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  • Please Enroll Me In Serviceless Service

    | England, UK | Technology

    (I work in a mobile phone store. An elderly customer comes in with a slider handset and holds it up so I can see the screen.)

    Customer: “What’s that little red arrow mean on my phone?”

    Me: “It means you missed a call, sir. If you hold down the green button for a moment, it’ll show you who called you so you can try and call them back.”

    Customer: “Oh, and the yellow box?”

    Me: “That means someone sent you a message, sir.”

    Customer: “Get rid of it please. I don’t do messages. I only call people.”

    (I oblige, clearing the message and missed call notification from his phone.)

    Customer: “I think my voicemail’s broken, too. People keep saying they’ve tried to call me but I don’t get a message.”

    Me: “Let’s see if I can find out why.”

    (I call voicemail from his handset and the automatic lady runs through three or four blank voice messages. They’re the kind one gets if the called reaches the voice mail system and then hangs up before leaving a message.)

    Me: “All right, sir, it seems people are getting to the voicemail and then just not leaving you a message.”

    Customer: “That’s bollocks. My friend says he always leaves a message for me.”

    Me: “Well, let me check, just in case.”

    (I call his phone from my own, let it go to voicemail, then record a quick test message and hang up. Sure enough, when I check the voicemail on his phone, I’m there clear as day, with the full message I left.)

    Me: “Sounds like it’s working fine, sir. Perhaps he just hung up too soon?”

    Customer: “No, I know him. He’s not that thick. I know it’s got to be your service!”

    (After about a half hour of testing the service with coworker’s phones calling his, some on other networks, the problem fails to come up again. We all manage to leave messages without fault.)

    Me: “Sorry, sir, but I think your friend’s phone or service has to be the issue here, because your voicemail is working fine.”

    Customer: “Are you calling him stupid? I’ll bring him down here. You’ll regret it then! He’s ex-navy!”

    Me: “I’m just trying to help sir, there’s no need for threats. As far as I can tell your, voicemail is absolutely fine.”

    Customer: “Well, how do I turn it off? I never check it anyway!”