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…

Zero Chance Of Success

| ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, Language & Words, Technology

(If someone’s phone number area code is 905, it is commonly said as ‘nine-oh-five’ instead of ‘nine-zero-five.’ Everyone who has ever sent a letter in Canada, also knows that Postal Codes are always Letter-Number-Letter, Number-Letter-Number. I am trying to do an online order for a customer, who has been very difficult throughout the entire transaction. I am taking his shipping information down.)

Me: “Okay, and what’s your postal code?”

Customer: “P, ‘oh,’ E, 5, Y ‘oh.'”

(I type it in and ask for the rest of his info, but the computer tells me the postal code is wrong.)

Me: “Hmm, that’s weird, it’s telling me the postal code is incorrect. Maybe I typed it in wrong. Can you repeat it to me, please?”

Customer: “P, ‘oh,’ E, 5, Y ‘oh.'”

(I type in P0E 5Y0.)

Me: “No, it still says it’s wrong. Maybe it doesn’t want me to put a space. Did your area’s postal code recently change?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll try again.” *I try again, and nothing*

Customer: “You do know that when I say ‘oh’, it’s not a letter, right? It’s the number Zero.”

Me: “Yes, I know that. I’m putting in zeros.”

Customer: “Because ‘oh’ and zero aren’t the same thing. They may look the same, but they’re not.”

Me: “I know. I put in zeros.”

(I try again, but it still says it’s wrong.)

Me: *to an associate* “Can you put his postal code in? I keep trying with capitals, no capitals, spaces, no spaces, and it keeps telling me it’s wrong. I’ll bet you if someone else just does it, it’ll work.”

(My associate comes over and asks for the postal code.)

Me: “P, ‘oh,’ E, 5, Y ‘oh.'”

Customer: “They’re not ‘oh’s! They’re zeros! That’s why it’s not working!”

Associate: “I know they’re zeros, I know that postal codes are always letter-number-letter, number-letter,number.”

Customer: “But the computer doesn’t know that! The computer doesn’t know that you mean zero when you say ‘oh’!”

Me: “It doesn’t have to, because we’re not typing in ‘oh’s, we’re typing zeros. We’re just saying ‘oh’ because it’s easier. Everyone calls them ‘oh’s; even you did.”

(I tell my associate the postal code again, but I make sure to say ‘zero’ instead of ‘oh’ and when he types it in, it works.)

Me: “Thanks, I knew I just needed someone else to do it.”

Customer: “It’s because you were saying ‘oh’ the whole time! It’s not ‘oh’ it’s zero!”

(I wanted to smack him…)

Should Get Yourself Checked Out

| UK | At The Checkout, Technology

(I am the customer in this story. I am notoriously unlucky at using self-service checkouts; they invariably tell me to ‘place the item in the bag’ or ‘remove the last item from the bag’ or can’t recognise the barcodes. For this reason I usually try to use a manned register. On this occasion I’m only buying a few items and decide to give it a try. There is a cashier near the self-service in case of problems.)

Me: “Just to warn you, these checkouts don’t like me. You’ll probably need to help.”

Cashier: “No problem. I’ll wait right here.”

(I start scanning.)

Me: “I can’t believe this is working. It’s usually gone wrong by now.”

Cashier: “Well, keep going. You’re doing something right!”

(I scan my last item.)

Me: “Wow, that is the first time I’ve got through the whole thing without a problem! That’s a record!”

Cashier: “Well, congratulations!”

(I pay the machine and collect my change.)

Me: “I still can’t believe it didn’t go wrong.”

Cashier: “I hope you have a good day!”

Me: “Thanks! Goodbye.”

(I start to leave the store.)

Cashier: “Uh, excuse me?”

Me: “Yes?”

Cashier: *pointing at the checkout I’d just left* “…Did you want to take your shopping with you?”

You’ll Pay For That Confusion

| USA | Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

(I’m cashiering one night when a lady comes through the line with some small items, and the transaction proceeds smoothly. She already has her wallet out and is looking through her cards when I ring up the last item.)

Me: “All right, your total is [price].”

Customer: *panicked* “Wait, I have to pay?!”

Me: “Um… yes. If you’d like to use a card, you can go ahead and slide it in the pinpad…”

(She paid after that without any problem, and I was left confused for the rest of the night.)

Wi-Fly Away

, | Roermond, The Netherlands | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work as technical support for an Internet service provider in Belgium. Most of the calls are about wifi not working properly. It is known with us that the wireless range of our modems isn’t exactly great.)

Me: “Good morning, this is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I’m [Customer] and I’m having problems with my wifi connection.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that you have problems with your wifi connection. Do you see your network in the list of network connections on your computer?”

Customer: “Yes, I do see it, but it says I cannot connect because it’s not within range.”

Me: *fearing the worst, that she’s two floors away and the connection is too weak* “Okay… How far are your physically away from the modem?”

Customer: *long pause* “…I think I’m about 150km away.”

Me: “… uh… Miss, you do know the wifi technology is limited to about 10-15m max?”

Customer: “Oh…” *long pause* *click*

Getting Tired Of Your Hangups

| Germany | Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Technology

(The international call code for Germany is 0049. My own personal area code starts with 049. A lot of businesses that have international customers will call me.)

Me: “[My Name].”

Caller: “Yes, I’m calling about a problem with my order of [Product]. Can I—”

Me: “—Sorry to interrupt, but you have the wrong number. This is a private household.”

Caller: *hangs up*

(A few minutes later, the phone rings again. I see the same number flash in the display.)

Me: “[My Name].”

Caller: “Yeah, I’m calling about my order—”

Me: “You have the wrong number. This isn’t [Retail Place].”

Caller: *hangs up before I can tell him how to reach the right place*

(Moments later, my phone rings again. Same number.)

Me: *sighing* “[My Name].”

Caller: *hangs up*

(This continues three more times. Then the phone rings again.)

Me: “DON’T HANG UP THE D*** PHONE AGAIN!”

Caller: “Uh… what?”

Me: “You’re trying to reach [Retail Place], but you keep getting me, right? Didn’t it occur to you that this is obviously the wrong number? And if it’s obviously not working, why do you keep calling and then hanging up before giving me a chance to say anything?”

Caller: “Well, uh. This is the number on the website and—”

Me: “No, it’s not.”

Caller: “Yes, it is.”

Me: “Read it out to me.”

Caller: “+49 [rest of number].”

Me: “Look, the 49 is the code for Germany. For people calling from other countries. You need to leave it out when you dial or your phone will convert it to a regular phone number and you end up back here. Again.”

Caller: “But this is the number on the website.”

Me: “Look, we could play this game all afternoon, but I have better things to do and I’m sure you want your order sorted out at some point today. So how about this: you dial WITHOUT the 49 and if you still end up calling me again, I will personally drive the 500 km to [Retail Store] and make sure they fix your order.”

Caller: *does not sound convinced* “Well. I suppose…” *hangs up*

(Lo and behold, it must have worked because my afternoon was a lot calmer after that. It’s a family joke by now that we should bill [Retail Store] for dealing with their customers all the time.)

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