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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…

    Detached From (Digital) Reality

    , | Beltsville, MD, USA | Technology, Top

    (I work for an online retail store. When customers send orders to addresses different from their card, we e-mail them a Word document form. This form requires they fill it out and e-mail it back to us.)

    Customer: “I don’t understand. I’ve sent this form to you several times now.”

    Me: “Sir, I saw your e-mail, but the form wasn’t attached to it.”

    Customer: “Attached? How do you do that?”

    Me: “What program or e-mail provider do you use?”

    Customer: “I don’t know. I just write e-mails.”

    Me: “Well, is your e-mail through Outlook, or is it something in a browser, like AOL, Yahoo, or Gmail?

    Customer: “Yahoo.”

    Me: “Okay. Well, you need to look for—”

    Customer: “Hold up! I don’t even have my e-mail open. Why do I need to do this? I used your program and sent you the file.”

    Me: “What program, sir?”

    Customer: “Microsoft Office. And now it’s opening a bunch of files! 1, 2, 3, 4…20!”

    Me: “Did you click on our file a bunch of times?”

    Customer: “No! I just clicked on what you sent me! Your program is really stupid.”

    Me: “Sir, that’s not our program. We sent you a document. The program to open it is someone else’s.”

    Customer: “Well, your ‘document’ has a virus! There are 20 things on my screen now!”

    Me: “It’s not a virus, sir. Just close those windows down, and we’ll start from scratch…”

    Customer: *a few minutes later* “There. I filled out the form. You should have it.”

    Me: “Sir, did you save it and attach it to the e-mail?”

    Customer: “What do you mean? I filled it out! You should have it.”

    Me: “You have to save it and attach it to the e-mail.”

    Customer: “That’s stupid! Your program should just send it to you!”

    Me: “Sir, again, that’s not our program. That is just a Word document that you save your information in.”

    Customer: “You should use a program that just lets you fill it out and it sends the information.”

    Me: “Sorry, our documents don’t do that.”

    Customer: “This is ridiculously complicated. I’m about to cancel my order!”

    Me: “If you wish to do that sir, it’s up to you.”

    Customer: “I mean, how do you run your business? I have a Master’s in Computer Science! If I can’t figure this out, who could?!”

    As Clear As Muddy

    , | Pennsylvania, USA | Language & Words, Technology

    (I’ve just started on the floor for customer service for a cable company. A customer calls in saying his TV is “muddy”.)

    Me: “Sorry, sir, I’m not understanding what is wrong with your TV. Is it pixelated, blue, or fuzzy?”

    Customer: “No, it’s muddy.”

    (After a few minutes of trying to figure out exactly what he meant by muddy.)

    Me: “Sir…do you have mud on your TV?”

    Customer: “D*** it! I said it’s muddy. M-U-T-E…MUDDY!”

    Me: “Sir, do you see a muddy button on your remote?

    Customer: “Yes. ”

    Me: “Press the button.”

    Customer: “That fixed it. Thank you so much!”

    All’s Well That Spends Well

    | England, UK | Technology, Top

    (I sell phones for a specific provider in the UK. Part of my job includes providing basic tech support to customers and sending their phones to repair if they’re broken beyond my means to fix. A guy walks in with a smartphone that clearly isn’t working right; The display is flickering and changing randomly.)

    Customer: *slams phone down hard on my desk* “My phone’s broken!”

    Me: “Let me have a quick look…”

    (I try the basics: restarting the phone, looking for any obvious signs of physical damage, etc. When I take the battery out to look at the liquid damage indicators, I can see they’ve clearly been activated.)

    Me: “Ooh, yikes! Your phone’s water damaged sir, and badly so by the looks of it. I’m afraid it won’t be repairable, by me or our repair centre.”

    Customer: “But I’ve never got it wet.”

    Me: “Maybe you haven’t sir, but something has. These indicators…” *pointing them out* “…only change colour when they get wet. These are bright red, meaning the phone got very wet at some point, and the warranty doesn’t cover that kind of damage.”

    Customer: “Why the h*** not? I pay good money for this service. I want my phone fixed!”

    Me: “And normally I’d happily send it to repair for you, but if I do that now, all they will do is send it back unrepaired with a £20 admin charge for running a diagnostic on it.”

    Customer: “So, what do I do? I need my phone!”

    Me: “I understand it’s frustrating when this happens, sir, but the manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t cover liquid damage. The repair team won’t repair it either, as it’s beyond economical repair. You’ll need to buy a new phone or claim this one on your insurance.”

    Customer: “There it is! I knew you just wanted to get me to buy something! Well, I’m not buying anything! Send my phone in, and get it fixed—right now!”

    Me: “Very well, sir. I was just trying to save you some grief.”

    (I book his phone in for repair, and it goes out the next day. Sure enough, a few days later, it returns unrepaired and with an admin charge for £20 due to liquid damage rendering it unrepairable. The customer comes back to collect it and flips out when he sees it hasn’t been repaired.)

    Customer: “What the f*** is wrong with you people?! I didn’t get my f***ing phone wet! It’s not my f***ing fault! Fix my motherf***ing godd*** phone right now or I’m canceling my f***ing contract!”

    Me: “Please stop swearing, sir. I did say this would happen, but you refused to believe me. Also, you can’t cancel your contract because you caused irreparable damage to your handset. The SIM card and services are still fully functional, so no part of the contract has been broken by us.”

    Customer: “THIS IS A F***ING SCAM! YOU’RE ALL F***ING THIEVES!” *starts shouting at other customers in the store* “DON’T BUY ANYTHING FROM HERE! THEY’RE ALL A BUNCH OF F***ING IDIOTS AND THIEVES!” *storms out*

    (After the angry customer leaves, the next customer in line comes up to my desk.)

    Next Customer: “Do you get that a lot?”

    Me: “Far, far more often than logic dictates I should.”

    Next Customer: “You’ve got the patience of a saint, mate. Would selling me a new contract on [our most popular phone and plan] help?”

    Me: “A lot, actually!”

    Next Customer: “Sweet! Here’s my card and ID. GIMME!” *smiles*

    (The rest of the day was a lot better, but I still get people like the angry customer every few days. Last I checked, his contract was being chased up by debt collectors for non-payment of bills.)

    Ph.Duh, Part 2

    , | Grand Rapids, MI, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Top

    (I work at the college IT department. One day, I get a phone call from a professor.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling the help desk. How may we help you?”

    Professor: “My computer is making a beeping sound. I can’t get it to stop. Can you send someone to fix it?”

    Me: “Sure, I’ll be right over.”

    (I arrive at the professor’s office.)

    Professor: “I don’t understand why it is doing this. It has never done this before.”

    (I notice a rather large book on top of his keyboard.)

    Me: “Sir, you can’t leave objects on top of your keyboard. That is what causes the beeping.”

    (I remove the book.)

    Professor: *embarrassed* “Oh.”

    (This professor is the department chair of the Computer Science division of the college. He has a Ph.D in Computer Science.)

    Related:
    Ph.Duh

    Some People Aren’t Backward Compatible

    | Ohio, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work at a public library. Patrons often ask us how to print from the computers.)

    Patron: “I need to pay for my printing.”

    Me: “Okay. When you hit the print button, how much did it say it was going to cost?”

    Patron: “I did not hit the print button.”

    Me: “What computer were you sitting at?”

    Patron: *impatient* “I was not sitting at a computer. I am trying to print from the typewriter!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I am confused. You were not sitting at a computer, but at the typewriter? And you want to print what you typed?”

    Patron: “This is ridiculous! I cannot believe you won’t help me!” *leaves*

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