October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

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…

Hashtag Fail

| Huntington Beach, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Technology

(I am working the till at a popular clothing store when a teenager comes to me to check out with her debit card.)

Me: “Please hit the pound key before you start typing your code.”

Girl: “Pound key? Where is that?”

Me: “It’s the number symbol.”

Girl: “HA! You mean the hashtag? I can’t believe you just called the hashtag a pound key!”

Me: *silence*

Girl: *finishes paying and goes to leave* “How old are you? Did they call it that in the 70s or something? I will NEVER get over that!”

Remember, Remember, The Fifth Of October

| Saratoga, NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

(It is about a half hour from closing when the phone rings. If you want to pay for delivery with a card, you have to do it over the phone.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Restaurant]. This is [My Name]. Will this be for pickup or delivery?”

Customer: “Delivery, please.”

(We go through the normal ordering process of phone number, address, what she actually wants; when we get to the payment.)

Customer: “Yeah, I like, want to charge it.”

Me: “Okay, I just need your card number whenever you’re ready.”

Customer: “It’s [Number].”

Me: “Expiration date?”

Customer: “October 2014.”

Me: “I’m sorry, it’s coming up declined. Let’s try the number again.”

Customer: *in a huff* “Okaaay, it’s 4… 2… 3…”

(She’s saying each number slowly and dramatically, as if I processed it wrong because I’m stupid. I’m a bit disgruntled until the next part happens.)

Me: “And for the expiration, I have ten-fourteen?”

Customer: “No, October. Like, eleven-fourteen.”

Me: “Okay, I think I see the problem here. You’re all set and it’ll be about forty minutes. Have a great night.”

Wipe And Gripe

| Kansas City, MO, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I am on my way to the bathroom when a student stops me. She’s on one of our computers. All of our computers are available to the public.)

Student: “Hey! Where’s my stuff!?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Student: “I saved my stuff on here and it’s gone!”

Me: *shocked* “Ma’am, that’s a public computer. They wipe them fairly often.”

Student: “Other people’s stuff is on it and mine isn’t! I want my stuff!”

Me: *attempts to see if I can find her ‘stuff’*

Student: “I had my resume on here and everything!”

Me: “As I said, ma’am, these are public computers. Even if it hadn’t been wiped, any person can come in and delete files that are saved on here.”

Student: “Well, that’s just stupid!”

No Gratitude Attitude

| UK | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Technology

(I work at a sporting goods store. I go and check the changing rooms when I notice a smartphone sitting on the bench. I pick up the phone, figuring someone had set it down and forgotten it, and take it into the manager’s office. Ten minutes later, a customer comes up to me whilst I’m at the till.)

Customer: “I left my phone in the changing room just now and I went back in and it’s gone. Have you seen anyone walk out with it?”

(I know straight away the phone he’s on about, but need to play dumb so that he can identify it before I hand it to him.)

Me: “I’ll check with the manager and see if it’s been left with us, sir. Would you be able to describe it to me so I know what to look for?”

Customer: “It’s a white [Smartphone] and it’s in a green case. If you press the menu button the lock screen shows a Star Wars background.”

(I go back into the office and pick up the phone, checking the background and sure enough, it’s a Star Wars one. I take it back out to the customer who snatches it from my hand.)

Customer: “So you were planning on stealing it, then?”

Me: *taken aback* “Steal it? No, sir, I found it in the changing room earlier and no-one was in the immediate area. I took it to the manager’s office to make sure no-one else picked it up and took it.”

Customer: “I saw you go in there just after I came out and put it in your pocket. You were going to steal it and sell it, weren’t you?”

Me: “Actually, sir, I’m quite offended by that. I would never consider stealing another’s property. I put it in my pocket so no-one else would try to collar me for it and claim it as theirs on my way to the office.”

Customer: “I don’t believe you. I’d like to speak to your manager, please.”

(I phone the manager who saw the whole thing on the office CCTV. She comes out to the till area.)

Customer: “I think you need to reconsider who you hire to work in your store. This boy here just tried to steal my phone from the changing rooms. Lord knows what else he’s stolen from under your nose whilst he’s been here.”

Manager: “Actually, sir, I saw the whole thing on the CCTV monitor I have in my office. He was routinely checking the changing rooms when he noticed your phone, unguarded, on the bench, and bought it straight to me to ensure no-one else would have the opportunity to take it instead. I also saw you leave the changing room a good ten minutes beforehand; you’re lucky the phone wasn’t taken by someone else in that time.”

(The customer turns to me one last time before he leaves.)

Customer: “If I find so much as ONE SCRATCH on this phone, you’re paying to have it repaired.”

(The customer storms off and out of the store.)

Manager: “I love the gratitude we get in retail when we help people who forget their stuff and make sure it isn’t stolen. You’re due your break anyway. Go and kick a bin or something whilst you’re at it.”

Laptop Flop, Part 7

| Sacramento, CA USA | Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Technology

(Because we are an office supply store, many identity thieves and money launderers try to buy laptops from us because they assume we’ll be less vigilant than some other, more popular electronics stores. On this day, a customer we’ve seen many times before, who always uses questionable payment methods – like cards with important info scratched off, expiration dates that don’t match, etc. – comes in. Somehow he thinks we won’t recognize him, despite the fact that he comes in every two weeks. As always, he heads straight for the cooler, to buy an orange soda – which is the same thing he’s always done every time he’s come in. According to policy, we can’t refuse a customer service even if we know he’s been trying to scam us.)

Coworker: “Oh, hey, [Customer]! Good to see you again!”

Customer: “Hey! I— what? I’ve never been in here before!”

Me: “You really like that orange soda, don’t you? You get one every time you’re here! I have to admit, it IS pretty good.”

(The customer grabs a bag of chips, too, you know, because that will throw us off!)

Me: “What brings you in today?”

Customer: “I wanna buy a laptop. Just give me the cheapest laptop you have.”

(Honest customers browse the selection, ask questions about features, and pick a laptop that will work for the tasks they have planned for it. Not this guy! But I decide I’m not going to play the game of pulling a laptop from lockup, dealing with this guy’s fraudulent card, or watch him try to make a grab for the items we’re keeping behind the counter.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. We’re out of that one. It’s on sale this week, so it’s pretty popular.”

Customer: “Well, then how about the next cheapest one?”

Me: “Let me check.”

(I wander around the store for a minute, and then come back up.)

Me: “Well, we had one of those, but it got returned because it’s damaged. I can’t sell it.”

Customer: “Well… how about [Brand]? Just give me any laptop you have! I don’t care what it is. Just give me one. It’s for my little brother for school.”

Me: “Yeah, you know? All these models are being cleared out for next year’s models. It doesn’t look like we have ANY in stock! But, hey! I’m pretty sure by the time you come back next week, we’ll have some. Did you want to leave us your name and phone so we can call you when we have more in stock?”

Customer: “Err, no. I’ll go somewhere else.”

(He tried to play it cool and leave the store, but we saw he had someone idling in the parking lot right outside the door. We were able to get a license plate number, make, and model, to report to the police. We bet he was going to try to make a grab for the laptop and run with it. But once he realized we all knew his face, he stopped coming in. Thank goodness!)

Laptop Flop, Part 6
Laptop Flop, Part 5
Laptop Flop, Part 4

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