Dell, HP support agents advise callers to ditch Windows 10

Microsoft’s pursuit of widespread Windows 10 adoption could face another stumbling block in customer service call centers.

windows 10 hands on start menu
Credit: Mark Hachman

If you call your PC maker to troubleshoot a Windows 10 machine, don’t be surprised if the advice is to roll back to an earlier version.

In a pair of undercover tech support calls, representatives from HP and Dell both suggested uninstalling Windows 10 as a blanket solution to problems, Laptop Mag reports.

The call to Dell was most baffling, as the caller was merely asking how to invert the scrolling direction on a laptop’s touchpad. This is an easy fix with the same procedure across all Windows versions, yet the representative suggested rolling back to Windows 8.1 as a solution, saying “there are a lot of glitches in Windows 10.”

An HP support rep also suggested reverting to Windows 8.1 after the computer’s CoolSense temperature control utility failed to work properly with the new operating system. “I really don’t recommend [that] customers upgrade to Windows 10,” the representative said. (HP’s support then tried to sell a $40 USB recovery key when the rollback itself didn’t work.)

Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 more aggressively than any Windows version yet, with free upgrades for consumers through next fall. In 2016, the company will also categorize Windows 10 as a “Recommended” upgrade, so the installation will begin automatically on many users’ machines. But if these tech support calls are any indication, some users may be told to revert right back to an older version for even the slightest problems.

Why this matters: While these calls are just anecdotes, both HP and Dell confirmed to Laptop Mag that as a policy their support reps sometimes suggest rolling back to an earlier Windows version. The problem, as seen in the case with Dell, is that downgrading might not actually solve the problem, and is merely a catch-all for when the support rep is out of his or her depth. These anecdotes are as much an indictment of tech support by phone as they are an issue for Microsoft as it tries to make Windows 10 the dominant PC operating system.

This story, "Dell, HP support agents advise callers to ditch Windows 10" was originally published by PCWorld.