Tech Support Told Her To Break the PC
I am really excited for part three. Our secret shopper, Shea, called up every one of our seven system integrators with either a very real or at least a very really manufactured problem to see if they can help her through it. Take the screws out of the back of it. Now, we did have a couple legitimate problems due to failures in shipping, but for the rest of them, we're going to be conducting the same experiment we did last time. Finding out if the support folks at our system integrators can help Shea troubleshoot a computer that won't boot due to a loose memory module.
Given it's the same as last time, there's no excuse for them to not have tightened up their processes, but based on that I'm looking at three hours of footage for us to go through here. I think it's safe to say this is going to be pretty interesting. Interesting, like this message from our sponsor, Ugreen. And their Nexode 100 watt MagSafe charger. It delivers the same 15 watts as the original Apple MagSafe charger, while also supporting up to 100 watts of output on a single USB-C port.
It'll charge your MacBook Pro M2 from zero to 51% in just 30 minutes. Oh good, we're starting with Starforge. You know, I don't think anyone from One True King is going to talk to me ever again.
This is twice now that we're showing their computer shipping to us broken, but hey, maybe they did a great job of fixing it. I am about to message Starforge because they don't have a phone line, so we're going to get the email correspondence started with them. You know, I saw people talking about that in the comments on part one.
But now that we're on support, the fact that they don't have a phone line, or at least a live chat for that, means that this computer doesn't work. I go from mildly frustrated, but someone's helping me to, I gotta wait? I gotta wait! All right, so we are reaching out. Hi, I ordered a computer. That computer doesn't display anything when I turn it on. I heard something rattling around when I unboxed it.
Is that normal? We have a call scheduled later with Starforge. At least their email response is to schedule a call with you. Okay, so the last email that we had sent over was relating to the presence of the Easy Debug LEDs. To Starforge's credit, they read the email before calling her. The lights that you circled are not on currently, but the RGB ones are.
Has he actually asked her if it works yet? To be fair, she said it wasn't, or at least she did in her email. What might have happened is, in shipping, UPS can be a bit rougher than we would ideally like. They went straight to blaming the courier, but I identified their deficient packing materials before I even opened them.
The PCIe slot might have sustained a bit of damage, or it simply might just need to be reseated. Because in transit, if it starts to bounce around a bit, it can cause those pins that make contact to come undone. This is a good, albeit deflecty, explanation of what can happen and what can cause things to come loose. Go ahead and power your system off and unplug it completely from the wall. Alright, unplug. Standalone machine. It'll be that rectangular piece of hardware that's plugged kind of toward the bottom.
Well, there's a lot of rectangular hardware pieces. Okay. It's all rectangles. If it's not part of your standard operating procedure to just jump on a video call with people at this point, you are doing it wrong.
There should be a pin on the bottom, like a retention pin. Ooh, that is not how we described that. Oh, the cables. Yeah. With the motherboard facing the ceiling, just for ease of access.
Motherboard facing the ceiling. That is really good, explicit instructions. If you take a look toward the left-hand side of the graphics card. See, he sometimes does a really great job of helping her with orientation. Yeah. Motherboard facing the ceiling.
Perfect. And other times, he really loses it to the left of the graphics card. You are not going to lose those screws, Shea. You have a magnetic screwdriver, darn it. Lttstore.com. I got it, I think. Yes. Oh my god, it's out. Let's go.
You did that way faster than like half of the people that I talked to on the phone. I'm impressed. Well, little hint for both of you. It was so fast because the clip she was feeling for and trying to release is no longer there. That's what broke off and was rattling around in the case during shipping. Look at the slot on the motherboard that we just pulled your graphics card out of.
He wants to check the board. Uh-huh. See if there's any like visible damage. That damage is not going to be obvious to a novice user.
But if you're looking at the other ones and you see that this one doesn't have that same... Yeah, but he told you it had a lock and stuff. Oh god. Okay, yes. Okay. There it is! I like that they stay on the call while she takes the picture.
They don't like, hey, send that to me, we'll get back to you, whatever. Yep. Okay. All right. So that was loose within the system? Yeah, found it inside. He's not happy about that at all. It might have been the reason as to why the graphics card was able to be pulled out so easily is the retention clip itself.
But there's two paths we can go down at this point. They will either say, we need that system back so we can swap out that motherboard. Or they're going to go, eh, it doesn't really affect the functionality as long as you're not moving the system around.
Which is true. We can immediately get warranty support established for such and have the system sent back, promptly repaired by our technicians and sent your way. Cool.
Okay. And the guy knows what he's talking about. Yep. Having our warehouse team send out separate packaging materials for your graphics card. That graphics card probably still works. This is a really smart move that tells me they do not want that graphics card to die on the way back.
That way, when our technicians are able to check in your system. If I was them, I would seriously be trying to offer her $150 off this system or something to use it with the slot like it is. Yeah, because they've got to ship it back. And then they've got to ship it back again.
