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  • Got Him Out Of A Pickle
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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…

    Tip Top Service

    , | Scotland, UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

    (Our card readers are set up to offer an option to add a tip to the total. This isn’t typical for card readers in our location, and it gives some customers a lot of problems, especially if they need reading glasses or don’t look at the screen.)

    Me: “Okay, sir, I just need to you to follow the instructions on the card reader now while it asks a few questions. The green button is yes, and the yellow button is no.”

    Customer: “Fine, fine, okay.”

    Me: “So, first it just asks if that’s the correct total, then it’ll give an option to add a tip if you’d like. Just press the yellow button if you’d prefer to skip it.”

    (I don’t usually spell it out quite this much, but I have the feeling that this man isn’t really listening.)

    Customer: “Yeah, fine, fine.”

    (The customer presses the buttons worryingly fast, then swears.)

    Customer: “Hey, why is it asking for my PIN again? I just entered that! Stupid machine.”

    Me: “Oh dear, I’m sorry but I think you may have entered your PIN as a tip. I’d better cancel the transaction to make sure it—”

    Customer: “No, no, it’s fine. I didn’t put in a tip.”

    Me: “Are you sure you definitely pressed ‘no’? The only way it’d ask for your PIN again is if the first time was the tip prompt, not the PIN prompt. It’s easily done. It’s happened before—”

    Customer: “Are you calling me stupid? Are you trying to suggest I can’t follow simple instructions? I’m a high-level manager at [Department Store Chain]. Do you think I can’t work a simple machine?”

    Me: “Really sir, I think it would be safer if I redo the transaction just in case.”

    (The customer sighs theatrically.)

    Customer: “Fine, then, just to prove to you that I’m not a moron.”

    (I cancel the transaction and the receipts print out. I see a tip had been added, and I only have to glance at the first digit to see that it could not have been intentional. I quickly hand the receipt over to protect the customer’s PIN privacy, without looking at the full number.)

    Me: “Here’s the cancellation receipts, sir, and I’m giving you both copies so that you can keep your PIN private.”

    (The customer takes the receipts and his eyes go wide. He seems to swell up, and for a moment I think he’s going to start screaming at me, before he suddenly deflates.)

    Customer: “Oh god, I’m so sorry. Thank you, you just saved me from a serious talking-to by accounts.”

    Me: “I’m sure your credit card company wouldn’t have authorised it anyway, sir, so it would’ve been fine. As I said, don’t worry. It’s happened before.”

    Customer: “No, you don’t understand. This company card has a £15,000 credit limit.”

    (I’m still not sure if the credit card would have authorised that size of transaction, but we still joke about the ’1000 per cent tip.’ Just for comparison, that first digit was a 6…)

    Filed Away In The Embarrassment Folder

    | Sacramento, CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (A customer brings in a USB drive from which to print a document. I plug it into the print center’s PC.)

    Me: “Alrighty, ma’am, which file are we printing for you today?”

    Customer: “I don’t see mine in here. Can you try opening the MISC folder to see if it’s in there?”

    (I open the folder as requested.)

    Customer: “It’s not in there! Oh, don’t tell me it didn’t download to my drive!”

    Me: “Aw, that’s a bummer! Did you want to try looking in some of the other folders?”

    Customer: “No! It wouldn’t be in any of those!”

    Me: “Do you possibly have the file in your email, by any chance? If you could pull up the attachment on your phone, we could print it that way.”

    (I unplug the drive and hand it back to the customer. Suddenly angry, she snatches it from my hand and storms off.)

    Customer: “No! I’m going to go back home, save it again, and THEN I’m going to have it printed SOMEWHERE ELSE!”

    Me: “What…?”

    A Blockhead’s Calling

    | OR, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Technology

    (I am working in a call center providing customer care support for a major wireless provider.)

    Me: “Thank you for being the best part of [Company]. My name is [Name]. With whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with this evening?”

    Caller: “[Caller's Name].”

    Me: “Alright, and I see that you’ve already verified through our automated system. Thank you very much for that. And what can I help you with tonight?”

    Caller: “I want to know how to block calls.”

    Me: “Alright, I can certainly help you out with that. I see here that you’re using an iPhone 4s; iOS 7 has the—

    Caller: “No, I just want to block calls. I keep getting texts from someone who apparently knew whoever had this number before me, and they won’t stop. I just want to block the messages.”

    Me: “I understand that, sir, and I was just trying to go over all your options for doing so. As I was saying, iOS 7 has the built-in ability to block calls. Alternatively, our block-call feature has the ability to block calls. That normally costs $4.99 a month, but there is a 90 day free trial for that.”

    Caller: “You mean you charge me nine-f********-ninety-nine to f****** block calls?!?”

    Me: “Well, sir, that was $4.99, but yes, that is a feature we do charge for.”

    Caller: “Is there a supervisor I can speak to?”

    Me: “I can certainly get you our next level of support, but I’ll need to place you on a brief hold while I get them on the line.”

    Caller: “You do that.”

    (Before I can place him on hold, he decides to make a comment to someone in the background, without moving the phone away.)

    Caller: “Stupid f****** hick must be real happy with his f****** call center job.”

    (I decide to respond in the most polite tone I can muster.)

    Me: “Well, sir, I wouldn’t say I enjoy it, but it does pay the bills. Let me put you on that hold, now, so I can get you our next level support.”

    (The caller hung up before I could get a manager on the line, and he didn’t answer when the manager tried to call him back. I can’t imagine why…)

    Must Work In A Mail-Dominated Profession

    | Enid, OK, USA | Bizarre, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (A customer calls us after moving from here to another state. She wants a copy of her insurance verifications.)

    Me: “Sure thing, where do you want me to email them to?”

    Customer: “I don’t have an email account.”

    Me: “Really?”

    Customer: “I work for a living.”

    He Must Be A Theorist

    | USA | Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Technology

    (I support the scientists in a large research building. I get a call from one of them.)

    Caller: “I need help removing my extended absence greeting from my voice mail.”

    Me: “Okay, to do that you need to login to your voicemail and select option 4.”

    Caller: “How do you do that?”

    Me: “You press 4.”

    Caller: “I don’t know how to do that. Can I get an onsite visit?”

    Me: “We can’t generate an onsite visit for this issue; however, if you go to our intranet site there is a chart with all the menu options.”

    Caller: “That’s too complicated.”

    Me: “…you’re a scientist with several Ph.D.’s.”

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