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Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 28

, | Germany | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I get a call in the second level about a customer who’s calling for the sixth time today because her Internet isn’t working. The first level coworker doesn’t explain what she’s found out about her problem, only warns me that the customer is really irate.)

Me: “Hello, this is [ISP] tech support. I hear your Internet isn’t working.”

Caller: “That’s right! I can’t go online, and you guys haven’t called me back! I spoke to [Coworker] today at 09:30 and he said you would call me and then you didn’t! This is outrageous!”

Me: “Ma’am, [Coworker] indeed did try to call you, repeatedly. It says in the ticket that at first you didn’t pick up and then the line was constantly busy.”

Caller: “Nonsense! I would have known if anyone had called! You’re just lying!”

Me: “I really have no other way of knowing if he called, only his notes. Let me just look at your line now and try and get you back online.”

(This calms her down, especially after I have to tell her to hang up so I can check her line. I see right away that her DSL signal is there and there are no other problems in the line that could prevent her from going online. It remains to check if her router dials in, so I call her again.)

Me: “Good news, ma’am. Your line is up and running.”

Caller: “Bull-s***! I’m still not online!”

Me: “I wanted to see why that is. Can you describe me once again the lights on your router?”

Caller: “The upper one is on, and the one all the way down is also on, but the others are off.”

Me: “Can you tell me again what model router you’re using?”

Caller: “It’s [Model].”

(Note that it is a brand that our ISP stopped selling about six years ago and it’s not been in support for more than a year, so I can’t connect the customer with the device support hotline.)

Me: “All right… So, the upper light means the device is on AND that it gets a stable signal. The lower light is the Wifi symbol; it means the device’s wireless network is active. So all we need to do is try and log your account in again. Sometimes the devices just erase them. I usually don’t do this, but I’ll make an exception just this time for you.”

Caller: “Okay, tell me how to do it.”

Me: “First, can you tell me how your computer is connected to the router? With a cable or wireless?”

Caller: “I don’t have a computer.”

Me: *after a slight pause* “How do you use the Internet?”

Caller: “With my iPad.”

Me: “All right, that should do it. If you could please get the iPad and open your browser—”

Caller: “Browser? What is that?”

Me: “The program you use for the Internet.”

Caller: “That’s Google. You should know this! Are you stupid?”

Me: “…”

(We couldn’t get her online. I gave up after I realized she had no idea how to open a website with Safari, which I somehow managed to locate. I got yelled at the whole time.)

Related:
Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 27
Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 26
Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 25

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Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 14

, | Houston, TX, USA | Extra Stupid, Popular, Technology

(I work for a large cell phone provider.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Cell Phone Provider]. This is [My Name]. How may I assist you today?”

Caller: “Yes. Every time my phone rings and I try to answer it, my phone shuts off. It happens every time.”

Me: “Well, that is pretty odd. Let me see if I can figure out what the issue with your handset is.”

(After spending almost an hour trying to look up account info and diagnose what could possibly be wrong with this woman’s phone with no luck, I am about to give up and replace the phone.)

Me: “So that I can write up in your account what exactly is happening so we can replace your phone, what button are you pushing when trying to answer the phone?”

Caller: “The ‘Push When Ringing’ button.”

Me: “I’m sorry, which button?”

Caller: “’Push When Ringing.’ You know? P-W-R.”

Me: “I think I know the problem…”

Related:
Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 13
Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 12
Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 11

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Can’t Get With The Program(ming)

| Boise, ID, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I receive a phone call from a user who is trying to get admin privileges on his computer and he needs assistance with getting the update for those privileges.)

Me: “Sir, I need you to open a program for me called Command Prompt. To open it, can I have you click on Start?”

User: “I am the engineering lead for three departments and have a degree in computer programing. Do not patronize me and assume I don’t know how to open Command Prompt. I have it open now.”

Me: “All right, sir, can I have you do a Group Policy update?”

User: “Okay.”

(Wait…)

User: “The command failed.”

