Best. Tech Support Call. Ever.

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Boobel | August 4, 2021

I work for an online gambling firm. Rather than having loads of varying departments, we try to resolve as much as possible with one agent to create a better customer experience to save transferring customers.

On my first day, I am listening in on someone taking the calls. A technical call comes in.

An elderly lady is calling up because her screen is flashing lots of different colours and is making a lot of noise, so she had to turn the sound off. The agent asks what she has been doing, and she starts navigating around the account details as the lady is detailing what she sees on her screen. She describes what sounds like a broken monitor, but it’s only just happened.

It sounds like the lady puts the phone down on a surface for a moment as we can hear her, muffled, in the background. This is when the agent I’m listening in on starts to go white. She taps my hand, and on the screen, she has highlighted the balance of the customer’s account.

It’s £297,000.

Immediately, the agent throws her hand in the air to alert everyone of a big win. People start crowding around the desk. I feel SO pumped.

The lady comes back onto the phone.

Lady: “Sorry, I went to get my glasses.”

Agent: *Very calmly* “I think I have found the problem, but I need you to turn your sound on.”

The sound is duly turned on, the agent hits the speakerphone button on her terminal, and we all hear the sound of party poppers and general celebration sounds. The flashing screen and the sounds were the notification that she had won a progressive jackpot. The agent asks her to sit down.

Agent: *Still calm* “You’ve won £297,000. I have never been so happy to confirm that there is no technical issue.”

The lady is quiet for several seconds before shouting:

Lady: “’Albert, quickly come here! ALBERT, ALBEEEERT!”

A senior agent took the call and arranged to get the funds sent out.

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You Did It! You’re A Hero!

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: Korochun | August 3, 2021

It’s an average post-holiday weekday afternoon at my work, which means that I am mostly hanging out, answering various questions from our first line of contact, clarifying department rules, and updating procedures. I am also checking up on various ancient work orders gathering dust in our queue, usually for lack of customer or management response, and indiscriminately nuking the ones that I can close due to lack of customer response while auto-repeating a stage in an ongoing mobile game event. Just your usual Tier III slow day help desk stuff.

An email chime rings.

My emails normally don’t have audio alerts, except for a select group of very high-ranked people who need urgent Tier-III attention to address their pressing problems, such as plugging in a monitor.

Among the team, I’m the one on actual emails and calls that afternoon, so I pop it open. Huh, it looks like our CEO is trying to join a conference via a specific app, but it’s just not working. Oh, and the conference started half an hour ago and they need someone to come up “in the next two minutes.” Call me crazy, but if I have an important conference coming up using a program that I have not tested before, I might call IT out BEFORE the conference starts.

As I enter the CEO’s office one walk up the stairs later, I discover that he’s got a whole setup going with a smartphone clamped in with actual proper hardware, good lighting, the whole thing. Frankly, I am impressed and relieved. This specific conferencing software doesn’t play well with our firewall sometimes, but if it goes out over the smartphone Wi-Fi, that’s way easier; they have their own, much laxer rules.

Me: “So can you tell me exactly what is wrong?”

He is in a hurry, and I figure we both have things we’d rather be doing that don’t involve making polite small talk for half an hour.

CEO: “My conference app is not working.”

He waves at the phone, which does indeed appear blank. The app is up, but other than the meeting name, it’s just basically blank. I can hear people on the other end, but no matter if I click camera or mic buttons, nothing happens. A suspicion forms in my head.

Me: “Okay, drop the session and start it again with me looking over your shoulder. Let’s go step by step.”

Everything goes perfectly fine, the app joins a meeting, he types out a name and — why the ever-loving f*** is he clicking “Don’t Allow” to every prompt that comes up?

Me: *Very diplomatically* “Why are you clicking ‘Don’t Allow’ to every prompt that comes up?”

CEO: “Oh, I was told I shouldn’t let apps access stuff on my phone.”

Me: “If you don’t let this conferencing app access your microphone or camera, it will not be able able to transmit anything using your microphone or camera.”

CEO: “Oh, is that how it works?”

Me: “Yeah. Let me reset your permissions in the settings… Here you go. Camera and audio feed. You are live.”

CEO: “Wow, you are great! I think they’ve been trying to solve my issue for over a year now with this phone app, and you fixed it in two minutes!”

Me: *Laughs* “No problem, you have a good day.”

Another horrible suspicion formed in my head.

Back at my desk, after restarting my mobile game stage — you have to have priorities — I started digging in the call logging system. Sure enough, there was a work order sent directly to our networking team, bypassing all normal channels — me — from fourteen months before, highest priority, with four different techs all going back and forth about how our CEO’s phone did not permit video and audio traffic from this conferencing app over our Wi-Fi network. Vendors were contacted, entire network closets were torn apart and put back together, and multiple Wi-Fi modems and APs were replaced. There were thousands of dollars and close to a thousand man-hours put in by people with six-digit salaries trying to fix this elusive issue.

All because none of these Senior Network Engineers had ever heard of Rule Zero: Don’t Trust The Customer.

As a Tier III tech, I have the ability to hijack assignments and make sure that everybody involved gets a message when I close the work order. This one was particularly satisfying to close, with a solution description saying, “Customer was denying permission to access phone resources to the app. No actual network issue is apparent. See Work Order [Number].”

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Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 44

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: msgbubba | August 3, 2021

A few years ago, I was working as tech support for a security system company.

