The Network Is Working

, , , , | Right | June 6, 2017

(A user calls because he isn’t able to login.)

Me: “Okay, sir, I checked your account and unfortunately your account was disabled. You will need to contact your manager, [Name], and ask him to send a re-enabling request.”

Caller: “Oh. Can’t you just reset my password? I really just need to check few things really quickly.”

Me: “That is not the problem. Your account is disabled. I cannot do anything. Your manager has to send the request.”

Caller: “But I just need this few things and I do not have the number.”

Me: “No problem; I may send email to your manager or call him if you want. I recognize his name; he does this all the time.”

Caller: “But I’m not in the company anymore. He wouldn’t do it.”

Me: “Oh. Do you see the message saying this system is only for employees?”

Caller: “So? I was an employee.”

Me: “But you aren’t anymore. I cannot let you in.”

Caller: “Can you find the information I need?”

Me: “Well… I’m not supposed to do it but okay. What do you need?”

Caller: “I need phone numbers and emails for everyone in [Department].”

Me: “I see. Sorry, I cannot provide this. But you know what? I will send email to your former manager and ask him. Maybe he will send it to you.”

Caller: “No, he wouldn’t. Just let me in for few minutes or I will make sure you will be fired.”

Me: “For doing my job? Okay, have fun with it.”

Caller: *click*

A Live Picture Of Bad Customer Service

| Montreal, QC, Canada | Working | May 30, 2017

(It’s early 2002, and I’ve had a digital camera for about two years (1Mpix) that I paid over $300 for. At one point, as soon as I put it in “picture” mode, it beeps for two seconds and shuts down. I can use it to look at pictures already taken, but can’t take any pictures. Being a techno-guy, I do the first basic tests: clean the memory card, put in fresh batteries, and so forth, to no avail. I go on the Internet and find an e-mail support address. I write in the details of the problem, including all the tests I’ve made, and emphasising that I’ve had that camera for two years and have taken close to 2000 pictures with it, so I kinda know my way around how to operate it, empty the memory card, and replace the batteries. About half an hour later, I receive an email:)

Tech Support: “Have you tried to put in fresh batteries? Is the memory card full?” *and so on*

Me: “Please, take the time to fully read the first e-mail before answering.”

Tech Support: *half an hour later* “Oh, this seems to be a more serious problem. Please call tech support at [number].”

(So I do. I explain the problem to the tech.)

Tech: “That’s impossible.”

(I put the camera next to the phone, press the button. The camera beeps for two seconds and you could hear the mechanism of the lens protector closing.)

Me: “You heard that?”

Tech: “Er… yes I heard that. Seems to be a very serious problem. You will probably have to replace it, but since it’s out of warranty, we have a fix repair price of $250, and you’ll get a refurbished one.”

Me: “Say what? It will cost me $250 to have a refurbished one? You do realize that this camera is two years old, and as of today, I can have a 2Mp camera with better zoom and features for $200?”

Tech: “I’m sorry, sir, but that’s policy.”

Me: “Okay then. I’ll throw this one into the garbage can and will get myself a new one, and I’ll make sure it’s not [Brand].”

Tech: “Whatever you wish, sir. Have a nice day.”

(After buying a new camera, having nothing to lose, I try some “percussive maintenance” on it, slamming it on a table, gently at first, with no results, then up to as hard as I can, until it works! My girlfriend has a good laugh about it. I throw it in the bottom of a drawer and forget about it, until a year later when a relative is visiting us and wishes she could get herself one of those new digital cameras. I fetch it from the drawer, put in fresh batteries, and turn it on. It fails. I slam it on the counter, and it works again. I hand it to my relative.)

Me: “Here, take that one. You see how it works? If it beeps, slam it.”

(She looked at me with wide eyes, but with her sister (my girlfriend) acknowledging that it was true, took the camera, which worked like that for a year or so. The last time she slammed it, the colours went greenish and she bought a new one. Not that brand, however.)

