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Your Favorite Support Anecdote

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the ouch-just-plain-ouch dept.


Most of us have had the unfortunate opportunity to have worked tech support at some point, whether it was for a paycheck or for a relative. The Register has offered up a vote for several of their favorite support stories but I'm sure there are many more out there to be had. My favorite horror story was while working a tech support call for a governmental employee, when asked to take her mouse and click on the "start" button all I could hear over the phone is what I later found out was the user banging her mouse against the monitor. What other horror stories have people seen from the trenches?

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My Personal Anecdote (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661152)

A half a year ago, I went home for the holidays and fixed my parent's windows machine for them.

Not more than two weeks later my mom called me up saying it had a blue screen of death whenever it tried to boot up. I asked her what the error said and she started reading to me the hex from the screen.

She said my older sister had been using the computer last so I told her to put her on the line and asked her what had happened. She told me her friend in college had sent her an attachment in an e-mail named "ms ... blast ... worm ... 32.exe or something" but when she clicked on it, the machine started acting funny.

A day at work (5, Funny)

PantheraOnca (983705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661237)

1. Talking to a customer who is unable to get her DSL connection to work because she had inserted the network cable in the cd-rom drive. 2. Talking to another customer having the same problem as the one above, but this one has not been able to locate anyplace on his computer where a network cable might fit. When I asked him if he had a network card installed I got the answer (in a very annoyed tone of voice) "Of course I have a network card, do you think I'm an idiot?!? The card is right here in the box from the store." 3. Realizing that this will be a long and very painful day.


CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661279)

Tech support is for idiots. If you worked tech support, you were an idiot supporting idiots.

Someone rang up and asked.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15661153)

...why can't I get first post on Slashdot?

Re:Someone rang up and asked.... (1)

Roody Blashes (975889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661380)

Guess they were asking for help from the wrong guy, huh bucko? Or, were you able to answer based on your own personal track record of MISERABLE FAILURE?

Constant annoyance (-1, Offtopic)

klmth (451037) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661155)

I have no horror story as such, but having to constantly point out the same things gets very old.

Re:Constant annoyance (1)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661217)

About four months ago, I switched my dad from Netscape 7.2 to Thunderbird and Firefox, after his email got somehow deleted on multiple occasions (email files simply went from giant-sized to empty with no other symptoms). Yesterday he called me for help--now, all the email from March to the present had disappeared. A few VNC-hoop-jumps later, I found the problem:

He had mistakenly opened Netscape, which had been resting peacefully since March. He was much relieved when we opened Thunderbird and all his email was still there.

Backups need the network? (3, Funny)

lecithin (745575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661159)

I am getting status 41s with my backup and need help.

Okay, will you please email me your bp.conf, bpsched, bpcd logs?

No, I can't.

Okay, why not.

Well, we are having problems with our network. Nothing seems to be working.

What part of NETBACKUP don't you understand?

Re:Backups need the network? (1)

BcNexus (826974) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661204)

Damn NET Backup and Backup Exec. I had to do so many things that were secret and only known by (higher level) sopport agents to keep those applications running smoothly that I still fell burned. Why not build these command line program's functionality into the program?! Deleting orphan files and maintaining the catalog is subtle and harder than it should be! /rant

Re:Backups need the network? (2, Insightful)

lecithin (745575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661283)

"I had to do so many things that were secret and only known by (higher level) sopport agents"

If Veritas/Symantec told all the secrets, how would they continue to SELL support?

Re:Backups need the network? (1)

BcNexus (826974) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661354)

Why not save me the time and hassle of calling support? Where a company expects to handsomely profit from support, that business model sucks for the user!

I don't know how they do it. (1)

adamlazz (975798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661168)

If you guys have been in the IT field as of late, how do you stop from laughing every time someone asks a dumb question?

I was cracking up whilst reading this. Especially at cracks like this:

Asking a lady to switch her printer off and on again because it wasn't responding at all. Whereupon she said "it's already off, do I need to switch it on before switching it off and on again?" to which I replied, "no switching something on is normally sufficient to allow it to work". This is not made up or anecdotal, I really had that conversation.

Re:I don't know how they do it. (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661201)

No bullshit on this one: Our CIO was helping someone set up their brand new printer. After about half an hour of fiddling with it, he called us (campus tech support) up, asking for some help. When we got there, we flipped on the power switch, and all was well. He has thankfully retired since!

Re:I don't know how they do it. (2, Insightful)

adamlazz (975798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661251)

That's just incredible. I think it's amazing that people think that hardware is something so new to them, that they seem to purposely freeze and act like people that don't know ANYTHING about the device.

And the IT guys get the proverbial kick in the ass for it.

Best support stories page (5, Informative)

cyrax256 (845338) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661172)

You should check Computer Stupidities for even more funny stories: []

Re:Best support stories page (3, Funny)

Virak (897071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661206)

Damn, beat me to it. I particularly like the programming [] section. Here's one of my favorites:

One thing that many will run into in the computer industry, is
employers who are rather clueless and yet don't necessarily realize
this. In 1996, a friend told me about a boss he had that needed a
C program written for him. After a week, the boss complained that
the program wasn't done, and he asked my friend what was taking so

  • Friend: "The program is written, and I'm debugging it."
  • Boss: "What's wrong with you people? You make programming more
            difficult than it needs to be. I have Frontpage Express to write
            web pages with, and when I write code with it, I never need to debug
            it. If you were as good of a programmer as me, you'd never need to
            debug either."

Uh Oh (5, Funny)

Spittoon (64395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661175)

This might be the longest /. thread ever.

Family matters... (2, Funny)

BecomingLumberg (949374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661180)

I hate being tech support for the family... especially the ones that 'think they are pretty good with computers'.

My step mom, after telling me that she didn't know what my father did to the computer, because he's 'not very good', proceeded to tell me that she was having problems 'downloading the program from the upload on the cd'. She simply couldn't copy her word file.

Suffice to say, aneurisms hurt.

LOL! Pretty funny stories (-1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661181)

I remember this one time I got an IP ban here at Slashdot, so I called up my ISP's helpdesk to get a new IP address issued. The guy on the other end kept asking me all sorts of questions. "Have you checked the cables?" "When you click on My Network, does it show you all your NICs?" ad nauseum.

