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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…

    Social Notworking

    | MO, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work on a call floor that supports connections and email for various small ISPs. Often the older customers don’t understand just what our support was limited to.)

    Customer: “I signed up for the WHOLE internet, and you didn’t give it to me!”

    Me: “Where is it that you’re unable to reach online?”

    Customer: “Well, I want to look at this pretty girl’s pictures, but it says I’m not signed up.”

    (It takes me quite a while to ferret out that he’s searched for pretty girls, followed a link to a popular social network, but isn’t a member.)

    Me: “Sir, signing up for social sites is your own responsibility, not the ISP’s.”

    Customer: “That’s outrageous! I paid for the whole thing! I want the whole thing!”

    (Although I’m not supposed to, I go ahead and walk him through the process of signing up for an account. It takes about 20 minutes, and he sighs heavily throughout the whole thing.)

    Me: “Okay! Now you’re all signed up. Go make some friends!”

    Customer: “WHAT?!? THERE’S MORE?! YOU make them be my friends!”

    Clean Out Of Common Sense

    | WY, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (A caller is complaining that there is something wrong with her computer when she tries to access the internet. I run through the usual diagnostics, but nothing seems to help. I have already been put on probation for letting my calls go over seven minutes, and I am eager to get this call completed.)

    Me: “Ma’am, before we proceed, I’m going to need you to defrag your computer and when it’s completed, call us back to finish the procedure.”

    Customer: “What does ‘derag’ mean?”

    Me: It’s a maintenance task that’s basically cleaning up your computer. I can walk you—”

    Customer: “Okay, thanks!” *hangs up*

    (I assume we’ve been disconnected, so I call the customer back to finish the call.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we seemed to have been cut off—”

    Customer: “Oh don’t worry about it! You’ve been most helpful.”

    Me: “I thought I should call you back and walk you through defragging your hard drive.”

    Customer: “That’s very kind of you, but I already started to…” *giggles* “…defrag my computer!”

    Me: “Okay. In that case, when the computer is finished, call us back and we can see if that did the trick. It should take a few hours at least—”

    Customer: “Oh, it won’t take THAT long. The rinse cycle should be done in a half hour.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “My dishwasher has an efficiency setting. Though I admit, it was difficult getting the computer in there.”

    Me: “You put your computer in the DISHWASHER?”

    Customer: “Well, it was too big to put in the sink.”

    (At this point, I had no idea what to do. I told the customer that I would document the conversation in our logs, and she could call back for further technical support. Then I closed down my station and told my supervisor that I was sick and had to go home. He was doubled over with laughter, having listened to my calls. The call logs made their way around my shift-mates, who hung a ‘Dry Clean Only’ sign on my station. The upside is I was never bothered about my call time again.)

    Listening Is Priceless

    , | Sacramento, CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

    (A customer comes in to ask about a large printing order. I inform her that printing her order will take a few hours, but that we could have everything copied by the end of the day. She agrees to place an order with us, as she is in a rush and no other copy center in town could get the prints done in less than seven days.)

    Me: “Do you know approximately how many pages you have here?”

    Customer: “No… Why?”

    Me: “Well, it’s just that the color copies are far more expensive than black and white, and I wanted to give you a quote before we begin. The color ones add up fast!”

    Customer: “No, no. Just go ahead. My boss told me he’s being reimbursed anyway, so it doesn’t matter what it costs.”

    (I’m skeptical, but she insists. As it turns out, ALL of her documents are in color. As she’s printing training manuals and reference books for a group of 26 employees, she ends up with over 8,000 printed pages of color documents.)

    Customer: “And could you assemble them and put them all into binders for me?”

    Me: “We sure can! If you hold on just a moment, I can give you a quote for the entire order, including assemb—”

    Customer: “No. I don’t want a quote. Just go ahead and do everything.”

    Me: “Are you sure? Because you have quite a lot of copies here, and assembly adds an additional fee.”

    Customer: “No quote! I’ll be in to pick these up on Monday!”

    Me: “But they’re $0.49 per page to start, and you’ve got—”

    Customer: “Oh, well! My boss just wants everything done in color, and by Monday.”

