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    No Signal Getting To His Brain

    , | WI, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    Me: “Hello. How can I help you today?”

    Customer: “My ‘wifis’ are all locked.”

    Me: “Okay… let me see what you mean here.”

    (The customer pulls out their [Smartphone] and shows that there are lock symbols on all of the wifi networks openly broadcasting in the area.)

    Me: “Yes, these lock symbols mean that you have to login to the wifi network with a password.”

    Customer: “Password? What password? Wifis need a password? I’ve never used a password.”

    Me: “Does your home wifi not have a password?”

    Customer: “Which one is my home wifi?”

    Me: “Well, none of these. We have a wifi access point here in the store…”

    (I demonstrate to the customer how to log onto a wifi using the store’s own broadcasting wireless network.)

    Me: “But your home wifi will only be at your house. Not here. Do you know what your home wifi network is called?”

    Customer: “Why can’t I use any of these other ones?”

    Me: “These are just local wifi spots that are locked, with passwords, by their owners to keep people from freely using them.”

    Customer: “But wifi is supposed to be free, and I was told that I would have access to wifi with my new device.”

    Me: “Well, wifi isn’t always free. In places like Starbucks or McDonalds you’ll have free wifi that they pay for, but typical home networks, and even your 4G or 3G networks aren’t technically free. So, what you’ll have to do is go to your house, figure out what your home wifi is called, login to it by finding it on this list in your phone, and enter in the password if you have one.”

    Customer: “So… what’s my wifi password, then? I don’t think I have one.”

    Me: “I couldn’t tell you. That would be something you or you Internet provider would know.”

    Customer: “My provider is you guys.”

    Me: “Your home Internet provider.”

    Customer: “See, I don’t understand. Wifis are free, so why? When I use my wife’s laptop, I just go to the Internet. There’s no passwords for the Internet. Where would I need to use a password for FREE wifi?”

    Me: “Well, unless you’re stealing someone else’s unsecured wifi, you would have to have a network that you yourself are broadcasting, paying for, and connecting to that would either have or not have a wifi password involved. But again, I’m sorry, I wouldn’t be able to tell you that information. Your home cable or Internet provider would be responsible.”

    Customer: “So do I have wifi or not?”

    Me: “No. No, you don’t. Not if you don’t know what it is.”

    Customer: “Why isn’t there some technical thing? You know I’m not good with this computer stuff, but I wish there was some technical thing that would just tell you what the password is. Everyone gets free wifi, but I’m the one with all the problems. I think it’s the phone.”

    Me: “No, it’s not. Could you check on your home wifi for me and let me know what provider you have? I think I could get a pretty good idea of the problem with that information at least.”

    Customer: “Okay. Yeah, I can do that. I’ll check with the wife. She’s better at this stuff.”

    (I can now officially retire from customer service.)