Internet Snark Provider

, , , , , | Right | March 26, 2020

(It is the early days of the Internet. The Internet provider for which I work is fairly small and only provides dial-up service. Customers have the option of telnetting into a shell account to connect. We also provide Internet service for a couple of local Internet cafes.)

Me: “Welcome to [ISP]. May I help you?”

Cafe Owner: “Hi, this is [Cafe Owner] at [Internet Cafe]. I have a customer who has an account with you and needs help getting into their shell account.”

Me: “Sure, just put them on the line.”

Customer: “Hi, can you help me?”

Me: “No problem.”

(I walk her through the not-too-complicated steps of opening a telnet session and signing in. This takes quite a while, as the customer isn’t familiar with the process at all.)

Me: “And now you’ll enter your username.”

Customer: “I don’t know what that is.”

Me: “Uh. Okay, well, it’s often the first initial and last name.” 

Customer: “All right.”

Me: “And then the password.”

Customer: “It’s not working.”

Me: “Are you sure you entered the password correctly?”

Customer: “Yeah. Oh, I know what it is. My account is at [Rival ISP].”

Me: “Sure. Uh, I’m not familiar with their information, but try [Rival ISP] dot net for the host?” *total stab in the dark*

Customer: “Oh, that worked. Great! Thank you so much!”

Me: “No problem, I’m glad to help. In the future, though, you might want to consider calling [Rival ISP] when you need help? They’re your provider and will have all the information you need.”

Customer: “WHAT?!”

(The customer abruptly flipped out on me, yelling and cursing, even though I had been nothing but polite throughout the whole transaction, and so had she, up until then. I had to put my manager on the phone, and he told her that she should have called her ISP in the first place!)

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