Me: “Okay. Just to verify, what did you type in for the command?”

User: “’Update.’”

Me: “Sir, let’s try this instead: ‘gpupdate /force’.”

User: “’gp/force’.”

Me: “No, sir.” *I spell it phonetically*

User: “’gpupdat /for’.”

Me: “Like this, sir.” *spells it again*

User: *angrily* “There. I got it.”

Me: “All right, sir, now we need to restart the computer.”

User: “Why?”

Me: “For the group policy to apply, just like you learned in programming.”

User: “We didn’t use Command Prompt in programming.”

Me: “…”

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The Final Word On Passwords, Part 4

| MS, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I often have to reset passwords on various systems. Because of strict password restrictions, these systems require lowercase, CAPS, numbers, etc. To make it easy on users, we always reset to “Password123” without quotes. This is a very typical phone call:)

Me: “All right, I’ve reset your password. The new password is ‘Password123’ with a capital ‘P’.”

User: “That didn’t work.”

Me: “Are you sure you typed it in correctly? It’s the word ‘Password’ with only the ‘P’ capitalized and the numbers ‘123’ after. There are no spaces.”

User: “No, that still didn’t work. Do I have to type in my username?”

Me: “Yes, you use your same username, and where it asks for the password, it’s ‘Password123’ with the ‘P’ capitalized.”

User: “I know; I’m typing in what you tell me but it isn’t working.”

Me: “Are you sure your CAPS Lock is not on?”

User: “Yes, I’m sure.”

Me: “Can you tell me exactly what you are typing in as you type it?”

User: “p-a-s-s-w-o-r-d-1-2-3-c-a-p-i-t-a-l-p”

Me: “Okay, it isn’t the phrase “capitalp” at the end. The word ‘Password’ has a capitalized letter ‘P’ at the beginning.”

User: “Oh! Okay. P-p-a-s-s-w-o-r-d-1-2-3. Nope, that still didn’t work.”

Related:
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 3
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 2
The Final Word On Passwords

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Out Of Control Panel

, | Portugal | Technology

(I work in a tech support company that is outsourced by some of the largest ISPs in the country to provide IT support to their customers. The average customer knows almost nothing about computers. This is a sample of a conversation that happens with several customers, too often to count…)

Tech: “All right, now I’m going to ask you to open the start menu and go to the Control Panel.”

Customer: “So where do I click?”

Tech: “The start menu.”

Customer: “And where is that?”

Tech: “It’s that little round button with the Windows flag on it, usually on the lower left corner of your screen.”

Customer: “So, do I open the Internet?”

Tech: “No, the start menu.”

Customer: “…”

Tech: “Do you see the time and date? On the lower right corner?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Tech: “On the opposite end of the task bar, which has the time and date… all the way to the left… What do you see?”

Customer: “I see… Oh, I see a ball with a Windows symbol inside. Is that it?”

Tech: “Yes. Click there, please.”

Customer: “Do I click once or twice?”

Tech: “Once.”

Customer: “Left or right mouse button?”

Tech: “Left.”

Customer: “Ok, I clicked it. It opened a rectangle on the left with many options.”

Tech: “Ok, so if you look closely you’ll see that rectangle is divided in two columns, correct?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Tech: “And on the right column you can read ‘Documents’, ‘Pictures’, ‘Computer’, etc… And if you continue going down you’re going to find the Control Panel.”

Customer: *taking an unusual amount of time to read half a dozen options on a menu…* “Oh, yes, I see it. Do I click it?”

Tech: “Yes, please.”

Customer: “Once or twice?”

Tech: “Once.”

Customer: “Left or right mouse button?”

Tech: “Left.”

(By now, it had been like five minutes, and all we had managed to do was open the Control Panel. And that was when we were lucky enough to manage even that! These calls weren’t free. And we often had to hear the customers complaining that they’re “spending a lot of money and the problem hasn’t been solved yet!”  Well, at this pace, it’s no wonder…)

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