Dragon Professional Individual For Dummies
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If Dragon Professional Individual does something you really don't understand and have a tough time explaining, or if it does something seemingly simple but gives you no information to work with (like failing to install or refusing to respond), you need to talk to a tech support person on the phone.

To determine what you will pay and the parameters under which you may call, go to Online Support.

The first thing to understand about Nuance's costs for tech support calls is that they are structured to cost more if you don't first use the question-based system through your free account. Here are your options for speaking directly to a support person:

  • 90-day product support warranty: Unlimited calls are free during the first 90 days after you register your product or set up your account.

  • Post 90-day warranty: You pay a fee for this call, and the fee is higher if you don't use the online question-based system first.

  • One version older than current or latest version released more than 2 years ago: Here again, you pay a fee for this call, and the fee is higher if you don't use the online question-based system first.

  • Versions bundled with hardware or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) release: You pay a fee for this call, and again, the fee is higher if you don't use the question-based system first. (Are you detecting a theme here?)

  • Two versions prior to the latest version or one version prior to 2-year-old latest version: No support available.

  • Trials and evaluations: No support available.

Preparing before you call

A conversation with Technical Support proceeds much more efficiently if you gather the significant information before you call. (Being well-organized has the added benefit of establishing that you are not a complete idiot and therefore that you may be facing a real problem.)

You should also know what version of Dragon Professional Individual you have, both the release number (14, say) the edition and the serial number. This information displays from the DragonBar by choosing Help→About Dragon.

Nuance has taken great pains to handle most system configurations seamlessly. Still, a percentage of the real problems people have with Dragon Professional Individual (as opposed to the apparent problems caused by using the product incorrectly) occur from mismatches between the user's hardware and the hardware Dragon had in mind when it created Dragon Professional Individual. For this reason, the technical support person will likely want to know the following information:

  • Computer name and model: They're looking for an answer like Sony VAIO VGN-Z or HP Pavilion 792N. It's probably on the front of your computer somewhere.

  • Processor type and RAM: If you aren't sure about what you have, right-click Computer from your Start menu and left-click Properties to display the System Properties dialog box. The processor type and RAM should be on the General tab. If you are using Windows 7, choose Start Menu→Control Panel→All Control Panel Items→System.

  • Operating system: Windows 10, for example. Restart your computer and you can't miss it.

  • Free hard drive space: Find your hard drive (C, usually) in either Computer or Windows Explorer. Right-click it and select Properties. On the General tab of the Properties dialog box, you'll find Free Space and some number of megabytes. On Windows 7, double-click the Computer icon and you'll see Free Space displayed for your C drive.

  • Microphone name and model: The obvious place to look is on the microphone.

Finding your product serial number

The first thing that Nuance wants to establish when you call the technical support department is that you are a bona fide customer. This is why they ask for your product serial number. It isn't a fool proof method, but it does eliminate some of the abuse. You find it on the DVD sleeve or for downloads, it's in the email you received.

During the call

Take notes. In particular, write down any changes that the technical support person tells you to make. If these changes don't solve the problem (or at least make it better), you may want to undo them later. This likely will not be the case. Most often, tech support folks will swiftly and professionally handle the issue.

A difficult problem can take more than one phone call to straighten out, and you may end up dealing with more than one person. This process goes much more smoothly if you can tell the current person you are talking to exactly what the previous person had you do.

Take very good notes if you end up doing something to the Windows Registry. (You'll know because you start using a program called RegEdit.)

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Stephanie Diamond is a thought leader, management marketing professional, and founder of Digital Media Works, Inc., an online marketing company that helps business owners discover the hidden profits in their businesses. She has worked with small business owners and multibillion-dollar corporations.

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