I yelled into the phone, "I just want a new IP address issued. I don't have time to answer all your idiotic questions." That apparently set him off because he kept blabbering on and on about not having to take my abuse. MY ABUSE?? Holy shit! This retard (I apologize to all actual retards for associating them with him) is working the easiest job in the world. Whose bright idea was it to make the stupidest computer geeks in charge of keeping customers happy? For chrissakes, promote them to management or something. Let someone who has a clue help the customers. Just get these morons off the goddamn phones.

Anyway, I got my new IP address after escalating it to his manager. And here I am! Yay!

Re:LOL! Pretty funny stories (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661211)

What you forgot when you screamed at him was that you were probably the first caller in about 100 who knew what an IP address was. I worked support for a while, and the one thing I learned was to never assume that the caller did or knew anything. When I did, a simple problem took forever to troubleshoot - because I failed to ask the obvious question, and assumed the problem was elsewhere.

Re:LOL! Pretty funny stories (5, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661263)

I remember this one time I got an IP ban here at Slashdot, so I called up my ISP's helpdesk to get a new IP address issued. The guy on the other end kept asking me all sorts of questions. "Have you checked the cables?" "When you click on My Network, does it show you all your NICs?" ad nauseum.

Maybe he just never encountered some pathetic loser who would actually call up his ISP and spend hours requesting a new IP address just to avoid an IP block due to being an asshat on slashdot. Perhaps he assumed that, if you're calling tech support, that something was actually *wrong* with your service. I'll forgive his ignorance in this case.

Anyway, I got my new IP address after escalating it to his manager. And here I am! Yay!

Yeah, we're all better for it.

Re:LOL! Pretty funny stories (4, Insightful)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661309)

Let me guess: You were IP-banned for language?

Re:LOL! Pretty funny stories (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661368)

Have pity on him. In the last month, he has only had one post modded up that wasn't "funny". In fact, if you take out the funny mods, he gets modded down a LOT more than he is modded up.

To the grandparent poster: Funny mods don't help your karma.

Re:LOL! Pretty funny stories (1)

charleste (537078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661355)

That reminds me SO very much of my "helpdesk" calls to $VERY_BIG_BROADBAND_PROVIDER. From prior experience, troubleshooting, et. al., I know the problem is my modem is no longer "registered" with provider. I called up the help desk, and - surprise, suprise - they ignored my statement that I need to verify my modem is registered properly. I ended up walking $STUPID_HELP_DESK_PERSON though the troubleshooting, analysis and such. I had to explain the results of what we found. So, after 1.5hrs on the phone (+~1hr listening to how I should visit their website if I'm having problems with my connection[!]), we ended up registering the modem. I asked *why* we had to go through all that, and I just got a "Thank you for calling $VERY_BIG_BROADBAND_PROVIDER". I *did* fill out the "customer service survey" that time tho...

Re:LOL! Pretty funny stories (2, Insightful)

George Beech (870844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661358)

Whose bright idea was it to make the stupidest computer geeks in charge of keeping customers happy?

Would you work for 10$/hr? The problem here is the people who know what they are doing can make 2-3x as much - if not more - and not have to deal with the public all the time. The stupid ones are the ones that just wanna work with computers and know they can't pass themselves off as real techs.

Static IP Address and AT&T (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661364)

I remember this one time I got an IP ban here at Slashdot, so I called up my ISP's helpdesk to get a new IP address issued. The guy on the other end kept asking me all sorts of questions. "Have you checked the cables?" "When you click on My Network, does it show you all your NICs?" ad nauseum.

I helped by friend get a new Mac, his old iMac was a bit long of tooth for him and the idea of a laptop appealed to him and his fiancee. They were considering a PC laptop because prices were low, but I warned them switching from Mac to PC would be like opening Pandora's Box and upending it to make sure all the evils possible could get out. No stick with what you know. So I get them a nice powerbook with Tiger and some productivity software, entertainment, iLife, etc. Next we're going to get it on the internet. He's had a static IP address from Pacific Bell since the early days (he used to work for them) and was adamant (i would be too) about keeping it, no DHCP for him.

We can't seem to figure it out, based upon his crabbed scribblings over several sheets of paper, so I call AT&T (Pacbell's new name after SBC) We get some guy with a fixed set of help tips on the line and he's trying to get us to do the steps for non-static IP address. I point out we have a static address we're trying get going on this new Mac. He's befuddled and flustered and trying his best, but always from the direction we don't want to go. In a nutshell support is not geared to anyone with a Static IP address, take care if you have one not to lose it this way. After fiddling with a few things while the support guy is trying to find anything at all helpful I finally get the network connection going and tell him so. He returns to his script and thanks us for choosing AT&T and if there's anything else he can do, etc.

Moral of the story: Figue out how to do it before switching, because support for DSL on a Static IP address is scarce as hen's teeth.

ZoneAlarm blocking the database server (3, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661192)

We had made a fat client app for a company with a metric buttload of regional offices all over Germany. Each office had their own database, and it was replicated daily against the central database. (Short story: each office only needed the data for their region, so it really didn't need the whole central database. And conversely the "mother" corporation didn't need their data immediately either.)

So this woman (afaik, a sorta boss for that particular office too) calls that the application stopped working on her machine. The tech-support guys can't solve it, so they forward the call to us programmers, namely to the guy next to me. Turns out that she had heard about evil hackers and whatnot, and someone recommended that she installs ZoneAlarm and forbid any programs to connect if she doesn't know what they are and what they do. So she installs it on her work computer too. And forbids our application from talking to the database.

Mice (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15661193)

"No ma'am. Your mouse is meant for external use only. We do not recommend insertion in bodily orifices." -=|=-

Re:Mice (5, Funny)

Oliver Defacszio (550941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661347)

That's odd, I've actually been recommending that people shove their mouse into various body openings (or use it to create new ones). I guess I learn something new every single day.

An oldie... (5, Funny)

toupsie (88295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661199)

When I worked Telephone Techinical Support for Fifth Generation Systems in the late 80s/early 90s, I had a legal secretary that could not restore her Fastback backups from the 5 1/4" disks she used. As a service, we would have customers in this situation send them in and we would restore the data, reback them up and send them back. We would want copies of the disks to be made and those sent to us. Well she did make copies. I received via overnight FedEx ten 8/12x11" photocopies of her really nicely labeled diskettes. I had a really hard time calling her back and explaining the process of how to copy a floppy.