That's expensive if it's $300 each time. They are eating it. I don't have a clear rubric, but she's on and off the phone in half an hour with a satisfactory resolution. I give it an A. Yeah, that's pretty good.
She seems happy. He was nice, friendly. The way he cheered when I got out that GPU, like granted, yeah, sure. It was because something was broken and that's why it was so easy.
But victory nonetheless. So they offered to send us a box. They sent it. We accepted that.
They then emailed us saying, hey, here's the box, whatever. And what we responded with, because we need to keep the computers for the testing and everything. We told them, hey, a friend of mine came by, popped the card out, put it back in, and it seems to be working. So we're just going to keep it. It all seems good. We presented them the option of just keeping it with the broken slot.
We offered to do that. We have a motherboard with no warranty. They should at least be accounting for that.
And they should offer us a token. Even though they didn't offer anything, we are still basically good to RMA and return this. At just about any point, we're not waiving anything. That's not better than nothing. That is nothing.
So this was October 4th. They followed up again around October 10th, a week later, saying, hey, just wanted to check in, make sure it's all good. So they're not offering a token, but they're following up and making sure it's all still kosher. A minus. 17 second wait time.
Let's go, Maingear. See the lights and the fans coming on? Yeah, I feel the fan and the pretty RGB lights are indeed on. Have you plugged in a display cable? I think the call just ended. He went to look at motherboard stuff. Oh, we're getting a call back.
Hello? Drop calls happen. Hi, can you hear me? Yeah, I can hear you now. Full credit to main gear for realizing the call dropped, kind of going, caller ID exists. I'm going to at least try and make sure that everything's OK. Yeah.
If you look to the right of those, there's going to be a big connector. It's a 24 pin power connector. And then right above that, there's four small LEDs there. Ah, we're landmarking. That's good.
Landmarking is good. Referring to things as 24 pin ATX connector, not as good. And are any of those four lit up? One is orange, an orange yellow, a mustard yellow, a sunrise.
If it's the DRAM, that's probably going to be the easier one to check out first. OK. So we can try and receive the RAM if you're comfortable doing that.
Yeah, sure. Glass panel is off. Something else. It's good, but we're good. What am I looking at on the inside of this? Those T4 sticks there, we're going to want to just take each of those out and then place them back in. [So if you look at the top of where they're slotted into] Look at her face.
She was not excited about taking a part out. Yes, I see that. If you press that down, like, toward the board, it should unlatch that. Down toward the board. That is not the way that I would describe pulling open a RAM slot. Once you get them out, then you can just place them right back in.
And when you're putting them in, you'll want to make sure that you put them the same way, just because they're going to be keyed. That's correct. I would have liked to see some face the motherboard toward the sky instructions here, though. I don't want people installing RAM with the system right side up if they don't know what they're doing.
I did it. Great. Let's plug the power cable back in and try and turn the system back on. Honestly, he's only getting a better result because the user is evolving, not because his approach evolved. Oh, both are lighting up now. We should probably explain at this point why we used a loose RAM stick as our troubleshooting scenario for the systems that didn't have anything actually wrong with them.
And it's just because it's so common. In shipping, these systems get dropped, rattled around, vibrated, and RAM sticks can come loose. If they have good processes, they should be able to diagnose this and help a user troubleshoot it in a very short amount of time. This is probably their most common problem. If they don't have good processes, though, it could easily drag out, which I can clearly see from the timeline, is going to happen in at least some of these scenarios. It doesn't cause any permanent damage to the computer, so we're not costing these companies any money other than, I guess, wasting their time with an unnecessary support call.
Whatever you told me to do worked. So thank you. If you can still hear me. So we got disconnected from Maingear. We think we figured out the technical issues, but -- from Maingear got back to us.
Great chatting with you. Apologies for the call quality slash drops. Nonetheless, it sounds like your PC issue was resolved before the call ended, but wanted to follow up and ensure that you're all set. This is easily an A.
HP. I'm transferring you to someone who can help you now. So just say English or French. It said it and it hung up on me. This is not a good start, which is unfortunate, because right now, HP is my front runner, both in terms of the sales experience and in terms of the shipping and spec.
Or say it's something else. Desktop PC. Look at the look on her face. Oh, yeah. No one likes using these.
You got to give me an ETA, man. Offer me a call back. It's 2023. Sub 10 minutes, though.
Yeah, but we were off the phone with Maingear in 20. And if this call becomes disconnected for any reason, can I reach you back at the 604-? Buddy seems professional so far. While the computer lights up, I am not getting anything on my desktop monitor. If you hit the menu button on that display, do you get, like, the on-screen menu to come up there? Did you make sure it's on the HDMI instead of DisplayPort or vice versa? You can tell, buddy here, 90% of his support calls are, my monitor is not on. Yeah, because, I mean, the last thing he probably wants to do is have her open the system. Yeah.
