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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…

    No Gratitude Attitude

    | UK | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Technology

    (I work at a sporting goods store. I go and check the changing rooms when I notice a smartphone sitting on the bench. I pick up the phone, figuring someone had set it down and forgotten it, and take it into the manager’s office. Ten minutes later, a customer comes up to me whilst I’m at the till.)

    Customer: “I left my phone in the changing room just now and I went back in and it’s gone. Have you seen anyone walk out with it?”

    (I know straight away the phone he’s on about, but need to play dumb so that he can identify it before I hand it to him.)

    Me: “I’ll check with the manager and see if it’s been left with us, sir. Would you be able to describe it to me so I know what to look for?”

    Customer: “It’s a white [Smartphone] and it’s in a green case. If you press the menu button the lock screen shows a Star Wars background.”

    (I go back into the office and pick up the phone, checking the background and sure enough, it’s a Star Wars one. I take it back out to the customer who snatches it from my hand.)

    Customer: “So you were planning on stealing it, then?”

    Me: *taken aback* “Steal it? No, sir, I found it in the changing room earlier and no-one was in the immediate area. I took it to the manager’s office to make sure no-one else picked it up and took it.”

    Customer: “I saw you go in there just after I came out and put it in your pocket. You were going to steal it and sell it, weren’t you?”

    Me: “Actually, sir, I’m quite offended by that. I would never consider stealing another’s property. I put it in my pocket so no-one else would try to collar me for it and claim it as theirs on my way to the office.”

    Customer: “I don’t believe you. I’d like to speak to your manager, please.”

    (I phone the manager who saw the whole thing on the office CCTV. She comes out to the till area.)

    Customer: “I think you need to reconsider who you hire to work in your store. This boy here just tried to steal my phone from the changing rooms. Lord knows what else he’s stolen from under your nose whilst he’s been here.”

    Manager: “Actually, sir, I saw the whole thing on the CCTV monitor I have in my office. He was routinely checking the changing rooms when he noticed your phone, unguarded, on the bench, and bought it straight to me to ensure no-one else would have the opportunity to take it instead. I also saw you leave the changing room a good ten minutes beforehand; you’re lucky the phone wasn’t taken by someone else in that time.”

    (The customer turns to me one last time before he leaves.)

    Customer: “If I find so much as ONE SCRATCH on this phone, you’re paying to have it repaired.”

    (The customer storms off and out of the store.)

    Manager: “I love the gratitude we get in retail when we help people who forget their stuff and make sure it isn’t stolen. You’re due your break anyway. Go and kick a bin or something whilst you’re at it.”

    Laptop Flop, Part 7

    | Sacramento, CA USA | Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Technology

    (Because we are an office supply store, many identity thieves and money launderers try to buy laptops from us because they assume we’ll be less vigilant than some other, more popular electronics stores. On this day, a customer we’ve seen many times before, who always uses questionable payment methods – like cards with important info scratched off, expiration dates that don’t match, etc. – comes in. Somehow he thinks we won’t recognize him, despite the fact that he comes in every two weeks. As always, he heads straight for the cooler, to buy an orange soda – which is the same thing he’s always done every time he’s come in. According to policy, we can’t refuse a customer service even if we know he’s been trying to scam us.)

    Coworker: “Oh, hey, [Customer]! Good to see you again!”

    Customer: “Hey! I— what? I’ve never been in here before!”

    Me: “You really like that orange soda, don’t you? You get one every time you’re here! I have to admit, it IS pretty good.”

    (The customer grabs a bag of chips, too, you know, because that will throw us off!)

    Me: “What brings you in today?”

    Customer: “I wanna buy a laptop. Just give me the cheapest laptop you have.”

    (Honest customers browse the selection, ask questions about features, and pick a laptop that will work for the tasks they have planned for it. Not this guy! But I decide I’m not going to play the game of pulling a laptop from lockup, dealing with this guy’s fraudulent card, or watch him try to make a grab for the items we’re keeping behind the counter.)

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. We’re out of that one. It’s on sale this week, so it’s pretty popular.”

    Customer: “Well, then how about the next cheapest one?”

    Me: “Let me check.”

    (I wander around the store for a minute, and then come back up.)

    Me: “Well, we had one of those, but it got returned because it’s damaged. I can’t sell it.”

    Customer: “Well… how about [Brand]? Just give me any laptop you have! I don’t care what it is. Just give me one. It’s for my little brother for school.”

    Me: “Yeah, you know? All these models are being cleared out for next year’s models. It doesn’t look like we have ANY in stock! But, hey! I’m pretty sure by the time you come back next week, we’ll have some. Did you want to leave us your name and phone so we can call you when we have more in stock?”

    Customer: “Err, no. I’ll go somewhere else.”

    (He tried to play it cool and leave the store, but we saw he had someone idling in the parking lot right outside the door. We were able to get a license plate number, make, and model, to report to the police. We bet he was going to try to make a grab for the laptop and run with it. But once he realized we all knew his face, he stopped coming in. Thank goodness!)

    Related:
    Laptop Flop, Part 6
    Laptop Flop, Part 5
    Laptop Flop, Part 4

    An Unhappy Meal

    | NV, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (The majority of my calls tend to come from the technologically deficient users attempting to access our online banking site.)

    Caller: “I can’t get into your website. Are you having problems?”