Re:An oldie... (1)

gedeco (696368) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661300)

My client was already using a fax to sent us copies of the needed files.
But it remains a classic one

Keep the lights on / WWF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15661213)

Working phone support for a large home/garden chain that shall remain nameless. I get a call from a guy requesting that we keep all the lights on in the store late at night cuz they're moving boxes around. I'm left wondering what telephones have to do with the lights.

My favorite though, was working a call routing problem for Vince McMahon's (of WWF/WWE fame) secretary. See, the secretary would call his wife and chat all day, and was now having some sort of problem. It was nice, as I made them give me Vince's home number so I could trace the routing. I was big into wrestling then and it was HARD not to post his number on a message board. But I didn't think it would be honorable.

Angry Customer (5, Funny)

Incy (635621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661214)

Customer had been angry from the start. Don't know why. Just was that way. We fixed her computer up nice and new and sent her home. About 30min later she calls. Screaming and yelling. "you broke the computer..".. lots of profanity and swearing. After awhile I got her to say that it wasn't even "booting". I asked if the power LEDs were on. Took another few minutes to get the answer "no" through all the yelling and screaming. They weren't. I asked if she could confirm that it was plugged into the powerstrip, she said "no".. more screaming and yelling at me. At this point every customer in the store is listening on my side of the conversation as they were all hushed and no longer really shopping. I asked why she couldn't check the powerstrip... more swearing.. finally she said something like.."okay whatever..".. and set the phone down. She came back and I asked "was it plugged in okay"... "I don't know I had to get a flashlight.." more yelling and swearing. "Why did you need a flashlight?" "The power is out and I can't see under the desk" She immediatly realized her mistake and hung up. The call lasted about 20minutes and was the most difficult customer I've ever had to help out over the phone. Now we had another guy who was 6 foot 5 and had real anger issues -- threatened to beat me up when I refused to let him return DOS without all the disks. However that was in person, so it isn't on topic..

Re:Angry Customer (2, Informative)

Andrew Aguecheek (767620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661298)

Interesting... I think that's about the 9th time I've heard a variation of that anecdote. Either there are a lot of stupid people out there or you're stealing someone else's material...

Re:Angry Customer , similar but not angry (1)

OYAHHH (322809) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661363)


Inept co-worker had moved his PC from one side of his office to the other all by himself!

When his computer failed repeatedly to turn on he meticulously checked to confirm the power cord was plugged into the power strip.

Yes, it was plugged in. Aaaarrrrgggghhhhh!!!!!

He called the systems administrator, who walked over, just to find that the co-worker had plugged the computer into the power strip properly.

Unfortunately, he had plugged the power strip into itself......

No lunch on Sunday (1)

jasoegaard (103287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661215)

My favorite support story is the classic Olin Shivers story about a support call to Microsoft.

Date: Sat, 12 Apr 1997 06:03:30 -0400 (EDT)
From: Olin Shivers
To: sunday-lunch-list
Subject: Losing $35

No lunch on Sunday, I am afraid.

Having just concluded a continuous 14-hour conversation with
technical support people at Microsoft, my weekend plans have been
altered to simply sleep.

More... []

True story... (4, Funny)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661218)

On tuesday, a colleague of mine was on messenger with client:
Support says:
Ok, could you ask me for remote assistance, please?
Customer says:
Can I have remote assistance?

Re:True story... (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661328)

Not funny. I know what the support rep is doing, but most people don't even know you can do this with Windows XP. I had a rough time trying to explain to my brother how to try it and I ended up just giving up.

I call a support number... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15661219)

...and the support person answers in a very heavy, obviously Indian accent, "Hello, this is...Steve."

"Steve"...right. When will companies stop outsourcing their support? I have never encountered more incompetent, foreign support people in the past year than any time in my life.

What ever happened to competent, helpful support people?

Phone line (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661221)

Received in a tech support email:

Internet is connected to phone line #1. It should be connected to #2. How do I change this?

personal experience... (3, Funny)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661226)

User: AOL Stole my credit card.
Tech: If you are having a problem cancelling your AOL account, you may need to call them...
User: No! AOL stole my credit card, and I want it back!
Tech: Wait... Tell me exactly what you did...
User: Well, I was installing AOL, and it asked for my credit card number. So I put my card in the ATM slot and now it won't give me my card back.

Yes, the user had stuck her Credit Card in her floppy drive. She had to send the machine back to the manufacturer, who then had to disassemble the floppy to get it out.

Re:personal experience... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15661382)

some of you are making this crap up

Difficult problem (2, Funny)

smaerd (954708) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661227)

This was about a decade ago.

I had given my sister my old 486 as she went off to college (she's older than me). Anyways... a few months or so later I get a phone call "Hey William, the computer won't start." After a bit of chatting on the phone, I get out of here that it gets through POST but won't go into windows. I put my coat on, start up my crappy car, and drive the hour to go see what the problem is.

This is december in northern Wisconsin. As I recall we were having a snowstorm and the drive was definately NOT fun.

I walk into her apartment, look at the machine (which she left on, or had just booted as I walked in the door).

I hit the Turbo button. It boots.

I go home.

My favourite.. (5, Funny)

swab79 (842256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661228)

Me: Thanks for calling tech support. Him: Hi, I just purchased a CD Writer, and it says I need to open up my computer to install it. Me: Yes, and? Him: I don't have a computer, can I still use it? Me: Can I place you on hold for one moment? Him: Sure Me: Bahahahahahaha!!

Email worms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15661229)

We had an email worm sending itself out to a few users on our network recently, aside from the single user who had it, no one else clicked on it. Crisis averted, right? Not so much.

Our head office sent out a warning about this worm that was spreading and instructed users to not click it. The thing about this warning was, the entire message the worm was sending out was included in the notice. The entire message - URL to a nice .pif included...

this is sort of in reverse..... (1)

jollyroger1210 (933226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661234)

But "Bill" from "India-anna" asked me how many baskets the packers had scored in the Stanley Cup.

