Technical support report #w10/001/00


Tech Support:

I'm writing this letter as a last resort. Last year I upgraded from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 and noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a lot of space and valuable resources. No mention of this phenomenon was included in the product brochure.

In addition, Wife 1.0 installs itself into all other programs and launches during system initialization, where it monitors all other system activity. Applications such as Pokernight 10.3, Drunken Boys Night 2.5, and Saturday Football 5.0 no longer run, crashing the system whenever selected. I can't seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run some other favorite applications.

I'm thinking about going back to Girlfriend 7.0, but uninstall does not work on this program. Can you help me, please?

Thanks,

Fred


Dear Fred:

This is a very common problem that men complain about, but it is mostly due to a primary misconception. Many people upgrade from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 with the idea that Wife 1.0 is merely a "UTILITIES & ENTERTAINMENT" program. Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM! and designed by its creator to run everything.

It is unlikely you would be able to purgue Wife 1.0 and still convert back to Girlfriend 7.0. Hidden files within your system would cause Girlfriend 7.0 to emulate Wife 1.0, so nothing is gained.

It is impossible to uninstall, delete, or purgue the program files from the system once installed. You can not go back to Girlfriend 7.0, because Wife 1.0 is not designed to do this. Some have tried to install Girlfriend 8.0 or Wife 2.0 but end up with more problems than the original system. Look in your manual under "Warnings -- Alimony/Child Support." I recommend you keep Wife 1.0 and just deal with the situation.

Having Wife 1.0 installed myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding General Partnership Faults (GPFs). You must assume all responsibility for faults and problems that might occur, regardless of their cause. The best course of action will be to enter the command C:\APOLOGIZE. In any case avoid excessive use of the "Esc" key, because ultimately you will have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the operating system will return to normal. The system will run smoothly as long as you take the blame for all the GPFs.

Wife 1.0 is a great program, but very high-maintenance. Consider buying additional software to improve the performance of Wife 1.0. I recommend Flowers 2.1 and Chocolates 5.0. Do not, under any circumstances, install Secretary With Short Skirt 3.3. This is not a supported application for Wife 1.0 and is likely to cause irreversible damage to the operating system.

Best of luck,

Tech Support


Additional Information

Last year, my friend upgraded his GirlFriend 7.0 to GirlFriendPlus 7.0 (marketing name: Fiancee 1.0). Recently he upgraded Fiancee 1.0 to Wife 1.0 and it's a memory hogger. It has taken all his space and Wife1.0 must be running before he can do anything. Although he did not ask for them, Wife 1.0 came with Plug-Ins such as MotherInLaw and BrotherInLaw.

Some features I'd like to see in the Upcoming GirlFriend 8.0:

- A "Don't remind me again" button
- Minimize button
- Shutdown feature
- An install shield feature so that GirlFriend 8.0 can be completely uninstalled to avoid loss of cache and other objects

I tried running GirlFriend 7.2 with GirlFriend 7.1 still installed, they tried using the same i/o port and conflicted. Then I tried to uninstall GirlFriend 7.1, but it didn't have an uninstall program. I tried to uninstall it by hand, but it put files in my system directory. Another thing that stinks in all versions of GirlFriend that I've used is that the program is totally "object orientated" and only supports hardware with gold plated contacts.

Bug Warning: Wife 1.0 has an undocumented bug. If you try to install Mistress 1.1 before uninstalling Wife 1.0, Wife 1.0 will delete MS Money files before doing the uninstall itself. Then Mistress 1.1 will refuse to install, claiming insufficient resources.


The tech support problem dates back to long before the industrial revolution, when cavemen would beat out a rhythm on drums to communicate:

-This firehelp. Me Groog.
-Me Lorto. Help. Fire not work.
-You have flint and stone?
-Ugh.
-You hit them together?
-Ugh.
-What happen?
-Fire not work.
-(sigh) Make spark?
-No spark, no fire, me confused. Fire work yesterday.
-(sigh) You change rock?
-I change nothing.
-You sure?
-Me make one change. Stone hot so me soak in stream so stone not burn Lorto hand. Small change, shouldn't keep Lorto from make fire.

