They’re Crossing A Line

, , , | Right | June 28, 2018

Me: “Hello, you’re through to [Tech Support]; [My Name] speaking. Can I start by taking your name, please?”

Caller: “Hello? I have lines on my screen; how much to fix, please?”

Me: “Right, okay, not a problem. I’d love to help you out, but I need to take some details from you first, please, so I can update my system.”

Caller: “Oh, okay. I have lines on my screen, though.”

Me: “Okay, that’s great. I understand that, but I want to get your details down first, before we start.”

(I eventually give up trying to take her details down. We have some difficulty communicating, as English is not her first language.)

Me: “What we can do is get your SMC reset; it won’t delete anything. It’s a great place to start to troubleshoot these lines that appear on your screen.”

Caller: “No, no, no, no, no! I have lines on my screen! I have Apple appointment; I want price from you for fixing my Apple.”

Me: “Okay, that’s great, but I won’t be able to give you a price because I do not repair the devices; take it into the store and they will tell you. But I can try and do some more troubleshooting with you to see if we can fix it with you on the phone now, and it could save you a journey.”

Caller: “Okay, but I have lines on the screen, though.”

Me: “I understand that. Can you tell me what they look like. Are they vertical lines or horizontal lines in the graphics on your screen?”

Caller: “Yes, they are like that, but I want to know price for repair. Or do you just replace Apple?”

Me: “No, we wouldn’t replace the item; we would repair the device. We can try to reset some information on your hardware side of things to see if this can help at all. We can try this now if you would like—”

Caller: “Oh, okay, but I have cracks on my screen, not graphics lines.”

Me: *sigh* “Why did you not say that to begin with? Please go to your appointment and speak to the experts there. Thank you and goodbye.”

It’s Not Just The LED That Is Dim

, , , | Right | June 22, 2018

(As a second-level line technician at this ISP, I get a call from the first level about a customer who can’t get online; after that, the customer, a nice older lady, is transferred to me, as well. The troubleshooting begins…)

Caller: “You know, this morning I could still talk on the phone with my nephew. He called me at 9:30! And about 20 minutes after that, I tried to call him back and I couldn’t, and then I saw that the Internet is down, too.”

(This customer has upgraded to VoIP, which must be installed everywhere in Germany by 2017, so her phone conversations use the Internet.)

Me: “All right, ma’am, let’s see what caused this. Can you tell me the model of your router, and which LED lights are on?”

Caller: “Yes, it’s a [Company Brand] router. Only the power light is on, but the link light is on-and-off, and when it’s on it’s very dim!”

(This is the first time someone has told me their light is “dim.” After almost an hour of troubleshooting and establishing that there is nothing wrong with their connection or signal:)

Me: “It seems it’s a problem with the device itself. Hold on, and I’ll transfer you to a device technician to take a look at it.”

(This ISP has call centers all around Germany, so it’s the norm to get coworkers from other ends of the country when transferring someone. This time, however, I happen to get a coworker in the same office as me, who sits a pair of rows away.)

Me: “Oh, [Coworker], so glad I got you on the phone; I know you’re up to this. See, this old lady can’t go online anymore. Her line is all right, but her device behaves weirdly. Somehow the whole home network is down. Can you please take a look? Thank you.”

(I then go on about my business and forget about the entire thing. About 40 minutes later, my coworker stops me as I walk by.)

Coworker: “I’m so mad at you for that call! Do you know what happened?”

Me: “Um, no?”

Coworker: “Turns out the old lady’s husband tried the ‘reset’ button on the router because he thought that would update his device!”

Me: “I… I need to sit down.”

Coworker: “Yes… and I’m going for a smoke, because I need it.”

404 Error: Brain Not Found

, , , , | Right | June 21, 2018

(I’m the brain-dead customer in this one. I had new Internet service set up today, but when I try using it, the speed is less than 10% of what it should be, so I call the cable company I subscribe through. After explaining the situation:)

Representative: “What are you trying to connect to?”

Me: “The Internet.”

Representative: *pause* “I know that.”

(I have no defense to offer for myself.)

Unfiltered Story #114797

, , | Unfiltered | June 17, 2018

(I am working as a copier service rep, doing regular maintenance and service calls. Sometimes, the maintenance, or repair requires the machine to be taken apart. On occasion, a customer will enter the room where I have dismantled the copier, with parts and tools every where and would say:)

Customer: “Oh, my dear Lord!”

Me: “Wow, thank you but, just call me [My Name]. It’s sufficient.”

(The customer just laughs it off. The situation happened once while one of my supervisors, a joker himself, is with me. He cracks up, saying:)

Supervisor: “I have to remember that one!”

(That helped deal with “not so great” customers, like that one, calling non stop for the same reason:

[customer] “The copier states that it’s out of toner.”

[me] “Well… did you add some?”

[customer] “No. You think it will fix the problem?”

Don’t Even Start With Me

, , , | Healthy | June 15, 2018

(I work in IT for a medical laboratory, and part of my job is to troubleshoot connections between medical devices and our software. The medical devices themselves are not ours to manage, however. I get this call one morning:)

Lab Tech: “Hi, my machine is not working. Could you help me, please?”

Me: “Sure! What device, and what seems to be wrong?”

Lab Tech: “It’s [Device], and I don’t know; it’s just doing nothing.”

Me: “Okay, let me check.”

(I see nothing wrong with my monitoring. However, our connectors have a tendency to need regular reboots, as they’re quite old and tend to give us trouble, so I’m expecting it to be something wrong with our equipment.)

Me: “Can you please reboot the connector? The one behind your machine.”

Lab Tech: “Sure, give me a sec.”

(My monitoring starts showing its usual shutdown and boot-up messages.)

Me: “Okay, looks good. Can you try the device again?”

Lab Tech: “Nope, still nothing.”

(I try every trick in the book to get the device to work, including having her reboot the medical device itself, which is kind of a last solution, since they’re not ours to troubleshoot. Nothing ever seems wrong on my end, but the lab tech still says it’s not working. This goes on for FIVE HOURS! I’m way past desperation point, when I ask her to walk me through every step of her process to see where exactly it hangs.)

Lab Tech: “Well, I put my samples in the tray…” *pause*

Me: “Yes, and then?”

Lab Tech: “Well, that’s supposed to be it…” *pause* “Oh, wait… I didn’t press the start button.” *pause, then my monitoring starts flooding with orders* “Now it’s working.”

Me: *screaming internally but somehow managing to keep my cool* “Well, there you go. Have a nice day.” *hangs up*

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