AOL = Army of Lamers (2, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661240)

When I had an old AOL account (don't laugh, it was a gift), the dial-up number went "24/7 busy" for days. I dialed the number on the regular phone to verify that it was a regular old busy signal. I called AOL to complain that the dial-up pool was stuck or had some similar problem. I went through several technicians and managers that insisted on digging into all the details of my AOL modem settings. They never listened when I insisted "but it doesn't matter what my modem does: the number is BUSY!!!!". I even offered helpful examples like "This is like you trying to have me check the oil in my car when I am telling you that I can't travel because there is a tree fallen in the road". I never could convince them: they were certain that the answer to their busy signal lay in buried in the Hayes commands configured inside my AOL setup

However a day or two later the "stuck" modem was fixed and I was able to dial in. I guess they found some cooperative kid with a Packard-Bell who changed his personal modem settings....

Spelling (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661241)

I can't tell you how many hours of my life I've wasted trying to get someone on the other end of the phone to type in a-d-m-i-n-i-s-t-r-a-t-o-r.

Finally, my company started installing a-d-m-i-n accounts with admin rights. I suggested a user named simply A, but they thought admin was simple enough.

Re:Spelling (1)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661305)

I also wish I could find whoever it was who decided anonymous was a good name for a default login, although nowadays it is falling out of use.

from my journal (3, Funny)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661242)

This was a real support call [] I once did:

gah (4, Funny)

B00yah (213676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661245)

I work for a fairly large hosting company, and we deal with some fairly large customers...but on a daily basis I see them change their server ips to gateway ips, changing all their network interfaces to have an ip of 5 (ifconfig -a 5, if you ever want to), etc. Then they wonder why we are so hesitant to give them root access to these boxes again.

The best antecdote though, was working with a customer, who couldn't figure out why he couldn't reach his server, and was cursing a storm about it, wanting to talk to vps, etc. I can't hit the box either, and no response from the remote console, so I have the data center tech check the box, and it's powered down. I have him power the box back up, and lo and behold, connectivity restored. Customer is livid at the news that the box was down, and wants to know why. I start digging in, and notice that the user was on the box when it when down. I check his history, and sure enough, "shutdown -h now". I brought this information to him, and he hung up on me. I made sure that our trouble ticket was noted with the info, and by the next week, the customer had a new technical contact, who was much nicer.

Support e-mail (4, Funny)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661246)

My favourite came to me in the form of an e-mail:

I spil;l;ed a gl;asasas of waster on the keyas asnd now thias ias whast happenas when I type./ Thias ias reasl;l;y asl;owing down my productivityl./


thias ias not as joke

Those wacky VPs (5, Funny)

mj01nir (153067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661247)

I was working internal support for a bank about 10 years ago. One day I got a frantic call from one of the older Vice Prsidents.

"I can't login! I've tried and tried, but the ^%((* thing won't let me in."

No one else had reported a problem, so I went over to his office.

"OK, please restart your computer and login for me."

He dutifully restarted, typed in his login name, and proceeded to type in his all-numeric password on the phone next to his keyboard.

Warranty returns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15661248)

This site is in german, but the pictures speak for themselves. All warranty returns: []

I don't do windows (0, Offtopic)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661249)

Around my school I get asked all kinds of questions. As I have used linux since '98 and OS X since 2002, and our windows machines at school are locked down, I honestly haven;t used windows since circa Win98. I know very little of XP at all. People assume that since I do alot of development that I'm some computer guru. They are most shocked that I honestly can't answer simple questions about windows. I usually explain that I don't have that problem in linux or OS X. I am polite, but sincere. I explain that what I need to do on a computer is much more difficult (LAMP, java, etc.), or impossible, on windows.

Every time I flush the toilet... (5, Funny)

Flimzy (657419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661250)

My computer reboots. This is a true story that happened to a customer who lived in a rural area when I worked for a dialup ISP several years ago. Living in a rural area, the customer got their water from a well, and whenever the toilet would flush, their water reserve would suddenly drop low enough to kick on their water pump, and cause a temporary brown out.

I _was_ the horror story! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15661253)

I was serving at a forward deployed location with the US military. Many things were wrong with our technical position, including the fact that our office was NOT being provided the security updates for MS Exchange, due to a typical military SNAFU.

One of the many known and expected email attacks hit us, and crashed our server.

We couldn't get the server back up. Our "home office" back in the US couldn't figure out how to get our server back up. We got permission to pay for the service, and called the MS Service line. After a short discussion, the MS Techs knew exactly what our problem was, and told me to download a 4.2 Meg update. At this point I had to interrupt, and point out that my connection to the world wasn't that stable, and didn't have enough bandwidth to keep that download under 12 hours, if the connection didn't get lost.

The next thing I knew, I had two MS Engineers on the phone, talking to each other while I listened, trying to figure out how to deal with the problem without using the download. That phone call ran nearly 5 hours. It ended with me typing in hex edits to the MS Exchange software . . ..

EVERYTHING these men suggested short of that I had to refuse, for technical or mission reasons. The direct hex edit was something like the 7th or 8th solution the engineers came up with.

How would YOU like to hear "Yeah, that would probably work, but, I can't do that because . . .." and have the because be something you recognized you couldn't argue against?

My mom... (1)

Quintios (594318) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661254)

is probably one of the stories here. I feel really bad for her. At the same time, during our frequent hour-long conversations about her Win98 machine, I get soooooooooo frustrated. I think one of the most frustrating things is when I ask her to do something, she then proceeds to read EVERYTHING that's on the screen. I don't need to hear that, I know what's on her screen. Ugh. "Right click on the menu bar." "What's a menu bar?" "The grey area above the window." "There's nothing above the window." "Yes mom, I know, I mean above the _inside_ part of the window. The white part." "Nothing happens." Arrrrrrghhh!!!

We come from the button-pushing generation. I often wonder what will be the technology that will confuse me when I'm 60 years old.

I just wish she'd stop asking me "is that 'right' click or 'left' click" whenever I ask her to click on something. Maybe a Mac *would* be easier! Only one button! er, wait, do they have two buttons now? Arrrgh!!!

