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    Damaging Their Reliability

    | London, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Liars & Scammers, Technology, Tourists/Travel

    (I am called for technical support to a customer’s house, since their wireless internet is not working.)

    Customer: “So, my son got this wireless router but it doesn’t work, and I can’t connect to the internet anymore either.”

    (I look at the modem to find that it has been completely unplugged. Instead, they have a wireless router without a power supply, and an ethernet line leading to the PC, but it’s not wired into anything else.)

    Me: “Well, here is your problem; you have unplugged your modem and your new router won’t work unless it’s plugged into the modem, which you still have. I would be happy to wire the system back up for you if you have the old power supply available.”

    Customer: “Well, I threw it out because my son said we didn’t need it.”

    Me: “Er, right. You are aware that the modem and power supply are not your property? They are leased to you with your internet connection. I have a spare one, but it comes with a part cost and I will need to charge you for the loss of the old one.”

    Customer: “I see what’s happening here; you’re trying to scam me out of money. I don’t want it.”

    Me: “I can’t restore your connection without replacing the part. If it was broken or faulty, I would be able to do it for free, but since you just told me you threw it out, I have to charge you for it.”

    Customer: “You won’t charge if it’s broken, right?”

    Me: “Yes…”

    Customer: “If the modem is broken, you can give me a new one right?”

    (I think I see where this is going…)

    Me: “Yes, if the modem is broken, I can give you an updated unit with a new power supply, but since your old unit does not appear to be faulty, I can’t replace it.”

    Customer: “Okay, can you test it and see if it’s faulty?”

    (I figured at this point that there is no harm, and that if it was showing fault I could replace it for free.)

    Me: “Okay, let me just go and get the power supply from my van.”

    (As I’m halfway out the door, I hear a massive bang, and the sounds of stamping. I head back upstairs to see the modem now on the floor, and the customer’s foot planted firmly on top.)

    Customer: “It’s broken, so get me a new one.”

    Me: “I just saw you destroy it.”

    Customer: “I’ll pay you £30 to say you didn’t see anything.”

    Me: “But it would have cost you £8 for a new power supply.”

    Customer: “It’s not the amount; it’s the principle!”

    (I eventually replaced the whole unit for a cost of £15 and left. Next month I heard the customer called back. The next technician that went there said that the customer’s son had come by and told his mother she didn’t need the modem, then unplugged it and threw it away. The company, after reading both our reports, decided to cancel the contract then and there.)