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What the US Can Learn From Canada's Internet Policy

iCEBaLM Re:Was impressed until.. (144 comments)

I live in Ontario. I have the choice of about 25 ISPs, multiple DSL, multiple Cable, a few wireless, some satellite...

The problem with DSL is the last mile belongs to Bell, the others just rent the lines at wholesale prices. Same with Cable, it's either Rogers or Cogeco, depending on location, for the last mile.

However, unlike Cogeco, I get to pay an "indie" ISP $50/mo for a 20mbps/10mbps uncapped package, where Cogeco wants to charge $100 for the same thing.

about two weeks ago

Comcast Training Materials Leaked

iCEBaLM Re:Is there an counter to this? (251 comments)

A: Do not be reasonable or polite, they count on that. Remember you're in the midst of a con.

No, no, no, a hundred times no. Always, always, always be polite first. Even FLAs (front line agents) have small, non-inconsequential, amounts of power that can cause you headaches. If you are rude and/or a dick right off the bat, they can do things like screw with your account, or "forget" to document some important part of the call that can cause you a lot of pain down the road to fix. There are times to get belligerent, the beginning of the call is *not* one of them.

B: Do not get upset or use poor language, that's a free ticket to hang up on you.

This is true, almost all companies instruct their phone monkeys that they do not have to take verbal abuse from a customer. Most institute a "three strikes" rule, where if you warn a customer twice and they continue then you are free to disconnect.

C: Waste as much of their time as possible.

Again, no. This is a high stress job. Wasting time for the sake of wasting time will just piss them off more and give them less incentive to help you, and possibly an incentive to fuck with you.

D: Never let them put you on hold.

There are times when FLAs *have* to put you on hold. The two main reasons are to transfer the call, or to speak to a (mentor | senior | team lead | supervisor | group coordinator | authorizer | ). Transfers are pretty self explanatory, however as someone who doesn't understand how call centers work, speaking to a supervisor may not be. There are various reasons why an FLA may need to speak to one without prompting from a customer, usually it's to obtain authorization of some kind. FLAs fuck up a lot, it's just part of human nature. When you have so many of them, it happens, because of this there are usually a smaller group of second level agents (I've seen ratios as low as 25:1 and as high as 50:1), that can go by various different designations, that FLAs can contact for help, or FLAs are *required* to contact to get an authorization to do something. Everything is monitored in a call center, maybe the FLAs have been sending out too many replacement cable modems lately, or maybe there is a company edict that credits of a certain amount must be authorized by second level agents. They need to put you on hold to do this, they can't do it while the line is active, period, because technically customers aren't supposed to even know these second level agents exist, and if you ask for one, you will never get one.

The best advice I can give, is to just state what you want, if it's not being delivered, ask for a supervisor. If the agent offers any kind of upsell, just decline it politely.

about 3 months ago

Comcast Training Materials Leaked

iCEBaLM Almost all tech support requires upselling (251 comments)

I've worked in the telephone tech support business for 10 years. I have performed tech support for fortune 500 companies you would instantly recognize.

towards the half-way point of my stint, upselling became a *required* part of the job, a metric on which your performance was measured.

First incentives were put in place to weed out those who didn't upsell: shift bids started being held every 90 days instead of "as the business needs dictated" with top sellers given first picks. This caused those who didn't sell to get terrible shifts, requiring many to quit due to life obligations.

Then those who failed to sell were given bad reviews, causing them to lose out on annual salary increases.

When I left poor sellers were being written up, put on notice, and eventually terminated.

Note, that positions these people were initially hired for were inbound technical support jobs with no mention of selling anything. These people would be manning the technical support lines for major corporations that you have heard of, and no one calling any of them would expect to be given any kind of sales pitch.

about 3 months ago

Transforming the Web Into a Transparent 'HTTPA' Database

iCEBaLM What? (69 comments)

Web browsers with DRM built in? Terrible.

about 5 months ago

Sony Tape Storage Breakthrough Could Bring Us 185 TB Cartridges

iCEBaLM Re:But is it even usable? (208 comments)

If the density is greater, the speed will (probably) be greater if the tape pull speed is the same....

about 7 months ago

A Rock Paper Scissors Brainteaser

iCEBaLM Simple. (167 comments)

If your opponent must throw rock 50% of the time, then you throw paper 100% of the time.

You will win AT LEAST 51% of the time, because you get the 50% gifted to you, and the other non-0% of the times that your opponent throws paper will cause a rematch.

about 8 months ago

Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

iCEBaLM Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

shut the fuck up asshole. we all know english people won't make any efforts to learn french even if the live in france directly.

I am Canadian, I live in Ontario, I am an anglophone, and I went to french immersion school for 4 years, with about 90 other students in my class, and studied with Rosetta Stone for two, but I live in an almost exclusively english area.

