October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Category: Criminal/Illegal

Playing Hardball On Software

, | Victorville, CA, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Technology

Customer: “So how much is the hard drive?”

Me: “For that size, $99.95”

Customer: “And how much is Windows?”

Me: “For Vista Home Premium, $99.95.”

Customer: “And how much do you charge to install it?”

Me: “$99.95, which would be the drive in the machine, full Windows install, with drivers.”

Customer: “Okay, so how much is the total.”

Me: “Well, it is roughly $300 but there will be some tax.”

Customer: “That’s wrong!”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “You can’t even add!”

Me: “Um, well, I rounded to $100 and 3 times $100 is $300. Like I said, it is roughly that.”

Customer: “No, no, no. It is ROUGHLY $200!”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “Windows is free!”

Me: “No, sir. It is not. If we sell you a license it is $99.95 plus tax.”

Customer: “I don’t need a license for Windows!”

Me: “Oh! You have a license with the sticker?”

Customer: “Sticker?”

Me: “Yes, like this one,” showed the Windows packaging with the license tag to the customer.

Customer: “No, mine is not like that.”

Me: “Well, it might be a little different color, but all the new tags for Vista look like this.”

Customer: “Mine is for XP.”

Me: “Oh. OK, well, I can install the XP if you have the sticker. Then it would be the $199.90 plus tax.”

Customer: “It is not a sticker.”

Me: “You don’t have a sticker?”

Customer: “No! Nobody has a sticker. Windows is free.”

Me: “No, sir. It is not. We buy Windows and resell it. Trust me, it is not free.”

Customer: “Yes, it is!”

Me: “No, sir. Even when you buy a computer with Windows, you are paying for it.”

Customer: “You don’t have a clue what you are talking about. I have Windows and I got it for free!”

Me: “Sir, I know of no legal way to do that.

Customer: “My friend gave it to me.”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “My friend, he works for the county. He gave me Windows XP Pro for free. He told me you can install it as many times as you want.”

Me: “Um, that is a crime.”

Customer: “No, it isn’t!”

Me: “Sir, we are an authorized Microsoft reseller. We deal with the company all the time. We know what their corporate licenses cost and say. Distributing them for free outside the corporation is illegal.”

Customer: “You must be a real idiot!”

Me: “For what, sir? Knowing the law?”

Customer: “No! I told you, it is not illegal so you don’t know law. And! My friend does not work for a corporation! He works for the county!”

Me: “Sir, the license the county bought is still the corporate license.”

Customer: “No, it isn’t!”

Me: “Then why does it say Pro Edition and not Government Edition?”

Customer: “Well, that doesn’t matter.”

Me: “Sir, either way, I can not legally install a version you do not have a valid license tag for.”

Customer: “Yes, you can.”

Me: “OK, yes, if I wanted to risk prison, fines, and losing [Company] its reseller agreement with Microsoft, I could do it. But I am not going to risk any of those things. It is simply not worth it.”

Customer: “Well then, how much is Windows.”

Me: “$99.95.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “No what?”

Customer: “$99.95 was the price of the drive.”

Me: “They are both $99.95.”

Customer: “So it is $99.95 for a drive with Windows? Why didn’t you say that before!”

Me: “No, no. You misunderstood. I mean that they are each $99.95. If you bought the drive it would be $99.95. If you bought Windows it would be $99.95. If you buy both it is $199.90.”

Customer: “That does not make any sense!”

Me: “It is like parts for a car. They are separate parts but they happen to have the same price.”

Customer: “What? What the hell does that mean?”

Me: “Sir? It is an analogy. I am trying to make this clearer for you.”

Customer: “Well, you don’t know how to explain f*****g anything! Of course parts for a car can have the same price. But this is not parts for a car! It is a drive and Windows, and Windows does not exist! So it is FREE!”

Me: “No, sir. It does exist. It is not like a battery or a tire. It is more like the gas that makes it all go!”

Customer: “What the f*** are you saying now?!”

Me: “Windows powers a computer.”

Customer: “Idiot! Electricity powers a computer!”

Me: “Sir, I mean it makes all the parts work together so you can use them.”

Customer: “You don’t know how to explain s***. You don’t know s***! How the f*** can you get away with ripping people off and charging $100 to install Windows, which does NOT exist, and stealing another $100 for the Windows! Explain that to me!”

Me: “Sir, it takes a several hours to install Windows, the updates, drivers, and so on. The labor charge is actually cheaper than it would be if we charged hourly. We discount the install because about half of it is waiting time. As for the Windows itself, I already explained that we buy those licenses from Microsoft and resell them to customers. It would be a bad business practice for us to sell it for less than the price.”

Customer: “Well, f*** this!”

Me: “Thank you, sir!”

(A few weeks later he comes back and my manager is there. We have almost the same argument. But this time some new information comes out:)

Me: “Sir, I said last time that we can’t install your illegal copy!”

Customer: “It isn’t illegal! My friend works for the county and he gave it to me!”

Me: “Try asking your friend’s boss about it.”

Manager: “Sir, if he installed an illegal copy, which yours is, I would fire him.”

Customer: “Well, then, if I buy just a drive, will it install properly on it?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Customer: “Well, I installed the copy my friend gave me and now the computer is all messed up. It won’t get on the Internet, the icons are huge, and the colors are all messed up.”