NEC CSD war stories (5, Funny)

fahrvergnugen (228539) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661257)

In the late 90's, Packard Bell disappeared. Most people assumed they were finally taken down by their own incompetence, but what really happened was this:

Packard Bell was able to manufacture their systems so cheaply because they had rent-free facilities on a disused airbase in Sacramento, CA. NEC, wishing to enter the end-user/retail sector and covetous of this manufacturing facility, bought 49% of Packard Bell, re-named them to NEC Consumer Systems Division, and put a clause in the contract that allowed them to gain ownership of the other 2% if certain milestones were not reached. Then, NEC seeded the CSD division with internal executives, who made sure those milestones would never be reached. Mission accomplished, NEC now had their manufacturing facilities rent-free, and they shut down the consumer systems division, no longer willing to compete with Dell & Gateway.

I was one of the end-user technical support nerds for NEC-CSD, and wow did we get some crazies. Among my favorites were the black supremacist who refused to speak to me because I sounded white, so I put him on hold and then picked up a few minutes later with a badly faked "black" accent ("Yo what up? This is NEC, I'm Johnson. How can I help you?"). His issue? He'd set all of his Windows desktop color settings to black - backgrounds, borders, buttons, and text - and was calling to complain that his monitor was broken, because all he could see what his mouse cursor (which he was angry at for being white).

Also good was the hung-over stoner who'd woken up to find that he'd thrown up IN his monitor. No, sorry, that's not covered under warranty, but could you tell me how you did it?

But the best call didn't even happen to me, it happened to Chuck. One slow afternoon Chuck came around and motioned for everyone not currently on a call to follow him. We gathered around his cube and he muted the input on his phone, put on his headset, and then piped it to the speaker.

Chuck: "Hello sir, I have my supervisor here with us, could you please repeat for us what you told me?"
Cust: "Well, this laptop is junk, and I want a new one."
Chuck: "Okay, can you talk me through what's wrong?"
Cust: "My modem wouldn't connect, and I got really angry, so I pulled the card out and snapped it in half. Then I threw it across the room."
Chuck: "So your modem is no longer functional?"
Cust: "My computer's busted and I want a new one."
Chuck: "Okay, so how did we go from broken modem card to broken laptop?"
Cust: "So I calm down and I figure I can fix this modem. I got the pieces, and I figured out how they were supposed to go. Then I superglued them together and put them in a vice clamp overnight."
Chuck: "Okay. What happened next?"
Cust: "Well, I put it in my computer and tried to dial out to the internet again, but it still didn't work. Then I tried to pull out the card, but it got stuck. I had to use needle-nose pliers to pull the damn thing out, and I only got half of it. The other half's stuck in there, and now my computer's ruined! Your computer is junk, and I want a new laptop!"

At this point, the twenty or so people gathered around Chuck's cube were in hysterics. Chuck reached over, released the mute so that the man on the other end of the phone could hear us, left it open for a few seconds, and hung up on him.

Hub not working (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661259)

Once we got a request from one office saying they couldn't access the network.

We went there, checked out the machines wondering why they couldn't access the network. Finally, we saw the culprit: A coffee heater was plugged in the wall socket... in place of the hub.

So in the report we wrote: "We recommend not unplugging the hub next time".

One call (like so many others) (1)

dragonsomnolent (978815) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661261)

While working as a DSL helpdesk technician, I once recieved a call from a user who told me her internet wasn't working. After having them report the status of the lights on their dsl modem, I determined she had no sync. Since she had already had service up and running, I called the line maintenance department and was informed that the DSL service had been disconnected due to no payment. When I got back to the customer she admitted that her phone was indeed disconnected, but had no idea that the DSL would be shut off too.

Emailed me to say email wasn't working (1)

g0hare (565322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661264)

I replied to the email....

I work tech support at an ISP... (2, Funny)

mashuren (886791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661270)

An ISP, mind you, who caters mostly to customers in a rural area. One day, a guy calls up because there was a strange clicking noise coming from inside his computer when he turned it on. I wasn't too busy that day, so I figured I could take a minute to say it was probably his hard drive on the verge of death, and as the conversation proceeded, it just got worse and worse. Him: "Well, I squirted some WD-40 in there, but it didn't help none..." Me: (stunned pause) "You squirted... WD-40 in... where?" Him: "The, er, disk drive... that's what you said it was, right?" Me: (speechless) Him: "Uh-oh, smoke's coming out... better unplug this thing..." Yes, this guy sprayed WD-40 into his floppy drive and set his computer on fire.

Come get me (1)

Pointy_Hair (133077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661273)

Once when providing ISP tech support, an out-of-control caller said he wanted to come over and kick my ass. So I gave him the HQ address and invited him to stop in. Oh, I forgot to mention that we were outsourced and in another city. Hope he had a nice visit!

My Tech Support Story (5, Interesting)

usermilk (149572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661277)

Me: How may I help you?
Customer: Hi, my name is Customer.
Me: Hi, how may I help you today?
C: I just bought a Powerbook G4 and I can't get it connected to the internet. There are no ports at all, no USB, no Ethernet, no modem.
Me: What? Are you sure there are no ports on it?
C: Yes, this is the worst purchase I ever made! Can I bring it to you guys to have a look at it and get ports added?
Me: This is the first time I ever heard of this! You're sure you flipped down the panel in the back?
C: Panel in the back? I don't see a-- I am such an asshole! Thank you so much, I feel so stupid.
Me: It's okay, don't worry. I'm glad I could help.
C: I am sorry for cursing, thank you so much you just saved me so much money.
Me: You're welcome, have a good day.
C: You too!

Bad Router? (5, Funny)

obsidianpoet (978026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661278)

I used to work for the local Telescom company here in Western Canada doing support for the ADSL help desk. We had just rolled out 2.5 high speed. A customer called into my queue and was complaining about slow speeds. One of the first question we have to ask is "Is the ADSL modem hooked up directly into the computer, or is there a router in between?" Of course, the customer said no, he did not have a router. I saw he was on the new 2.5 program and so we went through about 40 minutes of speed testing. Download rates, TRACRT, Pinging... all of those tests came back with speed equivilant to the 1.5 package. so I excalated to our network support team. Well after about an hours worth of testing, NS asked again if he had a router, he said no again. Finally we were about to dispatch a tech when he said these exact words :Well, let me try bypassing my router and see if that works...." Which of course it did. So moral of the story? Even though tech support has to aks dumb questions, they would not be there if there was not a reason somewhere down the line.... :)

rinkworks (1)

flok (24996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661281)

This/these guy(s) [] has/have some hilarious stories collected.