This is a big advantage to using a DIY-grade motherboard, though. For your support agents, they had these post-indication LEDs. That's not because boutique builders like spending more money on motherboards.
That's because it's legitimately a useful feature when you're trying to figure out why a computer's not turning on. If we can, let's hold down the power button until the entire computer just powers off there. He's the first one to give proper instructions for how to turn off a computer that hasn't correctly posted. Everyone else just says, turn it off.
Yeah. Unplug the cable. Just assume you know how to do that. It may take a minute or two of tapping to reach the startup menu. Oh, he wants her to go into the BIOS.
Just to confirm, the RGB lights inside... You can tell he really doesn't want to open up the system, whereas everyone we saw so far couldn't wait to open up the system. Yeah, check it out.
It's probably RAM, because it usually is. I think the correct approach is probably somewhere in between. Hold down the Windows key and the B as in Bravo key.
And while you hold those down, you're going to press and hold the power button on the tower. But we're not getting an output, brother. How is she going to see that? For a maximum of one minute or until the computer beeps at you. We have to hold this for one minute? Why would anyone accidentally hold Windows B and hold the power button? Why do I have to do that for one minute? That's not something that can happen by accident. I think you're good to go ahead and release those keys. Are you seeing anything on the screen? Nothing on the screen so far.
Please hold the power button down until it powers off again for me. Okay, I guess I'll just do this pointless stuff again. All over again. Oh, we got to fast forward for another minute, because he tried to hold a different key combination, because that's going to fix everything when she's not getting any... You're good to go ahead and release those keys.
Are you comfortable opening up the unit? Sure. Here comes the side panel. She didn't turn it off though, first. Are you familiar by any at all, Shea, with the makeups of a computer on the inside? I love this question. You should always ask.
No, but I am a quick learner and I'm eager to help, so... I have a tool here on my end that allows me the ability to see whatever the camera on your cell phone. Oh, that's cool. They have video calling. The GPU has the power hooked up to it.
All of that looks correct. 24 pin power connector is connected. Can you go slightly to the right for me? This is great, just making sure things didn't come loose during shipping. This is the first A-plus experience that I have seen, honestly, out of all of this. The other guys got there, but this is great.
He can visually verify and clearly knows what he's looking for. I think he took a little too long trying all of the, like, hold Windows B and whatever. I'm not saying HP is getting an A-plus. I'm saying this segment is an A-plus experience. We didn't get there yet. Well, he hasn't asked us to reseat the RAM.
I definitely think that we may want to actually send this unit into our repair depot. Dang it, HP! It's passing the post sequence. It is not. My biggest concern is the graphics card possibly being bad.
And if you'd rather return to the point of sale and exchange this unit, that's also well within your rights. HP, this is not the first time we've done this dance. There's the phone tree. There's the general just kind of lack of energy in the whole experience. I forgot about the phone tree.
But he pointed us to a very costly option for HP, which is just exchange it for a whole new one. C-plus? Okay. CyberPower. 21 minutes on hold, are you kidding me? Hi, um, I just plugged in my computer to my monitor, and it's not turning on. I love how Shea starts every single one of these calls as if she has absolutely no idea what a computer even is.
The monitor, it's, the monitor won't. There's nothing on the monitor. It won't. Yeah, it just won't. The monitor won't. It's trying.
What do you do when your monitor won't? Cry. Where did you plug in your HDMI? Is it plugged in above your pink, green, and blue audio ports, or is it plugged in below? Below. Interesting. Uses the colored audio ports as a landmark. Is it an HDMI cable or a display port? That's a great question. How would I know the difference? Check your plug.
Does it look like a rectangle with a corner folded in, or is it a slant on both sides? That's a good way to describe HDMI. I like that. That rolled right off his tongue. You can tell he uses that all the time. And does your keyboard light up? Did iBUYPOWER ship us a backlit keyboard? Give me a second. I'm going to have to find it.
So as CyberPower was asking me to take out the keyboard, I pushed the lightest cardboard box off of the table and turned everything off. We were hoping that he's going to call us back, but he hasn't so far, so we're going to wait on hold. Eight minutes. Ok. If the customer gets unexpectedly disconnected, it is not weird to call them back and say, hey. Or email them back, at least.
They should email them. They should have done something. S-H-E-A? Why don't you know my email? I ordered online.
Can you do that again, but slower? I'm so sorry. No, it's Ok. He apologized. He didn't catch it. OK, I have F-H-E-A.
He said F. Pay respects to this poor support rep. Well, I'm just going to send you an article so you have something to look at as well. Request received, reseating GPU.
I can walk you through it with the guidance of that article. Wait, we're going to reseat the GPU first? I strongly oppose this. Just because you're not getting an output doesn't mean it's a problem with the GPU. He didn't even have her try the onboard graphics yet. Then he would know that this is not the GPU being broken. It hung up again.
And even though they had my email, not a single follow-up email or anything. Are you kidding me? We got disconnected again. They don't follow up.
