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…

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.)

You Can’t Be Siri-ous

| Eilat, Israel | Funny Names, Hotels & Lodging, Technology

(I work reception. One day a guest awaiting his turn stares at me and my name tag with a bemused look on his face.)

Guest: “Is your name really “’Siri’?!”

Me: *smiling* “Only for the last 60 years.”

Guest: “The email confirmation was so polite… I was SURE it was the program!”

His Hate Engine Is Running Fine, However

| Bristol, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Technology, Transportation

(I work for a small software company that had previously been owned by a well-known breakdown cover provider.)

Me: “Good morning, [Company]. How can I help?”

Customer: “I’ve broken down; I need you to come and get me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but this isn’t [Breakdown Cover Provider]; you have the wrong number.”

Customer: “WHAT?! I looked up the number on the Internet for the Bristol branch and it gave me this number. Don’t lie to me.”

Me: “This is a software company. We were previously owned by [Breakdown Cover Provider] but we haven’t been part of that company for a while.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t have time for this; you have to sort it out. I’m stuck on the side of the road and I can’t look up the number from here.”

Me: “I thought you’d already looked up the number on your phone which is how you got this number.”

Customer: “DON’T GET SMART WITH ME! Give me the god-d*** number now!”

(I realise there is no point in arguing so I look up the number on my computer whilst he is screaming at me.)

Me: “Okay, sir, the number is [number]. I hope you get everything sorted. Have a nice day.”

Customer: “Why couldn’t you just do that straight away instead of arguing with me? F*** YOU!” *hangs up*

Her Brain Is Not Online

| MI, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in a small family-operated t-shirt store in a small but busy tourist town. We have only one location, but we also have an online store. During the summer, about 90% of our customers are tourists, so we give everyone who comes in a flyer with a code for free shipping on an online order. This occurs as I’m finishing a transaction.)

Me: “We also have a nice online store, and there’s a free shipping code on this flyer for you to use if you order anything on there.”

(The customer pushes the flyer away.)

Customer: “No, I don’t want one; I’m leaving town today.”

(The customer rushes out the door before I can respond. My manager looks over at me.)

Manager: “Isn’t that the point of being able to shop online?”

Me: “Yes. Yes, it is.”

Internet Sandwich Provider

| Austria | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Popular, Technology

Me: “Thank you for calling [ISP]. This is [My Name] speaking.”

Caller: “Yes, I wanted to complain about the cheese sandwiches you delivered. The cheese was old, all glossy, and the spread cheese was dried out and crumply.”

Me: “Erh… ma’am, I think you might have the wrong number. We’re an ISP. Not a catering service.”

Caller: “Oh. Sorry.” *click*

(A few minutes later…)

Me: “Thank you for calling [ISP]. This is [My Name] speaking.”

Caller: “Yes, the sandwiches you delivered, they were old. The cheese slices were all glossy and hard, and the spread cheese was dried out!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry for your misfortune with your caterer, but we are still an ISP.”

Caller: “NO!”

Me: “Er… yes, we are. Unless management rolled out another product again and didn’t inform us… those cheese rolls aren’t our fault.”

Caller: “That is the phone number on the invoice!”

Me: “Ma’am. Please. Believe me. This is the wrong number. That’s not our cheese. You can get Internet, cable TV, and landline phone here, but unless you can squeeze it through a cable, it’s not one of our products!”

Caller: *click*

(A few minutes later…)

Me: “Thank you for calling [ISP]. This is [My Name] speaking.”

Caller: “About those sandwiches…”

Me: “Ma’am! We are still an ISP. Please find the correct number and…”

Caller: “Nooo! It’s the RIGHT number! I called it right! You just pretend you’re not [Caterer]!”

Me: “Ma’am! Please, tell me what you want from me!”

Caller: “I want you to not charge me for those stale sandwiches!”

Me: “Ma’am, I give you my word: we will not charge you for those sandwiches.”

Caller: “Finally!” *click*

(I closed the ticket with a “do not charge for sandwiches” comment, which my superior fully supported when I had to relay the story to him.)

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