Checked the cable? 4 reasons NOT to call your I.T. Support

Wednesday 15 Nov 2017 08 am

We all know that technology can and does go off course every once in awhile. So it goes without saying there are plenty of reasons to call I.T. Support.

But do we need to call them up every single time there seems to be a problem?

And while anyone can find a long list of reasons why our Support guy should be under the desk fixing my PC right now, we’re suggesting there are times when they shouldn’t be there at all.

So today, we’re going to look at 4 times when I.T. Support should NOT be your first port of call.

Before we begin: we want to say that these aren’t necessarily reasons not to call or contact your I.T. Support at all. These are reasons why the phone shouldn’t be your automatic “go to” when your technology appears on the blink.

Have you tried it turning it off...

Ever heard this when talking to your I.T. Support?

OK, you may not be familiar with that line (it’s an iconic phrase from the BBC hit show “The I.T. Crowd”). But rest assured your I.T. guy would probably be chuckling right now.

It’s a phrase that perfectly captures how people call Support for problems that - while seemingly major - are solved by a tiny and obvious fix.

This could mean things like:

  • PC or monitor not turning on: A loose power cable (at either end)
  • No internet or network: A loose network cable
  • Something suddenly behaving weirdly: A momentary glitch (see next section)
  • PC being slow: Computer updates not installed

So, before you call or email Support… have you tried turning it off and on again?*

It’s just a glitch in the Matrix

Now, this isn’t for business-critical systems that need to be up 24/7. If that’s down, get I.T. on the line ASAP!

But for anything less urgent, speed-dialling the I.T. department or firing off an email every 20 seconds may be a little “overkill”.

When it comes to technology, glitches happen a lot. Some might say it’s part of the very nature of technology.

So if the Internet drops out as you’re scrolling through FaceBook (errr… you’re “on a break”, after all), don’t grab the phone and start shouting desperate pleas for help. Chances are that:

  1. It’s a momentary interruption and normal FaceBook service will be resumed in a minute
  2. I.T. have picked it up and are already on it (thanks to their super-sophisticated monitoring)

If it hasn’t fixed itself within a minute or two, make the call and politely let I.T. know the problem (or if it’s less urgent, send them an email).

The printer “doesn’t work”

This might sound similar to the first point, but printers can be a specific source of frustration for I.T. Support, and it largely boils down to one word.


(And in this case, turning it off and on again ain’t going to fix it).

Admittedly, the “no paper” problem has become less frequent as printer technology has made it almost fool-proofingly easy to check the paper tray.

But what if you’re savvy (i.e. you’ve checked the tray and there’s paper) but the printer still stubbornly refuses to spit out your report that’s due in an hour.

Could it be a paper jam? Again, with easier-to-use printers, this is something that can usually be fixed by most office users today.

Tip: if you’re not sure how to check for paper or jams, ask your I.T. Support to show everyone the next time they’re in the office. Trust me, they’ll be happy to run you through it.

It’s just you

No, we don’t mean “you” you. We mean your computer or workstation.

If everyone around you is still happily working while you ponder your problem in confusion, it may be you’ve accidentally done something to cause it.

And we’ll be the first to say this is a scenario where you may need help. However, raising the alarm shouldn’t necessarily be the first thing you do.

Think about what you were doing just before the problem happened. Are there any actions or steps you took that might’ve caused something to go wrong? Can you reverse or undo them (safely) to see if that fixes the problem?

So, the next time your hand’s hovering over the phone handset to call I.T., hit the pause button. Are there things you can check yourself? And maybe even simple fixes?

At SmartM8, we’ve seen our share of disconnected plugs and loose cables and know these problems can give you endless grief. Get in touch today and let us help you with your Support challenges - big or small.

* Just remember to save any unfinished work first!