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Old 02-08-2020, 11:42 AM   #1
JSWolf
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Why is it that so many people ask for help yet do not give enough information to be helped?
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:01 PM   #2
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What do you mean? Could you provide more details?
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:11 PM   #3
Barbara1955
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I can only figure they just want to give the Abridged version. I agree its Annoying.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:17 PM   #4
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What is really annoying is thinking what they gave us was for a STANDARD (commercial product) and find out 20 posts later they have customized, and are using a NAS or cloud or some configuration that only <1% of regular users use.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:21 PM   #5
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Is it already time for Jon's annual plea to make certain profile info mandatory to join? My how time flies.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:32 PM   #6
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Is it already time for Jon's annual plea to make certain profile info mandatory to join? My how time flies.
There are a lot less requests for help that require someone's location then their used to be.

It's about not giving the information needed to try to help someone. The sort of thing we are getting is "Calibre isn't working. Please help.". We need the OS, the steps taken, anything out of the ordinary, etc.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:51 PM   #7
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Why is it that so many people ask for help yet do not give enough information to be helped?
I think it's because they're members of the human race. I used to do PC Support as my day job back in the 80s-90s (I still bear the mental scars). It was no different then, independent of which company I was working for.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:56 PM   #8
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If you already know what information is necessary, and are aware why it possibly could make a big difference, you likely also already figured out the answer. If you get a generic question like "Calibre isn't working. Please help", it is up to you whether you want to answer or just let it go. If you feel like engaging, then you could answer with a "We may be able to help if you give a little more information what is not working and what you already tried to fix it."

It is not worth losing sleep over. And nobody mandates for you to answer.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:59 PM   #9
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It's about not giving the information needed to try to help someone. The sort of thing we are getting is "Calibre isn't working. Please help.". We need the OS, the steps taken, anything out of the ordinary, etc.

When has it ever been different. Ever?

Non-technical people will never be able to foresee everything that technical people will need to know in order to help them. It's a big part of why they are a) non-technical and b) seeking help.

As volunteers, we can get used to asking all of the questions we need to know the answers to to help (time and time again), or we can not help. Seems like you might be at a point where the latter is your best choice for a while.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:25 PM   #10
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When has it ever been different. Ever?

Non-technical people will never be able to foresee everything that technical people will need to know in order to help them. It's a big part of why they are a) non-technical and b) seeking help.

As volunteers, we can get used to asking all of the questions we need to know the answers to to help (time and time again), or we can not help. Seems like you might be at a point where the latter is your best choice for a while.
Exactly this.

I do tech support in another forum and even though we do have prompts and guidance questions to try to get enough information, many questions still get abbreviated to "Something's broken, please help!" without any of the necessary detail to let us actually help. Fortunately, in that forum, when I reply saying "we need more detail, can you provide x, y, z?" it sends them an email so most of the time they do respond with something. Not always what I asked for, but something.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:29 PM   #11
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Why is it that so many people ask for help yet do not give enough information to be helped?
Believe it or not, it's not that they want to piss you off. Maybe they don't know what information is relevant to the problem, so they just start a thread and wait for the replies to provide the information as it is required.

If you want to help, you need to be tolerant with non tech-savvy people. If you get annoyed when someone doesn't live up to your expectations, maybe you should leave it to someone else.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:31 PM   #12
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I am a retired physician. if I expected every patient who came to see me had all the info required to make a diagnosis and treatment plan I would have been long gone . Part of the challenge of solving a problem of any type is eliciting the information to give an answer. It is also part of the fun. If that is too challenging then get a job tightening screws on an assembly line
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:07 PM   #13
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I think it's because they're members of the human race. I used to do PC Support as my day job back in the 80s-90s (I still bear the mental scars). It was no different then, independent of which company I was working for.
Hoo Boy! I remember those pains.
I took over the hardware support (installs, repairs and moves) gang back then. At least most of them had the excuse that THIS IS ALL NEW TECH.

Still, my official policy (inherited from when I was in the Navy): "Broken, is not a problem description. Tell us what it IS or IS NOT doing!"
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:11 PM   #14
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Part of the challenge of solving a problem of any type is eliciting the information to give an answer.
Face to face is totally different from forum conversations where the back and forth can take hours or days. Forum users can't see the device being used, the error messages, or the steps being taken by the op.

I've been on various help forums since the mid 1990's. This issue isn't new or unique. In my experience, the users who expect help while offering no details of their problem are generally the users who get mad, make snarky comments, and then storm off, when no one meets their expectations of help.
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:19 PM   #15
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Well, what if instead of griping we light a candle?

A sticky thread for "IF YOU NEED HELP"...
...with a list of semi-standard issues and some basic info to gather up-front for each one.

That would help folks where to go and what to start with.
Nothing fancy but location, prefered format, OS, reading software and/or device, are a good place to start in most cases. So let them know how to best help the would-be helpers.
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