A Sudden Surge In Enquiries

, , , , , | Right | June 22, 2017

(I am the technical support supervisor for a game company that was the first to allow multiple players to play games like Diablo. To use the service you have to download the executable, then run it; the server checks the executable to make sure it’s okay (to avoid viruses, etc.) and then you are taken online to match up with someone to play a game. We get a lot of trash talking from people who don’t know we have their home addresses, but this is about a very special customer unfamiliar with weather systems.)

Me: “Hello, you’ve reached [Company]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “My download stopped and I don’t know how to restart it.”

Me: “Okay, that’s a very common issue.” *explains how to restart the download*

Customer: “Thanks!”

(The customer hangs up. Two minutes later:)

Me: “Hello—”

Customer: “I’m so glad it’s you! It stopped again.”

Me: “So you need me to tell you how to start it again?”

Customer: “Yes, please.”

(I repeat my earlier instructions. We sign off. Five minutes later:)

Customer: “Hi, its me again!”

Me: “Ma’am, if I might ask, what keeps causing you to stop downloading?”

Customer: “The power keeps going out.”

Me: “You should really talk to your electric company; you could be getting surges on the line that are harmful to your computer or other electronic devices with the power flickering on and off.”

Customer: “Oh, the power company can’t help me. We’re in the middle of a severe tropical storm.”

Me: “You’re trying to download a game client in your house in the middle of a hurricane?”

(At this point my coworkers hear me, and all start laughing. Loudly.)

Customer: “Yes. Are people laughing at me?”

Me: “No, someone just said something funny.” *technically true* “Ma’am, you need to get off the phone and turn off your computer. You could be getting surges from the storm down your phone line or in your electrical system—”

Customer: “I’m fine! I have a surge protector. Oh. There go the lights again. Maybe I should write down how to restart the download?”

Me: “Ma’am. Get. Off. The. Phone. Turn off all your powered electronics. Huddle in the dark with a flashlight and read.”

Customer: “But I have a—”

Me: “Yes, surge protector. I know. Won’t help.”

Customer: “Can you please just give me the directions so when the lights come back on I can try again?”

Me: *trying hard not to sigh heavily* “Yes, ma’am.”

(I gave her the instructions, having to pause briefly because she couldn’t see well in the dark, and then finished and hung up the phone. My coworkers continued to repeat “In a hurricane?!” throughout the rest of the day.)