Caught In Her World Wide Web

, | Right | December 29, 2015

(I’m a supervisor at a retail office supply company that sells web hosting packages to the public. One of the perks of purchasing through our store and not direct from the web host is that the packages come with a setup feature that allows users who don’t know code to click and drag elements onto their page and create a professional looking site.)

Customer: “I want your deluxe web hosting package.”

Coworker: “That’ll be [total], and here’s a print out telling you how you can get started setting up your website at home! If you have any questions, just call the web host’s customer service number and they’ll be happy to help.”

(The client pays for his purchase, then stands at the register and stares at my coworker.)

Coworker: “Was there something else?”

Customer: “Well, obviously. I need to know when you’re going to design my site for me!”

Me: “Sir, those packages are designed so that customers can set everything up from home. That’s what makes them different from a lot of other companies who sell web hosting packages. You don’t need to know any code to set your site up. It’s really very easy and the web host’s customer service agents can help you if you get stuck!”

(The customer becomes angry.)

Customer: “You didn’t tell me I had to do it myself! I paid for a website package! You should set it up FOR me!”

Me: “Sir, what you paid for was the web domain, a custom email, and space on the Internet to display your information about your company. We’re just [Store] employees; we aren’t web designers.”

Customer: “Unacceptable! You can’t just sell website packages to people and expect them to do it themselves!”

(This continues in a similar fashion for several minutes, while my co-worker tries to explain the whole idea of the web host’s package and how it’s user-friendly, even for people without any experience with HTML or CSS. Eventually, I make a decision.)

Me: “Look, we generally aren’t supposed to do this, but we’ll make an exception this time. My associates will help you set up the site, but it costs an additional fee for every half hour they spend working on the site setup.”

(Thankfully we had a miscellaneous $29.99 UPC which we were permitted to use for generic computer repairs at the tech repair desk. This customer ended up paying roughly $1 USD per minute for something he could have easily done himself!)

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