Re:rinkworks (1)

Mysterious Stranger (978113) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661374)

Definately a good way to waste a couple hours by reading through that. This is my favourite one for support calls:

I had this conversation recently with a lady who swore she had been using computers since forever.

Tech Support: "All right. Now click 'OK'."
Customer: "Click 'OK'?"
Tech Support: "Yes, click 'OK'."
Customer: "Click 'OK'?"
Tech Support: "That's right. Click 'OK'."
Customer: "So I click 'OK', right?"
Tech Support: "Right. Click 'OK'."

Customer: "I clicked 'Cancel'."
Tech Support: "YOU CLICKED 'CANCEL'???"
Customer: "That's what I was supposed to do, right?"
Tech Support: "No, you were supposed to click 'OK'."
Customer: "I thought you said to click 'Cancel'."
Tech Support: "NO. I said to click 'OK'."
Customer: "Oh."
Tech Support: "Now we have to start over."
Customer: "Why?"
Tech Support: "Because you clicked 'Cancel'."
Customer: "Wasn't I supposed to click 'Cancel'?"
Tech Support: "No. Forget that. Let's start from the top."
Customer: "Ok."
I spent the next fifteen minutes re-constructing the carefully crafted setup for this lady's unique computer.

Tech Support: "All right. Now, are you ready to click 'OK'?"
Customer: "Yes."
Tech Support: "Great. Now click 'OK'."

Customer: "I clicked 'Cancel'."
And people wonder why my mouse pad has a target on it labeled "BANG HEAD HERE."

Cable TV support (2, Funny)

Chirs (87576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661285)

I was working support for the local cable station, and a guy called in saying that he couldn't get a picture on his TV.

Normally this is due to getting the in/out cables wrong on the VCR, so I asked him to verify that they were correctly plugged in. He then said it was too dark to see, so I suggested moving a lamp over. At that point he mentioned that the lamps weren't working because *the power was out*. Blew my mind.

One a side note, why the heck do VCRs need to be manually switched between cable and antenna? Are the channel frequencies different or something? And why can't they put a 10-cent NVRAM chip in there to remember all the settings during a power outage?

You expect idiocy at Best Buy, but still.. (1)

junco (793981) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661287)

I used to work on the Geek Squad...

Customer: I think I need a monitor cable...
Me: Okay, let me show you them. (I proceed to show her SVGA cables)
Customer: No no.. I have that one, I need the other kind?
Me: The power cable? Ok those are here...
Customer: I have that one too, but it doesn't fit anywhere.
Me: That one plugs into the wall.
Customer: Oh, the monitor has to be plugged into the power thing? Do I have to turn the monitor on too then?
Me: Yes.

Not my favorite, but surely my most memorable... (5, Funny)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661291)

I worked phone support for a software company for a while. We get all kinds of calls - anything from how do I login to the app to I don't believe the data your app is showing me to it's just broken. One day, my coworker gets a call from someone who obviously is facing some problem and wants it to be taken care of. After about a 2 minute session of standard Question and Answer, my coworker goes silent, puts the guy on hold for a short time, then continues. When he finally hangs up, I ask him what happened. Here's apparently how the conversation went:

Coworker: tell me what's happening.
Caller: It's broken, I need it fixed.
Coworker: ok, so what is the problem.
Caller: It doesn't matter, just open the ticket.
Coworker: I need to know what's wrong before I can open the ticket.
Caller (screaming now): Do you know what your purpose in life is????
Coworker: Ummmmmmm.....
Caller: Your purpose in life is to open this ticket for me!!

And they say there is no such thing as workplace abuse.

The non-closable application (5, Funny)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661295)

A few years ago, I had a combined programmer/support job. One day, a colleague called and said that he had an application on his computer he could not close.
So I went over and indeed, one of our programs was in the middle of his screen and did not react to anything. On a hunch, I checked the dektop settings. Lo and behold:

Somehow the guy had made a screenshot while running the application and used that screenshot as Windows wallpaper. Changing the wallpaper got rid of the phantom application ;-)

Reboot (3, Funny)

bboyers (21742) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661296)

Me: Seems like your computer is having problems, lets reboot the computer and see if that will fix the problem.
User: Am I allowed to do that?
Me: Sure.
User: Ok then.
Bang, Bang heard in the background on the phone
Me: STOP!!! STOP DOING THAT!!! (Me screaming into phone)
User: Whats wrong, I'm booting the computer. (User was kicking the computer tower that was under the desk.)

The sad part of this story is that it's true.

Boot the server. (1)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661359)

Reminds me of a situation where the file server was located under a long desk/table. I think it was one of those old AST machines with a huge sensitive reset button on the front. They complained that the server kept resetting. It did not take much looking at the badly scuffed (with lots of black shoe marks) front of the server to find out what users idly swinging their feet did.

Where to Begin... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661297)

Probably the one I was relating to coworkers this morning:

A voice on the phone informs me they are in the middle of a word document and every key they strike gives them a beep but nothing else happens. I tell them not to touch anything and I'll be right down. A minute later I'm in their office looking at a computer in the process of rebooting. I ask did it just do that by itself? They say, no, right after they hung up they decided to turn the power of and back on and see if that would do anything. I told them never to call me again and waste my time if that's they way they "don't touch anything."

Now executive decisions which have gone awry, those are legion. Others may find them funny, but they still give me heartburn.

IIS on HP-UX? (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661301)

At my previous work as a UNIX sysadmin a project manager for a developer team asked me to install IIS on a HP-UX server. I kindly told him that it wasn't possible to install IIS on HP-UX because IIS is Windows-only software. He looked annoyed and asked me WHY I couldn't do it. Once again I told him that IIS is for Windows and this particular server run HP-UX, not windows. He muttered things about me being stupid, then walked to my boss and told him I was useless and stupid and should be fired because I couldn't even install IIS on his HP-UX server...

Luckily my boss was fairly technical minded and was laughing out loud while he told me about the manager. :)

Warranty doesn't cover that (4, Funny)

lomedhi (801451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661303)

Back when I was assembling i386 PCs for a small reseller, one of our regular clients walked in the door carrying a machine we had recently sold to his company. He said that it had "just stopped working", and implied that it should be covered under warranty.