Thank you for calling CyberPower PC tech support. My name is --, how can I help you? Basically, my computer will turn on, but the display won't. All right, we can take a look at that. Can I have the serial number on the back of your computer? What I don't like is reading out my f***ing serial number over and over again. Give me the order number or something. Look me up by name.
Look me up by email. I don't care. Just a few quick questions just to double check on a few things, because there would be two different display port or HDMI connectors on the PC. One on the top, one on the bottom on the, well not bottom, towards the middle on the back.
More than two. That's not a great way of describing that. Yeah, this person just doesn't sound like they want to be there.
And I can't say I blame them. It's a call center job. Do the keyboard and mouse light up when you turn on the computer? No. And that's connected to the top or the back? To the back. Okay. This is a good troubleshooting step though.
Yeah. Because this tells us that it's probably not just a display output issue. This tells us that this is a post issue. And she checked if it was to the front IO, which could just be a bad cable on the board or to right, directly to the motherboard. Yeah, I would recommend go ahead and try to reseat that.
If you can go ahead and bring up those instructions, we can try to walk through that together. Dang it, she had the opportunity. She asked the right questions and she's still having us reseat the GPU.
So you will need a screwdriver for this because we will need to take the screws out of the back of it. So that way you can release it. But at least Shea is covered there.
She has a great screwdriver from lttstore.com. Need a smaller one? Get the stubby. Also from lttstore.com. That's the one silver lining here. Thank you so much for your patience.
I have found a screwdriver. What is that? Dang it, Shea. She had one earlier.
Where'd it go? It might be easier if you lay the PC on its side. Ooh, good move. I like that. I'm just realizing that there's a bunch of screws on this little back panel I'm looking on. So am I doing like each of the tiny ones below the display port? Yes, each of the tiny ones under the ports.
Those are to take the card apart. That's to take the plate on the port off of the card. When you tear down the card. Oh David, is this what you knew was coming? Are you kidding me? No, I see what we're supposed to be removing now. That one thumbscrew.
Yeah, at the top. And then slide the thing up. No, why are we taking apart our GPU? Use the PCIe clip on the motherboard, which is, you can take towards the middle of the graphics card on the motherboard itself. So it would be on the bottom, kind of underneath it. What kind of instruction is that for someone that you obviously have identified as a novice user? She tells her where it is. On the bottom, kind of underneath it.
So she didn't tell her to unplug it? No. Also, did we ever even unscrew it? No. We got the clip half of it through. This is a disaster. If you're not sure, you can take a picture of what you're looking at and send it to the email that was sent over to you. Just send her a picture, showing her where the lock is and what it looks like.
This is a truly awful experience so far. And part of it is not this agent's fault. We already had to talk to a previous agent who didn't call us back. I mean, the overall awful experience. Two previous agents.
That is really hard to see. This is hard to see. And what's really wild is that this has been our experience with now multiple cyber power reps. Yeah, you look at what that other PCIe slot looks like at the end of it, how it has that little- That PCIe slot.
I'm not sure what a PCIe slot is. See, you can't jargon. All right.
I sent you a screenshot with two little circles on it. The first one. Cool, but tell me- The attitude's back. And tell me you're doing that.
Nah, man. The attitude's back. The blue one is circling where it looks like that little tab is on that one. I pushed it and something moved, so. Okay, sounds like that it released.
Make sure that as you're doing that, you pull up on the card. Yeah, and we also haven't released the screws at the back of the card. So that thing ain't coming. Oh my, oh my goodness. Oh, stop pulling on it, Shea. It's not- Oh, please, oh.
It seems like it's still stuck to the back panel. Got all the screws out of that? Yeah, you said it was the tiny ones that were right below the display ports, right? Yeah, we took out all the screws, buddy. Yes, we might need to take out some of the expansion screws, too. You know what? That is a valid step.
Sometimes you can have a two-slot card and the third one overlaps a little bit. I know, but why didn't, like, why didn't she realize that that's not what she was taking out to begin with? Because she said we need- Yeah, that milk is spilt, okay? That milk is spilt. Oh! Did she just do what I thought she did to that poor graphics card? Is she taking out all of them? It kind of looks like it, because I've seen her go.
She's going ham, man. If only she had an even better screwdriver. With knurling on the shafts. Get those screws out. It could be ratcheting right now.
Yeah. Oh! Oh, oh! She didn’t- the lock’s still engaged. And she didn’t take out every- So that's something that can happen, is you can release the lock and then pull the other side and it can rock the lock back down and then you can, I'm surprised she didn't rip the lock off that PCIe slot. Okay, graphics card, out. What's the next step? I'm holding it in my hands.
All right, go ahead and leave it out for about 30 seconds. And then you can go ahead and put it back in. What, why are you leaving it out for 30 seconds? What are you even talking about? You can also try testing it on a different slot on the motherboard if you feel comfortable doing that. She's like, I just got it out. What do you mean? I gotta wait 30 seconds and put it back in? There's no other slot that looks the same.
