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…

Credited With Having No Children

| Canberra, ACT, Australia | At The Checkout, Rude & Risque, Technology

Me: “Enter your PIN, sir.”

(He does, and then removes card straight away, not waiting for the machine.)

Me: “Sir, it looks like you pulled out early—”

Customer: “Story of my life! It’s why I don’t have kids.”

(The next customer and I burst out laughing.)

Playing Hardball On Software

, | Victorville, CA, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Technology

Customer: “So how much is the hard drive?”

Me: “For that size, $99.95”

Customer: “And how much is Windows?”

Me: “For Vista Home Premium, $99.95.”

Customer: “And how much do you charge to install it?”

Me: “$99.95, which would be the drive in the machine, full Windows install, with drivers.”

Customer: “Okay, so how much is the total.”

Me: “Well, it is roughly $300 but there will be some tax.”

Customer: “That’s wrong!”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “You can’t even add!”

Me: “Um, well, I rounded to $100 and 3 times $100 is $300. Like I said, it is roughly that.”

Customer: “No, no, no. It is ROUGHLY $200!”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “Windows is free!”

Me: “No, sir. It is not. If we sell you a license it is $99.95 plus tax.”

Customer: “I don’t need a license for Windows!”

Me: “Oh! You have a license with the sticker?”

Customer: “Sticker?”

Me: “Yes, like this one,” showed the Windows packaging with the license tag to the customer.

Customer: “No, mine is not like that.”

Me: “Well, it might be a little different color, but all the new tags for Vista look like this.”

Customer: “Mine is for XP.”

Me: “Oh. OK, well, I can install the XP if you have the sticker. Then it would be the $199.90 plus tax.”

Customer: “It is not a sticker.”

Me: “You don’t have a sticker?”

Customer: “No! Nobody has a sticker. Windows is free.”

Me: “No, sir. It is not. We buy Windows and resell it. Trust me, it is not free.”

Customer: “Yes, it is!”

Me: “No, sir. Even when you buy a computer with Windows, you are paying for it.”

Customer: “You don’t have a clue what you are talking about. I have Windows and I got it for free!”

Me: “Sir, I know of no legal way to do that.

Customer: “My friend gave it to me.”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “My friend, he works for the county. He gave me Windows XP Pro for free. He told me you can install it as many times as you want.”

Me: “Um, that is a crime.”

Customer: “No, it isn’t!”

Me: “Sir, we are an authorized Microsoft reseller. We deal with the company all the time. We know what their corporate licenses cost and say. Distributing them for free outside the corporation is illegal.”

Customer: “You must be a real idiot!”

Me: “For what, sir? Knowing the law?”

Customer: “No! I told you, it is not illegal so you don’t know law. And! My friend does not work for a corporation! He works for the county!”

Me: “Sir, the license the county bought is still the corporate license.”

Customer: “No, it isn’t!”

Me: “Then why does it say Pro Edition and not Government Edition?”

Customer: “Well, that doesn’t matter.”

Me: “Sir, either way, I can not legally install a version you do not have a valid license tag for.”

Customer: “Yes, you can.”

Me: “OK, yes, if I wanted to risk prison, fines, and losing [Company] its reseller agreement with Microsoft, I could do it. But I am not going to risk any of those things. It is simply not worth it.”

Customer: “Well then, how much is Windows.”

Me: “$99.95.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “No what?”

Customer: “$99.95 was the price of the drive.”

Me: “They are both $99.95.”

Customer: “So it is $99.95 for a drive with Windows? Why didn’t you say that before!”

Me: “No, no. You misunderstood. I mean that they are each $99.95. If you bought the drive it would be $99.95. If you bought Windows it would be $99.95. If you buy both it is $199.90.”

Customer: “That does not make any sense!”

Me: “It is like parts for a car. They are separate parts but they happen to have the same price.”

Customer: “What? What the hell does that mean?”

Me: “Sir? It is an analogy. I am trying to make this clearer for you.”

Customer: “Well, you don’t know how to explain f*****g anything! Of course parts for a car can have the same price. But this is not parts for a car! It is a drive and Windows, and Windows does not exist! So it is FREE!”

Me: “No, sir. It does exist. It is not like a battery or a tire. It is more like the gas that makes it all go!”

Customer: “What the f*** are you saying now?!”

Me: “Windows powers a computer.”

Customer: “Idiot! Electricity powers a computer!”

Me: “Sir, I mean it makes all the parts work together so you can use them.”

Customer: “You don’t know how to explain s***. You don’t know s***! How the f*** can you get away with ripping people off and charging $100 to install Windows, which does NOT exist, and stealing another $100 for the Windows! Explain that to me!”

Me: “Sir, it takes a several hours to install Windows, the updates, drivers, and so on. The labor charge is actually cheaper than it would be if we charged hourly. We discount the install because about half of it is waiting time. As for the Windows itself, I already explained that we buy those licenses from Microsoft and resell them to customers. It would be a bad business practice for us to sell it for less than the price.”

Customer: “Well, f*** this!”

Me: “Thank you, sir!”

(A few weeks later he comes back and my manager is there. We have almost the same argument. But this time some new information comes out:)

Me: “Sir, I said last time that we can’t install your illegal copy!”

Customer: “It isn’t illegal! My friend works for the county and he gave it to me!”

Me: “Try asking your friend’s boss about it.”

Manager: “Sir, if he installed an illegal copy, which yours is, I would fire him.”

