|1. Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to "Press Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key is.
2. 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 the mouse was packaged in.
3. Another 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 labeled the diskettes then rolled them into the typewriter to type the labels.
4. Another 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.
5. 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.
6. Another Dell customer called to say he couldn't get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of troubleshooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the "send" key.
7. Another Dell customer needed help setting up a new program, so a Dell tech suggested he go to the local Egghead. "Yeah, I got me a couple of friends, "the customer replied. When told Egghead was a software store, the man said, "Oh, I thought you meant for me to find a couple of geeks."
8. Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing them individually.
9. A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was "bad and an invalid". The tech explained that the computer's "bad command" and "invalid" responses shouldn't be taken personally.
10. An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn't get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the technician asked her 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.
11. Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new computer wouldn't work. She said she unpacked the unit, 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?"
12. True story from a Novell NetWire SysOp:
Caller: "Hello, is this Tech Support?"
Tech: "Yes, it is. How may I help you?"
Caller: "The cup holder on my PC is broken and I am within my warranty period. How do I go about getting that fixed?"
Tech: "I'm sorry, but did you say a cup holder?"
Caller: "Yes, it's attached to the front of my computer."
Tech: "Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped, It's because I am. Did you receive this as part of a promotional, at a trade show? How did you get this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?"
Caller: "It came with my computer, I don't know anything about a promotional. It just has '4X' on it." At this point the Tech Rep 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!
13. 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."
14. 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!"
15. Overheard in a computer shop:
Customer: "I'd like a mouse mat, please."
Salesperson: "Certainly sir, we've got a large variety."
Customer: "But will they be compatible with my computer?"
16. I once received a fax with a note on the bottom to fax the document back to the sender when I was finished with it, because he needed to keep it.
17. Customer: "Can you copy the Internet for me on this diskette?"
18. I work for a local ISP. Frequently we receive phone calls that start something like this: Customer: "Hi. Is this the
19. Some people pay for their online services with checks made payable to "The Internet."
20. Customer: "So that'll get me connected to the Internet, right?"
Tech Support: "Yeah."
Customer: "And that's the latest version of the Internet, right?"
Tech Support: "Uhh...uh...uh...yeah."
21. Tech Support: "All right...now double-click on the File Manager icon."
Customer: "That's why I hate this Windows-because of the icons- I'm a Protestant, and I don't believe in icons."
Tech Support: "Well, that's just an industry term sir. I don't believe it was meant to-"
Customer: "I don't care about any 'Industry Terms'. I don't believe in icons."
Tech Support: "Well...why don't you click on the 'little picture' of a file cabinet...is 'little picture' OK?"
22. Customer: "My computer crashed!"
Tech Support: "It crashed?"
Customer: "Yeah, it won't let me play my game."
Tech Support: "All right, hit Control-Alt-Delete to reboot."
Customer: "No, it didn't crash-it crashed."
Tech Support: "Huh?"
Customer: "I crashed my game. That's what I said before. I crashed my spaceship and now it doesn't work."
Tech Support: "Click on 'File,' then 'New Game.'"
Customer: [pause] "Wow! How'd you learn how to do that?"
23. 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 the right side of the machine and vice versa."
Customer: (sputter) (click)
Tech Support: (snicker)
24. Got a call from a woman said that her laser printer was having problems: The bottom half of her printed sheets were coming out blurry. It seemed strange that the printer was smearing only the bottom half. I walked her through the basics, then came over and printed out a test sheet. It printed fine. I asked her to print a sheet, so she sent a job to the printer. As the paper started coming out, she yanked it out and showed it to me. I told her to wait until the paper came out on its own. Problem solved.
25. 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 co-workers 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.
26. A man attempting to set up his new printer called the printer's tech support number, complaining about the error message: "Can't find the printer." On the phone, the man said he even held the printer up in front of the screen, but the computer still couldn't find it.
27. And another user was all confused about why the cursor always moved in the opposite direction from the movement of the mouse. She also complained about how hard it was to hit the buttons. She was quite embarrassed when we asked her to rotate the mouse so the tail pointed away from her.
28. I have a friend who just bought a computer and was instructed to load a program by typing "A:" and then the name of the program. My friend told me it would not work because his keyboard was no good. He said he couldn't
type the "dot over dot thingie" and that every time he tried to type the "dot over dot thingie" he kept getting the "dot over comma thingie" no matter how careful he was to press only on the very top of the key. When I taught him about the shift key, he thought I was a genius.
29. This guy calls in to complain that he gets an Access Denied" message every time he logs in. It turned out he was typing his username 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."
30. My friend was on duty in the main lab on a quiet afternoon. He noticed a young woman sitting in front of one of the workstations with her arms crossed across her chest and staring at the screen.
After about 15 minutes he noticed she was at the same position only now she was impatiently tapping her foot. He asked if she needed help and she replied, "It's about time! I pushed the F1 button over twenty minutes ago!"