Yeah, because they're probably color coded. Oh, yeah, because one is silver. Yeah. And then the other one's like the screenshot you showed me, those are black, does that matter? Kinda, it'll work. For troubleshooting, okay.
Performance is gonna dip. There were such easier troubleshooting steps that we could have take- Is, I just shove it? Are you gonna provide her any instructions on how to put this card back? I just shove it? Okay. Skater's guide to how to re-and-re-a-GPU. Am I supposed to put all the screws back now? Yes, go ahead and put the screws back in as well just to make sure that it's.
She doesn’t have to. You don't have to do that. You already got the system lying flat.
I did lose one in the case somewhere. Oh, man, I'm like agitated right now. Hold on. Right there.
That's the customer experience right now. That's what you did to Shea. Poor Shea. I'm just gonna take a second and try to find the screw that I lost. Adam, don't help. Oh, he's saying you could break the whole- Yeah.
No, he's right. He's right. Because if that screw is shorting something, the rep should not be letting her turn the system back on with a loose screw somewhere. Is it underneath the graphics card? Dear God. The look on her face.
Thanks for your patience. This is just gonna take a moment. Okay. Okay, who's the support rep? It's pretty weird that you didn't bring me a screwdriver from lttstore.com. I don't know why we have this junk in this facility.
I understand why Adam stepped in here. Oh, yeah. This could have easily taken all day. Oh, 100%.
Are you sure you don't wanna rethink the HP C plus rating? Well, what's this, like a D minus? Nothing is coming up on my monitor. And the CPU does not have onboard graphics support, I don't think. She is checking if it's got onboard to try the onboard. Yeah, the time to do that was an hour ago.
When did this start exactly? Was it just completely at random? It just started or was it happening from the very beginning? That's a great question for right when this call started. From the very beginning, this is the first time I've tried to turn on the computer with my monitor plugged in. And the screen itself says no signal or is it just a blank screen? Blank screen. How many times we gotta tell you it's a blank screen? Okay, let's try one more thing.
Shut it off again. Go ahead and take off that glass panel again and then reseat the RAM, which is the two thin little sticks. You only have one, my bad. It should say T-Force on it. But will you be able to get Shea through the process? Where was this version of this rep at the beginning of this call? I don't know.
Go ahead and take it out and then put it back in. Same thing you did with the RAM. I mean. Go ahead and take it out.
Yeah, don't, nothing about clips. Put it back in the same one that it was originally in to start with and make sure that you hear it click in. What if she can't remember what that was? I don't quite remember which one that was, so we're gonna guess. Oh my God. It would probably be one, which is the one closest to the CPU. No.
No, it'd be one over. Yeah, it'd be one over. Okay, I put it back on.
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh. Shea, stop, stop. It's definitely not in. Anything on the screen? Still a blank screen, unfortunately.
Offer an RMA. I would give up if I was the rep at this point and I would ask to just send it back. Even if you think a supervisor could help troubleshoot this better, at this point, the customer's experience has been so long and dragged out and awful that it really is just time to, say, forget it. With HP, I didn't feel that way yet just because it hadn't been that long and it was such an easy troubleshooting step, but now we've taken this thing apart and put it back together. We've taken the thing out, we've put it back in.
There's just little tabs that I can move. I'm just starting to wiggle stuff up. Oh, well, it's on, Shea.
It won't break it. It won't not break it. Well, she's told her to push down until it clicks. Yeah, but like... What? You better be careful telling a novice user to push down until it clicks.
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So don't throw away your old mouse and keyboard. Pick up a Ugreen RevoDock today from the link in the video description. Oh, and we got disconnected. You have got to be kidding me. Are you kidding me? And this was definitely not us.
We did not bump the phone. That was a 50 minute call. I was on that phone call for an hour. I'm just like so sweaty.
It was working for so good and then... I figured it out at the end. She told me to put it in the wrong slot.
I'm stressed. Oh my God. It's pretty chilly in here.
And I'm like... At this point, they're just getting a failing grade if they can't reconnect with us in five minutes. And she has my email. Yeah. The latest person we were talking to, she sent me...
We sent pictures back and forth. He gave them five minutes. I would've given them two.
Well, CyberPower finally emailed for a tech support survey. That's the one that we lost the call with them twice. They had the audacity to send a survey but not actually follow up the experience.
Please fill out our survey. So we clearly have a way to contact you but only for the survey, not to double check that your problem was resolved. I don't know if that was the longest support call we've ever seen on Secret Shopper but I think it's fair to say that that was the worst. It was pretty rough. They just would've been better off not participating at all. Oh my God.
Sorry, who are we talking to now? NZXT. NZXT. We appreciate your patience.
We'll be with you as soon as possible. 59 minutes? As soon as possible? They waited an hour on hold? And what's really frustrating is that we didn't wait a long time to talk to someone when we wanted to buy something. Did he apologize for how long she was on hold? I don't think so.
