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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…

    Socket To Him

    , | IA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I take calls from customers about billing and any cable troubleshooting.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Cable Company]; how can I help you?”

    Customer: “Your cable has blown up my TV! All I have is a black screen. The TV won’t even turn on. Your equipment is cheap, and you’re a bad cable company!”

    Me: “Sir, let me see if I can help you.”

    Customer: “I don’t think so; you are all stupid!”

    Me: “I don’t see any outage reported in your area. Can you tell if your cable box has any lights on it?”

    Customer: “Yes, it has a red and yellow one. But you have blown up my f****** TV! You’ll have to pay for it.”

    Me: “Sir, can I have you pick up the remote and push the TV button, and then the power button?”

    (Note: If the TV is just turned off, this will turn it on.)

    Customer: “Nothing, I still have a black screen. This is a new TV. I spent good money on it!”

    Me: “I understand, sir. Let’s start with simple things and work our way up so maybe we won’t have to send a tech out.”

    Customer: “You’ll have to pay for my TV; that’s what you’ll do!”

    Me: “Are there any kind of lights or buttons lit up on your TV?”

    Customer: “No, you blew it up.”

    Me: “Can I have you just check to make sure it is still plugged in?”

    Customer: “I never unplugged it; of course it’s plugged in. But if it will make you happy…”

    (He sets the phone down and I hear him swearing in the background and the TV come on.)

    Customer: “Forget it. I’ll… fix it myself.” *click*

    Requires More (Water) Proof

    | USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (It’s raining out. I am watching the rain through the window and notice a guy on his cell phone. Then I see him shake his head and look at his phone. He looks up and sees my store and starts heading in.)

    Customer: “My phone just stopped working! I need my phone. I was on a business call and it just stopped working!”

    Me: “Maybe it got wet and has water damage. Let me—”

    Customer: “I have never gotten my phone wet! It does not have any water damage!”

    Me: “Sir, I just saw you talking on your phone in the pouring rain.”

    Customer: “So what?! Rain isn’t going to water damage a phone!”

    Me: “Sir, rain is water. If I may see your—”

    Customer: “You don’t know what you’re talking about! I guess I’ll have to go somewhere else to get service!”

    A Certain Number Of Attempts

    | Boston, MA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I’m helping a user with an issue, and it becomes obvious that I’ll need to connect over to her computer to see what’s actually going on. I start walking her through the procedure to allow me to do so.)

    Me: “Okay, you should see a nine-digit number at the top of your screen. It looks kind of like a phone number. I need you to tell me that number so I can connect over.”

    User: “I can’t see any numbers on my screen.”

    Me: “Do you see anything at the top of the screen, like a little tab? It’ll have the numbers in it.”

    User: “Yes.”

    (The user starts describing all the icons in the tab, with no mention of the numbers.)

    Me: “That’s the one. There should be a nine-digit number in there. Looks sort of like a phone number, with dashes every three digits.”

    User: “No.” *pause* “There’s a phone number there, though.”

    Me: “Yes, that’s the one. A nine-digit number. Looks kind of like a phone number.”

    User: “Oh.” *pause* “Yes, that’s it.”

    Me: “Could you read it to me, please?”

    *long pause*

    User: “Do you need me to tell you what it is?”

    Me: “Yes, please.”

    USB = Universally Stupid Backups

    | SC, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I have just solved a customer’s virus problem.)

    Me: “That should do it. I got it all before it was able to do any major damage. Do you keep good backups?”

    Customer: “Backups?”

    Me: “Yes, copies of your important files for when—and I do mean when, not if—something happens to your computer. For instance if this virus had not been kept in check.”

    Customer: “So I could have lost all my music and wedding photos, and pictures of my grandma who passed away?!”

    Me: “It’s possible, if you do not have copies somewhere else, yes.”

    Customer: “Oh my God! Can you show me how to back them up?!”

    (I spend another 30 minutes showing her how to backup to a USB thumb-drive I have with me, as she does not own one.)

    Me: “You will need to get your own USB drive. You should be able to get one of adequate size for around $10 to $20.”

    (Three months later, I am at the same customer’s house.)

    Me: “Sorry, but it looks like your hard drive has crashed.”

    Customer: “What does that mean?!”

    Me: “The part where all your information is stored has gone bad. Anything on it that was not backed up may very well be gone for good, unless you wanted to send it away for costly data recovery.”

    Customer: “Oh yeah… I remember you telling me to backup the last time you were here so I went and got one of those things… let me get it.”

    (She leaves the room. I hear some rummaging and she soon returns holding the UNOPENED USB drive.)

    Customer: “Sure am glad I got this!”

    Little Console-ation In This Situation

    | Baltimore, MD, USA | Liars & Scammers, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (Two customers stumble in the doors a bit drunk. They proceed to knock display cases off of a few shelves and even disrupt a display stand. It all seems to be accidental, so I let them be. My coworker just cleans up behind them. Finally, they come up to the counter.)

    Customer #1: “Hey, we were looking to buy a Playstation 3, an Xbox, and an extra controller for each, and all new.”

    Me: “Ooh, lots of games to catch up on, huh?”

    Customer #2: “No, we’re just gonna—”

    Customer #1: “DUDE! It’s a secret man; you can’t blow it!”

    Customer #2: “OH DUDE! Sorry, man!”

    (I’m a little confused, but I ring them up and see them off. An hour later, they come back in with the torn, destroyed boxes.)

    Customer #1: “Hey man, these don’t work. We want our money back.”

    Me: “Oh, that’s unfortunate. Let me open everything up and see if I can figure out why they didn’t work.”

    (The objects inside are CLEARLY not the systems I just sold them. They are older versions of each console, beaten up and broken. One is even missing the wires that come with it.)

    Me: “These are not the ones I sold you. I couldn’t even take these as trade-in; they’re in terrible condition.”

    Customer #2: “S***! AND WE ALREADY SOLD THE OTHER ONES TO—”

    Customer #1: “Uh… well our new ones were just stolen from our car, actually. So we’d like a refund or like, a free game.”

    Customer #2: “That’s not gonna WORK, man! We should just go, man. Before they call somebody!

    Customer #1: “UH… Well we’re gonna file a report with the police and we’ll be RIGHT back!”

    (They walk out the door, leaving me and my coworker stunned.)

    Coworker: “There is no way that just happened…”

    Me: “Is there a hidden camera here? This can’t be real life…”


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