(Groog grabs club and goes to Lorto's cave) *WHAM*WHAM*WHAM*


The mouse

15 signs that you are online too much:

  1. Tech Support calls "YOU" for help.
  2. Someone at work tells you a joke and you say "LOL" out loud.
  3. You find yourself trying to turn your head 90 degrees when you smile.
  4. You bring a bag lunch and a cooler to the computer.
  5. When looking at signs, you wonder why they are always "yelling" at you.
  6. When at work, your boss constantly reminds you that the word "i" should be capitalized.
  7. You don't even notice anymore when someone has a typo.
  8. You stop speaking in full sentences.
  9. You no longer type with proper capitalization, punctuation, or complete sentences.
  10. You stop typing whole words and use things like ppl, dunno and lemme.
  11. You watch TV with the closed captioning turned on.
  12. You dream in "text".
  13. You have an identity crisis if someone is using a screen name close to your own.
  14. You change your screen names so much that you have to look at your own profile to see who you are.
  15. When someone asks, "What did you say?" you reply, "Scroll up!"

Bugzilla!

New error codes:


Corporate downsizing has led many to seek new careers and even new directions. For example, a former ISP tech I know decided to enlist in the Army and went off to boot camp.

At the rifle range, he was given some instruction, a rifle, and bullets. He fired several shots at the target. The report came from the target area that all attempts had completely missed the target.

This former ISP tech looked at his rifle and then at the target again. He looked at the rifle again, and then at the target again.

He put his finger over the end of the rifle barrel and squeezed the trigger with his other hand. The end of his finger was blown off, whereupon he yelled toward the target area: "It's leaving here just fine. The trouble must be at your end!".


Tech calls from the computer illiterate (not our readers, of course)...


A man calls the customer service number of his ISP to complain that he gets an "Access Denied" message every time he tries to log on.

It turned out he was typing his user name and password in capital letters.

Tech Support: "OK, let's try once more, but use lower case letters."

Customer: "Uh, I only have capital letters on my keyboard."


A woman was helping her computer-illiterate husband set up his computer, and at the appropriate point in the process, she told him he would now need to choose and enter a password, something he would easily remember and use to log-on.

The husband was in a rather amourous mood and figured he would try for the "shock effect" to bring this to his wife's attention. So, when the computer asked him to enter his password, he made it plainly obvious to his wife that he was keying in "p...e...n...i...s".

His wife fell off her chair laughing when the computer replied: "PASSWORD REJECTED....NOT LONG ENOUGH".


This supposedly true story from the WordPerfect Help line is allegedly transcribed from a recording monitoring the customer care department.

"Computer assistance; may I help you?"

"Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."

"What sort of trouble?"

"Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."

"Went away?"

"They disappeared."

"Hmmm. So what does your screen look like now?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing?"

"It's a blank; it won' t accept anything when I type."

"Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"

"How do I tell?"

"Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?"

"What's a sea-prompt?"

"Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?"

"There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type."

"Does your monitor have a power indicator?"

"What's a monitor?"

"It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it's on?"

"I don't know."

"Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?"

"Yes, I think so."

"Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."

"Yes, it is."

"When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?"

"No."

"Well , there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."

"Okay, here it is."

"Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."

"I can't reach."

"Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"

"No."

"Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"

"Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle it's because it's dark."

"Dark?"

"Yes, the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window."

"Well, turn on the office light then."

"I can't."

"No? Why not?"

"Because there's a power failure."

"A power....... a power failure?.... Aha, Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?"

"Well, yes, I keep them in the closet. "Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."

"Really? Is it that bad?"

"Yes, I'm afraid it is."

"Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"

"Tell them you're too stupid to own a computer!"


"A Software Engineer, a Hardware Engineer and a Branch Manager were on their way to a meeting."

"They were driving down a steep mountain road when suddenly the brakes on their car failed. The car careened almost out of control down the road, bouncing off the crash barriers, until it miraculously ground to a halt scraping along the mountainside."

"The car's occupants, shaken but unhurt, now had a problem: they were stuck halfway down a mountain in a car with no brakes. What were they to do?"

"'I know,' said the Branch Manager, 'Let's have a meeting, propose a Vision, formulate a Mission Statement, define some Goals, and by a process of Continuous Improvement find a solution to the Critical Problems, and we can be on our way'."

"'No, no,' said the Hardware Engineer, 'That will take far too long, and besides, that method has never worked before. I've got my Swiss Army knife with me, and in no time at all I can strip down the car's braking system, isolate the fault, fix it, and we can be on our way'."

"'Well,' said the Software Engineer, 'Before we do anything, I think we should push the car back up the road and see if it happens again'."


"When a John's printer type began to grow faint, he called a local repair shop where a friendly man informed him that the printer probably needed only to be cleaned."