When I opened up the machine, I discovered that every screw and stand-off holding the motherboard had been sheared off, and the board was shorting against the case. There was no obvious damage to the case itself. I figured the guy must have dropped the machine and it landed flat on the bottom. Amazingly, after the board was re-mounted, everything seemed to work perfectly.

Of course, we were rather curious about what had happened, so my boss asked the client when he returned. The client sheepishly admitted that they had planned to use the machine for tracking wildlife, running off a generator in the middle of the forest. They flew it to the intended location, and dropped it from the aircraft with a parachute. I turned around and headed back into the shop stifling my laughter while my boss told the client he couldn't justify covering the incident under warranty.

Spam (1)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661306)

User: "I have been getting an awful amount of spam lately."

Tech: "Is it coming into your Inbox or into your Junk E-mail folder?"

User: "Junk E-mail folder. Why isn't the Junk E-mail folder filtered like the Inbox?"

Tech: "Are you serious?"

User: "Yes."

Tech: "..."

Does he use Hotmail? (2, Insightful)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661329)

"User: "Junk E-mail folder. Why isn't the Junk E-mail folder filtered like the Inbox?""

My Hotmail account works like that: using Microsoft's settings, the spam goes into the inbox while the good stuff goes into the junk folder.

One from our work.... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661310)

Someone from the call centre downstairs rang my colleague, who promptly put the call on speakerphone. The caller claimed that the login system to the test server (we develop all the call centre software onsite on Unix systems, its terminal based data entry), which was funny because it had worked perfectly fine for 18 months thus far and the test server also served as our development platform. Colleague talked him through the steps, still nothing. Colleague wandered downstairs, stood behind the caller to watch him do it all. Caller brought up Putty, selected the correct address, entered his username, entered the password at the prompt and ... that was it. My colleague leaned over his shoulder and pressed enter - logged him in fine. For some reason, after doing it several times a day for months, the caller had forgotten that he had to press enter.

Of course this caller is the same person that insists we 'fix' software after it goes wrong in such a way that blame for munged jobs gets put on him and his team (hint, we dont, his team just munge the jobs and then blame it on a nonexistant software problem despite the fact we retain keystroke logs for just this purpose).

Here's a good one (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661312)

Last Friday, we recieved a ticker about a customer who wanted thier ID number changed. The reason? Her number has the numerals 666 in it. We had a laugh around the office. I realize people are sensitive about this stuff but people!

Rinkworks Computer Stupidities page (4, Insightful)

Bradlegar the Hobbit (132082) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661316)

I discovered what I call the Rinkworks site [] a few years ago. It doesn't get updated very often, but because it's edited, the content is usually pretty good.

I love the comment at the top of the "Computer Stupidities" page:

"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
-- Charles Babbage (1791-1871)

Fire (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661321)

I have a good one. I was working the hell that was the IBM CrAptiva support back when it was in the US. I had a woman call me one night telling me that there was a lot of smoke and sparks coming out of her monitor and what she should do. She said that if she looked closely, she could see flames on the inside. I told her to unplug it and dial 911. She still had her computer on and was actively using it.

internet access requires a computer? (1)

_ZR2_ (36478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661322)

I worked helpdesk for a few years while in college. The best call I ever took was a lady who bought a modem to get internet access through the university. Unable to figure out how to use it she called the helpdesk. One of the first questions of course was did you install it in your computer? The answer was "Oh I need a computer to use this?"

Voting was a no-brainer! (1)

mike449 (238450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661338)

Because there IS a "breasts" option.

Stop me if you've heard this one... (5, Funny)

Avogadros Letter (867221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661339)

A Congressman from my government's House of Representatives was having issues with the Internet just last week. His problem? The "tubes" that made up the internet were "filled."

Not really the customer's fault, just overall fun (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661340)

Supporting robots in a factory in rural Italy, outside of Milan, 1997. I managed to talk work into letting my new wife come along, both of us going coach instead of just me in business class. I had the debug software loaded on the laptop, but I'd used a floppy disk to transfer it, and it was corrupted (had to book to the airport in a hurry, no time to check).

So, I'm in this plant in the middle of the night, no one can figure out how to turn on the lights so we're using our laptops as flashlights, the giant mutant Italian mosquitos are on the hunt, and the debug software won't load (bad checksum). I can't download it since the Italian phone system doesn't use quite the same dial tone and the modem won't let me dial, and of course there's no way to look up the ATX1 command on the net if I can't dial up, and these damn French engineers I'm working with will take a two hour lunch, and a two hour dinner, but won't give up on an obviously hopeless case until 5:30am.

And I did manage to get one of the engineer's cell phones to connect and call the States to talk to my boss, and he chews me out for about five minutes because he's been stuck at home waiting for my call (heaven forfend!). I tell him I'll call him back, hang up, calm down, then call one more time and explain, in detail, exactly what the situation is. I get a grudging sort-of apology. Last time that phone worked from the plant.

So I get back to the hotel and my wife is all dolled up in a very interesting costume (newlyweds by a month), but she's furious that I'm so late and didn't call. Once she calms down enough I manage to explain and then she's okay, but I have two hours to sleep before the Frenchies come back to take me to the plant again.

Of course it's the weekend and no one's around. And we get bounced from hotel to hotel 'cause everything's full (four hotels in five nights). And I finally find a computer shop in town that has an email account (1997, rural Italy) and they let me borrow their account to get the software, and it works, and we can go home.

After that, any support call I get where I'm at my desk is no big deal.

Trouble with DSL (1)

collectivescott (885118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661342)

A friend's DSL service seemed to be interfering with his phone service, so after about an hour on the phone with tech support, the ISP agreed to send him a new DSL modem. He assured me that he would be able to hook it all up himself. "After all, I just need to switch boxes, right?" he said.

I got a call today, just a few days after my last visit. Not only did his DSL not work with the new modem, but his phone service had stopped working as well. It turns out he had plugged the telephone line through the router, had the DSL modem connected only to a phone, and the eithernet cable from his computer plugged into the old DSL modem. Apparently, connecting a phone line to a router will disable the phone lines throughout the house. Learn something new every day...

Before I left, his wife asked me to explain which part they had gotten wrong, so that they could fix it themselves next time. "Uh... basically all of it," I replied. I did try to explain it to them, but I'm sure I'll get a call if they ever touch it.