Me: “You need to install the drivers, sir.”

Customer: “What the h*** are drivers?”

Me: “Software.”

Manager: “So they don’t exist. Like Windows.”

Customer: “What the h***?!”

Manager: “If you don’t know what you are doing, you won’t be able to do it. That is what we charge the $99.95 for.”

Customer: “Well then, will you install drivers on mine?”

Me: “Sure.”

Manager: “But…”

Me: “Bring in a machine with a legal Windows license and we will gladly install drivers on it.”

Customer: “What?!”

Me: “Sir, we are risking our business license, our Microsoft contract, and more if we work on stolen merchandise. We just don’t do it!”

Customer: “It is not stolen!”

Manager: “Your friend stole it. They gave it to you, but they stole it.”

Customer: “They would never do that! My friend is not a thief!”

Manager: “Yes, they are! Don’t believe me? Give me their name and what county department they work for.”

Customer: “F*** you! I’m leaving!”

Me: “Good luck with your computer.”

Customer: “F*** you, too! I’m going to get my computer working and get my Office running again, which is what I needed in the first place so I can finish this document!”

Me: *to manager as guy storms out* “Wait… did he trash his system to fix Office?”

Manager: “I hope so.”

Should Have Known All A Bong

| New Castle, DE, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Health & Body

(I’ve driven a friend of mine to go get his wisdom teeth taken out. My friend happens to be a smoker, and I’ve noticed an unusual smell in his car that I’d been unable to place for about a month. At the end of the appointment, the assistants are talking to us about how he can take care of himself while healing.)

Assistant: “And [My Name] says you smoke, so that’s something we need you to not do while healing. Okay?”

Friend: “Can I hit a bong?”

(Well, now I know what that smell was.)

Minimum Spend, Maximum Satisfaction

| Boston, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Books & Reading, Criminal/Illegal, Money

(I work at a small bookstore. We have a credit card minimum. I get so sick of people telling me that this is illegal that I look up the legislation a few months ago. A woman brings a greeting card to the front.)

Me: “$2.66, please.”

Woman: *hands me a credit card*

Me: “Do you happen to have cash? We have a $7 minimum.”

Woman: *gleefully angry* “Oh! That’s against the law young man, and I’ll be reporting you!”

Me: “Actually, it’s not.”

Woman: “Yes, it is! What’s the name of this business?!”

Me: “2010 house resolution 4173, also known as the Dodd-Frank act, says we can set up to a $10 minimum as long as it’s consistent between issuers. It’s on page 698. And the name is [Store].”

Woman: “You’re a little smart a**.” *throws greeting card on the ground and walks away*

Needs To Get His Fax Straight

| WA, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Technology

(We are a small library without a public fax machine. We have a private business fax machine for office use only. We still get spam faxes because the number is publicly listed.)

Me: “Well, I was going to send the weekly report to accounting but something is coming in on the fax.”

Coworker: “Ooooh, is it another offer for a discount trip to Bermuda?”

Me: “It’s some financial thing. Man, it’s eight pages long. Woah. This is someone’s debt consolidation paperwork.”

Coworker: “What? Is it for someone who works here?”

Me: “No… but they apparently live in town.”

(I attempt to call the customer multiple times as a courtesy, but their voice-mail inbox is full. They show up the next day anyway.)

Customer: “Hi. So, uh you should have some papers for me?”

Me: “Did you have your financial institution use the library’s fax line?”

Customer: “No, it was their idea. They say they do that for a lot of customers.”

Me: “Ok. You need to explain to them that isn’t appropriate. Our fax machine is for library business only. I actually thought your fax was spam at first because we weren’t expecting anything. It could have been shredded. It’s also not very secure. We have volunteers and maintenance staff coming and going all the time and we don’t guard the fax machine because we don’t normally receive sensitive documents. We had to look over these papers just to figure out what they were and there is information on here that we did not need to know about you, like your social security number. We couldn’t reach you to warn you either. If you had contacted us first we could have told you not to use our fax.”

Customer: “Oh… so, like, does that mean I can’t send my paperwork back through you guys?”

Me: “You may not. There is a pay-fax machine at the copy shop across town. Please inform the company not to use our fax again. Any other paperwork that is sent will be shredded.”

(The customer shrugged and left. I’m still not sure I got through to them. At the very least I know never do business with that debt consolidation company!)

Two Copyrights Still Make It Wrong

| Absecon, NJ, USA | Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

(If a photo is professionally taken, the photographer legally owns the picture, and we need a release form from them to make a copy of it. It doesn’t matter if it is a picture of you, your child, whatever; they still own that picture. A woman came in to try to make copies of a school photo of her granddaughter.)

Me: “I’m sorry, that’s a professional photo. We legally can’t make copies of it.”

Customer: “Why not? It’s my granddaughter!”

Me: “Yes, but the photographer owns the rights to it. You’d have to get a release form from them for us to make a copy.”

Customer: “Fine. What about this one?”

(The customers hands me the exact same picture, except it is in black and white, not color.)

Me: “…No, still can’t. It’s still a professional photo. It doesn’t matter if it’s not color.”

Customer: “Ugh, fine.”

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