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    Unable To Master Their Card

    | Boston, MA, USA |

    Me: “Thank you. May I have the name as it appears on your credit card?”

    Customer: “Visa.”

    How To Connect To The Printernet

    | Bismarck, ND, USA |

    (A customer calls in complaining that her internet wasn’t working. I begin walking through the troubleshooting steps.)

    Me: “Is the modem plugged into the power outlet?”

    Caller: “Yes.”

    Me: “Is the modem connected to the cable jack? And, are the lights all on it?”

    Caller: “Yes.”

    Me: “And the modem is plugged directly into the computer?”

    Caller: “Yes, with a USB cable.”

    (About ten minutes pass of me trying to figure out the problem, to no avail.)

    Caller: “I don’t understand it! Everything is plugged in right, the cable is connected to the modem, and the modem is plugged into the printer!”

    Me: “Wait, the printer?”

    Caller: “Yeah, it’s plugged into the printer. The printer is plugged into the computer so it will go through it.”

    Their Statement Speaks Volumes

    | OH, USA |

    Me: “Thank you for calling [company]. How can I assist you today?”

    Customer: “I can’t get the volume on my phone to go up.”

    Me: “Okay, I can assist with that. See the buttons on the left side of your device?”

    Customer: “Yeah.”

    Me: “You push them in the up direction.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay!”

    (I hear some rustling around.)

    Customer: “I can’t seem to get them off. Isn’t there some way for you to turn it up from there?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry. The only way you can turn up your volume is by pushing those buttons. They are the volume buttons.”

    Customer: “Is there a supervisor I can speak to? I think they can turn my phone up for me.”

    Related:
    Their Question Speaks Volumes

    Plight Of The Navigator

    , | Provo, UT, USA |

    Me: “Thank you for calling [ISP] technical support. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “How do I get to gmail.com?”

    Me: “Type gmail.com into the navigation field of your web browser and hit enter.”

    Customer: “Huh. It says gmail: email from Google. The next one is Gmail – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Then, just a big list of things with ‘gmail’ in it.”

    Me: “Just a moment, sir. Where exactly did you type gmail.com?”

    Customer: “Into the box where the words go, near the top.”

    Me: “Is there another box with words in it even higher up? Maybe starting with http://. It’s probably followed by a www?”

    Customer: “Huh? What does that have to do with anything?”

    Me: “What does it say in that box?”

    Customer: “It says http://search.yahoo.com. Then, there’s a bunch of other stuff. Oh. Wait. What?”

    Me: “Well, what that is–”

    Customer: “Somebody needs to tell Gmail what Yahoo did to them!”

    How To Make Them As Silent As A Mouse

    , | Allentown, PA, USA | Technology, Top

    (I work engineering support late in the evening.)

    Me: “Pennsylvania Support Center. How may I help you?”

    Caller: “The cleaning crew just came through my office, and now my mouse doesn’t work. The cursor just jumps all over the screen randomly when I move it. They broke my mouse. I need a new one.”

    Me: “You have a SPARCstation with an optical mouse, correct?”

    Caller: “Yes, with the cool glass mouse-pad.”

    (Old-school optical mice used to require special reflective mouse-pads with grids etched into their surfaces. To increase tracking resolution, the vertical and horizontal grids had slightly different spacing.)

    Me: “Did the cleaning crew wipe down your desk?”

    Caller: “Yes.”

    Me: “Did they move your mouse-pad?”

    Caller: “What does that have to do with anything?”

    Me: “Did your mouse-pad get rotated? Is the long edge of the mouse-pad now parallel to the edge of your desk?”

    Caller: “I really don’t see why that’s relevant. I just want a new mouse!”

    Me: “The orientation of the mouse-pad matters. The–”

    (The caller cuts me off and starts to yell. I realize that I can actually hear his voice coming from down the hall.)

    Caller: “Listen! Just open a ticket and have someone bring me a new mouse. I don’t have time for this. I design chips, so I know what I’m talking about. I probably designed the chip in the phone you’re stuck answering all day!”

    (I take off my headset, walk down the hall, and walk into his office up to his desk.)

    Caller: “…so don’t try to bulls*** me with, oh. Hold on, someone is in my office.”

    (I reach down, and rotate his mouse-pad 90 degrees. I move the mouse, and the cursor happily moves around the screen as expected. I walk out of his office, back down the hall, sit down at my desk, and put my headset back on.)

    Caller: *silence*

    Me: “Thank you for calling Pennsylvania Support Center. I trust I have resolved your case.”

    Caller: *silence*

    Me: “You will be receiving your ticket number via email. Thank you.”

    Caller: *click*


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