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…

Stick It To The Calculation

, | Cleveland, OH, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(A customer calls into the store about a printing calculator he recently purchased. The calculator is AC adapter powered.)

Me: “Hello. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I just bought a calculator and the numbers won’t clear off the screen.”

Me: “Okay, why don’t you reset it using the reset button on the bottom of the calculator.”

Customer: “Okay, I reset it but the numbers are still on the display. Should I unplug the power?”

Me: “Go ahead and unplug the power and try resetting it again.”

Customer: “The numbers are still on the screen, that’s not working.”

Me: “Sir, what numbers are listed on the screen?”

Customer: “One through nine.”

Me: “…Sir, is it a sticker?”

Customer: “…Oh.”

‘X’ Marks The Spot-Box

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Bizarre, Technology

(I’m working in a mall at a well-known video game store and I’ve been there for a few years. We have a policy that if someone buys a warranty for their system we will replace it, no questions asked.)

Customer: “You know the system warranty?”

Me: “Yep, covers everything, no questions asked.”

Customer: “No questions asked… Are you sure?”

Me: “Sure, that’s the policy.”

(Customer reaches into his bag and pulls out an Xbox with an axe embedded in it.)

Customer: “I’d like a replacement.”

Me: “How did that happen?”

Customer: “You said no questions.”

Me: “Uuuh… would you like to take back the axe?”

Customer: “No questions!”

(He proceeds to attempt to yank out the axe, but fails to do so.)

Customer: “New one?”

(I look at him incredulously.)

Me: “Yep”

(I replaced his Xbox. Later, I brought it up with a coworker from another store. He beat my story with a Dreamcast that he replaced that had bullet holes.)

Should Have Been Trained In This

| Wales, UK | School, Technology, Transportation

(There is a Victorian Tram in the county’s most popular resort town. It is owned by the county council, and since most group bookings are long-distance and well ahead of time, the ‘dedicated’ Tramway booking line actually just gets diverted to our office, with a different ringtone/screen display than other calls.)

Me: “Bore da. Good morning. [Tramway].”

Customer: “Hiya, yep; I wanna book my school onto the Tram.”

Me: “No problem. What dates did you have in mind?”

(The customer and I continue to exchange questions over the phone without a hitch until I get to the last question…)

Me: “And does your group have any other special requirements?”

Customer: “Yes, can you let me know if the wi-fi is charged separately?”

Me: “What wi-fi, Mrs [Customer]?”

Customer: “The built-in wi-fi on the Tram.”

Me: “Mrs [Customer], I’m afraid there isn’t wi-fi on the Victorian Tram.”

Customer: “Well, okay. Do you know if the in-built DVD drive can play a normal CD?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there is not a built-in DVD drive, either. The Tram is very old.”

Customer: “I KNOW it’s old. I wanted to play the children a clip from [TV show] which did a feature on the Tram; it says it has barely been altered mechanically since it opened. I thought the children could watch it whilst they were actually ON the tram.”

Me: “‘Barely altered’ includes not decking out the Tram with wi-fi, TVs or DVD players, Mrs [Customer]. Most people like to enjoy the views during the tram ride and we have [summit centre] with the facilities to play them if you want to show your presentation there before descending again?”

Customer: “No, I wanted them to see it on the Tram itself. I can’t believe it hasn’t had an upgrade.”

Me: “Lack of upgrade is sort of the point. I’m sorry I can’t help you. Would you still like me to confirm the booking?”

Customer: “Not yet, I’ll check with [Headteacher] first. He needs to know about this.”

(The headteacher phones back several days later to confirm, apologising for the teacher – whom he described as ‘a bit dipsy.’)

Those Kids And Their Googles

| NC, USA | Bizarre, Food & Drink, Technology

(The phone rings.)

Me: “Hello, circulation desk; how may I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, I was wondering if you could tell me what temperature I need to cook this turkey at?”

Me: “Ma’am, you realize this is a library, correct?”

Caller: “Yes, but can’t you use that Google thing the kids are talking about?”

A Functional Solution

| Grove, OK, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I manage a lease-to-own business and am listening in on one of my newer employees taking a phone call.)

Employee: “Yes, sir. Let me find out for you. Please hold.”

(The employee turns to me.)

Employee: “This customer says that his number pad or something like that on the laptop he’s leasing from us isn’t working. He was a bit hard to understand. He wants to know if we can fix it. Well, he actually wants us to replace the whole keyboard and give him a loaner laptop until it’s fixed. What should I tell him?”

Me: “This is unfortunately a common request. But, we don’t generally give loaner items for computers due to personal information being put on them. But, often computer issues are a fairly easy fix. Just let him know that he can bring the laptop in, and I’ll see what we can do.”

(I go back to training another of my employees on dealing with accounts. A short time after that the customer comes in and my sales/service manager speaks with him. I eavesdrop on the following:)

Customer: “Here it is. My brother was using it and all of the sudden the mouse thing stopped working. I’d like you to just give me another one.”

Sales Manager: “Well, let’s see what we can do!”

(They start taking the laptop out of the bag and getting all of the cords out. I look at the employee I’ve been training…)

Me: “I’ve got to take part in this.” *I walk out to the front counter*

Customer: “Yeah, the pointer thing works on the login screen. But, it just disappears as soon as the main screen loads. I just don’t understand what happened.”

(The sales manager is attempting to untangle the mess of power cords the customer handed him. I reach across my sales manager and hit the F5 key and then turn to the customer.)

Me: “There. All fixed!”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “It wasn’t broken. Your touch pad was turned off. If you look at the F5 key, you’ll see the touchpad on/off icon. When it’s pushed, it’ll either enable or disable the touchpad.”

Customer: *squints at keyboard keys* “You’re right. I can see it now.”

Me: “Makes it much simpler! Now you won’t need us to replace anything. Heck, you won’t even need a new computer! You have a nice day!”

(I walk back into my office and sit at my desk as quietly as possible until the customer has left. The sales manager comes into the room along with my two other employees. They all look at me as I burst into laughter.)

Employee: “You fixed that faster than he could even explain what the problem was! He was even requesting we give him a new one!”

Me: “He’s probably the third customer to do that very thing in just the last few weeks!!”

(I now plan on offering a simple ‘Computer Basics’ class to all of our customers who get computers from us!)

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