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Category: Technology

The realm of Technical Support is there to provide expert assistance to those who are not so tech-savvy. Although they still expect you to know what a computer is, and how to turn it on, and to know that you can’t ‘fix the internet’ because it isn’t pretty enough. You have been warned…

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Roaming Ever Closer

| OH, USA | Technology

(This is a call from a regular customer.)

Caller: “Hi there, I need to add international calling to my plan.”

Me: “That’s great. What country will you be going to?”

Caller: “Canada.”

Me: “Okay, what you need to do is call customer care and they can add a small international roaming package on, and they can also get you the best rates.”

Caller: “Oh, okay, I’ll do that.”

(Not even five minutes later, I get a call from a different number, out of state.)

Caller: “Hey, I tried to call them, but my phone told me I was roaming and it wouldn’t connect the call.”

Me: “That’s odd. Well, I can try to call Customer Care for you and see if they can add it on or at the very least, try and give you a call. When exactly will you be needing this package added on?”

Caller: “Well, we are about two hours from the Canadian border, so as soon as possible.”

Me: “…”

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Microsoft Doesn’t Works

| Portland, OR, USA | Non-Dialogue, Technology

I work at a software company doing tech support for specialized software used by county mental health clinics to do their client and accounting tracking.

We have a client call us, asking for help installing MS Word. I explained that we didn’t support it, that they didn’t pay us to support it, and that she should call a PC support company.

She whined that she didn’t know any, and we should do it. We ended up sending one of our programmers, at $90 an hour (in 1992) to feed 30 diskettes into ONE machine whenever it asked for one.

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Throw The Google Book At Them

| PA, USA | Geography, Technology, Wild & Unruly

(I’m working the Reference Desk at my local library. We often get questions from people asking for local phone numbers, addresses, etc., along with the general library questions. Calls like this one, where an elderly patron can’t find a number in their phone book, are very common.)

Me: “[Library], Information Services. This is [My Name].”

Patron: “Uh, I couldn’t find a local business in the phone book. Do you by chance have it in your Google book?”

(The patron is audible, but is slightly hard to hear because her television is so loud that I can clearly hear everything and identify the game show she is watching.)

Me: “I can definitely see if I can find it online for you. What business are you looking for?”

Patron: “Oh, dear… Uh… It was a local discount store…” *incoherent mumbling while [Game Show] is coming through more clearly than she is* “Oh! It’s [Dollar Store #1]! I want the one on [Boulevard I’m unfamiliar with].”

Me: “Sure thing! Let me check if it’s listed.” *pulls up all the listings for [Dollar Store #1]* “Ma’am, I don’t see one on [Boulevard], and I’m also not too familiar with it. Do any of these locations sound nearby?” *lists the locations*

Patron: *suddenly turns mean* “YOU’RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT! It’s on [Boulevard]! You’re supposed to know it and have it in your Google!” *continues ranting*

Me: *trying to avoid just hanging up on her, I suddenly realize there are two different dollar store chains in the city* “Uh, ma’am? Ma’am? Did you by chance mean [Dollar Store #2]? I just looked it up and there’s one on [Boulevard].”

Patron: *another mood flip* “Oh? Maybe. I forgot there were two of them. I’m sorry… Is it by [Department Store]?” *clearly very embarrassed*

Me: “Yes. That’s coming up on the map. Is this what you needed the phone number for?”

Patron: “Yes, and would you mind speaking up? I can’t hear you over my television. What’s the phone number?”

Me: *can’t really speak up, or else I would be shouting* “The number is…” *starts slowly giving the phone number*

(I end up having to repeat the phone number at least ten times. She keeps making up numbers and thinking that some are doubled up. Eventually:)

Me: “Ma’am? I’m just going to start over and give you the number slowly. That way we know that no one is losing their place. All right?”

Patron: “All right. What is it?”

(I slowly give the number, pausing a second between numbers. Right after the area code and first three digits…)

Patron: “Oh, hold on, honey. Would you mind waiting while I go find a pen and paper? I’m not going to remember this whole thing. That’s why I kept getting mixed up!”

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Getting A Red Flag Here

| Doncaster, England, UK | Bizarre, Technology

(Less than a week ago my store had a new till opening system installed. After years of cashiers having to call out to customers which tills were opening, we now have a panel of buttons to press that makes the opening till’s number light up green instead of red. This is accompanied by an overly-polite automated message for customers over a P.A. system.)

Customer: *gesturing to the green, lit-up till number at the end of his transaction* “This is all very modern isn’t it?”

(I agree and say how it’ll hopefully make things a bit easier for the customers when we’re opening and closing tills.)

Customer: “So what does it mean then? Red and green?”

Me: *deadpan* “Red means closed and green means open.”

Customer: “Oh, right. Thank you.” *walks away from till to leave store*

Colleague On Till Behind Mine: “I REALLY hope he didn’t drive here today!”

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It’s Madden-ing

| OH, USA | Technology, Time

(I’m talking with my friend over the Internet. He works at a video game store, and at the time of the conversation it is exactly one day before the latest Madden NFL game is released.)

Friend: “You know, the week before Madden is always a fun time for the phone. Every five minutes, the phone rings, we say ‘[Store]. Madden comes out tomorrow. How can I help you?’ and they ask, ‘Do you have Madden?’ Every f***in’ time.”

Me: “Hah.”

(He pauses for a while.)

Friend: “Either that, or they just hang up.”

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