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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…

Cold Chance Of A Warm Reset

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Technology

(Over the university holidays I am an intern at a major bank. At home I work as a support tech for one of the country’s largest department stores. I am also a customer at this cafe.)

Customer #1: “This stupid thing! You should really know how to get this working! It’s ridiculous! You are so rude!”

(I have been coming here since the day I arrived and know the cashier quite well, who I have never heard say a bad word.)

Cashier: “We have tried what we could. If you could just be patient we’ll finish your transaction.”

Customer: *grumbles*

Me: “I’ll just have a latte, thanks!”

Cashier: “Sure thing. Will you be paying with card?”

Me: “Yes! Let’s hope it goes through!”

(There is a communications error on the pin-pad.)

Cashier: “Ah, the paypass has been having issues all day. I’ll just get you to use this pin-pad. This thing is so unreliable; no matter what we try it just never seems to continue working.”

Me: “Ah, I see you’re using [Brand] pin-pads. I could fix that for you right now, if you like?”

Customer #1: “Fat chance. It’s s***!”

Cashier: “Are you sure? We have been having issues all day. I don’t know if you could fix this. I have tried everything.”

Me: “I’m actually on the [Department Store’s] IT account, and can fix this one for you. Have you tried this?”

(I perform the basic troubleshooting, a warm reset, while my payment is being processed on the other pin-pad.)

Cashier: “What did you do to it? It doesn’t look right!”

Me: “All right, I’ll just get you to log on to the pin-pad from your register. You’ll be all good to go again.”

Cashier: “I’m not sure. You just made the screen look all funny… That doesn’t fix it!”

(The cashier logs in to the pin-pad, goes to process next customer.)

Cashier: “Oh! It’s working. How did you know that?”

Me: “Like I said, I work on the IT account for [Department Store]. It would be pretty shocking of me NOT to know!”

(I then proceed to flash Customer #1 with a quick smirk, who then grabs his coffee, scowls, and marches off.)

Me: “If only we could perform a warm reset on HIM!”

Delayed Reaction

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Technology, Tourists/Travel

Passenger: “Why is there nobody to inform me about the delay?! I came all the way from San Francisco and now that I’m here you tell me there is a delay!”

Me: “Sir, some people sign up for email alert from the airport or the airlines for possible delays.”

Passenger: “Who are those ‘some people’?! I talked to everyone here! Nobody knew about the delay before!”

Me: “Sir, those people who have signed up and received an alert wouldn’t even bother to come to the airport. People are here because they did not sign up and did not know there is a delay.”

Instruction Deconstruction

| Cleveland, OH, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work tech support for a large corporation that services 50,000+ employees. It is not uncommon, when there are new upgrades or software, for our users to receive instructions on how to perform the installs themselves. We usually got a good number of calls from people who don’t read the instructions and just call into the help desk.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company] corporate help desk. My name is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I just got the email that I’m supposed to install [newest upgrade] and need some help with it.”

Me: “Okay, I can help you with that. Did you get the instructions?”

Customer: “Yes, I have it right in front of me.”

Me: “Okay, at what point are you having the issues.”

Customer: “I scrolled to the bottom to get your number and called in.”

Me: “Okay, let me get my copy of the instructions opened up and we’ll see if we can get this done.”

(I open the PDF file and bring up my instructions.)

Me: “Okay, now what does it say for step #1.”

Customer: *reads instructions to me for step #1*

Me: “Okay, do that. Now what does it say for step #2.”

Customer: *reads instructions to me for step #2*

Me: “Okay, do that.”

Customer: “Wait a minute, are you just going to have me read the instructions and do it step by step?”

Me: “Yes, that’s exactly what we are going to do. My instructions are no different than yours.”

Customer: “Well, that’s not much help. I could do that by myself!” *click*

The Power (Button) To Make A Difference

| Canton, NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in a call center supporting multiple ISP’s, when a very flustered, middle aged woman calls in.)

Me: “Hi, and thank you for calling [ISP].”

Customer: “My Internet is broken! I was on my computer and now all I see is a big yellow triangle, and I can’t even move my mouse!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, have you tried restarting the computer?”

Customer: *starting to get angry* “How am I supposed to do that?! I told you, I can’t move my mouse!”

Me: *trying very hard to keep the sarcasm out of my voice* “By holding the power button.”

Customer: *very sincerely* “Oh… you can do that?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Customer: “Oh, my god, it worked! You’re a genius! I am having a party this weekend. Come have a beer with us!”

Pin Down The Problem To Him

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in a Chinese takeout, and our debit/credit machine has a few steps to it: verify total, tip screen, verify total, PIN, and THEN it begins to process the transaction. The steps are clearly labelled. In this particular transaction, I have entered the total manually and handed the machine to the customer, and he has apparently gone through the steps with relative ease until this happens while the machine is processing.)

Customer: “Hang on, what the hell is this? You said my total was [amount] but now it says [much higher amount]. What did it do?”

Me: *presses the ‘Cancel’ button as fast as possible*

Customer: “What’s wrong with your machine?”

Me: *glances at the ‘Cancelled’ print out, to verify what happened, very quickly folds it up and hands both copies to the customer* “These receipts just say that it didn’t go through, if you want to keep those.”

Customer: “I don’t want to keep those; why would I want to keep this?”

Me: “I really think you do, sir. It looks like you entered your PIN number in the tip screen.”

(The kicker? He would have had to enter his PIN twice to get the transaction to that point. I would have thought that would have been a warning sign. Then again, the fact that one of the steps clearly says ‘TIP’ should have been one too.)

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