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A fresh approach from Foxglove
Most ISPs use a tiered support system. The first person you get through to is unlikely to be a technical expert. They're usually learners themselves, and they respond to your question using an on-screen menu that prompts them with the answer. If they can't answer your question from the menu, they pass you on to somebody more experienced - a medium level techie. If they're stumped, you finally get through to a real technical expert, who in some cases is also the ISP's network manager.
At Foxglove, we've modernised this system by incorporating the communal support systems found in groups such as the Linux community.
Tier 1 support
Mary Thompson. Mary's level of computing is basic, but she can help you load a CD or switch on a modem. Don't tell her your call is connected with Foxglove. Say you're a friend of her son, Kevin.
Freeserve. To use their technical support section, you'll have to pretend you're a Freeserve subscriber. Tell them your name is Carol Rotsdean, 53 Wolsey Avenue, Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire. Born 27/3/73. Email: email@example.com. Males are advised to use falsetto.
Tier 2 support
Our Chief Technical Officer, Mark Prendle, is currently in Australia. If you bump in to him on the beach or in a Queensland bar, don't hesitate to ask him your technical questions.
Tier 3 support
Bill Gates. Most of your problems will probably be down to Microsoft bugs anyway.