A high tech service call


Last summer, we said goodbye to our television set of about 8 years.  The screen would randomly turn itself off for a while and then back on when it decided to.  It’s not something that’s really conducive to watching television as it’s kind of nice to see a show or a game in its entirety.  I had had an informal discussion with a technician who indicated that it would cost more than what the television was worth for diagnostic time and that was before parts and labour for a fix.

So, we bit the bullet and bought a new one.  We were loving it until during the Super Bowl, I realized that we had a problem with this one..  It showed up on the Google advertisements which were based on showing the Google search screen.  As we all know, it’s largely white.  Well, in our case, it was largely white with three grey ghostly patches on the left side of the screen.

Screenshot 2019-02-20 at 10.50.57

Typically, it’s not something that you actually notice except for those moments when the screen has a solid background.  I did all the things that I could think of – turned it on and off, connected to the internet and installed a software update, and reset the picture settings but the issue persisted.  So, we have a problem.

Before I disconnected things, we took a trip to the dealer who sold us the set.  It’s not that old so surely it’s under warranty.  And, it is, but we had to deal with the manufacturer directly.  Oh boy.  I’m not looking forward to this.  But, I am glad that I didn’t disconnect everything and bring the television to the dealer.

I was really surprised at how easy it was to get the process rolling for a solution once I knew the phone number for support..

I called the company on my smart phone.  This turned out to be fortuitous since I could have used the land line.  <sad face>  Yes, we still have a land line.

After wading my way through the menu with the required digits – Type 1 for service in English etc., I ended up with a technician.  I explained the situation to him.

He stepped me through the same steps that I had followed including the screen diagnostics.  This was where it got interesting.  He wanted me to text him a picture of the screen.  I felt badly because of my old school thinking that he’d give me an email address to send it to.

My phone vibrated.

I had received a text message from him.  All I had to do was take a picture of the diagnostic screen and send it back to him.  Now, I switch among applications all the time but hadn’t switched to something else while on a phone call.  I pressed HOME to get to the home screen and load my camera and snapped a picture of the screen.  Then, I switched to Messages to reply with just a picture of the screen diagnostic.  I also sent him the Google screen shot since I thought it did a better job of showing the problem.

“Ah, I see it.  Give me a sec.”

I was then a recipient of another text message to the repair service who would show up at the house within 24 hours to replace the screen.

How slick was this?

But I just had to know.

“What would you have done if I didn’t have a smartphone or didn’t know how to text or use two applications at the same time or …”

It turns out that he has a script to follow while troubleshooting.  That really wasn’t a surprise.  He had a number of various scenarios that would have allowed him to do the required diagnostics and to reach a solution depending upon the technology that I had on my end and my ability to use it.  In my case, the solution that was #1 on his list worked.

I’m a happy customer and there’s nothing better than a support guy can say.

I think about how the situation would have played out without the tools that we had – you know, a return to the good old days, and just am so glad to be enabled in 2019.

OTR Links 02/21/2019


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