season and need to call for help getting them set up or repaired, it's important that they remember to have a few things handy to make the process go faster for all concerned.
Always have the model number, serial number and sales slip handy. Also, please remember that the people on the other end of the line are doing everything they can to get things working. Foul language, raised voices and threats against tech support won't get anything done faster.
So before calling, take a deep breath, be certain that you're calm enough to deal with someone on the other end of the line, and make sure to follow his or her directions. And remember, sometimes the solutions take time. Tech support professionals have to follow company policies, just like everyone else. -- DOING ALL SHE CAN IN WATERTOWN, N.Y.
DEAR DOING ALL SHE CAN: Those all are sensible suggestions. I know firsthand that having the model number, serial number and sales slip can hasten the time it takes to schedule a service call. And it goes without saying that customers will get more cooperation if they don't abuse the customer service personnel. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.