I can read french pretty well, but I can't really speak it well due to lack of practice. So anyways, english people do make efforts to learn french. It's usually the French people who put us off of it with attitudes like yours.

about 9 months ago

Whatever Happened To the IPv4 Address Crisis?

iCEBaLM Re:Probably the home router... (574 comments)

Your ISP can give you a block of dynamic/static IP addresses, which your router assigns instead of 192.168.1.X?


about 9 months ago

Website Checkout Glitches: Two Very Different Corporate Responses

iCEBaLM Yes (303 comments)

If your website fucks up and gives me a good price, that's not my fault, and you shouldn't be "punishing" the customer for it.

about a year ago

SSD Manufacturer OCZ Preparing For Bankruptcy

iCEBaLM Re:STILL not accurate and STILL misquoted (182 comments)

But they're not incorrectly working 80% of the time, they're incorrectly working once, fixed, and then they work for the rest of the products life.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: MMORPG Recommendations?

iCEBaLM Re:Non-comprehensive list (555 comments)

You can have your own opinions, you cannot have your own facts. There is nothing pay to win about Planetside 2.

1 year,3 days

Ask Slashdot: MMORPG Recommendations?

iCEBaLM Re:Non-comprehensive list (555 comments)

So you post a bunch of stuff about each game, then a disclaimer that it could all be inaccurate and you think that's OK?

Planetside 2 is not pay to win. A pay to win game allows you to get some kind of superiority over other players by paying real money. You cannot do this in Planetside 2. The only things you can buy that you cannot get from playing the game are cosmetics, and XP/Resource boosts, and these do not make you better than other players, they do not grant you extra abilities or allow you to do anything any other player cannot do.

1 year,3 days

Ask Slashdot: MMORPG Recommendations?

iCEBaLM Re:Non-comprehensive list (555 comments)

Planetside 2:
Pros: huge maps, has tanks, has motorcycles of sorts, has flying vehicles, pew-pew PvP, massive PvP.
Cons: P2W galore, rubberbanding massive fights, vast areas feel devoid of... well, everything.

As a semi-competitive Planetside 2 player, if that P2W stands for pay-to-win then I'm pretty sure you're not playing the same Planetside 2 that I am.

1 year,3 days

Global Warming Since 1997 Underestimated By Half

iCEBaLM Re:Orders of magnitude errors dont inspire confide (534 comments)

Regardless, if we spend money to reduce our greenhouse gases and it turns out global warming was a myth, no harm no foul, and as an added bonus, we have less smog!

If we don't spend money to reduce our greenhouse gases and it turns out global warming is real, we're boned.

1 year,11 days

Withhold Passwords From Your Employer, Go To Jail?

iCEBaLM Terrible Laws (599 comments)

This is California Pen. Code, 1 Â 502, subd. (c)(5) of which Terry was found guilty:

(5)Knowingly and without permission disrupts or causes the disruption of computer services or denies or causes the denial of computer services to an authorized user of a computer, computer system, or computer network.

Operate a back hoe and go to jail? Pull the wrong patch cable and go to jail? Tell someone "no, you can't use this computer right now" and go to jail?

This law is ridiculously broad, glad I don't live in California!

1 year,21 days

Ask Slashdot: Easy, Open Source Desktop-Sharing Software?

iCEBaLM Re:ChunkVNC + Instant Support (116 comments)

There's a few, the recommended one right now is written in perl, easily runnable on any linux box.

1 year,23 days

Ask Slashdot: Easy, Open Source Desktop-Sharing Software?

iCEBaLM ChunkVNC + Instant Support (116 comments)

ChunkVNC + Instant Support is great and can be found here: http://www.chunkvnc.com/ Do yourself a favor and click the "Help" at the top of the page to get to the forums and look for rat's 4.0 fork.

Basically what you do is run a repeater on an internet accessable box, use the scripts to customize and create a small (2mb usually) "instantsupport.exe" that you can link on a website somewhere, and then when the user runs it, they either pick a support technician, or get an ID number that you use to connect to them, through the repeater, using the chunk viewer.

1 year,24 days

Ask Slashdot: When Is It OK To Not Give Notice?

iCEBaLM Re:No notice, no reference (892 comments)

I had an employer who told me up front that if anyone called asking for a reference all they would do is say when I worked there, they would not give any information good or bad. Judging people on employers giving the second response is not fair.

about a year ago

US IT Worker Files Hiring Lawsuit Against Infosys, Class Action Proposed

iCEBaLM Re:Master's degree in information systems (684 comments)

If we put everyone under this light then would a McDonalds have to hire anyone with a college degree? What about a retired CEO? The turnover would be disasterous and nothing could function.

If they applied for entry positions that McDonald's was trying to bring in H1B workers to fill, yes, they would have to hire them first.

The point is not that the company has to hire overqualified workers, the point is they have to hire ANY available qualified legal US worker BEFORE they can try to bring someone into the country with an H1B.

about a year ago


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