In an era when smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous, it’s still a surprise to find people who aren’t familiar with how a computer or a mobile phone works. Here are a few funny anecdotes of customers that made tech support and customer service weep while laughing so hard.
Long Distance Charges for Email and Overseas Websites?
Customer: “My youngest son was surfing the web last night and to my shock he was at a British comedy site.”
Tech Support: “Yes, what is the problem?”
Customer: “The ‘.uk’ at the end — doesn’t that stand for United Kingdom?”
Tech Support: “Yes.”
Customer: “Just great — I knew it! He’s in trouble now! He was there for almost a half hour! How much does AOL charge for long distance?”
Tech Support: “It does not work that way. You can surf anywhere without long distance charges.”
Customer: “No, I am sure AOL charges extra. It doesn’t make any sense that they wouldn’t. England is a long way away, they would lose millions not to.”
After trying to explain how the web worked, the customer refused to take my word and said she was going to call AOL. A while later she called back.
Customer: “Well, AOL said you were correct; no long distance charge for overseas websites. I do have another question I thought of after I hung up with AOL.”
Tech Support: “Yes?”
Customer: “Do you think they charge extra for long-distance email?”
Tech Support: “Trust me — they don’t.”
Customer: “Wonderful! My oldest son works in Sweden. He sends us email, but I was always afraid to reply because I didn’t know how much it would cost, so I just called him on the phone. This will save us lots of money! Still, if AOL was smart they would charge for this service.”
Your Store is Too Far Away, That’s Why!
(FROM THE AUTHOR: My phone is on a two-year contract, and about three months before my upgrade is available, my phone starts to malfunction. Though my hopes aren’t high for fixing the phone or getting my upgrade early, I visit the local Phone Company store to figure out my options. While I’m there, I overhear a conversation between another customer and representative.)
Customer: “So you’re saying that your service is terrible? You won’t help me?”
Employee: “That’s not what I’m saying at all, sir. Your cell phone is so old that I’ve honestly never seen it before. Unfortunately, it’s going to have some problems getting service in some places. If you aren’t near any towers, sometimes the signal gets weaker–”
Customer: “It’s because your store is too far away from my house!”
Employee: “Uh. No, sir. It’s not a matter of distance from the [Phone Company] store. It’s the distance from a [Phone Company] tower. If you let me know where you’re having trouble getting service, I can call someone and have them visit the area to check the signal–”
Customer: “So you’re not going to help me?”
Employee: “I AM trying to help you, sir. The problem is that we have a lot of variables here. It’s possible the reason you’re not getting service in that area is that there’s no tower nearby, or it could be because your phone is old—”
Customer: “Fine! If you’re not going to help me, maybe I’ll just swap to [Competitor]!”
(The customer leaves, and while the representative tries to shrug it off, I approach him.)
Me: “That guy was a d***!”
Employee: *heartfelt* “THANK you!”
(The representative proceeded to call me his “new best friend” in front of the other employees. Thanks to some creative problem-solving on his part, I managed to walk out of the store with a nicer, newer phone than the one I had, without having to pay a penny! Just goes to show that a little empathy can go a long way.)
Tech Support: ‘Thank you for calling. May I have your phone number beginning with area code first, please?’ There was a pregnant pause, then a series of touch tones.
Tech Support: ‘Hello? I need your phone number, please’. More touch tones.
Tech Support: ‘Hi, can you hear me?’
Tech Support: ‘Great, then can you please tell me your phone number so I can pull up your file?’ More touch tones.
Tech Support: ‘Sir, what’s your name?’
Tech Support: ‘Great, now can you tell me your phone number?’ Touch tones again.
Tech Support: ‘Please, tell me your phone number.’
Tech Support: ‘Yes sir, if you don’t mind, but can you please just tell me verbally?’ Touch tones yet again.
Tech Support: ‘Sir, contrary to popular opinion, support is not half machine. I’ll need you to verbally tell me your phone number with your mouth so I can bring up your account info, got it?’
Customer: ‘You people are rude as well as incompetent.’
We have one customer who is notorious in the tech support department. We all dread getting a call from her. She is truly stupid when it comes to a computer.
Tech Support: “Ok, you are in C:\WINDOWS. We need to get to the A: drive. So type ‘A’ colon and press enter.”
Customer: “‘A’? What’s an ‘A’?”
Tech Support: “It’s the first letter of the alphabet. ‘A’ like apple.”
Customer: “Ummm…what’s an ‘A’? I don’t know what it is.”
Tech Support: “Grade school, remember? The letter ‘A’?”
Customer: “Oh, ok. Where is that?”
Tech Support: “Left side of the keyboard. Next to the ‘S’.”
Customer: “Ok…I think I found it. What do I do?”
Tech Support: “Press it. See what happens.”
Customer: “Ok, I’ve got an ‘A’ now.”
Tech Support: “Now press the colon. It’s next to the ‘L’ key.”
Customer: “How do I get it?”
Tech Support: “Hold down the ‘shift’ key.”
Customer: “How do you spell that?”
Tech Support: “S-H-I-F-T. You have two of them. Near the space bar. Hold that down and press the colon.”
Customer: “I can’t find the colon.”
Tech Support: “It’s to the right of the ‘L’.”
Customer: “How do I get it?”
Tech Support: “Hold the shift key and press the colon key.”
Customer: “Oh, ok…I think I’ve got it.”
Tech Support: “Good, now hit ‘enter’.”
Customer: “Where’s that?”
This whole conversation of two commands took almost an hour. I have no idea how this lady ever made enough money to buy a computer. It amazes me how someone can forget the alphabet. She’s nice, but she’s amazingly dumb.