Thank you for calling NZXT. My name is --, how can I assist you today? Are you using the HDMI port that's located up by the USB ports or you may have a second one that's gonna be lower below the audio jacks? Below, the one below the audio jacks. Shea's getting a little two seasoned now though.
Can tell she knows what she's talking about now. Do you happen to have a cell phone number I can send a text message to for a video call service that we use? He wants to- This is great. Whoa! Immediate. If only we hadn't waited an hour to talk to him, then he would be way ahead of the game.
I've gotta just double check the motherboard on this real quick. Yeah, that might already point me in the right direction to what's going on with the PC. You can go ahead and power it off real quick. What? What, the LED? He looked at the LED.
She's using her phone to show him what LED's on. Which, yeah, it probably says DRAM. Okay, all right. And I'm trying to get like the exact model on the motherboard. And whoever put it here, just put gigabyte B760 temp. Doesn't have the exact model number.
And I'm like, you guys suck. Did he just say that? No, it's just my guys, they really do need to, when I asked them for this kind of info, like I need it to- Is he airing internal process frustrations? He just crapped on his own support team. With a customer, in the middle of a customer support call. Yeah, that makes sense.
But I have my ways working around it. He's not wrong. We're utterly incompetent, but don't worry, I got you. That is a weird message. Yeah, I believe that particular light is DRAM.
I just wanted to be sure on here. Knowledgeable though. Buddy here.
He's not even looking at the RAM. He knows it cold. Let's see.
And this one was configured four sticks. Okay, wondering if there might be an issue with one being loose. Just to start, I want you to go ahead and we're gonna remove two RAM sticks just to start on here. First and third. That's good because four, even at lower speeds. First and third.
Counting from left to right. So, and then to unlock them, there's gonna be little tabs at the top and bottom of each stick. He knows what he's doing.
Is it okay if I put the phone down? For a second. Yeah, absolutely fine. It’s too bad it took so long to get here. Yeah, what a just crap stain on what is overall. Pretty good. A pretty smooth experience.
Let's try and start the PC with just the ones in slots two and four, see what result we get. That's a good start. I would try that too.
I would 100% try that. If you actually look at the pin, like the pin end of it, so the slot that goes into the motherboard, one side is slightly longer than the other. They're pretty in the middle on DDR4 and 5. It's slight.
Might be easier to put the PC on its side as well. Boom, there it is. All right, let's try and start the PC up now. See what result we get. She's removed everything at this point too. So it should work.
As long as she's slotted it back in correctly, it should work. At this point though, I do think they get at least some credit, even if they ultimately don't solve it because they went through the right steps. Oh yeah. Go ahead and power it off.
We're going to take all four sticks out at once and we're just going to try and start it with no RAM to see if we get a different error. I actually like that troubleshooting step. I don't know if I would have thought of that. Try it without any RAM at all.
Stick number one, one. And we'll just install it in the fourth most slot. Okay, we really need to make sure she puts that RAM stick in properly though. Come on, man. Oh, there you go.
Okay, click. That's a good click. Beautiful. Oh my God. I think this time it's going to turn on. Okay, one, one is in fourth slot.
All right, let's start it with just that single stick of RAM. Yes, good troubleshooting step. Yeah, we're going to turn it on with just that one stick.
He's not having her turn off the power supply in between. Okay, so it's gone right back to the regular setup, which is a good sign. So it was probably in recovery setup.
Now we're in actual setup. All right, at this stage, let's go ahead and just press the power button on top of the PC to shut it down. Let's see if we can get, we can figure out what's going on with the rest of the RAM.
Doesn't matter which ones for these ones we put in. So we can do like 13 and one and 14 and three. Wow, he's going to actually guide her successfully to put in all four sticks. I bet you.
Love it. And he's asking for the full click. So yeah, from here, we just got to go ahead and set up your account.
Just use your standard login for that. If you happen to have like a- I'd give them full marks. So he's going to keep walking her through this. That probably explains why they wait an hour for people to talk to them. But then they should hire more support. If people are on hold for an hour, it's not always that easy.
What we liked about it was that we had a great experience once we talked to them. But like you said before, I just don't think they can be higher than a B based on how long we waited to talk to them. An hour is a pretty long time.
Otherwise he crushed it. Crushed it. So that's an A to an A plus with demerits for how long we waited.
Oh my God. An hour on the f***ing hold, but to fix it in 20 minutes, not bad. For order status on new product purchases that you have not yet received, say order status. No. To get you to the right engineer, I need the 10 or 11 digit express service code from the bottom or side of your product.
X three. Sorry. I didn't quite get that. Okay. Of course it didn't work. Why would that work? Thank you for calling Dell.
You've reached the call routing operator. No wait time though. May I have the service tag or the express service code of the system? Why does he need the express code if she already gave one? I want to put my fist through the screen.
