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    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.”

    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”

    Me: “Type 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”

    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 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*

    Please Do Not Press The Beeping Button

    | Machesney Park, IL, USA |

    (I’m conducting a customer satisfaction survey over the phone.)

    Me: “Using a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate your cable service?”

    (I hear a ‘beep’.)

    Me: “I need to you actually say the number, not dial it on your phone.”

    Customer: “Isn’t this automated?”

    Me: “Well, I’m not a machine. Could you please say what number you would rate your cable service?”

    Customer: “8.”

    Me: “Great! And using the same scale, how would you rate your internet service?”


    Me: “I still need you to say the number.”

    Customer: “Sorry, I got confused. 8.”

    Me: “Okay, and how would you rate your phone service?”


    (This went on for all thirty questions.)

    Ink Isn’t The Only Thing Running Low

    , | Location undisclosed |

    Customer: “Whenever I try to print my statement from your website, it always comes out really light. I don’t have this problem with other websites. Are you guys out of ink?”

    Me: “No. Are you using your home computer?”

    Customer: “Yes. I already called the ink cartridge company. They said it’s not their fault.”

    Me: “Well, if you’re trying to print at home, it’s a problem with your home computer. Our printers are working just fine.”

    Customer: “So, you’re not out of ink?”

    Me: “No. Maybe you should have someone look at your computer’s settings.”

    Customer: “Should I call the ink cartridge company again?”

    Me: “I don’t think that will fix it.”

    Customer: “Okay. I’ll call the ink cartridge company again. Thanks! Bye!”

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