    (I go along with what the customer wants, but I’m still pretty certain she’s going to flip out when she sees the total, despite my attempts. Sure enough, Monday morning rolls around and the customer arrives…)

    Me: “Okay! Your total for copies, tabs, binders, assembly, and all comes to approximately $2400 after tax.”

    Customer: “What!? $2000!?”

    Me: *sighs*

    The Great Intelligence Disconnect

    | Austin, TX, USA | Bizarre, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work at a gaming company and provide tech support to all of our customers that call.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you today?”

    Customer: “I hope you can help me. I have been having connection issues all week with [Game]. I play for about 30 minutes and am disconnected. Can you fix it?”

    Me: “I can try. First let’s open up the website to pull up some info that may help us resolve this.”

    (About 30 seconds pass.)

    Me: “Are you there, sir?”

    Customer: “Sorry, the internet has been having issues all week. It is a bit slow right now…”

    Sadly It Isn’t Illegal To Be An Idiot

    | KY, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work at a small, locally owned electronics store. 95 percent of my job is putting customer’s old home movies on DVD, but since we’re located downtown, I get a good deal of work from law firms as well. One day, a known customer comes in. He’s always slightly annoying to deal with, but he’s friends with the owner.)

    Me: “What can I do for you today, Mr. [Customer]?”

    Customer: “My lawyer gave me these videos but they won’t work in my DVD player.”

    Me: “Okay. Let me take a look at them real fast.”

    (I put the disc in my computer and notice it’s in an obscure format that needs a specific software that’s used exclusively in the legal system.)

    Me: “I see the issue. These won’t work in any DVD player. You need a specific computer software to view these.”

    Customer: “I don’t own a computer.”

    Me: “Well, that’s fine. I can easily convert these into a format your DVD player can read.”

    Customer: “Great. Can I get six copies of it?”

    Me: “Sure thing. I should have it ready for you tomorrow morning.”

    (I take the discs, make a DVD out of the video and the make the requested copies. The next day, the customer picks up his order along with the original discs his lawyer gave him. About a week later he returns.)

    Customer: “These discs don’t work.” *hands me the originals*

    Me: “These are the discs your lawyer gave you.”

    Customer: “Yeah, they won’t work in my DVD player.”

    Me: “Right. Remember I told you need a computer to view these discs?”

    Customer: “But I don’t have a computer! All the other discs you gave me work fine. Why won’t these work?”

    Me: “Sir, I can’t change the information on these discs. Once the disc is written, it can’t be altered. That’s why I gave you new discs that can be played on a DVD player.”

    Customer: “Well, these are no use to me. I need something that works on my player.”

    Me: “I can do it again if you want. But since there was nothing wrong with the other discs, I’ll have to charge you again.”

    Customer: “That’s fine. I need three copies this time.”

    Me: “Sure.”

    (Once again I complete his order and have it ready for him next day. This time, to avoid confusion, I put a post-it on the originals that says ‘Must Have Computer.’ Another week passes, and he returns again.)

    Customer: “These still won’t work in my player.”

    (He hands me the discs. Right on top is my post-it note.)
    Me: “Sir, we’ve already been through this! You must have a computer to use these discs!”

    Customer: “I don’t understand.”

    Me: “These discs are in a different format. Your player won’t recognize these. That’s why we made the other discs. Twice now.”

    Customer: “Yeah, those all worked fine.”

    Me: “So why don’t you just use one of those?”

    Customer: “I gave them all away. But I need these videos for a lawsuit I’m in.”

    Me: “So you want me to do this a third time?”

    Customer: “Yeah.”

    (This time, I don’t wait. I have the customer sit next to me as I go through the whole process step by step. Once the disc is finished burning, I put it into one of our DVD players to show him it does work. I once again hand him his new disc and the original, and once again charge him. Another week passes. I’m coming back in from my lunch break when my boss approaches me.)

    Boss: “Mr. [Customer] dropped by while you were out. He said there was a problem with these discs.”

    (He hands me the discs. My post-it note still sits on top. This time I don’t say a word. I simply take the discs, sit them on a shelf in my office, and there they sit to this day. The customer never asked about them again.)

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