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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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Knows Zip About Phone Numbers

| NY, USA | At The Checkout, Technology

(This happens once per week: We have a store discount that customers can activate by entering a phone number into the card reader while their purchase is being rung up. The machine’s screen clearly reads ‘ENTER PHONE NUMBER ###-###-####’ right above the keyboard. I’m serving an older woman at my register and see her enter a couple numbers into the machine. It then loudly beeps, letting me know that something went wrong.)

Customer: “Did it go through?”

Me: “Sorry, but it looks like you forgot to put your area code in first. You can try it again now.”

(She again enters only seven digits, rather than the full phone number of ten digits, and the machine again beeps.)

Me: “Ma’am, please make sure that you’re entering your full phone number in. The area code needs to go first.”

Customer: “Oh, okay!”

(I watch her and see that, this time, she enters her zip code into the machine instead. It again beeps when she tries to submit it.)

Customer: “So did it go through now?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry; it looks like you tried to enter your zip code. What you need to type in is your phone number. Just make sure that you add the area code first.”

Customer: “The area code?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, enter the area code and then the rest of your phone number. If you live around here, the area code is ‘555,’ so just type that in first.”

(She again enters in her zip code.)

Me: “No, I’m sorry, the machine needs your phone number.”

Customer: “But you said area code!”

(This goes back and forth even longer. I’m unfortunately not allowed to enter a customer’s information into the system for them, so we’re stuck in this loop until the customer finally gives up and allows me to skip past the discount option. As she’s leaving, the customer loudly mutters:)

Customer: “Ugh, this is why I don’t bother with computers. They never work right.”

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Looking For Wifi In All The Wrong Places

| New Orleans, LA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

Patron: *indicating a tablet* “I just got this and I need help with it.”

Me: “Are you trying to connect to the library Wi-Fi?”

Patron: “No, I just bought this and I need help getting it to work.”

Me: “Ma’am, are you asking me to set up your new tablet for you?”

Patron: “Yes.”

Me: “If you have a question pertaining to the library, I’ll be happy to help you with that, but if you need help setting up your tablet you should contact the company where you purchased it.”

Patron: *bewildered* “So, you just do library questions?”

Me: “…”

(The same patron comes up to the front desk 10 minutes before we close.)

Patron: *indicating same tablet again* “I went and talked to [Company] and I need to set up my Wi-Fi password.”

Me: “You don’t need a password to access the library Wi-Fi. It’s free and not password-protected. Maybe they were talking about setting up your Wi-Fi at home?”

Patron: “I’m not at home. I’m here at the library, and they told me I need to add a password.”

Me: “Not that I’m doubting [Company]’s expert knowledge on every aspect of our library’s Wi-Fi, but I can assure you that it does not require a password and there is no way you could use your tablet to add a password to the library’s Wi-Fi.”

Patron: *holding up cell phone* “But I got a text saying I used 90% of my gigabytes and they are charging me for it and it was because of your Wi-Fi! I need to add a password!”

Me: “There is no possible way that [Company] is charging you for using our free, public library Wi-Fi. Now, we’re about to close, so why don’t you come back tomorrow and use our Wi-Fi then?”

Patron: *with a judgmental glare* “Fine. I’ll just go to a coffee shop. Maybe THEY will help me!”

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Black Friday Takes The Same Route Every Year

| OR, USA | Holidays, Technology

(I work at one of the largest retail chains in the US. It’s around 11 pm on Thanksgiving night, meaning it has already been Black Friday for five hours or so.)

Customer #1: *holding up a wireless router* “Hey, I thought this was the item I was looking for, but then I actually read the box. Do you mind if I just ditch it with you instead of wading through people to get it back to the shelf?”

Me: “No problem. Did you need help finding the item you were looking for?”

Customer #1: “Nope, I just didn’t look close enough. I was busy calculating the price. Kind of silly of me. Got caught up in the spirit of things.”

Customer #2: *suddenly attempting to wrench the router box from my hand* “I’ll take it! Is it on sale?! What is this thing, anyway?!”

Me: “…”

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Not Exactly Quick As Lightning

, | Marysville, OH, USA | Technology

(I work customer service at a large retail store that specializes in electronics. While it is mainly the job of myself and others in my position to ring customers out, if a specialized sales associate makes a sale they will often come to the front and ring the customer out themselves. On this day, my coworker, a specialist in our computing department, has ‘sold’ a customer on a router/modem combo. It should also be noted that we are required to offer what is basically an insurance plan on items that qualify.)

Coworker: *ringing up the items* “Just so you know, these both qualify for our two-year insurance plan for [price]. So if something should happen to them, like power surge damage from a lightning strike, we can replace them for you at no extra cost rather than you having to purchase a whole new set.”

Customer: *visibly alarmed* “They can get struck by LIGHTNING?! I don’t want them if they can get struck by LIGHTNING!”

Coworker: “Anything you have plugged into an outlet is susceptible to lightning strikes. What I’m saying is that if that were to happen, this insurance would allow us to replace them for you at no additional charge.”

Customer: “I don’t want them if they can get struck by lightning. I didn’t know that could happen. I don’t want them right now. I’ll have to think it over. I don’t want them if they can be struck by lightning! Put them back!”

(My poor coworker tried once more to explain that any kind of electronic plugged into that sort of power source — be it a TV, router, modem, or even a cell phone — can suffer damage from lightning strikes. The customer still refused to complete the purchase and my coworker lost out on a good bit of revenue from that sale. We got a good laugh out of it, though!)

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Calling Corporate Just After This Call

| MD, USA | Bad Behavior, Technology

(At my store, the manager instituted a policy that if a customer is on their phone, we’re not to wait on them until they finish. A customer comes in, busy making a call on his phone, and per policy, we wait to service them.)

Customer: *after some time, angrily* “Excuse me? I’ve been waiting for five minutes! Is someone going to help me?”

Manager: “Sir, we’d be happy to help you as soon as you finish up with your call.”

Customer: “Are you kidding me? I’m not hanging up my important call for you b****es!”

(The manager walks away. The rest of us don’t dare to go over to him again. After a while, the customer completely loses it.)

Customer: “I can’t believe this terrible customer service! I’m going to call corporate!”

Manager: *handing him a phone* “Here, I already dialed the number.”

(The customer became irate and left the shop. He never did put down his phone.)

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