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    Step One: Stay Away From The Computer

    | United Kingdom |

    (I’m meeting a client’s boss face to face, after only contact via email thus far.)

    Client’s Boss: “So you are the guy sending technical emails to one of my teams!”

    Me: “Sorry, I don’t follow.”

    Client’s Boss: “You sent a bunch of emails filled with technical jargon when all they wanted was some help with their system.”

    Me: “It wasn’t technical, it was just a step by step guide on how to zip a file and send it via email. I checked it with my colleagues to make sure it was easy to understand.”

    Client’s Boss: “But the team wanted to save space on their server, not do programming. You have to understand that many of them are older and don’t understand how to use computers!”

    (So they don’t know how to use computers, and yet they use them everyday…scary.)

    Playing Along, Part 2

    | Idaho, USA | Top

    (I get a call for troubleshooting from a lady who says her remote doesn’t work.)

    Me: “Ok ma’am, could you try changing the channel for me? Tell me if a light flashes on the remote.”

    Lady: “Ok.”

    (There are a few loud beeps from her phone in my ear and she comes back on the line.)

    Lady: “Nope, no flashing.”

    Me: “Ma’am you’re trying to change the channel with your phone, not the remote control.”

    Lady: “I can’t find the clicker, and I know my neighbor changes channels with her phone.”

    Me: “Ma’am, that’s just not possible.”

    Lady: “Don’t accuse me of lying! I saw her do it with my own eyes.”

    Me: “…”

    (I try for 10 minutes to explain to her why she can’t use her phone, and even make a futile attempt to troubleshoot her phone.)

    Me: “Ok, well it looks like your satellite receiver isn’t compatible with your phone.”

    Lady: “Yes it is. My neighbor and I have the same phone and same receiver. NOW HELP ME, DUMBA**!”

    Me: “Ma’am, do you have a cordless phone?”

    Lady: “Yes!”

    Me: “Ok ma’am, let’s try reprogramming your phone. What I need you to do is press and hold the ‘off’ button for five seconds. This will clear the old code, so we can put the new one in.”

    Lady: “Ok—” *click*

    (I hear my supervisor a few rows away from me bust out laughing.)

    Related:
    Playing Along

    [Insert Apple Joke Here]

    | Minneapolis, MN, USA |

    (Telephone technical support for a printer manufacturer.)

    Customer: “First of all, I’m a Mac tech, so I know what the hell I’m doing; let’s get that straight right away!”

    Me: “Ok.”

    (It turned out he needed to reinstall some fonts, so we got the installer started.)

    Customer: “It says, ‘Insert Disk One.’ What should I do?”

    Me: “Um, insert disk one…”

    PEBCAK, Episode III

    | Howell, MI, USA |

    (I received a trouble ticket for an HP 930c Printer at our Ohio warehouse.)

    Me: “Hello, I hear you are having a problem with your printer.”

    Customer: “Yes, I changed the cartridge and it says that it’s still out of ink.”

    Me: “Ok, did you remove the blue tape before inserting the new print cartridge?”

    Customer: “Yep! Sure did!”

    (After literally two hours of model number and cartridge number verification and even installing new firmware on the printer among many other things…)

    Me: “Ok ma’am, can you take the ink cartridge out for me?”

    Customer: “Ok, it’s out.”

    Me: “Is there blue tape over the copper on the bottom of the cartridge?”

    Customer: “Yep.”

    Me: “Could you remove it and re-install the cartridge?”

    Customer: “Oh hey! It works!”

    (I’ve never wished more that I could slap people via telephony.)

    Related:
    PEBCAK, Episode II
    Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard

    An Unfortunate Choice Of Words

    | Ontario, Canada |

    (I worked for a large Internet service provider; customers are set up with an email address of their choice, over the phone. Someone obviously misheard her.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling high speed internet technical support. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “I can’t get my email.”

    Me: “I should be able to help with that … let me pull up your information and I will see what I can do for you.”

    Customer: “My email address is SweetyPetty@***.***.”

    (I pull up the customer’s info.)

    Me: “I see here that your email address is … SweatyTitties@***.***.”

    Customer: “WHAT! That’s not my email address! I demand it be changed now!”

    Me: *having entirely too much fun with policy* “Oh I can do that for you, ma’am, but if I do the email address SweatyTitties will be unavailable for 30 days. Are you sure you don’t want SweatyTitties?”

    Customer: “No, I don’t want SweatyTitties!”

    Me: “Okay, so I will delete SweatyTitties off your account and replace it with SweetyPetty.”

    (At this point, the other tech support people around me are laughing.)

    Customer: “YES, YES please get rid of SweatyTitties!”

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