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…

My Oh My Documents

| ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, Technology

(We have a self-service computer in the store, in which customers can pay per minute to check their email, browse the web, and print or scan files.)

Customer: “I need help scanning; I don’t know what I’m doing.”

(I show her how to scan.)

Me: “And then when it’s done, it’ll just save the file to ‘My Documents’, and that’s where you can get it from when you attach it to your email.”

Customer: “‘My Documents’!? Well I already have it saved there!”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Customer: “I have it saved at home in ‘My Documents’ so I don’t even have to scan it!”

Me: “Yes, you do. If it’s saved at home, you won’t be able to get it here.”

Customer: “Why did you tell me that I could, then?”

Me: “I didn’t. I said it would save the file to ‘My Documents’. That’s just a folder on the computer.”

Customer: “Yes, but I have ‘My Documents’ at home, too, so it’s already saved!”

Me: “No. There is a ‘My Documents’ on everyone’s computer. You can’t open the files on your computer, from this one.”

A Far Away State Of Mind

| USA | Bizarre, Technology

(I work as a customer service representative for a catalog ordering company.)

Me: “My name is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: *in a southern accent, with a shocked and confused tone of voice starts talking loudly through what must be a defective telephone* “You sound so far away! I can barely hear you! Are you far away?”

(I have an idea in the back of my mind what she really means but I just don’t believe it, so I give her the benefit of the doubt with my answer.)

Me: *wearing a headset* “No, my mouth is close to the phone.”

Customer: “No! I mean I live in Arkansas. Where do you live? Is it far away?”

Me: *deadpan* “I live in [Other State].”

Customer: *now settled and no longer confused, but still in a state of shock and speaking loudly* “OH! No wonder you sound so far away! [Other State] is very far away from Arkansas.”

Me: *face-palm* “Okay, well, how may I help you today, ma’am?”

(I finished the call without another incident.)

No Technology Policy Leads To No Policy

| Tucson, AZ, USA | Bad Behavior, Technology

(Today is August 7th. A new customer who started on July 28th, from a remote city in CA, calls and ask for his auto policy number. After I look him up and find his policy, I notice he doesn’t have an e-mail. Since we are trained to ask for one, I use this to segue to his request.)

Me: “Sir, do you happen to have an e-mail I can put on file, and we can send you proof with your policy number on it?”

Customer: “No, I don’t have an e-mail and I don’t have access to a printer.”

Me: “No problem. In that case here is your policy number. It’s [number].”

Customer: “Will this work for registering my car with the DMV?”

Me: “No, sir, probably not. They are going to want to see the insurance card itself. But, you should have it in your mailbox by now, judging by your start date.”

Customer: *getting a bit upset* “I’m not near my PO box right now and I don’t check my mail that often.”

Me: “Well, I can also fax it, if you have access.”

Customer: “I don’t have fax; can you fax it to the DMV?”

Me: “No problem, you just need to grab the fax number from your local DMV.”

Customer: *sighs heavily, obviously more upset, making it sound like WE are somehow inconveniencing HIM* “I knew I should have gone with another company!”

(I kindly explained that it didn’t matter who he was insured with, there is no other way, other than the three obvious options, to get him proof. He hung up, still unhappy. So, you are a technological holdout that doesn’t bother to check his mail at a PO box that he has to have, because by choice, he lives in the middle of nowhere. But it is, of course, the company’s fault you don’t have proof to register your vehicle properly.)

Screened For Bad Language

| Edinburgh, Scotland, UK | Language & Words, Popular, Technology

(I’m the bad guy here. This happens in a science museum in Edinburgh that’s quite interactive and popular for young children, which I visit with my fiancée. We approach a large screen with an animated palaeontologist character standing idly. I look up and see a small sensor above the screen, and a marked floor area, and realise it’s an interactive display. It’s the middle of the week and we are the only ones in the exhibit.)

Display: “Hi there, are you having fun today?”

Me: “F*** off, witch.”

(I turn to walk on.)

Display: “Well, that was unexpected.”

(We stop and look back.)

Me: “What?”

Display: “I’ve never had anyone swear at me before!”

(Actually panicking now.)

Me: “Wait, you’re REAL?”

Display: “Yep, and quite surprised!”