"Because the store charged $50 for such cleanings, he told him he might be better off reading the printer's manual and trying the job himself."

"Pleasantly surprised by his candor, John asked, 'Does your boss know that you discourage business?'"

"'Actually, it's my boss's idea,' the employee replied sheepishly. 'We usually make more money on repairs if we let people try to fix things themselves first'."


"Three men, a physicist, an engineer and a computer scientist, were driving down the highway. Suddenly, the car started to smoke and stopped."

"The physicist said, 'This is obviously a classic problem of torque'."

"The engineer said, 'Let's be serious! It has burned the spark of the connecting rod to the dynamo of the radiator. I can easily repair it by hammering'."

"The computer scientist said, 'What if we get out of the car, wait a minute, and then get in and try again?'"


"Hello! Is it HP Printers Technical Support?"

"Yes, it is."

"Could you sent a technician to fix my printer? It's not working yet."

"Sure, I'll fill a report. What model of printer do you have?"

"It's a HP443 CTR B16."

"What's the problem do you have?"

"The mouse is obstructing everything."

"Mmmhhh... Is the cursor frozen in the monitor?"

"No. It's the mouse. He can't get out..."

The mouse

Reboot yourself

Tech Support Tips

Sometimes the pleasure of owning a computer is overshadowed by the need to ask for assistance with a computer issue. Calling for technical support does not have to be an unpleasant experience. Preparing yourself before you make that call, and knowing what to expect while talking to support representatives, can help ease the way.

  1. Before you pick up the phone, have as much information at hand as possible. Any product serial numbers should be within easy reach and be prepared to answer these questions:
  2. Make your call to tech support when you are relatively free from distractions. Being able to focus on what is discussed will go a long way to aiding both you and the tech you are talking to. Do not yell, insult or use profanity no matter how frustrated you are. Most companies advise their techs to hang up on any caller using abusive language. No matter how frustrated you are at the hold time before your call is answered, remember that the tech you are talking to was helping someone else, not ignoring you.
  3. Be prepared to verify your address, phone number and even your e-mail address before moving on to your issue. The technician is not being nosy by asking, but rather doing their job. After all, verifying your statistics ensures that your computer is still in your hands and not those of a thief. Many companies require techs to log all calls. If you have called for support before, your statistics may be used to bring up your records and help the technician deal with your issue. Also, if you are using e-mail support, make sure your e-mail address is correct and complete. Otherwise, the tech won't be able to get ahold of you.
  4. Be frank about your level of computer expertise. Support technicians talk to customers with vast differences in their skill levels, from the beginner to the expert. If the tech is moving too fast, ask them to slow down. If you don't understand something, ask them to clarify. Don't be embarrassed to admit you are in unfamiliar territory. Likewise, try not to second guess where the tech is leading you and jump ahead. Working together is the surest way to a resolution.
  5. Listen carefully to everything the tech is telling you. Most techs have a wealth of knowledge they are more than willing to share with attentive callers.
  6. Stick to the subject. Unless you are involved in a long procedure with lots of down time such as a complete Windows reinstall, avoid chit chat. There are many other people waiting to have their call answered (just as you were) and while you may not be working, the tech is.
  7. Make sure you get all the help you need. If you have called for assistance with installing hardware, the technician should also help you install the drivers for that hardware. If you have more than one question, jot them down ahead of time so you don't forget them and have to call back.
  8. Don't ask your support person to do something that is not their job. For instance, if you have called your computer manufacturer for assistance, don't also ask them to help you with an AOL problem. If you have called for help with installing software, remember it is not the technician's job to train you on that as well.
  9. If your computer issue can not be resolved with one phone call, ask the technician to take ownership of it. Many techs are willing to go the extra mile for a friendly customer and will research your problem, then get back to you when they have the solution.
  10. Say thank you. Support technicians are people too! If your tech has done an especially good job or kind act, ask if you can send an e-mail to their supervisor to express your appreciation, and then follow through.
Having to call for support on today's technology will probably never be a truly pleasant experience, but it doesn't have to be a painful one either. Don't be intimidated. Being prepared for the call and knowing what to expect ahead of time will make it easier for you and the technician on the phone. And you might just learn a tip or two along the way!

JoAnn Sommer
(Worldstart, March 20/2006).


Users are often called the weakest link in computer security. They can't select secure passwords, and they write down passwords and give them out to strangers in exchange for treats. They use old or outdated security software, can't spell the word "phishing," and click on all links that arrive in e-mail or instant messages, and all that appear on the Web.

