Backhanded Internet technical customer service compliment?

Maybe I can tell the back story that ultimately led to my possible conversational faux pas with the technical support dude, without too much confusion. I'm feeling a little doubtful at the moment, but whaddya' say we just try?

Because I have a perfectly wonderful desktop computer in my home, I don't typically need to use my laptop unless I'm outside my home. Not, that is, until the evening - several weeks back - I returned home to find my much-loved, Now More Appreciated Than Ever flat-panel monitor reacting in a way that reminded me of the days when we had to adjust the tracking while watching a VHS movie. Remember the annoyance? To my knowledge, my monitor didn't come with an option for resetting its tracking, and so I started to get a little nervous.  Particularly when the whole thing blinked and went black. Through a series of events I won't recreate for you here, I eventually had to borrow a very, very old, decidedly NOT flat-panel monitor from a friend who had this one stored in a closet, and was happy to have it, too, I might add. But between the curved, skewed presentation and substandard image quality, not to mention the sense that one day this one is going to say bye bye, as well, I decided to just unplug the internet connection from the back of my PC tower and plug it into my laptop for a workaround.

Nope. Not gonna' fly. While I've done this before in other homes, I was offered a polite but firm error message advising me that an IP address had not been assigned and I could not use the internet on that connection. Having followed the troubleshooting recommendations provided in the error message, only to be told that I still couldn't do it, but should call technical support, I gave up and returned to the wonky, old monitor I was now even more thrilled to have. (If it hasn't become clear yet, I'm not currently in a position to go drop a couple hundred bucks on a new monitor of the quality I used to take for granted.)

Okay, quick detour. Here's a question for you: are you aware that I'm a bit of a procrastinator? I tend to sometimes divert to the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality so prevelant in toddlers. And so, since I have so many other things going on at all times, I didn't call tech support the next morning during business hours. Nor the day after that.

Fast forward to...today! I found myself facing ever-growing impatience with the image quality of my (still-appreciated, don't doubt it for one second,) borrowed monitor, and decided that maybe if I just called tech support they'd help me work it out. Truth be told, sometimes I've encountered less than stellar results when making such service calls. Because of my sadly low expectations in these matters, I didn't even bother to try hooking my laptop up to the internet before I called. Didn't even have the power cord plugged into the device. That's how unprepared I was for a speedy resolution. (Pavlov taught us all about conditioned response through repeated results, no? Or maybe I'm stretching the association a bit...)

After following the instructions of the Voice Response Unit on the other end, and being disconnected once, I decided to try one more time to get a helpful, live person on the telephone. When he actually answered my call, the confidence in his voice took me off-guard. When I quickly tried to sum up my concern, he responded in a way that was disarmingly confidence-building. After a couple of other questions, it hit me that I might be dealing with a serious professional here. One who would be able to actually help me. Maybe even today! So I put the phone on my shoulder, found the power cord, and plugged in the laptop.

About the time, the Tech Dude Of Stellar Skills asked me a question that led to my having to admit that he was already ahead of me. I hadn't yet plugged the internet connection into my laptop today. I don't think I actually stammered when I said it, but what I came out with was something like this:

"Um.  I'm very sorry. But I was unprepared for this level of service. This is the first time I've had such immediately helpful results from anyone at your company. I didn't expect you to ask me that. I waasn't ready, but I will be in just a second."

Then I promptly did as he asked, just before screwing something up quite blatantly then having to admit that I had mis-managed one of his requests so badly that when he asked what I'd done, I quietly squeaked, "I don't want to tell you!" He knew, of course, and didn't say anything that made me feel any more stupid than I already did, and that was just about the end of it. I chalked up his response to my own error to further proof that I was speaking to one of the most highly-trained professionals with whom I'd ever had the pleasure of working!

I am now writing this post on my laptop. After pondering for some time, the question: If you give someone a compliment while simultaneously slamming on their company or, at very least, their esteemed colleagues, does the compliment lose some of its intended weight? Or do your words carry slightly more weight than a standard compliment, in contrast?

Who's to say? In the end, I was more than satisfied with the results of my call and am thrilled to have that long-overdue task out of the way. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy.

Hope your day is equally satisfactory!