Believe it or not…
Compaq once considered changing the command “Press Any Key” to “Press Return Key” because of the flood of calls asking where the “Any” key is.
AST Technical Support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard to control with the dust cover on. The “cover” turned out to be the plastic bag it was packaged in.
A Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining that the system wouldn’t read word processing files from his old diskettes. After trouble-shooting for magnets and heat failed to diagnose the problem, it was found that the customer had labeled the diskettes and then rolled them into his typewriter to type the labels.
An AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective diskettes. A few days later, a letter arrived from the customer along with Xeroxed copies of the floppies.
A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold on and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and crossing the room to close the door to his room.
A Dell customer called to say he couldn’t get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of trouble-shooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor/screen and repeatedly pressing the “Send” key.
Another Dell customer needed help setting up a new program, so the Dell technician suggested that he go to the local Egghead. “Yeah, I got a couple of friends…” the customer replied. When he was told Egghead is a software store, the man said “Oh, I thought you meant a couple of geeks.”
A Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling his tub with soap and water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing them individually.
A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was “bad and invalid.” The tech was forced to explain that the computer’s “Bad Command” and “Invalid” responses were not to be taken personally.
An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Technical Support couldn’t get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the technician asked what happened when she pushed the power button. Her response: “I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and nothing happens.” The “foot pedal” turned out to be the computer’s mouse.
A customer called Compaq Technical Support to say her brand-new computer wouldn’t work. She said that she unpacked it, plugged it in, and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked “What power switch?”
Customer: Hello. Is this Technical Support?
Tech Support: Yes, it is. How may I help you?
Customer: The cup holder on my PC is broken, and I am within my warranty period. How do I go about getting that fixed.
Tech Support: I’m sorry. Did you say a cup holder.
Customer: Yes. It’s attached to the front of my computer.
Tech Support: Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped. I am. Did you receive this as a part of a promotional? At a trade show? How did you get this cup holder? Does it have a trademark on it?
Customer: It just came with my computer. I don’t know anything about it being a promotional. It just has “4X” on it.
At this point, the technician had to mute the caller, because he couldn’t stand it. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder, and snapped it off the drive!
A woman called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer. The tech asked her if she was “running it under Windows.” The woman then responded, “No, my desk is next to the door. But that is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his is working fine.”
Tech Support: “OK Bob, let’s press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter ‘P’ to bring up the Program Manager.”
Customer: “I don’t have a ‘P’.”
Tech Support: “On your keyboard, Bob.”
Customer: “What do you mean?”
Tech Support: “‘P’ on your keyboard, Bob.”
Customer: “I’m not going to do that!”
I had been doing Tech Support for Hewlett-Packard’s DeskJet division for about a month when I had a customer call with a problem I just couldn’t solve. She could not print yellow. All the other colors would print fine, which truly baffled me because the only true colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. For instance, green is a combination of cyan and yellow, but green printed fine. Every color of the rainbow printed fine except for yellow. I had the customer change ink cartridges. I had the customer delete and reinstall the drivers. Nothing worked. I asked my coworkers for help; they offered no new ideas. After over two hours of troubleshooting, I was about to tell the customer to send the printer in to us for repair when she asked quietly, “Should I try printing on piece of white paper instead of this yellow construction paper?” Sometimes the user can teach us a thing or two about tech support.
Customer: “Your sound card is defective and I want a new one.”
Tech Support: “What seems to be the problem?”
Customer: “The balance is backwards. The left channel is coming out of the right speaker and the right channel is coming out the left. It’s defective.”
Tech Support: “You can solve the problem by moving the left speaker to the right side of the machine and vice versa.”
Customer: (sputter) (click)
Tech Support: (snicker)
E-mail from a friend: “CanYouFixTheSpaceBarOnMyKeyboard?”
Tech Support: What kind of computer do you have?
Customer: A white one…
Tech Support: Click on the ‘My Computer’ icon on to the left of the screen.
Customer: Your left or my left?
Customer: Hi, good afternoon, this is Martha, I can’t print. Every time I try, it says ‘can’t find printer’. I’ve even lifted the printer and placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can’t find it…
Customer: “My keyboard is not working anymore.”
Tech Support: “Are you sure it’s plugged into the computer?”
Customer: “No. I can’t get behind the computer.”
Tech Support: “Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back.”
Tech Support: “Did the keyboard come with you?”
Tech Support: “That means the keyboard is not plugged in.”
Customer: “I can’t get on the Internet.”
Tech Support: “Are you sure you used the right password?”
Customer: “Yes, I’m sure. I saw my colleague do it.”
Tech Support: “Can you tell me what the password was?”
Customer: “Five dots.”
Tech Support: “What anti-virus program do you use?”
Tech Support: “That’s not an anti-virus program.”
Customer: “Oh, sorry… Internet Explorer..”
Customer: “I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screen saver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears.”
Tech Support: “How may I help you?”
Customer: “I’m writing my first email.”
Tech Support: “OK, and what seems to be the problem?”
Customer: “Well, I have the letter ‘a’ in the address, but how do I get the little circle around it?”