One of those calls

In the last days I had a call that left me pretty stressed out. A customer was transferred from Billing with problems that could easily have grown into something unmanageable. She was in an unstable emotional state and the lady from Billing didn’t help much by getting some money from the customer.

Short version: Apparently the caller was victim of a trojan/worm/rootkit on her mac — I’ll never know for sure but it looks like the best possibility — which began saving passwords she used online and began making changes to her account.

Long version: Caller reports having mistakenly opened an email from someone she didn’t know; she deleted the message and thought nothing more of it until a few hours later she noticed there were sub-accounts that she did not create. She called asking for support and received it. Next day she realizes there are sub-accounts again… she calls in again and even got to a supervisor. But the problem was not resolved then for a few hours later the mystery sub-accounts are back. She says she even called the police but they refused to get involved in the situation.

She calls in again and gets me as the agent… I realize the situation and explain my theory… and after a time just to calm her down — she was about to cry — and to understand the situation we arrive to a workable solution: A password change for her account and a reformat for her computer. Changing the password and not using it on the computer finished with the sub-account creation and gave some peace of mind to the customer. That just left returning her account back to normal.

After finishing the call I was left stressed out because I flushed quality assurance down the drain and the nature of the problem itself. Calls like these make people who do phone tech support leave their jobs since nothing can teach you how to deal with an issue that could easily influence far more than a simple mail account.

It also illustrates there is much to be done in respect to our training: Mac trainers have said viruses do not exist for the mac platform which is simply not true. It is true that on most occasions they’re merely proofs of concept and most don’t leave that stage. Problem is it hides the fact trojans and rootkits do exist… and most people have a vague idea of what a trojan is and absolute ignorance of what a rootkit is. Since OSX is based on FreeBSD, it is increasing its footprint on the radars of trojan/spyware/malware writers and it being the “cool” operating system to have these days it’s not that difficult to think there will be more attacks that will result in more calls like this one.

Now I’m left thinking what will happen when the equivalent of MS.Blaster for Vista comes along.