First a little background.
Every now and then, I find myself in need of technical support. For example, maybe I can't get a remote control to work, or perhaps my e-book reader has ceased to function. True to my geek nature, I turn first to the internet to search for possible solutions to my problem. From official FAQ's to BBS servers (and just about anything Google brings to my attention), I research my problem quite thoroughly in the hope that I can fix it myself. If I am unable to find a viable solution this way, I turn to tech support.
Inevitably, the poor tech ends up walking me through the very steps that I've already gone through. For example, when I contacted Sony about my bricked Reader, the tech spent something between 30 and 45 minutes walking me through the exact steps that I had researched and attempted the night before.
I understand that the tech was just doing his job. The majority of people don't try to fix their devices before turning to tech support, so it'e usually a good idea to run the customer through these fixes first. However, when someone such as myself calls, these steps are a waste of both my time and the tech;s time.
For this reason, I really wish there was some form of Geek Credentials system that would work like Bill Engvall's Stupid Signs. You contact tech support, present your Geek Credentials to the tech and he knows that you've already done the basic research, so he doesn't have to ask you if you're sure that everything's plugged in.