So that's going to be G as in golf N as in November. How much of our precious limited time on this earth has been spent redundantly reading out strings of characters? All right. Please bear with me while I get you connected to the basic warranty technical department. So not only did the information she provided not get passed through to the rep, the entire phone tree was completely unnecessary because we still had to go to an operator to direct our call to the correct place.
Why don't they just have her go get a hula hoop and jump through it three times? Shea, I can see here you're calling for your XPS 8950. Yes. Oh, thank goodness. He actually- The number of times that I have had to give it three times more than I would like to say. Nothing will show up to the monitor.
I'll definitely help you with this, okay? Okay. That gives me confidence. Me too actually. The monitor that you're using, is it a Dell or it's a non-Dell? I think it's a non-Dell. Can you help me with the model number of your monitor, please? Oh, he's trying to find out product information.
Okay. You know what? It shouldn't really matter, but- No, no, I actually like it. Collecting information- It's good.
Not bad. And if the problem is that there is no output, well, there's three potential causes. The computer, the monitor, or the cable.
I can see you have a Nvidia 3060 graphic card. Okay. He's looking at our system. Is there any kind of obvious incompatibility? You have matching ports in both monitor and the desktop. Okay. You know, he's the only person who's actually done that and made sure that we have matching ports.
A lot of people are still using pretty old monitors that only have HDMI or VGA, DVI. So what we need to do here, we need to perform a hard reset, okay? He's the only one who's tried a quick turn it off and on again. Like, that's almost always- That's a really good point.
Right? Nobody else has done it. Yeah, and that's like the first thing you always try with troubleshooting is just try to power cycle it once. Also unplug the monitor as well, and unplug everything from the monitor as well, like the power cord. Wait, what? Why would you unplug the monitor? Yeah, she doesn't need to unplug the monitor. Also from the monitor.
I wonder if he's trying to just power cycle it. I think he's trying to power cycle it. Okay.
Thank you for doing that. Yeah. Thank you for your patience. This is good customer service. Doing good. I do need to see him actually solve the problem before I give him a good grade, but.
Also, you will be able to see some buttons on your monitor. Input select is one of them, yep. Yeah, make sure it's set to the right thing. Can you check on your keyboard, caps lock key is lit up or not? That's a good troubleshooting step that we should have done a thousand years ago.
Power button of the tower. Is it solid white? Or is there any flashing code that you can see? They do have an indicator. He just hasn't been using it. No. Why did it take him like 20 minutes to get here? Or three times with a white, and then there's a pause, and then it flashes twice with a yellow orange light.
I want to know what that code means. I want to look up that code right now because I bet it just says RAM issue. For example, the power and battery status light blinks amber two times, followed by a pause, and then blinks white three times, followed by a pause. This two, three pattern continues until the computer is turned off, indicating no memory or RAM is detected. Oh my God.
That's, that's from dell.com. So there are two covers. One is left side cover.
One is front cover. Okay. So you need to remove the left side cover. Is this system powered on? Yep.
This light's on the GPU. Oh good. Looks like, yeah. Okay.
You got it? Yeah. Victory. The computer's still on. Just to.
Oh, you need to, you need to turn it off, actually. He's been so calm and collected this whole time. You need to turn it off. The clips are securing that.
You need to spread the clips. Spread the clips is actually a better description than I've heard from some of the other reps. Yeah.
Yes, and they are two same things. Like they're two eight gigabytes each. Okay, yes.
I got them out. I almost dropped one of them. I hope that's not important. But we're good. Start the computer. Still flashing the same pattern.
So unplug the power cord. Unplug the power cord. And plug the memories back to the tower. Oh. Yeah, so he tried with nothing in.
That's fine. Got a new code. Yep. Let's see if we end up with dual channel memory at the end of this. Oh, okay. There you go.
Done? A satisfying click from all of them. Okay, I think this is it. Yeah, it's doing a little cycle. All right, powering the computer up. Great. Yeah, it's asking me to sign in.
Okay. There we go. It took like a half hour. I have to dock points for wasting our time when he had a postcode.
Yeah, I think it's a B plus. I can't give him an A for not catching that most obvious of diagnostic steps. Keep my email handy for future references. And if you need any help or if you have any questions.
In case you ever need more help, don't worry, we're here for you. B plus. B and with one and a half pluses. Okay. I felt taken care of at least.
Yeah. And I never felt at any point like I wasn't gonna get it resolved. No, and he wasn't frustrated or anything. Patient. He was very patient. It felt very a little slow double checking things a billion times asking me if I have the same cord like six times, but I will say I'd rather someone be thorough and it feel like I'm, it's taking a little long for me than to be like assuming all of these things.
And then all of a sudden he's like somewhat the technical support is like five steps ahead and I'm still seeing what step one is. It's interesting hearing Shea's take on the slow methodical pace versus the like quick everyone's tech savvy right pace where yeah, it felt slow but at least people weren't five steps ahead of you. Yeah. iBUYPOWER. Hello and thank you for calling iBUYPOWER. Thank you for purchasing a system directly from iBUYPOWER.
