November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

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…

Should Have Maintained Radio Silence

| USA | Awesome Workers, Criminal/Illegal, Technology

(I work in a stereo shop in a not-so-savory neighborhood. We see stolen radios A LOT. It’s really obvious when one is stolen. We also log EVERY serial number sold, just in case.)

Customer: “I just bought this from my friend. I need it installed.”

Me: “Okay, what kind of car is it going into?”

Client: *gives car info: an older Nissan pickup*

Me: “Well, this is from a Toyota, so we can’t reuse the parts still on it. We’re going to need new install parts. It also looks like the main radio harness is missing, as is the faceplate.”

(Faceplates are removable as a security feature. They basically cost as much as the radio does, just to prevent theft. Harnesses are almost always left behind when stolen because they unclip and thieves think ‘how much could it be?’)

Me: “Check with your ‘friend’ if he has them. Otherwise it’s $150, plus $65 for the install and install parts.”

Customer: “$150!? Are you f***** kidding me!?”

Me: “No, sir. $40 for the harness, $110 for the faceplate. I can have them here in three-to-five days; it’s a special order.”

Customer: “Well, how much is this radio?”

Me: “They’re on sale right now for $129.99. Install is the same price; I still need the same parts.”

Customer: “That’s f****** crazy! I just paid $50 for this. You’re telling me the parts cost more than a new one!?”

Me: “Well, that would be a great deal if you bought a radio with all the parts. For half a radio, it sounds like you got scammed by your friend. The parts cost so much as a deterrence to theft.”

Customer: *just stares; I struck a chord with those words*

Me: “So would you like me to order the parts? Or would you like to just get the same one installed, brand new, with a warranty, for less?”

Customer: “I’ll take the new one.”

(The customer hands me his keys and gives all his info: name/address/phone number.)

Me: “Great, I’ll give you a call as soon as it’s done.”

(He left. I ran the serial; it was sold by us. I called the client. He confirmed his car was robbed, even faxed a police report. We called the police and informed them we recovered stolen property. Moral of the story is, we called him down, he paid for the work, walked out, sat in his car (with the stolen radio still in it) and was arrested in our parking lot. Caught a thief, and sold him a radio at full price, with install. Customer who got robbed gave me a $100 tip. Not a bad day.)

If Only She Could Hear Herself

| London, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Technology

(I am totally deaf in my left ear and partially deaf in my right. I wear a regular hearing aid in my right ear and have a cochlear implant in my left. I’m now 19, and working in a very posh restaurant. I’m serving a party of 10. There is a couple who comes in quite regularly who are the ‘hosts’ of this group. The husband is okay but the wife is really snobby and has caused us problems before.)

Me: “Good evening. Is everyone ready to order?”

Wife: “Could you get the manager for me? Now!”

Me: “Of course, madam. Is there anything I can do for you?”

Wife: “No! Just get him.”

(I go and get my boss but have no explanation why he is needed.)

Boss: “Good evening, madam. How may I help you tonight?”

Wife: “How dare you let your staff wear headphones? We spend a lot of money in here and we expect a certain type of service. This is most distressing.”

(Most of the other guests look really uncomfortable as they realise she’s talking about me and it’s obvious that I have hearing aids.)

Boss: “Madam, I can assure you we do not allow that. If you could point out the server who is wearing them I’ll happily sort this out for you.”

Wife: “For God’s sake! It’s the girl!” *she points to me as I’m still standing at the table* “We are in here all the time and I have never known such disregard for the customer.”

Boss: “I’m really sorry. There’s no way you deserve to be treated this way.”

Wife: “I should think so. I just—”

Boss: “Not you. I was talking to my employee and friend. You—” *referring to the wife “—on the other hand are a despicable human being. How dare you come in here and talk to a member of my staff like that? It is massively, plainly obvious that she is wearing hearing aids. Everyone else at your table can see that. Now you have not only embarrassed yourself and the rest of your table but also my staff member. I’m very sorry but I have to ask you to leave, madam. The rest of your table may stay if they so wish but I simply cannot have my staff treated that way. Please leave. Now.”

Wife: “Well! I think you’ll find you’ve just made a very big mistake talking to me like that. You have lost a lot of business from us. My husband here is a solicitor and he will—”

Husband: “That’s enough. I’m really sorry. We’ve been served by your waitress before and know she wears hearing aids, and I’m not a solicitor.” *to his wife* “I think you need to go home. I’m hungry; I would like to order, please.”

(The wife looks about the table as the rest of the guests sit there in silence. She then gets up and flounces out. I take everyone’s order and the rest of the evening goes very smoothly. When the guests ask for the bill the husband calls me over.)

Husband: “I’m really sorry about my wife. Do you know, I don’t work and neither does she. I won the money on the lottery. Before we were rich I was an accountant and she worked in a shoe shop. I really have no idea why she’s like that. I promise I’ll never bring her in here again.”

(The meal itself cost over £400 and I made a massive tip as everyone at the table felt really badly. The husband still comes in with friends but never brings his wife. He asks for me to serve him and always tips really well but I share the tips now!)

Makes You Blush Red

| OR, USA | Rude & Risque, Technology

(I work at a call center and am talking to a 61-year-old lady about getting her cell phone service.)