Customer: “Well, then, if I buy just a drive, will it install properly on it?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Customer: “Well, I installed the copy my friend gave me and now the computer is all messed up. It won’t get on the Internet, the icons are huge, and the colors are all messed up.”

Me: “You need to install the drivers, sir.”

Customer: “What the h*** are drivers?”

Me: “Software.”

Manager: “So they don’t exist. Like Windows.”

Customer: “What the h***?!”

Manager: “If you don’t know what you are doing, you won’t be able to do it. That is what we charge the $99.95 for.”

Customer: “Well then, will you install drivers on mine?”

Me: “Sure.”

Manager: “But…”

Me: “Bring in a machine with a legal Windows license and we will gladly install drivers on it.”

Customer: “What?!”

Me: “Sir, we are risking our business license, our Microsoft contract, and more if we work on stolen merchandise. We just don’t do it!”

Customer: “It is not stolen!”

Manager: “Your friend stole it. They gave it to you, but they stole it.”

Customer: “They would never do that! My friend is not a thief!”

Manager: “Yes, they are! Don’t believe me? Give me their name and what county department they work for.”

Customer: “F*** you! I’m leaving!”

Me: “Good luck with your computer.”

Customer: “F*** you, too! I’m going to get my computer working and get my Office running again, which is what I needed in the first place so I can finish this document!”

Me: *to manager as guy storms out* “Wait… did he trash his system to fix Office?”

Manager: “I hope so.”

Has No Loyalty To Common Sense

| Reno, NV, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Technology

Me: “If that’s all today, your total is [amount].”

Customer #1: *slides card in card reader* “Why does it say card not recognized?”

Me: *looking at card* “Because that is for [Competing Chain]. We can’t take their cards.”

Customer #1: “Well, that’s stupid. You’re both gas stations. You should honor each other’s cards.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I don’t make the rules; I just have to follow them. Do, you have another form of payment?”

Customer #1: “Fine.” *hands over cash*

(I ring up the next customer.)

Me: “If that’s all today, your total is [amount].”

Customer #2: “Oh, I have a loyalty card.”

Me: “Okay, just slide it in the card reader and we’ll see if you have any rewards saved up.”

(Customer #2 slides their card. I see an error message that it isn’t a valid account.)

Me: “Hmm, the card reader didn’t recognize it. Let me try to enter it manually.”

(Customer #2 hands me the card. It is for a grocery chain.)

Me: “Sir, this is a [Grocery Chain] card. We can’t take those here. Do you have a [Our Convenience Store] card?”

Customer #2: “What? But the card says I can use it at the gas station.”

Me: “Yes, at their gas station out front of their store. We can only take our own loyalty cards.”

Customer #2: “Well, that’s misleading.”

(… and this is why I’m incredibly grateful that my last day on that job was last week!)

A Service To The Service

| NE, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work at a cable company.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Cable Company.]

Customer: “Yeah I just made a payment and I need to know if my services are working.”

Me: “Okay, are your Internet and TV working?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Then, yes, your services are working.”

Customers Without Filters

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | Crazy Requests, Health & Body, Technology

(I’m a server at a popular family restaurant that normally bends over backwards trying to accommodate its guests as best we can. However, we are not a fine dining restaurant by any means. I’m serving a table of two middle-aged women. Note: the tap water in our municipality is consistently ranked as one of the cleanest in the world and is better than most bottled waters.)

Guest #1: “Is your water filtered? I only drink filtered water.”

Me: “No, our water isn’t filtered. We do carry several kinds of bottled water if you like, though.” *I list them for her*

Guest #2: “It’s disgusting that people expect you to pay for bottled water. Water should be free.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Our water by the glass is free, though as I said, unfiltered. However, we have to pay for the bottled water so we do have to charge for that.”

Guest #1: *huffs* “Fine, I’ll have a glass of water. Are your ice cubes made from filtered water? I only want them in my glass if they’re filtered.”

(Our ice machine is the size of an average car and is made of complex machinery.)

Me: “I’m actually not sure if the ice machine has filters as part of its system. It’s probably best to assume it doesn’t. I’ll bring you your water without ice.”

Guest #1: “No, find out if the machine filters its ice and come back.”

Me: “If you prefer, ma’am.”

(I go to the back and ask the kitchen manager. He has no idea either. We both look at the machine, but there’s no way to tell from the outside if there’s filters. There’s a huge sign on the outside saying “Danger: Do Not Open! Extreme Risk of Electric Shock” so we decide not to open it to look. I go back to the table with no new knowledge.)

Guest #1: “Well?!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am. Both the kitchen manager and I looked at the machine, but we couldn’t tell if there are filters without taking apart the machine. It’s probably safest to assume there aren’t any. Shall I bring you your water without ice?”

Guest #1: “I don’t understand why you can’t just take apart the machine to find out for me. This is ridiculous.”

(I try for several minute to politely explain the size and complexity of the machine and why this isn’t really a feasible request. She constantly interrupts to insist that it must be possible to find this out and that I need to find a way. I have zero mechanical knowledge and as far as I know none of my coworkers know anything about machines. This machine would require a mechanic to take it apart.)

Guest #1: *finally* “Fine, I’ll have a glass of water with the ice on the side.”

Guest #2: “By the way, we have been sitting here forever and no one has taken our order! I just want you to know that the service here is terrible!”

(I choose not to mention that I’ve been at their table the whole time attempting to do just that. I also choose not to point out that they were just demanding that I leave their table for what would probably be several hours of mechanical work in order to answer a question for them.)