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  • De-Engineering Stereotypes
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  • September Theme Of The Month: Return Of The Geeks!
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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…

    Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 6

    | CT, USA | Family & Kids, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (My parents have both just upgraded to smart phones for the first time in their lives. They seem to be doing well, despite their usual inability to use technology. Two days after getting the phone, my parents call me.)

    Me: “Hello?”

    Dad: “Hello, Jess! It’s Dad. There’s something wrong with my phone; I can’t hear incoming sound.”

    Me: “Do you see the little switch on the side? Make sure it is not showing orange and then press the up button for the volume.”

    Dad: “What? I can’t hear you!”

    (I repeat my instructions. We try several things before my parents give up.)

    Mom: “Hey, it’s not working. Should we go back to Best Buy?”

    Me: “I’ll be out in a few days, if you can wait I’ll take a look at it.”

    (I frantically look online for errors in software and hard wear being reported online, but little shows up. I’m seriously intrigued. My parents decide they’ll take it to the store and have it looked at. The next day my dad comes out to visit me.)

    Dad: “So I went to the store yesterday. I guess the plastic screen protector was blocking the speaker.”

    Me: “…you used it like that?”

    Dad: “I thought it would be extra protection!”

    Related:
    Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 5
    Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 4

    Going From Negative To Positive

    | Cambridge, ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Money, Technology

    (A few minutes after opening the doors of the store, a well-groomed older customer enters. He is carrying a remote-controlled car.)

    Older Customer: “I want my money back right now! This car doesn’t work; I’ve tried everything. Give me a refund so I can leave this h*** hole.”

    Me: “Not a problem at all, sir. Let me take a quick look at it to determine the problem. Do you have your receipt?”

    Older Customer: “Who keeps receipts anymore these days? Just give me my money so I can get out of here. I already told you, I tried everything to make this d*** car work. I’m an engineer and you’re just a cashier. I would know better than you!”

    Me: “I understand, sir. It’s company policy that all defective items are inspected in front of the customer before a refund or exchange can take place. Furthermore, I can not complete the refund without your receipt.”

    Older Customer: “This is f****** ridiculous! I’m an engineer! I told you it doesn’t work, so it doesn’t f****** work!”

    (While he is ranting, I open the back plate and put in some batteries. The car works perfectly.)

    Older Customer: “How the h*** did you do that?!”

    Me: “I put in brand new batteries, sir. I don’t mean to insult you, but you did put batteries in the car itself, right?”

    Older Customer: “Well, that was rude! And yes, I did put batteries in the car.”

    Me: “And… did you put batteries in the remote as well?”

    Older Customer: “I’ve had about enough of you insulting my intelligence! I’ve been on this planet for 78 God-d*** years; I know how batteries work!”

    Me: “Okay, my apologies. Well, it appears that everything here is working as it should, so there is no need to refund or exchange the unit. If you have any further issues, you’re welcome to exchange it within 30 days with the receipt. By the way, you can keep the batteries for your troubles.”

    Older Customer: “Well, I should say so! You’re d*** lucky I’m not one of those rude customers that demands refunds over something ridiculous.”

    Me: “I’m glad I could resolve the issue for you. Have yourself a nice day.”

    (Several hours later, I get a phone call from a sweet-sounding old man.)

    Older Customer: “Good afternoon, are you the young lady that helped me with the remote control car earlier today?”

    Me: “Yes, sir, how can I help you?”

    Older Customer: “Well, I just wanted to apologize for my outburst in your store today. I understand you were just trying to do your job.”

    Me: “Thank you, sir. I accept your apology.”

    (In the background I hear a woman’s voice; she sounds irritated.)

    Woman: “Keep going, Ron.”

    Older Customer: “Again, I’m very sorry.”

    Woman:Say it! You tell her what you did!”

    Older Customer: “I don’t want to, and you can’t make me!”

    (There’s a loud noise, and some inaudible conversation between the two. Then the woman gets on the phone.)

    Woman: “Hi dear. He wants you to know that he’s thankful for the batteries you gave him, and that the car didn’t work the first time because he put the batteries in backwards.”

    Me: “Well, thank you for the kind phone call and the honesty. You two have a lovely day.”

    (She putters with the phone, trying to find the off button. I hear the old man in the background.)

    Older Customer: “At least you didn’t tell her I wasn’t an engineer.”

    Related:
    Going From Positive To Negative

    Buy A 50N1 Next Time

    | TX, USA | Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I am listening in on a call with an agent about programming a remote to the elderly customers TV.)

    Agent: “I’ll be happy to help you with that, sir. What brand of TV do you have?”

    Customer: “It’s a V1210 TV.”

    Agent: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “It’s a V1210 TV.”

    (The agent looks at me in total confusion.)

    Me: “Does he mean Vizio?”

    Agent: “Sir, are you it isn’t Vizio?”

    Customer: “Oh, yes! Vizio! I probably should’ve put my glasses on before I checked.”

    Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 5

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I am helping a customer who’s having an issue with his iPhone’s touch screen.)

    Me: “Okay, sir, what I’m going to try is a soft reboot. That usually fixes these issues.”

    (Another customer, who has been standing behind me, suddenly turns around.)

    Customer: “What? Ah h*** no! Let me have a look at that, ma’am.”

    (He suddenly rips the phone out of my hands.)

    Me: “Sir, please hand that back!”

    Customer: “All you have to do is just take the battery out, like so…”

    (He attempts to pry the casing off the back of the phone. Unfortunately on an iPhone, the battery cannot be removed that way, so he just ends up struggling fruitlessly with it for several seconds.)

    Me: “Sir, please can I just try—”

    Customer: “Butt out! Let’s see if this works…”

    (He jabs frantically at the screen, violently shakes the phone, then finally throws it on the floor, breaking the screen.)

    Customer: “Yeah, the d*** thing is FUBAR. You’re out of luck, buddy.”

    (He walks out.)

    Me: “Did that really just happen?”

    (Mercifully, my original customer has insurance, so we are able to get him a replacement phone.)

    Related:

    Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 4

    Duh, A Deer

    | Levittown, NY, USA | Pets & Animals, Technology

    (An elderly customer approaches me. She wants a game about duck hunting.)

    Me: “Did you want a game about duck hunting, or buck hunting?”

    (She keeps saying ‘duck’ at first, but then changes her mind.)

    Customer: “Bucks!”

    Me: “Okay, we have this one for $9.99. Did you also want a duck hunting game?”

    Customer: “Great, but what is the difference between duck hunting and buck hunting?”

    Me: “Well, in one game you hunt flying animals, and in the other one you hunt deer.”

    Customer: “Oh! What is the difference between ducks and bucks?”

    Me: “A duck is a bird, and a buck is a male deer.”

    Customer: “Oh, wow! So ducks are those flying animals that you see overhead at amusement parks, and bucks don’t fly at all?”

    Me: “No, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Thank you so much! I’ll be back during this holiday season, just for you! You were so helpful!”

    (She leaves as loud and happy as ever.)

    Me: “Aaaand, I’m clocking out.”

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