(Turned out there was a staff member assigned to the screen and the sensor was a camera. She was quite forgiving and informative, but it was quite funny watching as people behind us ignored the screen and she started throwing sarcastic comments out to try and get their attention!)

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A Worthless Use Of Time

| USA | Bad Behavior, Money, Technology, Time

(I run IT services for a small company that assists with management of independent businesses. As the only person in the organization who is highly computer-literate, I also run an email-based helpdesk to answer IT-related questions for clients but have to charge a flat fee for phone support so as to keep the phone from ringing all the time. A known-to-be-difficult business owner pays the fee electronically without even opening an email support ticket first, and then calls in seconds after the payment comes through.)

Me: “Hi, thanks for calling [Company] IT Services. How can I help you?”

Client: “First of all, I think it’s ridiculous that I have to pay just to talk to a live person.”

Me: “I understand your frustration. What can I do for you?”

Client: “I don’t know. I just have some questions about my web presence.”

(We provide basic homepages for our clients so as to boost the profile of their brick-and-mortar locations, with a portal they can use to do things like update their hours, address, and ‘About Me’ on their own.)

Me: “Great, I can definitely help with that. Just to let you know, this sounds like the sort of thing that I could easily handle over email and then could refund your money and not have to charge you anything.”

Client: “No, no. I only want to talk to a real person. I’ll pay the d*** fee. So… umm… uh… let’s see… Can you go look at my About Me page? I don’t know if I like the wording I put on there last year. Can you re-type something for me?”

Me: “Sure, what would you like it changed to?”

Client: “Um… let’s see… can you change [word] to [synonym]. And take out that next sentence. No, on second thought, put that sentence back.” *long pause* “I changed my mind. Can you go back to the first line and put in what I originally had but then add something that makes me sound better, like that says I’m the best in my town?”

Me: “Sir, wouldn’t it be easier if you just emailed me the corrected paragraph when you know what you want it to say?”

Client: “No, your stupid fee is the same whether I have you for one minute or fifty-nine minutes so I’m gonna get my money’s worth. Just hang on. I’m waiting for my inspiration.”

(He proceeds to surf the Internet, even watch some YouTube videos, while keeping me on the line for 20 more minutes listening to him click, mutter to himself, and watch videos.)

Client: “Okay, I got it. I’m going to dictate word for word and I want you to type what I say.”

(I do this; four paragraphs worth across three separate sub-pages of his basic website.)

Client: “Now save it so I can look at it.” *pause while I do this and he refreshes* “Oh, this is much too informal. You just typed what I said without doing your part to make me sound better? What am I paying for? This won’t do. Hold on.”

(A few more minutes of silence pass.)

Client: “All right. Since I’m having to do everything, I don’t know what I’m paying for, but I’m sure gonna get my money’s worth.”

(His basic website is supposed to be self-managed, so he’s clearly not “having to do everything”!)

Client: “So, here goes. Go back to that first page and I’m gonna dictate again. This time we’ll get it just so.”

Me: *after we get to the last page* “Great, your website has been fully updated. We’ve added or revised content on every page and it’s fresh and new. Do you have any other questions?”

Client: “Nope. I still don’t see why I had to pay for this, but I need to get on with my day. Have a good day.”

(He’s taken up 52 minutes on the phone, not counting my time logging all of this in his consulting file. A couple minutes later, he calls back.)

Me: “Hi again. Is there something else I can do for you?”

Client: “Yeah… I was watching something else on YouTube and I want to get it added to my site.” *starts reading off the YouTube URL, not clearly enunciating any of the letters*

Me: “Sir, could you email that to me instead?”

Client: “I don’t like using email since I just want to talk to a real person, but I guess I can email you just this once.”

(I receive the link and embed it in his site and let him look at it.)

Client: “Umm… I guess I just wanted to see what it would look like having a video on my website. I don’t really need it there. Take it off. But I got my money’s worth, didn’t I? You have a good day now.” *hangs up with a chuckle*

(He spent a total of 59 minutes and 40 seconds on the phone. He must have had a timer or something running on his end to “make sure he got his money’s worth.” I ended up working almost an hour late that day trying to catch up on the things I actually needed to be doing in order to keep the company’s computer systems maintained.)

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