Me: “Tech support, this is [My Name]. How can I help?”

Customer: “I was just looking to get help with setting up my cameras.”

Me: “I would definitely be happy to help. First, you are going to need to go to the camera and press and hold the WPS button until the LED is flashing blue.”

Customer: “Okay, the little light is flashing.”

Me: “Okay. Now I need you to go to your router and press and hold the button for three seconds.”

Customer: “My what?”

Me: “Your router — it’s the box for your Internet.”

Customer: “But I ordered the Wi-Fi.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I ordered the Wi-Fi; this system was supposed to have Wi-Fi.”

Me: *Facepalm* “Yes, the system is Wi-Fi capable, but you need to have Internet for it to work.”

Customer: “But is supposed to have Wi-Fi; that’s what I paid for.”

We go back and forth like this for a few minutes

Me: “Ma’am, you will need to get Internet for the cameras to work.”

Customer: “Then I just want to send them back.”

Me: “Sure thing. I will mail you a return label and you can send them back in the same box.”

Customer: “And could you cancel the Wi-Fi?”

Me: *Facepalm* “Yes, I’ll cancel the Wi-Fi.”

Customer: “Thank you.” *Click*

Me: *Long sigh*

Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 43
Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 42
Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 41
Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 40
Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 39

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The Masks Don’t Muffle These Idiots Enough

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: animasci_ | August 2, 2021

I’m a medical professional. I’ve been dealing with people who think the health crisis is a hoax or not serious, etc. I walk into a coffee shop and distance myself on the little circles they have that are six feet away from each other. There are just a few people in the store and it’s pretty big so, overall, I feel safe.

I’m minding my business when this woman walks in. I don’t notice her until I hear a barista say:

Barista: “Excuse me. You need a mask to be inside the store.”

I turn to witness a look of horror on this woman’s face, as if she didn’t see the countless signs stating you need a mask, and or she didn’t realize there was a health crisis.

Woman: “All I want is a coffee.”

Barista: “I’ll be happy to make you one when you put a mask on.”

Woman: “But—”

Me: “Nope.”

Woman: “What?”

Me: “Nope. These workers don’t get paid enough to make coffee and babysit children.”

Woman: “Excu—”

Me: “Nope.”

Woman: “I—”

Me: “Out.”

She goes to speak again.

Me: “Nope, out.”

It feels like I am talking to a misbehaving puppy, and she looks just as sad. She turns to the only line of defense she has left.

Woman: “I’ll get you fired!”

Me: “I don’t work here.”

Woman: “I’ll find your boss!”

Me: “I am my boss.”

She short-circuited, made a weird, grunting, angry sound, and left.

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His Hopes Of Getting Away With It Went Up In Smoke

, , , | Right | CREDIT: mstarrbrannigan | August 2, 2021

The head housekeeper texts me a picture from a nonsmoking room as evidence that the guest smoked in there. There’s an empty blunt package in the trash along with cigarette ash and burnt and unburnt bits of weed all over the desk. It also smells of smoke, though that’s complicated to document in a visual medium.

I go to charge the card, but no one is surprised it doesn’t go through for the full $250. I’m petty, so I go ahead and try a few increments down until the card goes through for a lousy $25. Oh, well, it’s our $25 now. If nothing else, it will inconvenience the a**hole.

Twenty minutes later, the guest calls, asking why I charged $25 to his card.

Me: “There was evidence of smoking in the room, so we had to charge you the smoking fee.”

Guest: “Smoking fee?”

Me: “Yes, when you checked in you signed a registration card and one of the things you agreed to was a $250 fee if you smoked in a nonsmoking room.”

Guest: “But the charge was $25.”

Me: “Yes, that’s all your card went through for.”

Guest: “But you said the fee for smoking in the room was $250?”

Me: “I guess you can come pay the rest in person if you want.”

He hangs up and honestly, I don’t think he is coming to pay the rest. I am right; he tries a different tactic. He calls and says he was supposed to be in a smoking room. I check and confirm that was not the case; he booked a nonsmoking room.

Guest: “But the girl at the front desk was supposed to have switched it to a smoking room.”

Me: “Regardless of what she was supposed to do, it was a clearly marked nonsmoking room and you agreed when he signed the registration card not to smoke in it.”

Guest: “That doesn’t count, because I didn’t read it!”

You may be aware that’s not how that works.

I basically repeatedly tell him that it doesn’t matter that he thought it was a smoking room, and the fact that he was so blatant about smoking in the room is not evidence that he thought it was a smoking room because plenty of people do that in nonsmoking rooms. He asks for managers’ names and my coworker’s name.

Me: “Tell you what, sir. Let me check the cameras from that time and see where the breakdown in communication happened. Depending on what exactly happened, I’ll see what I can do for you.”

Guest: “Well, I was outside, so…”

Me: “Oh, don’t worry. We have full audio on all our security cameras; I’ll be able to hear both sides of the conversation with no problem.”

I could hear his confidence just plummeting as he asked me how long that would take. I said maybe ten minutes tops; he said he’d call back in twenty.

As I went to have a look-see at the cameras and I texted the coworker who checked him in to see if she remembered the interaction at all. While he was perfectly friendly and all during check-in, there was no mention of a request to switch rooms. My coworker called me back and confirmed the same thing.

I wonder if he’s going to call back, or if he knows the game is over.

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