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    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…

    His Brain Is Out Of Gas

    | Nanaimo, BC, Canada | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I am working at a rental outlet – construction, landscaping equipment, etc. I am in the ‘back shop,’ where we receive and send out items. Part of our job on sending an item out is to ‘train’ the renter, as many are first time users and have little if any tool using experience. All gas-powered tools are started up in front of the customer with the exception of pressure washers (which needed to be hooked up to water before starting). I’m dealing with a customer renting a pressure washer. I’ve given him the printed instructions and gone through the demonstration about five times.)

    Me: “So, you’re clear on it now?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I’ve got it. Hook up the water and turn it on, turn the ignition switch to on, turn the fuel switch on, choke on, pull the cord and when the engine starts turn the choke off, then put the throttle to high.”

    Me: “Yep, you’re good to go. Let’s get you loaded up.”

    Customer: “One last question. Do I need a heavy duty extension cord for this?”

    Me: “…”

    Customer: “Oh, I guess this runs on gas, doesn’t it?”

    (Sadly, this was not the dumbest customer moment I had there by far.)

    The Warranty Comes Warranted, Part 2

    , | AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Technology

    (I’m selling a customer an iPad and introducing a new warranty which covers accidental damage, meaning you can replace your iPad for $50 rather than buying a whole new one. It’s a fantastic deal and, as the customer in question is buying the iPad for his eight-year-old daughter and wants the most expensive model, I am trying to convince him that the extra $99 for it is really worth it.)

    Me: “Sir, just to check, you’re getting this for your daughter, you said?”

    Customer: “Yeah. I mean, we’ll use it too, but it’s mostly for her.”

    Me: “I see. In that case, you really want to consider getting the extra warranty.”

    Customer: “But it comes with one that covers it for a year, right?”

    Me: “Yes, but it doesn’t cover accidental damage. If she accidentally drops it and cracks the screen, it’ll cost full price to replace without the warranty. With the warranty, it’s only $50 to replace it.”

    Customer: *considers it for a moment, then shakes his head* “Nah, we’ll be okay. I’ll tell her to be real careful.”

    Me: *gesturing to a nearby table where we have iPads set up for kids to play with* “Sir, I’m sure your daughter is really careful with her toys, but iPads are really fragile and kids sometimes forget they’re not as hardy as their other things.”

    (In perfect timing, a kid at the table then starts banging the iPad on the table hard. I grimace and the customer cringes slightly.)

    Customer: “Err, no, no. It’s okay. We’ll be careful.”

    (I get him to at least buy a screen cover and ring him up. He’s excited and happy at the end, so I figure everything’s all right and hopefully his daughter is as careful as he says she is. The next day, however, I see him come in with the iPad, case, and several small glass shards from the broken screen in a Ziploc bag. He sees me on his way to the tech counter and sheepishly holds up the bag.)

    Customer: “I guess you were right. I’ll get the warranty this time…”

    Related:
    The Warranty Comes Warranted

    Laptop Flop, Part 6

    | USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work as a computer tech for a major university that has a contract with a government agency. The laptops issued to the government agents are standard except for the software. We try to diagnose and repair everything over the phone, and when we can’t resolve the problem, the customers are required to ship the laptops to us.)

    Me: “[Organization]. This is [My Name].”

    Customer: “Yeah, I accidentally spilled some soda into my laptop keyboard.”

    Me: “Okay.”

    Customer: “So I shut it off immediately, but the keys were all sticky.”

    Me: “Okay, so we—”

    Customer: “So I decided that I would run it through the dishwasher.”

    Me: “You what?”

    Customer: “So yeah, I figured it wouldn’t hurt anything if I didn’t turn it on right away, while it was still wet.”

    Me: “So, your laptop is—”

    Customer: “Well, I didn’t want to wait for it to dry. So I figured I could use a blow dryer on it.”

    (A blow dryer typically heats up to less than 160 degrees F or about 71 degrees C.)

    Me: “So the laptop needs—”

    Customer: “But I didn’t actually have a blow dryer, I only had a heat gun.”

    (Heat guns are shop and industrial tools used to melt plastics, solder, and a host of other things, often generating heat in the 1100 degrees F [about 600 C] range. Keyboards can melt at temperatures as low as 200 degrees F/93 degrees C.)

    Me: “So, you need to—”

    Customer: “So, the whole middle of the laptop is melted. Do you think I need to send it in?”

    Me: *sigh* “Yes, just ship it to us, we will ship a replacement.”

    Related:
    Laptop Flop, Part 5
    Laptop Flop, Part 4
    Laptop Flop, Part 3

    Electronic Moronic

    | Augusta, GA, USA | Crazy Requests, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I work at a big box electronics store, which is all we sell, and am answering the phones.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

    Caller: “I need your electronics department.”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. Which section?”

    Caller: “Your electronics department.”

    Me: “We are only an electronics store, ma’am. Did you need computers, TVs, phones?”

    Caller: “Electronics, please. I have already told you this.”

    Me: “Yes, and as I have said we only sell electronics and I need to know what you are looking for.”

    Caller: “Godd*** it, I already told you. Electronics!”

    Me: “Please hold.”

    (I place the customer on hold and turn to a coworker.)

    Me: “Answer this and just say electronics so we can find out what she needs.”

    A Case Of Case Stupidity

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work as a cashier at a well known game store. A husband, wife, and child come up to the register and I ring up the game they want. Note that we only display cases and not the games.)

    Me: “Your total is [total].”

    (The man pays, while the wife opens up the empty game case she has been holding.)

    Wife: “Where is the game?”

    Me: “Excuse me, ma’am?”

    Wife: “My husband just paid for the game and the game is not in here.”

    (She holds open the display case pointing inside.)

    Me: “Ma’am, those cases are for display only. I put the game in the bag with the receipt.”

    Wife: “NO! He paid for this game and it is not in here. I want this game.”

    Me: *I show her the sealed game from the bag* “See, ma’am, the game is right here and sealed.”

    Wife: “You shouldn’t have these things here if you don’t put games in them right when we pay.”

    (The family then leaves. I turn to my assistant manager.)

    Me: “Did she really think we magically send the game into an empty case?”

    Assist. Manager: “Yep, and we will be getting a call about it later, too. Watch.”

    (Sure enough, right before closing the wife called the store to complain about the game not showing up in the case she was holding.)

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