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  • No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 7

    | Southampton, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Geography

    (The shop is just about to close for the day when a customer comes in with a very minor issue, and while I am sorting the problem my colleague has closed the doors. The fix doesn’t take long, and I have just escorted the customer to the door to let him out when he appears to remember a separate issue:)

    Customer: “Oh, yes, while I’m here I was wondering if you could take a look at this weird line that keeps showing up when I use my maps app. Now, where was it..?”

    (He zooms right out on the maps so the whole world map is virtually visible.)

    Customer: “Here we are, you see? Straight through Africa there”

    Me: “Uh.. That’s the equator, sir. There’s not much I or anyone else can do about that, I’m afraid.”

    Customer: “Well, it definitely wasn’t there before.”

    Me: “I think it probably was…”

    Related:
    No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 6
    No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 5
    No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 4

    Covered For The Next 20 Years

    | Alexandria, VA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    Employee: “How can I help you, sir?”

    Me: “I just bought this phone yesterday and I can’t hear anyone who calls me. They sound muffled and tinny.”

    Employee: “Ah, I know what your problem is.”

    (I haven’t even shown him my phone yet, so I assume he’s going to give me some smart-a** presumptuous answer.)

    Employee: “Did you leave the plastic cover on the screen that ships with the phone?”

    Me: “Well, yeah, at least until I buy a good screen protector.”

    Employee: “…”

    Me: “Oh. It covers the speaker, too, doesn’t it? That’s rather embarrassing.”

    Employee: “Don’t worry; you’re not the first to come in here with that problem.”

    Me: “Oh, good, that makes me feel better.”

    Employee: “But you are the youngest by about 20 years.”

    Remotely Stupid

    , | Canada | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Technology

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Cellphone Carrier]. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “Hi! I would like to update my cellphone.”

    Me: “Sure! I can help you. I see you have an iPhone. Can you please go into your settings?”

    Customer: “Oh! Do I have to do it? I thought you had to press a button from your computer and work your magic.”

    Has No Bridge Over These Troubled Waters

    | USA | Rude & Risque, Technology, Wild & Unruly

    (I am a retail rep at a well-known cellphone carrier store.)

    Customer: “I bought two phones two weeks ago. My brother’s doesn’t work. He says it has never turned on since he got it in the mail.”

    (I pull up the account to view if the device has been in use. Before I see this info…)

    Customer: “Oh, and how come his phone has a red square on the back but mine is white?”

    (For those who don’t know cell phones have liquid damage indicators that turn white to red when exposed to liquid.)

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. This device has liquid damage and is not covered by the warranty. You also didn’t add insurance to this line.”

    Customer: “So what does that mean?”

    Me: “You have to continue to pay on the phone and get a new one if your brother needs a phone.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s impossible. He said it never turned on since he got it.”

    Me: “I see on the account the device was used for the first time on [date] and stopped use three days ago. It had been in use for nine days of the twelve days you have had service.”

    Customer: “No, he would’ve told me if he got some liquid on it. That’s not possible.”

    Me: “Well, pink indicates exposure. Red, which this is totally red, means the phone was drenched in liquid. He must have gotten significant amount of liquid on it.”

    Customer: “So, you’re not gonna replace it?”

    Me: “We can’t. You have no insurance and you voided the warranty with damage.”

    Customer: “You’re telling me [Company] won’t back up the products they sell?”

    Me: “We do. So long as you have insurance for accidental damage or if there is no damage for warranty exchanges. You have neither.”

    Customer: “That doesn’t make sense. If I bought a car and there’s something wrong with it, the dealer would take care of it! The dealer would fix it for free!”

    Me: “Not if you rammed the car into a building.”

    Customer: “Well… If… So what? I gotta keep paying on the phone even though he can’t use it?”

    Me: “Yes. You still owe $300 on it.”

    Customer: “That’s outrageous! I’m not buying him a new phone. Cancel his line!”

    Me: “Okay, sir. Although you have no contract therefore no early termination fee, your next bill will have a charge of $300 for the phone.”

    Customer: “What?! What happened to paying it off monthly like I was told?”

    Me: “As long as you have an active line you can pay it off monthly. You signed something that said the entire value of the phone is due immediately once service is canceled.”

    Customer: “I will still have my line.”

    Me: “The phone isn’t attached to your line. Yours is.”

    Customer: “Well, don’t you all just HAVE ME BY THE BALLS. Y’ALL GOT ME BY THE BALLS!”

    (He grabs all his stuff and starts to storm out.)

    Me: “Have a nice day, sir.”

    Customer: “BY THE BALLS!”

    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.)

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