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  • Talking At-At Cross Purposes
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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…

    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…”

    The End Is Nigh-Phone

    | TX, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Religion, Technology

    (An elderly customer calls our shop trying to find out if we have another location that is close enough to his address to deliver to him. I grab one of the menus with our locations and phone numbers on it to assist him, since we can’t access the internet in the store.)

    Caller: “I’m in [town an hour south of us].”

    Me: “Okay, well we have a shop in [town just north of him].”

    Caller: “No, no, I already called them! They said it was too far!”

    Me: “Oh, alright, sorry about that. The next location I’m showing here is in [big city even further south].”

    Caller: “I ain’t going into the city!”

    Me: “Okay. Well, the next thing we could try is if you have access to a computer; you can go on our website and it will be able calculate from your address—”

    Caller: “I ain’t got one of those d*** computers, and I have no desire for one either.”

    Me: “Um, okay, well—”

    Caller: “Because when the end comes, I’m gonna be sitting back in my house laughing and watching all the chaos while everyone else goes crazy because your iPhones don’t work no more!”

    Me: “Okay…”

    Caller: “Well thanks anyway for your help, and you think about what I said, missy.” *hangs up*

    Can’t Help Those Who Won’t Help Themselves

    | CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Technology

    (The entire network for my store and the stores in my district have gone down, preventing us from looking up customer accounts and values for electronic devices. A customer comes in to have an estimate for selling an iPhone.)

    Customer: “How much can I get for this?”

    Coworker: “Our system is down right now, so unfortunately we cannot look it up.”

    Customer: “You can’t even try?”

    Coworker: “Well, let’s give it a shot.”

    (My coworker starts loading the screen, and the system only loads about halfway before failing.)

    Coworker: “Since it’s still not working, I can give you the number of another store that does have their system functioning so they can give you an estimate.”

    Customer: “So you mean I have to call them, and you can’t tell me here?”

    Coworker: “We cannot.”

    Customer: “Why not?”

    (I have just clocked off, but decide to interject to help explain the situation.)

    Me: “Our system is down, preventing us from looking up the estimate. However, this store can give you an estimate. Additionally, you can go onto our store website and find an estimate there.”

    Customer: “So you’re telling me you can’t help me?”

    Me: “Through our system we cannot, but I have provided you two alternatives to help you out.”

    Customer: *starts leaving* “Dumb-a** b****, won’t even help me out and look it up for me.”

    Another Customer: “Their system is down lady! Gosh, what is her problem?”

    Bashing The Button Basher

    | TX, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (A 20-something calls in with the very common problem of their TV showing a blank screen. I’m second-level tech support, meaning they’ve already spoken to someone who either concluded their problem was serious, or simply gave up attempting to assist them.)

    Me: “Press the red button at the very top of your remote.”

    Caller: “Umm… uh… What’s a button?”

    Me: “Do you want to think about what you just asked for a moment?”

    Caller: “Umm, yeah, what’s a button?”

    Me: “Those little round things that make stuff happen when you push them.”

    Caller: “Oh, it worked! What was wrong?”

    Me: “Your TV was turned off.”

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