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  • Talking At-At Cross Purposes
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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 A Green Machine

    | Aurora, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (At my store our pin-pad works a bit differently if you want credit instead of debit. You slide your card and then are prompted to enter your PIN. If you want credit you hit the green button – labeled CREDIT – as the red button cancels the transaction.)

    Customer: *slides card and hits cancel* “Oh, I’m sorry I think I canceled it.”

    Me: “That’s okay. Just slide your card again and hit the green button for credit.”

    Customer: “Okay, thanks.” *does so*

    (I finish the transaction and hand her the receipt, then start ringing out her boyfriend who was in line behind her and watching the whole thing.)

    Customer’s Boyfriend: *slides card* “I want credit.”

    Me: “Okay, sir, just hit the green button.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: *hits the red button*

    Me: “Sorry sir, you canceled it. Slide it one more time and hit the green button for me.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: *slides again and hits the red button again* “I want to do it as credit!”

    Me: “Yes, sir, just slide your card again and press the green button.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: “… But I want credit.”

    Me: “Yes, sir, the green button for credit.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: “To run it as credit? I don’t want to use my PIN.”

    Me: “Yes sir, just hit the green button for credit.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: “But I want to run it as credit! I don’t want to enter my PIN!”

    Me: “I understand that, sir. Just slide your card for me and then press the green button for credit.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: *narrows eyes and hits the red button again* “I WANT TO DO IT AS CREDIT!”

    (The first customer sighs and does it for him.)

    Customer’s Boyfriend: “But I wanted credit!”

    Me: *smiles* “It ran as credit, sir. See it shows it here on your receipt. Thank you and have a nice day.”

    Next Customer: *slides card and hits the red button*

    Me: *sighs*

    Some Customers Are Thicker Than Others

    , | Wichita, KS, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Technology

    (It is my third shift at my first job. I have been mostly getting complicated/difficult orders, and I’ve had no real training; they threw me into the chaos and expected me to figure it out as I went. So far I had been managing, but only barely. An elderly customer  approaches the counter.)

    Me: *smiling brightly* “Hi there, ma’am. What can I get for you?”

    Customer: “I’d like a half pound of [specific cheese] sliced as thick as your slicer will go.”

    Me: “That’s half a pound of [specific cheese] on the thickest setting, right? Coming right up!”

    (I am incredibly relieved as I get the cheese she wanted and get it on the slicer. This is the easiest order I’ve had all day and I can’t see how it could possibly go wrong. I bag the cheese and hand it over the counter to her.)

    Customer: “No, this is wrong.” *hands it back*

    Me: “I’m sorry. What’s wrong with it?”

    Customer: “That’s not how thick I wanted it. That’s not thick enough!”

    Me: *bewildered* “I’m sorry, ma’am. You asked for the thickest setting on the slicer, and that’s as thick as it will cut things.”

    Customer: “No, it isn’t! I get it cut thicker all the time! It should be one block. ONE. BLOCK.”

    Me: “Uh, I’m terribly sorry about that. I’ll fix this.”

    (I go get one of the knives and proceed to cut about half a pound off the block of cheese and bag that for her.)

    Me: “Here you are. I’m really sorry about—”

    Customer: “NO! NO! YOU HAVE TO CUT IT ON THE SLICER!” *throws the block back over the counter*

    Me: “I…I…Ma’am, I’m really sorry, but the slicer won’t—”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me! Don’t you lie to me! I want my cheese cut that thick on the SLICER!”

    (I begin looking around frantically for a coworker, but my shift supervisor, who had been there only moments ago, has conveniently disappeared, and my only other coworker is dealing with a long line of customers at the hot bar.)

    Coworker: *calling across the deli to me* “[My Name], go cut it on the ‘special slicer’ in the back. I guess [Shift Supervisor] forgot to show it to you. It’s by the prep table back there.”

    (I’m confused but take the cheese back. The only thing by the prep table are the sinks, but then I see clean knives on it and realize that I just need to cut the block with a knife where the customer can’t see me doing it, so I hurriedly do so and rush back to the front.)

    Me: *handing the new block over* “I’m really sorry about that, ma’am. I just started and no one told me about that slicer.”

    Customer: *snatching the cheese* “Hmph. Well, you should have known. Next time don’t be so stupid.” *storms off*

    (This coworker saved me on several other occasions when customers were being exceedingly difficult, though the ‘special slicer’ remains the most amusing to me.)