That's the reality, Stefan Gorling, a doctoral student at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, said in a talk at the Virus Bulletin conference here Wednesday.

When things go wrong, users call help desks, either at their company or at a technology supplier, such as a PC maker, software maker, or an Internet access provider, which can cost a fortune. The solution, many technologists say, is to educate the user about online threats. But that doesn't work and is the wrong approach, Gorling said.

And even if people can be trained, they can't be trusted to be on guard all the time, he said.

"I don't believe user education will solve problems with security because security will always be a secondary goal for users," Gorling said. "In order for security to work, it must be embedded in the process. It must be designed so that it does not conflict with the users' primary goal. It can't work if it interferes."

Gorling found fans and adversaries in the Virus Bulletin crowd. Martin Overton, a U.K.-based security specialist at IBM, agreed with the Swedish doctoral student. Most computer users in business settings just want to focus on work and then go home to spend the money they made, he said.

"It really is a nightmare. User education is a complete waste of time. It is about as much use as nailing jelly to a wall," Overton said. "There is no good trying to teach them what phishing is, what rootkits are, what malware is, etc. They are not interested; they just want to do their job."

Instead, organizations should create simple policies for use of company resources, Overton said. These should include things such as mandatory use of security software and a ban on using computers at work to visit adult Web sites, he said.

IT staffers, on the other hand, do need training. And when they have to come to the rescue of a "click-a-holic" with an infected PC, it's possible under those circumstances that some preventive skills will rub off on the user, Overton said. "A bit like pollination, but without the mess."

Others at the annual conference for antivirus and security professionals advocated user education.

The trick is to know what you're talking about and to bring the information in a format people understand, said Peter Cooper, a support and education specialist at Sophos, a security company based in England.

"It is a long process, but if we admit defeat now we're just going to go to hell in a handbasket," Cooper said. "Education in every area works."

Microsoft has long been an advocate of user education. Matt Braverman, a program manager for the software giant, advocated the use of specific threat examples to inform users, such as samples of malicious software and e-mail messages that contain Trojan horses.

"If we can look at the most successful tactics that the user is likely to fall victim to, you're more likely to get the message through," Braverman said.

Jill Sitherwood, an information security consultant at a large financial institution, has seen education both fail and succeed. "I have to believe it works," she said. "When we give our awareness presentations, what signs to look for, I have seen a spike in the number of incidents reported by our internal users."

But online consumers are a tougher crowd to get through to.

"We have a special page on our Web site to report security incidents. We had to shut the e-mail box because customers didn’t read (the page) and submitted general customer service queries," Sitherwood said.

(C|Net News Com, October 12/2006).


Building on fire

A little boy goes to his father and asks 'Daddy, how was I born?'

The father answers, 'Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway! Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, 9 months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:

'You got Male!'

(Received by e-mail, March 14 2009).


The often humorous trials and tribulations of tech-support specialists have been well-documented since the mid-'90s, when the Internet and home computers became part of our daily lives. Things have greatly improved since the days of the hapless users who mistook their CD-ROM drives as cup holders or didn't realize that there is another definition for "mouse" other than a small rodent.

These tales of woebegone consumers calling tech support have been frequently shared by many a patient (though frustrated) tech-support representative who no doubt marvel at the ability of the computer to instill such fear and intimidation in the average new user. Some of these stories are now urban legends, so much so that the website Technical Support Inc. is a comedy program that spoofs a tech-support division at a fictional company and stars real-life tech-support reps.

"Hello? Is this the Internet?"

Rob McDonald, a program director who previously worked as a tech-support rep, recalls a few such conversations he and his colleagues had with users calling the call center:

One of the most typical calls tech support specialists receive is the one from the panicked husband or kids: "How do I delete all these websites from my computer? Please hurry! My wife (or parents) will be home any minute!"

There is also the incident of the customer who claimed that he had signed up with the Internet service provider and that "You took my credit card and you won't give it back." It took the call-center rep a while to figure out that the guy had inserted his credit card into the 3.5-inch floppy disk drive on his computer where it had become stuck.

The Wall Street Journal also reported the case of two Dell customers: One user, in an effort to clean his keyboard, had run a bath and soaked the keyboard in soap and water. Another had been using the mouse as a foot pedal.

