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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Wish You Could Firewall These Customers

    , | St. Louis, MO, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

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

    Customer: “Yeah, my computer is on fire. What should I do?”

    Me: “Call the fire department! Why are you calling us? You should try to put it out!”

    Customer: “It’s your fault, though! What are you going to do about my computer?”

    Me: “Sir, I strongly advise you trying to put out the fire before we continue. There is nothing we can do about your computer being on fire.”

    Customer: “Look here! I was following your instructions on the CD that came with the kit. It told me to install the ethernet adaptor. I opened my laptop, put the green card inside, put it back together, and now it’s on fire.”

    Me: “Whoa! Wait, you said you got a green ethernet card, and you opened your laptop up and put it in there?”

    Customer: “Yes! Now what are you going to do about my computer being on fire!”

    Me: “Sir, the adaptor we sent you was for a desktop computer, not for a laptop. There is no way that the card supplied will work for your computer. We could have assisted you had you called in prior to you attempting to install the adaptor, when you could not find a place to plug it in. Instead you slammed it all together, and caused your own fire hazard. I strongly suggest that you call the fire department, or try to put out the fire yourself while the firefighters arrive. There is nothing that I can do to support you at this time.”

    Customer: “But what is [ISP] going to do about my computer?!”

    What Would Jesus Do For Free Wifi

    | Toledo, OH, USA | Crazy Requests, Religion, Technology

    (I used to work for an Internet broadband company, and in addition to technical questions, I would also have to be able to resolve billing issues. The customer who calls this time, however, has an interesting take on things:)

    Me: “Let’s take a look at your account. Just give me one moment to call—”


    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am; it will take just one moment. Ah, here we go. It seems that this account has not been paid on for three months, so we have suspended yo—”


    Me: “Ma’am, I can understand your frustration, but due to non-payment, we’ve suspended your account. However, if you would like to make a credit card payment over the phone, I can go ahead an—”


    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I can’t turn you back on until a portion of the balance is paid off. if you are able to make a partial payment o—”

    Caller: “TURN ME BACK ON! I NEED MY INTERNET!” *in a suddenly quiet voice* “Jesus wouldn’t have turned me off.”

    Me: *startled blink* “Pardon, ma’am?”

    Caller: *gaining steam* “I said, Jesus wouldn’t have turned me off! I don’t have the money to pay for this, but he wouldn’t have shut me off!”

    Me: “…I do apologize ma’am, but I don’t see where this is relevant to your overdue bill—”


    Me: “Ma’am, do you remember biblical quotes? Wasn’t it Jesus himself who said, ‘render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar’s, and render unto God, that which is God’s?'”

    Caller: *silence*

    Me: “Anyway, I cannot turn you back on until you’ve made a payment.”


    Me: “My pleasure!”

    Finally Getting With The Program

    , | FL, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work in a call center for a telephone company in their DSL technical support department. Apparently my “phone voice” is very close to the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system’s. At least once a week, I get a call like this:)

    Me: “Good afternoon. Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How may I assist you today?

    Caller: Are you human?

    (At this point, I can usually hear some frustration in the customer’s voice, so I say something that they’re not expecting to break the ice.)

    Me: “No, sir/ma’am. I am just a better programmed computer…”

    Directionless Wireless

    | Sheffield, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work in technical support for an ISP. During a call with a customer the following conversation transpired.)

    Customer: “Your router isn’t very good is it? I can only get wireless signal downstairs.”

    Me: “Well, it is a very basic router. Is your house fairly old, as in having rather thick walls and ceilings?”

    Customer: “That’s right.”

    Me: “That would be why. The signal is struggling to get through. You can always look into a more powerful router or a booster, maybe?”

    Customer: “But… I don’t understand. I leave the door open so it can get upstairs.”

    Wireless, Clueless And Hopeless, Part 15

    | Sweden | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (The ISP I work for recently made a drive about their new modem. It is marketed as being the easiest wireless system on the market. Unfortunately, the system isn’t that great and I have received 27 calls that day alone about malfunctioning modems.)

    Me: “Hi, and welcome to [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How may I be of service?”

    Caller: “The s*** you guys sold to me a while back isn’t working.”

    Me: “That is very unfortunate, but thankfully I am here to help you. Name and address, please?

    (She tells me her name and address and I check her history.)

    Me: “It seems you have had our system for at least a month. Did it stop working just now?”

    Caller: “That’s right. I’ve had it for a month, but I only started using it this morning and it doesn’t work at all.”

    Me: “Then could you please tell me which lights are shining on the front of your modem?”

    (The most common mistake is that the customer hasn’t switched on the wifi on the modem.)

    Caller: “None, of course.”

    Me: “Not even the power light at the top?”

    Caller: “Should it?”

    Me: “Yes. Please verify that the power cable is plugged into the modem.”

    Caller: “What cable? Isn’t this supposed to be wireless?”

    Me: *awkward silence* “Well…”

    Caller: “What the f***? Are you telling me that your ads are straight-up lying to me?”

    Me: “What is meant by wireless is that you don’t need to connect your computer to the modem. Can you please attach your modem to the wall socket by the cable provided?”

    Caller: “Are you a f****** idiot? I threw away all cables! I mean, I thought you sent them by mistake!”

    Me: *somewhat taken aback* “And it didn’t occur to you that electronics run on electricity?”


    Me: “You are on a contract that will last for another three years and since more than two weeks has passed since it was bought, you can’t.”

    Caller: “YOU F****** LYING PIECE OF GODD*** C***-S***!”

    Me: “But since you obviously are quite upset I will transfer you to the cancellation department so you may sort it out with them. Have a nice day.”

    (I transfer her call to our cancellation department. The last thing I hear is the queue voice going: ‘You are on place… one-hundred and… eighty… seven. Estimated waiting time is… two-hundred and… fifty… five minutes…’)

    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 14
    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 13
    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 12

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