Me: “What color do you want your phone? Red or black?”

Customer: “I think I will get black. Red might make me look like a slut.”

A Backwards Understanding Of Technology

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Bizarre, Technology

Me: “Hi, thank you for calling [Company]. How can I help you today?”

Caller: “Are you a real person?”

Me: “Yes, sir, I am.”

Caller: “Really?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Caller: “How do I know you’re not just programmed to respond like that?”

Me: “Well, sir, I guess you’ll just have to take my word on it.”

Caller: “No, that’s no good. Tell ya what. Tell me the name of the current Prime Minister, but say it backwards.”

Me: “Harper, Stephen.”

Caller: “I’m still not sure I’m convinced. I think I’ll just go talk to someone at one of your stores. Bye.”

Online And Over The Line

| USA | Crazy Requests, Money, Technology, Theme Of The Month

(I work in a craft store with two entrances; each entrance has multiple registers. I am on the register called ‘side door.’ At the time of this transaction, I am a new hire and am highly concerned with not breaking company policy about coupons.)

Me: “Hello, did you find everything all right?”

Customer: “Yeah, thanks. Do you have any coupons right now?”

Me: “Yes, there’s currently a 40% off of one regular priced item going on right now.”

(At this point, I haven’t realized that she was asking me if I had any coupons with me at the register, which I don’t. Employees are required to throw them away if we don’t scan them from a phone.)

Customer: “Okay, great, I want to use it on [item].”

Me: *after scanning the item* “All righty, because this item is your highest priced, regular priced item, the coupon should work.”

(The customer starts typing on her smartphone, and I finish ringing up the items she put on my counter. When she looks up, she stops me to examine the items.)

Customer: “Oh. That one’s not on sale?”

Me: “No, it’s not.”

Customer: “Okay. Can I use a coupon on that one too?”

Me: “Unfortunately, no. It’s only one of this kind of coupon per transaction, per customer, per day. I’m sorry.”

Customer: *suddenly getting irate* “Okay, I don’t have the money to be spending on these both.” *she has trouble deciding on which item to keep, and a line starts to form behind her, making her even more irate* “Look, is there any way you can let it slide? Other cashiers have let it slide before…”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but I can’t use two of this kind of coupon in the same transaction for the same customer.”

Customer: *with an impatient sigh* “Fine, you know what? I’ll just take this one.” *she goes back to texting while I take the item off of the transaction*

Me: “Okay, I can scan your coupon for you, ma’am.”

Customer: *with an are-you-stupid look* “You said you had a coupon.”

Me: “Oh, um… I can pull this week’s coupon up on your phone for you? Unfortunately, I don’t have any back here.”

Customer: *now very annoyed, for no real reason that I understand; she also refuses to let me see the screen of her phone to navigate the badly designed store website* “Okay, so how do I do that?”

Me: “In the browser, go to [site name].”

(I radio in for backup, not because the line is long, but because I know that pulling the coupon up on the site takes a while. The customer shoots me an annoyed look when I do this.)

Customer: “Okay, I’m on the site, now what?” *she’s taken an imperious tone with me by now*

Me: “There should be a small icon in the corner of the screen you can tap that gives you a popup side-bar menu-thing.”

(I watch as she struggles with this, again asking if I can help her navigate the site and again getting refused.)

Customer: “Okay, so what do I tap on now? Weekly Ad?” *she sounds extremely irate, impatiently glaring at me when she has the chance*

Me: “I’m not really sure, but that should be the right thing, unless you see a ‘coupons’ button?”

Customer: “I don’t see a coupons button.”

Me: “Oh, okay, it’s in the weekly ad, then. Sometimes the site acts differently on different phones, depending on whether or not you have the app—”

(I get told over radio that there’s no backup for me, and the line continues to pile up and my customer gets more agitated.)

Customer: “Look, I don’t need you to lecture me right now about this. Just tell me how to get the d*** coupon!”

Me: *taking a slow breath of air to calm my nerves, as this is my first angry customer* “Okay, once the screen loads, tap on the right side that says coupons.”

Customer: *irritated, taking offence to the deep breath* “I don’t like your tone. I want you to call your manager.”

(I call my manager, who tells me that she’ll be a couple minutes because of the store being busy and so few of us employees to keep up with the rush.)

Me: “Unfortunately, the store is a little busy and my manager won’t be here for a little bit. I’m sorry.”

Customer: “Yeah, sure, whatever. Make excuses.”

(The customer manages to pull up the coupon after I help her a little more, continuing to give me death glares.)

Me: “Okay, that brings your total down. Your receipt is in your bag and a coupon for next week. Have a good rest of the day.”

(The customer just glares at me, then seeing my manager who just walked up behind me and paling a little, gives me a half-a**ed threat to write me up online and literally flees the store.)

Manager: *to me* “Okay, so, what just happened?”

(I explain the situation, while my other customers patiently wait for me.)

Manager: “All righty, then. Don’t worry, she won’t be writing anything. She was just having a bad day.”

(My manager left, and the rest of my customers were very polite and sweet for the rest of the day. It’s been almost five months since that incident, and no, I never did get a bad online review from it.)