Another caller -- who didn't own a computer and had no interest in signing up online -- called McDonald about "the Internet mall." She had purchased a packet for $100 that provided information on how to get rich on the Web. The caller assumed that she had contacted said mall: "It says right here, 'Sell your product on the Internet mall'".That's you, right? That's who I'm calling -- the Internet?" No Virginia, "the Internet" does not have a phone number or street address.

How to approach Tech Support

Even for savvy computer users who may run their own personal websites or fix minor system glitches, it's best to approach tech support intelligently. When your system crashes, or you are forced to deal with a glitch that doesn't make sense, simply describe your exact actions that led to the failure. Sometimes system messages can be difficult to decipher, and it's best to ask an expert who can guide you through it. The New York Times for example, reports the case of a user who received the message "Error Type 11" and repeatedly typed 11 on his keyboard, thinking that this would fix his computer.

An ounce of prevention

There are certain preventive measures you can take to boost your computer's health, so to speak. If your system has slowed down to a snail's pace or keeps crashing, it's time for a tune-up. Delete old documents, photos, music files, and so on, clear your web cache, and refrain from clicking on suspicious links. Programs like System Mechanic and PefectSpeed also help repair various problems, clear up unwanted clutter on your PC and boost Internet speed. If your computer starts making strange noises, call a tech rep or show it to a professional who can then figure out whether the hard drive has been damaged beyond repair.

There are times when glitches will inevitably occur, but at least you can attempt to fix them and not end up like the user whose monitor started emanating smoke and was eventually referred to 911 by the tech-support rep.

(Aol Discover, August 10/2010).


The irony among buyers of anything electronic or technical is they want a company with good support but most people fear calling for support. If you ask a tech support agent they will tell you horror stories and if you ask customers they will counter with just as many horror stories. What can you do to get the most out of the technical support department of a company when you call or e-mail?

By following these simple big do's and don'ts when contacting technical support you can get the most out of the experience with the least difficulty and time invested.

DO:

Tell the truth. This sounds simple enough but the number one complaint of tech support people is customers who are lying. If you clicked something or tried to fix something yourself and it only made the problem worse, tell the agent exactly what you did. If you start by giving false or incomplete information, you'll make the process longer and more difficult and possibly lead the tech support agent to a false conclusion.

Be ready. If you're calling about a software issue, have your computer turned on and ready to run the software. If you're calling about a piece of electronics, have the electronics with you and charged if possible. Your time is valuable and tech support agents are rated, based among other things, on speed of resolution, so everyone has a vested interest in making the process quick.

Do what you're told, even if it doesn't make sense. Sometimes a technician will have you do something that may seem incorrect to determine if something is wrong or if all the basic setup is done. Being asked to make sure the flat side of the battery (negative) is to the spring isn't any less demeaning for the person to ask than for you to answer. Sometimes, even the best of us make simple mistakes and jump to the more complex solutions, even when it's something very simple.

Be patient. If you don't know the answer, then chances are they need to help you determine what it is, and that can take time. You can minimize that time by being ready, but some tests cannot be sped up, so be ready to spend the time needed to fix the problem.

DON'T:

Scream & Yell. The technician's job is to help you, and when they chose that career, they did it because they enjoyed solving problems and helping people. Being frustrated by the situation is perfectly acceptable, but unless that specific technician personally damaged your product or caused the problem, yelling at them doesn't make a lot of sense, especially if you want them to assist you.

Ask for the impossible. If the result of your support call is that an item needs to be RMA'd, demanding someone come over personally to your house today with a new item isn't realistic. Asking what can be done or if there is any way to get a product faster is reasonable, but be ready to be told no. If a product needs to be ordered in, or if the item needs to be returned before a replacement can be sent, it's rare that those rules will be overridden.

Demand a supervisor. In many technical support departments, supervisors deal with far less day-to-day problems and more administrative and scheduling concerns. Asking for a supervisor will rarely get you better support. A secret to the system is to ask the representative if they can ask their supervisor for special permission to do something and offer to hold, even if it takes them a while to discuss the situation. An employee pleading the case to a supervisor for permission is far more effective than an angry customer yelling at a supervisor.

These tips, combined with a little common sense, will turn your experiences with technical support departments into positive ones, and allow you to get the most effective support for the least effort.

-Tim

P.S. Don't forget the phrase "you'll catch more flies with sugar than vinegar" applies here too. Everyone likes someone being nice to them, and you'll often find that people go the extra mile for that overly nice person.

(Worldstart, Januray 28/2013).