    Me: *verifies website is working normally* “No, ma’am, our website appears to be working just fine. There might be an issue with your computer. What web browser are you using?”

    Caller: “McDonald’s.”

    Me: “Pardon me, but did you say McDonald’s?”

    Caller: “Yes.”

    Me: “Are you using the Internet at McDonald’s?”

    Caller: “Of course, that is what I just told you.”

    Me: “Okay, but I need to know what program you are using to get onto our website.”

    Caller: “I already told you. I’m using McDonald’s.”

    Me: “I understand you are using their Internet access, but I need to know what program you are using. Could it be Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, or Opera?”

    Caller: *in a rather desperate tone* “I already told you. I’m using McDonald’s.”

    Me: “I understand. What does the icon that you clicked on look like? Is it a blue ‘E’ with a gold halo?”

    Caller: “How would I know that?”

    Me: “Look on your desktop and…”

    Caller: “How many times do I have to tell you that I’m at McDonald’s?”

    Me: “Ma’am, the desktop is what you see when you turn the computer on.”

    (This conversation went on for 20 minutes before we finally figured out she was using Internet Explorer. The issue was that her Java was out of date. Way out of date. Talking her through updating Java took an additional 15 minutes. After the conversation, I walked into my boss’s office and informed him that I qualified for hazard pay.)

    IMEI Oh My

    | UK | Extra Stupid, Technology

    Customer: “My phone is completely dead. I can’t do anything with it”

    Me: “Does it have a removable battery?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “Can you please remove it as I need to check the IMEI number?”

    Customer: “But that will disconnect the call.”

    A Bad App-raisal Of The Situation

    | Chicago, IL, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid, Technology

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. How may I help you?”

    Customer: “Yes, I bought an eBook from your website, but I can’t read it on my tablet.”

    Me: “Okay, let’s see what we can do. What sort of tablet do you have? Is it Apple or Android?”

    Customer: “It’s a [high end Android]. My son bought it for me.”

    Me: “Nice. And when you open up [Our App], does the book appear there?”

    Customer: “No, it’s not in my library.”

    Me: “You say you purchased the eBook from our website. Are you sure the account information you used when you purchased it is the same as your app is registered under?”

    Customer: “Um, yes? I can’t imagine that I would have more than one account with you.”

    Me: “And other books work just fine?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “Have you tried syncing your library?”

    Customer: “How do I do that?”

    Me: “Open the app and hit the refresh button. It’s a circular arrow in the bottom left.”

    Customer: “I don’t have that.”

    Me: “That’s weird. What do you see?”

    Customer: *describes a screen which sounds suspiciously like our competitor’s app*

    Me: “Sir, what app do you use to read your eBooks?”

    Customer: “I use my library.”

    Me: “Yes, sir, your books appear in the library screen of the app, but which app do you use? Are you using [Our App] or [Competitor’s App]?”

    Customer: “I use the app on my tablet.”

    Me: “Okay, where do you normally buy your eBooks?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: “The eBooks currently in your library which you are able to read. Which website were you on when you bought them? [Our website] or [Competitor’s website]?”

    Customer: “[Competitor’s website]. They have lots of good deals.”

    Me: “All right sir, I’ve figured out the problem. You purchased an [our format] eBook from our website. That book is not compatible with [Competitor’s App]. You’ll have to download [Our App] in order to read it.”

    Customer: “But I already paid for it.”

    Me: “Oh, don’t worry, sir. The book is yours. The app is available as a free download both on our website and from the Play Store. It only takes a minute.”

    Customer: “My books always show up in my library when I buy them. Why doesn’t this one?”

    Me: “I know it’s confusing, sir. [Our Company] sells [Our eBook Readers], and [Competitor] sells [Competitor’s eBook Readers]. EBooks bought from [Our Company] can only be read on [Our eBook Readers] or [Our App], just as [Competitor]’s eBooks can only be read on their products.”

    Customer: “I don’t understand. I paid for this book.”

    Me: “Yes, sir, and it is yours. But the app you are using is made and run by [Competitor]. You bought this book from us. [Competitor] has no way of knowing that you bought this book, so they can’t put it into the app on your tablet.

    Customer: Can you call them and tell them I bought it? Then they’ll know.”

    Me: “I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that, sir. But again, you can download [Our App] for free and read the book you purchased.”

    Customer: “Okay, so you guys have your own books and your own app thing, and [Competitor] has their own books and their own app, and they don’t work together at all?”

    Me: “Yes sir. That’s absolutely correct. A little complicated, I know.”

    Customer: “So how do I get your app so I can read my book?”

    Me: “The same way you got [Competitor’s App]. Open the Play Store, search for [Our App], and download it. Once it installs you’ll have to enter your email address and password. Then your book will appear in your library. We’ll give you a couple additional titles for free.”

    Customer: “My tablet’s library?”

    Me: “No, sorry, the library in [Our App].”

    Customer: “So when I want to read this book I’ll need to open your app, and when I want to read my other books I’ll need to open [Competitor’s App]?”

    Me: “Yes, sir.”

    Customer: “Okay, I suppose I can handle that. When should I expect my app to arrive?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

    Customer: “The app that you’re sending me in the mail. When will it be here?”

    Me: “The… mail? You know what, sir? I think you should come into our store. Can you drop by tomorrow?”

    (And I made d*** sure I was not around when he came in!)

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