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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Category: Technology

    The realm of Technical Support is there to provide expert assistance to those who are not so tech-savvy. Although they still expect you to know what a computer is, and how to turn it on, and to know that you can’t ‘fix the internet’ because it isn’t pretty enough. You have been warned…

    Weekly Roundup: Tech Support Classics, Part 3

    Not Always Right | Roundups, Technology

    Tech Support Classics, Part 3: This week, we feature another five stories that reveal the trials, tribulations, and terrors that technical support employees endure daily! PS–also check out Part 2 and Part 1!

    1. Flipping Out:
      If gramma “flips” out over tech, “switch” things up with the grandson! (6,425 Thumbs Up)
    2. How About Some TechiFlu:
      Warning: spraying for computer bugs definitely does not compute. (2,970 Thumbs Up)
    3. Bad Data, Good Outcome:
      Helping stubborn clients requires a little song and USB cable dance! (4,627 Thumbs Up)
    4. You Are The Weakest Link:
      A caller gets a power-ful lesson in the basics of electricity. (2,753 Thumbs Up)
    5. The Router To Success, Part 2:
      There’s a $100, two-hour reason why tech support always asks you to check your cables first! (2,456 Thumbs Up!)

    PS #1: check out our new Extras section, with pictures, videos, and news galore!

    PS #2: Read more roundups here!

    Reading Requires Reason

    | Yorkshire, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work at a very busy college, with around 10,000 spread over three sites. During office hours, all calls divert to the main free-phone number, which just happens to be covered by me.)

    Me: “Hello, [company name], how can I help?”

    Caller: “Yes, I want to make a complaint. I sent an email around two weeks ago and still haven’t heard anything back!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Let me check the records and I’ll call you back in ten minutes.”

    (I then check all emails from two weeks ago, then three weeks ago. No luck. When I look for one week ago, I find the enquiry and the reply, sent within three hours. I call the client back.)

    Me: “Our records show that we responded within three hours of your enquiry. You may be looking to far down in your mailbox as the replay was sent one week ago, not two.”

    Caller: “Well, I haven’t checked my email.”

    Me: “Wait, if you haven’t checked your email, why have you called to complain?”

    Caller: “Well, I don’t read my emails very often!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we can only send the email, not make you read them.”

    Up And Down Is Not Right

    | Thornton, CO, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I do tech support for a satellite TV company. Often, troubleshooting requires that we walk customers through various menus to reset or fix certain settings. All of these are navigated by the remote, and the agents would walk the customer through each and every screen with detailed directions. I have been on the phone with a caller for an hour and a half.)

    Me: “…and so, sir, I need you to push the left arrow on your remote until the dial all the way on the left of your screen is highlighted.”

    Caller: “It’s not working.”

    Me: “Well, that’s strange. Let’s back out one step and try it again. Go ahead and select the third option on the list. Now, once you’re in this next screen, press the left arrow button four times.”

    (This continues for some time, with the customer telling me various and strange results that he should not have gotten following the directions.)

    Me: “Okay, sir. Now, select the third option. Push the left arrow button once. What do you see highlighted in yellow?”

    Caller: “It says ‘satellite feed’.”

    Me: “That’s the button above the default. Sir, which button are you pushing? We need to go to the left of the screen.”

    Caller: “Wait, did you mean left as in ‘left and right’, or left as in ‘up and down’?”

    Me: *pause* “Left as in ‘left and right’, sir.”

    Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 7

    | KY, USA | Technology

    (I am taking tech support calls for a satellite TV company.)

    Me: “Thank you, sir. How can I help you today?”

    Customer: “My remote isn’t working.”

    Me: “I apologize for that trouble, but I am happy to help. Lets reprogram the remote, okay?”

    Customer: “Okay, how do I do that?”

    Me: *I proceed to explain the steps to program the remote* “Now, use the number buttons on the remote to put in the code 02258.”

    (The next thing I hear are loud tones coming from the buttons on the phone in my ear. I can hear the customer is not talking into the phone, which leads me to believe he is talking into the remote.)

    Customer: “Okay, I did that.”

    (He asks if I am there a few times, before realizing he isn’t talking into the phone.)

    Customer: *into the phone this time* “Okay, I did that.”

    Me: “Thank you, sir. That was good practice. Now let’s do that again, but this time with the remote control…”

    Related:
    Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 6
    Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 5
    Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 4
    Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 3

    Insulated From Logic

    | NH, USA | Technology

    (A customer has called our support line because his computer won’t turn on. After 30 minutes of basic troubleshooting I recommend he either bring his machine to us or have a tech dispatched for an on site repair. He chooses to have a tech dispatched. As I am finishing the call…)

    Customer: “Oh, one last question. Can the tech work on my computer around the cooler, or do I have to remove it before he gets here?”

    Me: “We generally advise that you don’t do anything like that yourself, since you would be voiding your warranty. If anything needs to be removed from the computer the tech will do it himself.”

    Customer: “I know that. I was asking if I should remove the computer from the cooler.”

    Me: “Remove the computer?”

    Customer: “Yeah. Should I take it out of the cooler?”

    Me: “Your computer is in a cooler? Like, the kind of cooler you take to a beach to keep your drinks cold? That kind of cooler?”

    Customer: “Exactly.”

    Me: “Why is your computer in a cooler, sir?”

    Customer: “A few days ago I read that heat can be really bad for a computer. My living room gets really hot in the afternoon, so I put the computer in a cooler to protect it from the heat.”

    Me: “Sir, you know that coolers are insulated, right?”

    Customer: “I’m not stupid. I know what a cooler is.”

    Me: “And you know that computers produce heat, right?”

    Customer: “Like I said, I’m not stupid!”

    Me: “Then you know what happens when you put something that produces heat inside of an insulated container, right?”

    Customer: “I, uh, oh…”

    Me: “…”

    Customer: “This is going to be expensive, isn’t it?”

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