Try rebooting.


We have a service contract at a local college. I got a call one day from someone who said that their Mac was having a problem.

Upon questioning him, he said that whenever he typed on the keyboard, the image on the monitor was shaking. All sorts of monitor problems ran through my mind. I asked him if it was only when he typed and he replied yes.

Well, since it was a contract, I figured we'd better go see what was happening.

My tech called me about ten minutes after arriving and reported that the problem was not the computer, but his desk. The desk vibrated every time he typed on his keyboard.

I am still shaking my head on this one. The sad thing is that this guy has "Dr." in front of his name and is a professor at a major college.

(Worldstart, July 3/2015).

I run a small computer shop and a couple of years back, this exchange took place.

Customer: I've got a broken computer and I need it fixed.

(The customer proceeds to open a bag and out comes a old VHS player.)

Me: Sir, that is not a computer. That is a VHS tape player.

Customer: Well, my PC is broken and I was hoping that you could fix it.

Me: Sir, that is not a PC. That's a VHS tape player and there is no repair shop for VHS players around anymore, as they are deemed outdated.

Customer: Well, where can I find one?

Me: You can't. You will have to buy a new one.

Customer: So, you can't repair it?

Me: No.

Customer: I heard you had great service from my friends when they came here to fix their PC.

Me: That is not a PC. That is a VHS player that you are holding in your hands.

Customer: So, can you fix it?

(Worldstart, July 31/2015).

Get the right computer - 1

Customer: I'm trying to connect to the Internet with your CD, but it just doesn't work. What am I doing wrong?

Tech support: OK, You've got the CD in the CD drive, right?

Customer: Yeah...

Tech support: And what sort of computer are you using?

Customer: Computer? Oh no, I haven't got a computer. It's in the CD player and all I get is weird noises. Listen...

Tech support: Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!

Get the right computer - 2

Tech support: What kind of computer do you have?

Customer: A white one...

Change of Mind

Customer: I keep getting inappropriate pop-ups on my computer and don't want my wife to think that it's me.

Advisor: I will remove them for you.

Customer: How do I get them back when she is not in?

Step 1...

Customer: Hi, this is Celine. I can't get my disc out.

Tech support: Have you tried pushing the button?

Customer: Yes, sure, it's really stuck.

Tech support: That doesn't sound good; I'll make a note.

Customer: No... wait a minute... I hadn't inserted it into the computer yet... it's still on my desk... sorry...

(Worldstart, August 7/2015).

This is an actualy call I received while working Tech Support for an Internet Service Provider.

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 do you 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 you charge 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 Microsoft. A while later she called back.

Customer: Well, they said you were correct; no long distance charge for overseas web sites. I do have another question I thought of after I hung up.

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 you were smart you would charge for this service.

(Worldstart, August 28/2015).

Caller: Hey, can you help me? My computer has locked up, and no matter how many times I type eleven, it won't unfreeze.

Tech Support: What do you mean, 'type eleven?'.

Caller: The message on my screen says, 'Error Type 11!'.

(Worldstart, May 27/2016).

Customer: 'I can't seem to connect to the Internet'.

Tech Support: 'Ah, right. What operating system are you running?'.

Customer: 'Firefox'.

Tech Support: 'No, what version of Windows are you using?'.

Customer: 'Uhhh Hewlett Packard?'.

Tech Support: 'No, Right click on "My Computer", and select properties on the menu'.

Customer: 'Your computer? It's my computer!'.

(Worldstart, May 27/2016).

About 12 years ago I was working customer service for an Internet company and had this exchange with a customer.

Customer: "My youngest son was surfing the web last night and to my shock he was at a British comedy site."

Me: "Yes, what is the problem?"

Customer: "The '.uk' at the end... doesn't that stand for United Kingdom?"

Me: "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?"

Me: "It does not work that way. You can surf anywhere without long distance charges."

Customer: "No, I am sure you charge extra. It doesn't make any sense that you wouldn't. England is a long way away, you would lose millions not to."

After trying to explain how the web worked, the customer refused to take my word and said she wanted to talk to my supervisor. I passed her along and then about a half hour later she called back and asked for me.

Customer: "Well, he said you were correct; no long distance charge for overseas web sites. I do have another question I thought of after I hung up."

Me: "Yes?"

Customer: "Do you think they charge extra for long distance email?"

Me: "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 you were smart they would charge for this service."

(Worldstart, March 10/2017).

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