TFTS: Why Would You Sell Me an Obsolete System?

The tech support agent receives a call from an old man, reporting that his system is malfunctioning. Well, turns out, it is truly obsolete.

Today’s Tales From Tech Support story comes from a home security systems customer support agent, working with a client who doesn’t have a grasp on operating systems.

TFTS Obsolete system


Here's the story

The tech support agent receives a call from an old man, reporting that his system won’t accept codes nor will it turn on or off. This seems like a severe issue, however, it’s quickly revealed that the system is quite old. Operating systems from decades ago seem to have issues with handling events such as storms, power outages, and so on.

Soon enough, the old man confirms that a storm has occurred the night prior, and lightning struck either his house or a nearby area. Unfortunately, older technology isn’t equipped to handle events like this, meaning that the tech support agent couldn’t offer a replacement.

After informing the old man about the urgent need for an upgrade, he was very much against the suggestion. You might be wondering why the company couldn’t fix the system: the answer is quite simple. Obsolete equipment is extremely hard to fix, as most parts are no longer being manufactured, making the process of acquiring what’s needed extremely slow, expensive, or near impossible.

So, how old is too old a computer to fix? We received some answers from accomplished IT experts. “Cost to benefit assessment really. If hardware replacement costs start to outweigh the replacement cost, recommend replacement,” says Brian Hempstead, a Support Technician.

TFTS Obsolete System 2

Hearing that his System has become obsolete, the old man became quite upset, accusing the company of selling him an obsolete system. The tech support agent had to explain that it was still brand new in 1986 when the customer first got his hands on it.

Given how long the system has been operating, the old man probably assumed it was a product that could keep on truckin' without any updates. Imagine as if it was some kind of basic utility, like a sink or washing machine. Oh, to have such an optimistic view of technology.

The moral of the story: systems made 35+ years ago weren’t designed to be compatible with functionality that wasn't even thought of when you bought it brand new back in the day. However, many folks may choose to pay higher maintenance fees in order to be able to keep an old system. They have already learned it, and have become familiar with it.

Many of us grew up with an OS such as Windows XP or even Windows 98, but not all of us want to let go of these systems to upgrade.

If you found this story entertaining or interesting, be sure to check out our other Tales from Tech Support (TFTS) articles by heading to the Softwarekeep blog section. You can find more technology stories, news, and other things to read!

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Original post was written by DaWayItWorks on Reddit.

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