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…

Customers Without Filters

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | Crazy Requests, Health & Body, Technology

(I’m a server at a popular family restaurant that normally bends over backwards trying to accommodate its guests as best we can. However, we are not a fine dining restaurant by any means. I’m serving a table of two middle-aged women. Note: the tap water in our municipality is consistently ranked as one of the cleanest in the world and is better than most bottled waters.)

Guest #1: “Is your water filtered? I only drink filtered water.”

Me: “No, our water isn’t filtered. We do carry several kinds of bottled water if you like, though.” *I list them for her*

Guest #2: “It’s disgusting that people expect you to pay for bottled water. Water should be free.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Our water by the glass is free, though as I said, unfiltered. However, we have to pay for the bottled water so we do have to charge for that.”

Guest #1: *huffs* “Fine, I’ll have a glass of water. Are your ice cubes made from filtered water? I only want them in my glass if they’re filtered.”

(Our ice machine is the size of an average car and is made of complex machinery.)

Me: “I’m actually not sure if the ice machine has filters as part of its system. It’s probably best to assume it doesn’t. I’ll bring you your water without ice.”

Guest #1: “No, find out if the machine filters its ice and come back.”

Me: “If you prefer, ma’am.”

(I go to the back and ask the kitchen manager. He has no idea either. We both look at the machine, but there’s no way to tell from the outside if there’s filters. There’s a huge sign on the outside saying “Danger: Do Not Open! Extreme Risk of Electric Shock” so we decide not to open it to look. I go back to the table with no new knowledge.)

Guest #1: “Well?!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am. Both the kitchen manager and I looked at the machine, but we couldn’t tell if there are filters without taking apart the machine. It’s probably safest to assume there aren’t any. Shall I bring you your water without ice?”

Guest #1: “I don’t understand why you can’t just take apart the machine to find out for me. This is ridiculous.”

(I try for several minute to politely explain the size and complexity of the machine and why this isn’t really a feasible request. She constantly interrupts to insist that it must be possible to find this out and that I need to find a way. I have zero mechanical knowledge and as far as I know none of my coworkers know anything about machines. This machine would require a mechanic to take it apart.)

Guest #1: *finally* “Fine, I’ll have a glass of water with the ice on the side.”

Guest #2: “By the way, we have been sitting here forever and no one has taken our order! I just want you to know that the service here is terrible!”

(I choose not to mention that I’ve been at their table the whole time attempting to do just that. I also choose not to point out that they were just demanding that I leave their table for what would probably be several hours of mechanical work in order to answer a question for them.)

A Cr-ice-is

| Philadelphia, PA, USA | Crazy Requests, Technology

(This winter has been particularly heavy, and many of our customers are without heat, power, and/or hot water. All our techs are working overtime fixing homes without heat.)

Me: “Hello, how can I—”

Customer: “Thank God! I can’t get anyone to come out here, I have an emergency!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, what’s the problem?”

Customer: “The icemaker isn’t working!”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Customer: “My icemaker on my refrigerator! The power was out and now it’s back on but my fridge won’t make ice! I have a party tonight!”

Me: “I… see… Well, ma’am, I’m sorry to hear that but all my technicians are out on emergency heat calls—”

Customer: “This IS an emergency! Did you not hear me?! I have a party TONIGHT and no ice!”

Me: “I understand that, ma’am, but we’re prioritizing calls for no heat and flooding right now—”

Customer: “I knew it! I knew you wouldn’t help me! *at this point, the customer is sobbing and screaming* “No one will help me! I HAVE A PARTY TONIGHT!” *click*

Just Floating That Idea Out There

| CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work for a company in California that rents out houseboats for vacations. Someone calls in.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. This is [My Name]; how may I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, I was just wondering when my power was going to be back on.”

(I assume the customer means the generator on his houseboat stopped functioning.)

Me: *confused* “What lake are you at?”

Caller: “What lake? I’m at my house in Virginia.”

Me: “Well, this is a houseboat rental company in California.”

Caller: “Yeah, I know.”

Me: “How would we know when your power is coming back on?”

Caller: “I don’t know.”

Should Have Left At Right

| MI, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(Because of the snow outside, I have been spending most of my time mopping up what has melted in my section. I start on the aisle with printer ink and paper when a customer approaches me in the middle of said aisle.)

Customer: “Where is your printer ink?”

Me: *points to their left*

Customer: “Oh… where’s your printer paper?”

Me: *points to their right*

Customer: *turns red* “You’re going to make fun of me when I leave, aren’t you?”

Me: “No, but there’s a very good chance that I’ll submit this to notalwaysright.com!”

Needs To Get His Fax Straight

| WA, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Technology

(We are a small library without a public fax machine. We have a private business fax machine for office use only. We still get spam faxes because the number is publicly listed.)

Me: “Well, I was going to send the weekly report to accounting but something is coming in on the fax.”

Coworker: “Ooooh, is it another offer for a discount trip to Bermuda?”

Me: “It’s some financial thing. Man, it’s eight pages long. Woah. This is someone’s debt consolidation paperwork.”

Coworker: “What? Is it for someone who works here?”

Me: “No… but they apparently live in town.”

(I attempt to call the customer multiple times as a courtesy, but their voice-mail inbox is full. They show up the next day anyway.)

Customer: “Hi. So, uh you should have some papers for me?”

Me: “Did you have your financial institution use the library’s fax line?”

Customer: “No, it was their idea. They say they do that for a lot of customers.”

Me: “Ok. You need to explain to them that isn’t appropriate. Our fax machine is for library business only. I actually thought your fax was spam at first because we weren’t expecting anything. It could have been shredded. It’s also not very secure. We have volunteers and maintenance staff coming and going all the time and we don’t guard the fax machine because we don’t normally receive sensitive documents. We had to look over these papers just to figure out what they were and there is information on here that we did not need to know about you, like your social security number. We couldn’t reach you to warn you either. If you had contacted us first we could have told you not to use our fax.”

Customer: “Oh… so, like, does that mean I can’t send my paperwork back through you guys?”

Me: “You may not. There is a pay-fax machine at the copy shop across town. Please inform the company not to use our fax again. Any other paperwork that is sent will be shredded.”

(The customer shrugged and left. I’m still not sure I got through to them. At the very least I know never do business with that debt consolidation company!)

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