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…

Formatting Error

| IN, USA | Musical Mayhem, Technology

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I’d like to return a set of CDs. They don’t work.”

Me: “Well, I can only offer you an exchange on a defective CD. Tell you what, let me take a look at it and we’ll figure out what’s wrong.”

(The customer puts a box set of a very popular audiobook on the counter. I have a hard time believing every single CD in the set is defective.)

Me: “So tell me; what happened when you tried to play the CDs?”

Customer: “I bought the CDs so I could listen to them on my portable CD player while I jog, but every time I put a CD in and hit play, nothing happens. The CDs are obviously broken.”

Me: “I don’t suppose you’d happen to have your CD player with you, do you?”

(The customer pulls out the oldest-looking CD player I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s gigantic, has big chunky buttons, and practically screams ‘late 1990’s.’)

Me: “Oh, that explains a lot. I think I see the problem. See here on the CD cases? It reads, “Mp3 on CD.” That means that the tracks on this CD are in .mp3 format, like what you’d play on an iPod. Your CD player was probably made before mp3s were around. That’s why you can’t play the CDs on this player.”

(The customer looks terrified.)

Customer: “I don’t understand you!”

Me: “Well, it just means that your CD player is too old to recognize the format that the data on those CDs is in.”

Customer: “I don’t understand what you’re saying! I’m no good with technical stuff!”

Me: “Um… it’s just the form that the information on the CDs is in. It’s called an mp3. Your CD player came out before mp3s did, so it doesn’t know how to read the information.”

Customer: “That’s not what it says on the box, though!”

Me: “Yes it is. It says so right there in big letters: ‘Mp3 on CD.'”

Customer: “It says ‘Mp3 OR CD!'”

Me: That’s an ‘N.’ It says ‘on.’ It means that the information on those CDs is in mp3 format.”

Customer: *squinting at the box* “Oh, really? Well, then, I’d like a refund, since I can’t play these CDs.”

Me: “I’m sorry. It’s illegal to return opened CDs in this state. The only thing I can do is exchange it for the exact same item if it’s defective, which it isn’t.”

Customer: “But how am I supposed to play these CDs?!”

Me: “Do you have a computer?”

Customer: “Yeah, but I don’t know how it works! I’m no good with technical stuff!”

Me: “You could try ripping those CDs to your computer and playing them through iTunes or Windows Media Player.”

(The customer stares at me as though I’d suddenly started speaking in tongues.)

Me: “Sorry. I meant, you could put the CD into the disc drive of the computer and listen to it that way.”

Customer: “I. DON’T. KNOW. WHAT. YOU’RE. SAYING.”

Me: “Do you have anyone else at home who could help you use the computer?”

Customer: “I DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE THE COMPUTER! I’M NO GOOD WITH TECHNICAL STUFF!”

Me: “I just meant that maybe someone else could help you get the information off the CDs so you could listen to them. It’s the best solution, since you can’t return them.”

Customer: “No, no, no, no! I’m no good with technical stuff! I don’t understand you at all! This is so confusing!”

Me: “There’s really nothing else I can do for you, then. I’m sorry.”

Customer: *sighs, scoops up her CDs, and walks to the door muttering* “I don’t understand computers at all. This is so confusing. I don’t understand!”

De-Engineering Stereotypes

| San Francisco, CA, USA | Bigotry, Technology, Top

(I am an engineer working the tech support line. I should also add that I’m the only female engineer in a department of all male engineers. I answer a support call:)

Me: “Thank you for calling the engineering support line. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I need to talk to an engineer.”

Me: “Sure, what’s your question?”

Customer: “Well, I’d like to tell it to an engineer.”

Me: “No problem, what can I help you with?”

Customer: “No, you don’t understand. I want to speak directly to the engineer.”

Me: “Sir, I’m an engineer.”

Customer: “You are?!”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “But… you’re a girl!”

Me:  *in a Valley Girl voice* “‘Ohmygosh, I know! Isn’t that amazing?”

Should Keep Better Account Of His Account, Part 2

| Seattle, WA, USA | Crazy Requests, Money, Technology

Customer: “I need help. I’ve locked myself out of my Netflix account and I can’t remember my password.”

Me: “Okay, well you should probably call Netflix and ask them for help.”

Customer: “But how can I get them to stop charging my bank account?”

Me: “Call them and cancel your service.”

Customer: “How do I call them?”

Me: “On a phone.”

Customer: “How do I get their number?”

Me: “Google.”

Related:
Should Keep Better Account Of His Account, Part 2
Should Keep Better Account Of His Account

(Trans)Late To Understanding

| Virum, Denmark | Language & Words, Technology

(We run a tech support channel. Unlike traditional channels, we allow anybody and everybody to ask and receive answers. The popularity of the channel forced us to bring in a bot which tells the user to speak English in their own language if they are speaking a non-English language. The user is from Colombia.)

User: *in Spanish* “Hi, my game is broken. Can you help?”

Bot: *in Spanish* “This is an English-only channel. Try Google Translate if you need translations to English.”

User: *in German* “Hi, my game is broken. Can you help?”

Bot: *in German* “This is an English-only channel. Try Google Translate if you need translations to English.”

(The user disconnects.)

Another User: “I wonder which part of “this channel is English only” doesn’t he get?”

Email Fail, Part 2

| IN, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(The customer is the CEO of a graphics design company that has hosted email with us. He calls in late one night to report that he is unable to get any email, and that he has important business to attend to and must have his email. I’ve almost exhausted all troubleshooting with this customer. I verified settings on his email client, verified settings on our server and mail flow to his inbox. In a last resort, I have the customer attempt to set up the email account again as a new account.)

Customer: “It says it can’t connect to the server. Are you having server issues?”

Me: “No, sir. If we were, we’d have a lot more callers about this issue. Try [alternative incoming server address and port] and see if you get a different response.”

(Typing and a pause…)

Customer: “Nope, still says can’t connect to server.”

Me: “Hmm…” *thinking there’s no way this can be possible* “Are you having any Internet issues? Are you able to load any web pages?”

Customer: “No, our ISP is having an outage right now.”

Me: “… Well, there’s your problem. Unfortunately without Internet you won’t be able to get email.”

Customer: “Why? What does Internet have to do with email?”

Related:
Email Fail

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