Every morning, I look through various RSS feeds, news and technical, and then I ‘hit’ the MS public newsgroups. News is often soul destroying, technical sometimes goes way over my head, and newsgroup material is it’s usual baffling self, a combination of plaintiff cries for help and complete BS.

RSS feeds aside, this is what greeted me this morning.

“My husband and I recently purchased a new computer from Gateway. Unfortunetly we sent it back in less than 24 hours. It seems that while getting on the internet the computer made updates (Mcafee, windows explorer etc). In doing so our computer totally crashed. We called Gateway and they explained to us that everytime you log onto the internet and your computer makes any kind of updates this will cause your computer to crash. The only way to fix the problem is to constatnly re-load Vista onto your computer everytime it crashes. Has anyone else experienced this problem? Apparently my husband and I are not the only consumers of new computers that have run into this problem. I find it very upsetting that Microsoft and Gateway (and Dell) knew of this problem but continued to make sales of new computers. So what are we to do with no fix for this problem?”

Now, it would be easy enough to think that the OP was embellishing slightly or had maybe misunderstood Gateway Support. I’ll wager that the lady reported it just as she had been told. I have also had this line of BS fed to me by technical support.

Technical support to home users is never easy. Technical terms get confused, examples being ‘installing confused with downloading’ and ‘copy and paste’ confused with ‘drag ‘n drop’. Differentiating between a window, check box and popup does not come naturally to all people.

However, ‘Technical Support’ is not helped by employing idiots who do not know anything. If Gateway are unable to support a product properly, they should not be sellling it. They should publicly announce that they don’t have the first clue.