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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…

Should Have Been Trained In This

| Wales, UK | School, Technology, Transportation

(There is a Victorian Tram in the county’s most popular resort town. It is owned by the county council, and since most group bookings are long-distance and well ahead of time, the ‘dedicated’ Tramway booking line actually just gets diverted to our office, with a different ringtone/screen display than other calls.)

Me: “Bore da. Good morning. [Tramway].”

Customer: “Hiya, yep; I wanna book my school onto the Tram.”

Me: “No problem. What dates did you have in mind?”

(The customer and I continue to exchange questions over the phone without a hitch until I get to the last question…)

Me: “And does your group have any other special requirements?”

Customer: “Yes, can you let me know if the wi-fi is charged separately?”

Me: “What wi-fi, Mrs [Customer]?”

Customer: “The built-in wi-fi on the Tram.”

Me: “Mrs [Customer], I’m afraid there isn’t wi-fi on the Victorian Tram.”

Customer: “Well, okay. Do you know if the in-built DVD drive can play a normal CD?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there is not a built-in DVD drive, either. The Tram is very old.”

Customer: “I KNOW it’s old. I wanted to play the children a clip from [TV show] which did a feature on the Tram; it says it has barely been altered mechanically since it opened. I thought the children could watch it whilst they were actually ON the tram.”

Me: “‘Barely altered’ includes not decking out the Tram with wi-fi, TVs or DVD players, Mrs [Customer]. Most people like to enjoy the views during the tram ride and we have [summit centre] with the facilities to play them if you want to show your presentation there before descending again?”

Customer: “No, I wanted them to see it on the Tram itself. I can’t believe it hasn’t had an upgrade.”

Me: “Lack of upgrade is sort of the point. I’m sorry I can’t help you. Would you still like me to confirm the booking?”

Customer: “Not yet, I’ll check with [Headteacher] first. He needs to know about this.”

(The headteacher phones back several days later to confirm, apologising for the teacher – whom he described as ‘a bit dipsy.’)

Those Kids And Their Googles

| NC, USA | Bizarre, Food & Drink, Technology

(The phone rings.)

Me: “Hello, circulation desk; how may I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, I was wondering if you could tell me what temperature I need to cook this turkey at?”

Me: “Ma’am, you realize this is a library, correct?”

Caller: “Yes, but can’t you use that Google thing the kids are talking about?”

A Functional Solution

| Grove, OK, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I manage a lease-to-own business and am listening in on one of my newer employees taking a phone call.)

Employee: “Yes, sir. Let me find out for you. Please hold.”

(The employee turns to me.)

Employee: “This customer says that his number pad or something like that on the laptop he’s leasing from us isn’t working. He was a bit hard to understand. He wants to know if we can fix it. Well, he actually wants us to replace the whole keyboard and give him a loaner laptop until it’s fixed. What should I tell him?”

Me: “This is unfortunately a common request. But, we don’t generally give loaner items for computers due to personal information being put on them. But, often computer issues are a fairly easy fix. Just let him know that he can bring the laptop in, and I’ll see what we can do.”

(I go back to training another of my employees on dealing with accounts. A short time after that the customer comes in and my sales/service manager speaks with him. I eavesdrop on the following:)

Customer: “Here it is. My brother was using it and all of the sudden the mouse thing stopped working. I’d like you to just give me another one.”

Sales Manager: “Well, let’s see what we can do!”

(They start taking the laptop out of the bag and getting all of the cords out. I look at the employee I’ve been training…)

Me: “I’ve got to take part in this.” *I walk out to the front counter*

Customer: “Yeah, the pointer thing works on the login screen. But, it just disappears as soon as the main screen loads. I just don’t understand what happened.”

(The sales manager is attempting to untangle the mess of power cords the customer handed him. I reach across my sales manager and hit the F5 key and then turn to the customer.)

Me: “There. All fixed!”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “It wasn’t broken. Your touch pad was turned off. If you look at the F5 key, you’ll see the touchpad on/off icon. When it’s pushed, it’ll either enable or disable the touchpad.”

Customer: *squints at keyboard keys* “You’re right. I can see it now.”

Me: “Makes it much simpler! Now you won’t need us to replace anything. Heck, you won’t even need a new computer! You have a nice day!”

(I walk back into my office and sit at my desk as quietly as possible until the customer has left. The sales manager comes into the room along with my two other employees. They all look at me as I burst into laughter.)

Employee: “You fixed that faster than he could even explain what the problem was! He was even requesting we give him a new one!”

Me: “He’s probably the third customer to do that very thing in just the last few weeks!!”

(I now plan on offering a simple ‘Computer Basics’ class to all of our customers who get computers from us!)

New Degrees Of Misunderstanding

| Wales, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work for a large UK retailer, who has just released a new tablet computer, providing technical support for the product. We’re encouraged to keep customers on the line during the first time setup. This happens just at the start of the call, when selecting a wireless network to connect to.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am. You’ll now see a screen that says ‘Select WiFi.’ Please find your home network connection and select it for me.”

Customer: “Found it! It’s asking for my password, I’ll just type that in… It says ‘Authenticating.’ Why is it saying that?”

(This always means the password was put in wrong. Usually it’s because the customer’s holding the tablet in landscape, and mistypes it.)

Me: “You might’ve accidentally typed the password in wrong. Forget the network and try again. Might I ask how you’re holding the [Tablet] right now?”

Customer: *sigh* “Landscape.”

Me: “Okay, if you could just hold it in portrait for me, just for this step.”

Customer: *long pause* “…How do I do that?”

Me: “Um… you turn it 90 degrees, ma’am. So that the camera’s on the side, instead of the top.”

Customer: *longer pause* “This is too complicated for me! I give up!” *click*

Yelling To A Fault

| Winnipeg, MB, Canada | Awesome Customers, Technology

Employee: “Hi, this is [Company]. How can I help you?”

Me: “I can’t connect to the Internet. I’ve checked my modem, and I think it’s working. Can you help me?”

Employee: “Let me check your location. Ah. A bolt of lightning hit a transformer in your area and fried the server. It’ll be out of commission for at least a few hours, I’m afraid.”

Me: “Bummer! Okay, thanks.”

Employee: “…That’s it? You’re not going to yell at me?”

Me: “Uh, no. It’s not your fault.”

Employee: “Well, yeah, but that’s never stopped anyone before!”

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