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They Have The Drive To Learn, But No Actual Drive

, , , , , | Right | March 20, 2023

This story is from the late 1990s. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were just becoming popular. In addition to your national ISP, there were regional and local ISPs. They all sent out a disk to load the software onto your computer so you could dial in using a modem.

I had just started to work for a regional ISP as tier one — the first point of contact — tech support. When anyone called in, they got me — or one of the other 100 people employed at my level.

One day, I got a call.

Caller: “I have your disc and a modem. How do I get online?”

Me: “Put the disk into the CD drive and follow the instructions on the screen.”

Caller: “What’s a CD drive?”

After several minutes of this and explaining how to find the CD drive, I slowly came to the realization that the customer didn’t actually have a computer. This is not what surprised me. What did surprise me is that he had a modem and knew he needed it to get online.

Me: “How did you get the modem?”

Caller: “I went into the local computer store, I told them I’d gotten this disk in the mail and I wanted to get online, and I asked what I needed. And the sales associate there said I needed a modem, so he sold me a modem.”

Me: “Did they ask what type of computer you have?”

Caller: “No.”

Me: “Do you have a computer?”

Caller: “No.”

Me: “Well, to use our CD, you have to have a computer with a CD drive so it can read the CD, and the computer will then use the modem and our software from the CD to dial into our server to get you onto the Internet. Do you still have all the packaging for the modem?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “Pack it back up go to the store to return it, leave, and then go to one of their competitors and tell them you need a computer that can get you online.”

I further explained that he’d need a computer, desktop or tower, and a monitor and that a good computer would have an internal modem, so he wouldn’t need to buy an external modem and it’d come with a keyboard and mouse. The customer was annoyed that he couldn’t get online at that moment but was appreciative that I took the time to explain what he needed.

It’s been long enough that I don’t remember for sure if he ended up calling back to get set up, but I do know that a few days later when I went in and checked, he did have an account set up, associated with the number he had called in on.

Isn’t It Literally Your Job To “Figure It Out”?

, , , , , , , | Working | March 18, 2023

I had issues with [Phone Provider] after moving house which culminated in replacing much of our ten-year-old home equipment with upgraded versions. The issue was escalated to a case manager who provided close to $1,000 in credits once resolved.

Once the bill is issued, I try to view it to work out whether I need to pay anything this month, but I can’t see it on the app or a browser.

I contact tech support and they have me do the usual troubleshooting: uninstall the app and reinstall it. (That doesn’t explain the browser issues, but okay.) After several different steps, they escalate it to their IT team.

After ten days and still no action, the person I dealt with suggests raising a complaint to have a case manager assigned — it worked last time? — so we do.

The case manager is pleasant enough and contacts me several times over a period of weeks, each time to let me know there isn’t an update but that he will follow up with the tech team.

Twenty-five days in, the case manager calls me and tries the same troubleshooting steps we did on day one. (I’ve been doing this regularly just to check.)

I mention that we’ve uninstalled the app a couple of times already and ask how to do another step on my phone. (It turns out it’s a PC step, not meant for phone troubleshooting.)

Case Manager: “You’re smart; you figure it out.”

After several rounds of him giving a similar attitude, I reluctantly ask for his manager.

Case Manager: “You can call the ombudsman. I will not connect you with a supervisor.”

Me: “Can I have the number for the ombudsman, then?”

Case Manager: “You’re smart; figure it out.”

So I did.

Lodging a complaint with the ombudsman took less than five minutes, and they assured me someone would call soon.

A day later, someone did. They apologised for the experience and asked me to try logging in online and tell them if I could see my services. I explained that I could see my services, and it was only when I tried to view my bill that the services disappeared.

The employee immediately figured out the issue and checked my profile to see that my account had been linked to another account with no services or billing and all online services were showing me the other account, which is why I couldn’t see my bill. She showed me how to change the account and I could again see my bill!

From beginning to end, this person listened to my issue, confirmed what had been tried, and walked me through trying other steps. The entire call lasted less than twenty minutes, and after twenty-six days, the issue was resolved by a non-tech person — meaning this could have been resolved on day one if the original person had taken a little more time to understand the issue.

She finished up by saying they’d go back and listen to the call from the day prior, and she applied another $200 credit to my bill!

Not A Loud Signal

, , , , | Right | March 15, 2023

A user submits a ticket because the Wi-Fi signal near their desk appears weak when they look at their laptop. The actual performance is fine, but they want to get ahead of the issue. Their desk is directly below a router and should have full bars.

I grab my laptop and my cell phone and head over to the user’s desk. I imagine it’s not going to be long before other users in the area start complaining, and I’d better be prepared to open a war room if needed.

Me: “So, can you show me what’s going on?”

User: *Pointing* “Look, the Wi-Fi is weak!”

They point to the Wi-Fi icon on their screen. Except it’s not the Wi-Fi icon. They’re not looking at one signal bar as they claimed; the Wi-Fi is working fine.

Me: “Sir, that’s the volume icon. It’s set at 10%.”

They were very quiet after that — ironically.

At Least It Wasn’t OVER 9,000!!!!

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: CrazybloxianEmpireNS | March 10, 2023

I get a ticket from an employee.

Employee: “My hard drive is almost full. Can you help?”

Me: “Okay. What have you been doing lately on the PC that is taking up so much space? For example, have you been downloading a lot of files lately? When did you last clear your cache?”

And so on.

I remote in, go into the browser, and clear the cache, but [Employee] is still uncomfortable with the free space on their drive. I clear the %temp% folder. [Employee] is still uncomfortable with the remaining free space.

Concerned something might be wrong, I start running a security scan on [Employee]’s PC. For a while, the filenames being shown are all similar. They go like file1.txt, file2.txt, and I think it stops at around file5000.txt. I then check the files, and yup, they take up a lot of space.

Me: “Why do you have 5,000 copies of the same file?”

Employee: “I was trying to back it up.”

Apparently, keeping 5,000 copies of the same file was a good way to do so, and they didn’t get the meaning of “have multiple copies of your data”.

Trying not to laugh over the call, I simply told the employee that they could upload the file to the network drive. [Employee] then uploaded the file to the drive and deleted the 4,999 copies of the same file.

Now, they were comfortable with the free space on their drive. I ended the call and closed the ticket, and hopefully, they won’t make the same mistake again.

Taking It Down To The Wire, Part 2

, , , , , | Working | March 9, 2023

I work in internal IT for a retail company. A coworker related this call to me one day from a user who was working from home.

Coworker: “Thank you for calling the service desk. How can I assist?”

User: “My Internet’s running really slowly on my computer.”

Coworker: “Okay, are any of the other devices in your house having the same issue or is it just your company computer?”

User: “Nothing is working! Why can’t this stupid thing work? You need to fix my Internet!”

Coworker: “Okay, let’s try rebooting your router and see what happens.”

User: “What’s that?”

Coworker: “The box where you get your Internet?”

User: “I don’t have one of those.”

Coworker: “How do you get Internet?”

User: “I use my neighbor’s Internet.”

Coworker: “Can you ask them if they’re having any interruptions?”

User: “They don’t know that I use it.”

Coworker: “…Um, sir, that’s… that’s stealing. I can’t do anything about that.”

User: “Just fix my Internet! It’s not that hard! Do whatever you have to do to make this work!”

Coworker: “Sir, we are not an ISP, and even if we were, I can’t make something work that you don’t own. You’ll either need to talk to your neighbor or call your local Internet provider and get your own setup.”

The user then apparently yelled about how it was such an easy fix and hung up.

Taking It Down To The Wire