How to ask for help

I often get nearly impossible support requests. It isn’t that solution is impossible to find. Instead, it is that the bare minimum of information is not passed along to me.

There are a few things you should make sure to do before you submit a support request to any organization:

  1. Reproduce the problem yourself.
    There is nothing worse that getting a support request that is hearsay. If you can’t make the problem happen, what makes you think that I can?
  2. Give all steps to reproduce the problem.
    The more information that you give me, the better chance that I will be able to silve the problem correctly the first time you ask. Make sure to give this information in as clear of a way as possible. Don’t leave things out because you think they are obvious. Anything that is obvious to you, may not be obvious to me.
  3. Explain it to me like a 2 year old.
    I’m serious. Explain absolutely everything. Too much information is always better than not enough.
  4. Don’t argue.
    There is nothing to be gained from arguing. Instead of telling me I’m wrong, tell me the reasoning behind why you think I’m wrong. People have a habit of not looking past the “error” and this just leads to wasted time.
  5. Don’t nit-pick
    If anyone in the process loses sight of the ultimate goal (fixing the problem), then we all end up looking at things that really aren’t important. Never get into a semantics argument with support. If the argument is with me, you will lose and more importantly, it wastes time.

If everyone followed those basic rules, my life would be easier, and everyone’s problems would be solved more quickly.


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