Regarding your iBUYPOWER system, press one for issues with game codes or gift cards. When turning on your PC for the first time it can take several minutes for windows to load. To check for loose cables, make sure the computer is completely powered down and unplugged, then remove both side panels. On most builds, windows will be installed to the solid state drive or SSD, which is a thin rectangular component, roughly the size and shape of a smartphone.
Is there a robot telling us everything we could possibly need to know about troubleshooting our computer? Plugging into the SSD. I should be taking notes? Even if those cables appear to be plugged in. This is like a game loading screen that has like game tips.
Are we in the FAQ? Is this just an audio version of the FAQ? I have no indication right now that someone is going to come talk to me. I don't know if she's actually on hold. Please remain on the line and an agent will be with you shortly. Great.
But it would have been nice to tell us that. Really, the SSD might be unplugged? Is something that has to be... Thank you for calling iBUYPOWER, tech support. That was quick though. The display turns on, but it's coming up with a little box that says, install windows.
The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error. Windows installation cannot proceed to install windows. This was a system that had an actual problem.
This is the one it got messed up on the windows install. I just tried a few quick fixes. It could happen to anyone. Go ahead and press the shift and the F10 key on your keyboard. Get that command prompt open.
Okay, R-E-G-E. What was next after that? Regedit. Regedit. That's crazy.
We're going straight to registry editing. This is a little dangerous to be honest. Wow.
He's going to tell her exactly what to type. So it's probably fine. But I don't know if I'd tell a new user to use regedit. Like immediately, first step. Let's go.
I got it. Okay. All right.
So let's go look for the dropdown. He's lucky he's talking to a user who's savvy enough to just immediately find a dropdown. When you click on completion on the right hand side, you're going to have setup.exe. Yes. All right, go ahead and double click on setup.exe. The value data should be at one.
We're going to change it to three. Oh, I see what happened. It's not that the Windows install is corrupted. It's that the Ubi, the out of box experience, somehow got corrupted or bypassed or disabled. So we've just- Restarted it. You can tell they've dealt with this before.
Yeah. Oh yeah. He was like, oh, it's this. Once the computer restarts, you should be greeted with the Windows welcome screen.
Yeah. It's asking my country and yeah, it's the whole Windows setup thing. So great. Okay, cool. Anything else I can help you with today, miss? No, that's everything.
Thank you so much. So we are calling back iBUYPOWER to, with the RAM issue that we've given the other ones. We're going to try the RAM on iBUYPOWER to make sure we have an apples to apples. Uh oh.
They were pretty fast with the other one. They were fast. Once we've made it through their lecture about how to- Yeah, that was. Okay, so you're just getting like a black screen? Yeah. Different rep. Yeah, seems like it.
Is this a new computer? Yes. Do you have the order number? Yes, I do. Looks like you have an MSI motherboard, which will have a couple of debug lights inside. So if you look at the glass panel- Great to the debug lights.
On the top right of it, do you see a small LED light there? I do see a small LED light there, yes. What color is it? It is mustard yellow. Two issues. Because I bet you he's going to solve this. Like, look, he's already got the debug light figured out. So far ahead.
Yellow's going to represent your RAM. Would you feel comfortable taking the RAM out of the computer and putting it back in? iBUYPOWER might have solved both of these issues in about the same time as our best resolution of the one issue with the others. Yeah. And it's two different reps too. So we can't even just, you know, tie it to like, oh, we had a good guy. Nope.
So above each one, you can see a plastic tab. I do see a plastic tab. Away from the stick of RAM. Away from the stick of RAM.
That's good. That's great instruction. I like that.
I got one out. Would you like me to do the same thing with the other one? Yeah. Yeah, let's take both of them out. No, not quite the same thing, but sure. The only thing he could have done better is have her put the computer on its side. And help with the orientation of the RAM.
Sure. She's done this a few times and she kind of knows what she's doing at this point. They feel secure. They feel clicked in. Crushed it.
They crushed it. Knocked it out of the park. I see a Windows logo. Yay! Perfect.
Easy A. Yeah, no problem. No question.
Honestly, A plus. Two completely different reps. Crushed it almost instantly.
They figured it out. They knew exactly where to go. Six and a half, seven minutes, just under seven minutes.
What makes it not an A plus? The weird tutorial. Okay, fine. I would be mad listening to that thing too. Trying to pawn me off on the FAQ so hard.
The actual service was fantastic. I agree with you. A plus.
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Thanks, Ugreen. If you guys enjoyed this video, you can check out the previous two parts of Secret Shopper 3, where we looked at the ordering process and what arrived in the mail. Or if that's not enough for you, you can check out the previous two complete rounds that we've done in the past to get some of the inside jokes about Dell warranties and financing and whatnot. The previous ones haven't gone great for Dell.