How To Run An Idiot Survey

, | Dallas, TX, USA | Right | May 25, 2017

(I work at one of the largest real estate and property management firms in the world as a help desk analyst. Now and then IT security will send out a fake phishing email to test users and to educate them on phishing messages. These usually have some enticing message with a link that leads to a video that educates the users on phishing, including why they should NOT have clicked on the link. This morning, they apparently felt like we weren’t getting enough calls and sent out one of their messages. This one said that management wanted to have the employees take a survey to make sure they are meeting the needs of the employees (that should have been the first clue). After taking the survey the employee might get a gift card (yay, another clue!). Throughout the morning the calls were all very straightforward, and then this call happens.)

Me: “Thank you for calling the service desk. My name is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, I received an email about an employee survey, but when I clicked the link it just gave me a video. There was no survey! Can you help?”

Me: “The email that you received was a test and educational message that was sent out from INFOSEC. The video just goes over the dangers of clicking links in emails from unknown senders, especially those that promise things like gift cards.”  *thinking she is afraid there might be a virus or something* “There is no danger to your computer and we don’t need to run any virus scan. Everything is okay.”

Caller: “I watched the video, but it never gave me the survey! I think there is something wrong with the survey.”

Me: “Ma’am, the video is all there is. It’s just to educate you about phishing. It even explained in the video why the email you received should have been deleted.”

Caller: “So you mean there is no employee survey?”

Me: “No… There is no survey. Just the video telling you that you did bad by clicking on the link. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

Caller: “No, but I still want the survey.”

Me: “Thank you for calling.”

(Some people simply cannot be helped.)

Let’s Just Inter-NOT!

| MI, USA | Working | May 10, 2017

Employee: “Good afternoon. My name is [Employee]; how can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, hello, I believe there is a problem with my broadband. I can connect to the Internet just fine but once a few of us get on a game at the same time we start lagging very badly.”

Employee: “So there is a problem with your Internet?”

Me: “No the Internet works just fine; it’s the broadband.”

Employee: “So… what’s wrong with your Internet?”

Me: “No. It’s not the Internet. Let me say it another way. Let’s say you have a garden hose and water is coming out. Well, I have three people trying to use that water at the same time. I want to find out if there is a way to increase it to a fire hose. A lot more water coming through the line at once.” *to myself* “Maybe it’s my router… Their crappy black box is probably the problem.”

Employee: “So… your Internet has a problem?”

Me: “You know what… I think I figured out my problem… thanks.” *click*

Me: *to my friend* “Hey, guess what? I had to explain to an Internet provider help desk employee how broadband works…”

The Grandchildren Login At Different Priorities

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Right | May 5, 2017

(I work full-time at home with a well-known global company, troubleshooting my customer’s technical issues across several device platforms. I recently became trained into another department, and encounter a customer with login issues. As we are screen sharing:)

Me: “I’m just confirming that you want to have your login password separate to your online account password?”

Customer: “Yes, I am concerned someone in the family might get access as I have grandchildren and this is a brand new computer!”

Me: “Not a problem! Are you aware of what the password for your other account is?”

Customer: “Yes, but I really don’t want to associate my computer login with that account. Some other advisors helped me set this up yesterday; I sometimes have issues when the computer goes to sleep.”

Me: “I think I know where to go. Could you please follow my pointer up to the system preferences option? And then click users and groups. We can change your password here.”

(I sensed a bit of nervousness from the customer in case she couldn’t login.)

Customer: “Are you positive I will be able to login after this?”

Me: “That’s why I’m here to make sure you do! Okay, if you click the change password option, it will prompt you to enter your existing online one and a new password for your computer. It can be anything of your choosing.”

(Queue customer entering her password clue as “number one grandchild.”)

Me: “I hope your other grandkids don’t see this or they might be jealous!”

(The customer broke down in a superb fit of laughter that took a good five minutes to recover from! And all I said was to not let the grandkids see. I won her over and solved both her issues.)

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