    Artificial Unintelligence, Part 2

    | Australia | Extra Stupid, Technology

    Me: “Welcome to the support team. You’re speaking with [My Name]. How can I help you today?”

    Caller: “Check claim status.”

    (I realise he thinks I’m a recording.)

    Me: “Not a problem, sir. Can I ask which service your claim was for?”

    Caller: “Skip questions.”

    Me: “Um… sir, I do need to know the details of your claim so I can track it?”

    Caller: “Eugh! Stupid machine… SKIP questions!”

    Me: “Um.. I’m sorry, sir, but I’m not a machine. I need to know—”

    Caller: “Main menu!”

    Me: “Sir, I’m not a recording. I can help with your enquiry, but I have to ask a few questions first.”

    Caller: “Oh, thank god. A person!”

    Related:
    Artificial Unintelligence

    Transaction Was Above (Mother)Board

    | Victorville, CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Wild & Unruly

    (A customer brings in a PC that has an obviously blown motherboard. I take the side off and see black scorch mark on the power supply, and know something had blow badly.)

    Me: “Well, I don’t know if the hard drive is good or not. A diagnostic is $50, but if we do repairs we take that off the labor.”

    Customer: “Nah, I’ll just replace the board.”

    Me: “Do you want us to do it?”

    Customer: “No, I have done all this stuff before.”

    (Confused then as to why he needed us to do a diagnostic, I sell him a new board. It takes a new CPU, and a new power supply. It happens to use his old RAM and as a freebie, I test it and the new board worked with his. Two days later:)

    Customer: “The motherboard you sold me does not work.”

    Me: “What? We tested it, with the new power supply. Is it your drive that is dead?”

    Customer: “No. It is the board! You sold me a bad board.”

    Me: “Well, you saw it work with your RAM. Are you sure it is not just the drives?”

    Customer: “No. I told you it is the board!”

    Me: “Well, let’s have a look.”

    (I open the machine. I disconnect the drives from power and data. I hit the power and smell smoke.)

    Me: “Woah! What the h***! Pull the power cord!”

    Customer: “See! It is a bad board.”

    (I look a little closer because the cards don’t seem to be fitting in very well.)

    Me: “Sir, did you mount this on the standoffs?”

    Customer: “Standoffs? What do you mean?”

    Me: “Well, this board has great pictures in the manual. Here they are.”

    (I point out the standoffs and how it shows placing them before mounting the board.)

    Customer: “Oh, those. They were in the way so I took them out. I don’t need a d*** book! I know what I am doing!”

    Me: “Well, you needed those standoffs. You destroyed this board.”

    Customer: “No, I didn’t!”

    Me: “Sir, the instructions are clear. You must put in the standoffs. Otherwise all the solder points on the back of the board can short out. This board has been mounted wrong and is probably dead.”

    Customer: “I want to talk to your manager!”

    (My manager  is already there because the customer is getting louder.)

    Manager: “Yes?”

    Customer: “This idiot says I mounted the board wrong! He won’t admit he sold me a bad board!”

    Manager: “Now, I heard he tested your old RAM when you were here yesterday.”

    Customer: “Yah.”

    Manager: “And it worked then?”

    Customer: “F*** you!”

    Manager: “You need to leave now, sir.”

    Customer: “I want my money back! You people are f****** crooks!”

    Manager: “No, a crook is someone that f**** up their own shit and then tries to blame others for it. Get the h*** out of my store!”

    (The customer stormed out and smashed his computer in the parking lot. After stomping on it a few times, he ran over it with his car. It was a shame. It was a nice case.)

    Email Fail

    | England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (A customer has called during our peak morning hours. As all our technicians are busy, he leaves a message saying he cannot log in to his computer. I phone the customer, who is out on the road.)

    Me: “Hi, [Customer]. It’s [My Name] from [Company]. I understand you can’t get into your computer?”

    Customer: “Yes. I go into my emails and it doesn’t work.”

    Me: “Okay so you can get into your computer but not your emails?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “Okay, so it prompts you for the password but won’t log in?”

    Customer: “That’s right.”

    Me: “Unfortunately you have to speak to [Email Provider] as they host your emails. I have no access to their systems.”

    Customer: “Ah, okay. Do you have a number for them?”

    Me: “Certainly, it’s—”

    Customer: “Can you email it to me?”

    Me: “…”

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