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…

That’s One For The Log

, | PA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in a call center for a financial institution; I receive some pretty interesting phone calls. I’m paranoid about submitting too many and getting fired, but I thought this small one might be funny.)

Me: “Thank you for calling customer service. [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Caller: *says immediately without pulling up his account information* “I’m looking at my login ID screen.”

Me: *silence to make sure I don’t interrupt him, expecting to hear more about the problem* “Okay. How may I help you?”

Caller: “I can’t log in.”

An Offline Request

, | KY, USA | Crazy Requests, Technology

(I work in a call center for a major phone carrier.)

Caller: “We’re supposed to have our service activated today, but we have no service.”

Me: “All right, let me go ahead and see what I can find out for you.” *accesses customer’s account, notices a vital network cable is being replaced and has no estimated time of completion* “Well, there is a local outage in your area, as there is an area cable that needs to be replaced, and they have to specially order the cable.”

Caller: “Well, we open tomorrow. Is there any way you can run a temporary line for us? We need a way to run credit cards and keep customers entertained while they wait.”

Me: “Unfortunately, the cable that provides service to your area is being replaced, and they have to order it.”

Caller: “Well, can’t you just use the box on the back of the building?”

(I goes on like this for a few minutes: the customer asking for a temporary line, or using the box on the back of their building; me reiterating that the network cable was needing replacing. Eventually, I have to pull this line out of my sleeve:)

Me: “What I can do, if you’d like, is set up a time to call you back, and update you on the situation?”

Caller: “I don’t see why you can’t just run a temporary line to the box on the back of the building…”

Beware The Cable Guy

| USA | Bad Behavior, Movies & TV, Technology

(I work at a well-known electronics retailer, and have just finished my shift with another coworker. I clock out as two men come in to the store. One is an elderly man looking to get a TV antenna so he can drop his cable provider, and the other is the man’s middle-aged neighbor. The neighbor has no concept of an “inside voice,” and this whole exchange is done in an aggressive, vaguely Australian shout. Taken aback by the intensity of the neighbor’s voice, I wind up staying past my shift.)

Neighbor: “We’re looking for TV antennas. Do you have those here?”

Coworker: “Yes, sir. What kind were you looking for—”

Neighbor: “Good, good! We want one of those boxes you put on the TV. See, my neighbor here just got a $190 bill from his provider and he wants to drop them.”

Coworker: “Well, we do have indoor antennas, but they may not work well depending on your location. This area is bad for FM TV reception because of the landscape—”

Neighbor: “Yeah, his cable provider charged him $190 and he wants to drop them, but he only watches a few channels.”

(He proceeds to rattle off several cable-only channels.)

Coworker: “Well, those channels are only through cable, so he will not receive those through an antenna.”

Neighbor: “What channels will he get? See, he only watches [repeats list of cable-only channels].”

Coworker: “How many channels he gets really depends on his location, what kind of antenna he has, and where he—”

Neighbor: “Do you have any of the big outdoor antennas?”

Coworker: “Not in-store, but I can check online.”

(At this point I have drawn the old man aside and made him aware of streaming media devices and companies that stream shows over the internet for a small fee. He seems content with that solution, but the neighbor is not.)

Neighbor: “Now wait a minute. How many channels will he get?”

Coworker: “Like I said before, it depends on where you are. These large antennas can pull stations from forty miles away and—”

Neighbor: “What about those things you use to rotate them? And do you have someone to install it?”

Coworker: “We do sell the rotating mounts separately, but we do not have our own installers. You will have to—”

Neighbor: “Why don’t you have your own installers? Will he be able to watch his shows from [Cable TV Network]?”

(This went on for twenty minutes, with the neighbor repeatedly asking how many channels his elderly friend would get, interrupting and misunderstanding our explanations, more comments about the cable bill, giving us unprofitable business advice, and making off-color jokes about a recently deceased comedian that were in very poor taste. They ultimately left without buying anything, leaving us bobbing awkwardly in the eddies left by the man’s strange intensity.)

Her Brain Is Out Of Batteries

| Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Extra Stupid, Popular, Technology

(A woman approaches the jewelry counter with a watch that was a gift from her husband at Christmas.)

Customer: “Excuse me, I’d like to return this watch. It never worked and this is supposed to be a reliable brand.”

(Without a word, I remove the little tab of plastic on the watch dial that prevents the battery from running while on display.)

Customer: “Oh, my god… I drove 45 minutes to get here. I’m so stupid. If you ever see me again here with my husband, you are not to say a word.”

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Read Write Error

, | Eindhoven, The Netherlands | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in IT in the Netherlands. An end-user files a complaint.)

End-User: “My PC won’t start. Just gives me an error message.”

Me: “Okay, which one of the 100,000 errors do you get?”

End-User: “I don’t know.”

Me: “It isn’t written in Arabic or old-Mesopotamian, so what does the error message say?”

End-User: “It’s a bunch of white characters on a black background.”

Me: “And what does it say?”

End-User: “I don’t know. I don’t know how to read this.”

Me: “So you’re telling me that you don’t know how to read?”

End-User: “YES. Come and fix it.”

(The end-user is a teacher.)

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