Slightly crass (1)

htm3 (253574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661344)

Out of 11 "favorite support anecdotes" two are just low brow female sexual references. Maybe it is only me but its seems a sort of sad comment on the state of gender perception in the industry.

Early ISP work (1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661346)

Uh, yah. I used to work at an ISP for support. I would walk people through setting up Trumpet Winsock. Over the phone. Sometimes this would require tweaking the script. I never used analog phone modems again.

It's RUNNING I tell you! (4, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661348)

I had a remote user sitting in front of an NT3.5 machine, needing to do some work in a FoxPro app. We were having some library problems, etc... but lacking remote desktop tools for that session, I was relying on the user to tell me what she was seeing as she clicked on what I told her to click on. After tracking down the right icon, I asked her to run the app. "Yep," she said, "it's running! Now, how long before I see the program?"

This went on for a long, long time. Finally I asked her how she knew it was running, when, well... it obviously wasn't running. She said, "Well, obviously I can see its legs moving."

Never heard that one before. Long pause.

Ah... remember the animated pointer sets that NT came with? You know, the one where the "busy" mouse pointer (hourglass) could be replaced with an animation of... a running horse? Gaaah!

Anyone got a plunger?! (1)

xdjyoshx (804247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661350)

I still keep in contact with the last company i used to work with. For some reason a user called their IT Helpdesk to report a clogged toilet. The tech logged the ticket and routed it to Global Operation (network ops). Needless to say this has been the laugh of many IT meetings. Here is the actual ticket history: *names have been edited to only first name

03/02/06 16:04:56 US/Mountain (Rory):
I called Megha (Megan) and advised that after review of the issue,despite refferal to SD by manager we need to consult firsthand and find the facilities staff for her location. in order to adress the issue.

03/02/06 16:04:56 (Rory):
[Update by operator] Time Stamp is in US/Mountain

03/02/06 15:56:12 (Rory):
[Update by operator] Time Stamp is in US/Mountain
Sent Team lead CB email with justification for actions as to why I followed HELP FILE, and will follow up regarding the process and handling of this ticket.
03/02/06 17:20:27 (Donald) :
[Update by operator] Time Stamp is in US/Eastern
Global Operations has no authority to plunge toilets.
03/02/06 17:17:55 (Donald):
[Update by operator] Time Stamp is in US/Eastern
03/02/06 15:06:44 (Rory):
[Update by operator] Time Stamp is in US/Mountain
Routing to Global Opperatioons for this issue per HF, If this is not correct I appologise.
03/02/06 15:04:28 (Rory):
  [Ticket Opened ] Time Stamp is in US/Mountain
P: 7th floor ladies restroom has a clogged toilett. (this is a serious ticket with zero % kidding, matter of fact intended)

S: Offered ticekt number. Being a rare occurance I consulted SR AGT AG, I found in help file that this goes to Global Opperations. After questioning that validity , I was assured that G.O was the correct recipient of the ticket.

Windows on that Mac? (1)

Custard (45810) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661353)

Many years ago I called Logitech because I couldn't find the driver disk that came with my trackball and I couldn't find the download on their ftp site.

The tech refused to talk to me until I told him if I was running Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 on my Mac. I think that is my favorite since you would expect a tech to at least know that Macs don't run Windows.

There was also the Dell script monkey who wanted me to reinstall Windows on a machine that locked in BIOS before he would send a repair person out.

I expect users to me ignorant but I (still, don't ask me why) expect a little competence from professionals.

Dan from the "We think so you don't have to" department.

Jargon Joys... (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661357)

Me: Hi, this is Mike. How can I help you?
Customer: I am having trouble conntecting to your FTP site
Me: Okay, are you behind a firewall?
Customer: Well, my desk is next to a window....
Me: *confused silence* Me: I see. I don't mean an ACTUAL firewall. A firewall is a network appliance that... nevermind. Do you have an IT person that works there?
Customer: I am the IT person, I guess.
Me: *rolls eyes*

Angry professor + full bladder == dead laptop. (5, Funny)

mc_dork (986995) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661371)

While working in notebook support at an Large Computer Manufacturer a few years back, I took a call one night. We handled education accounts at the time and a call came in from one of the large unviversites concerning a notebook belonging to a professor. She opened the call with, "I'm going to need to send in my laptop for servicing." So I proceed to ask the standard opening question, "What seems to be the problem with it? Is it not starting up?" She replies, "I peed in it." My brain tells me that I did not just hear that and I say, "I'm sorry?" She says "I peed in it. If you look at the history on this thing, you'll see that I've had nothing but problems with it over the past several months. I got fed up. I opened it up, I put it in the floor and peed in it. So of course it doesn't work now and I know I'm going to have to send it in to get it fixed." "You do realize this is not going to be covered by your warranty, right?" "Oh I don't care, I feel a lot better. I'll just bill it to my credit card." So I go through all of the process to set it up for depot repair and get her off the line after telling her to seal it in plastic and put biohazard stickers on it. Then there was the process of letting the repair depot know what was coming in. In the end the computer she sent in was junked without ever being touched by the depot and she was charged for a new maachine which was roughly the same cost as the pissed one..

Laptop Adaptors (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661372)

A colleague in my office got a new laptop. Shortly afterwards, it seems to be exhibiting some problems that might be hardware related. Everyone in the office has an EE degree.

Well, after discussing this with him for a while, he mentions that when using the laptop at home, he just uses whatever power adaptor is handy, despite the different (and higher!) voltage outputs.

Favorite fake support incident (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661373)

The IBM Mouse Balls story is one of my favorites. Snopes says [] it was an internal joke memo. Here is a version from 1989 [] , scroll down for it.

I once read on another source, probably made up, that this WAS in fact a real memo and that the person sending it went to some lengths to bypass the normal internal checks that keep such humor from getting out into the field. Specifically, the person who allegedly wrote the memo declared it a safety emergency memo, which at the time allegedly went through virtually zero in-depth checks from management. I am unable to find this source and I don't give it much credibility.

As for photocopying disks for backup purposes, I do so for insurance purposes. If my house burns down, my "off-site backups" help me file an insurance claim. It works for hard drives too.

Customer nearly had a heart attack! (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661381)

I once left a message for a customer to call me back 'regarding his Pagemaker problem'. By the time the message had been written down, placed on his desk (he was out to lunch) and then noticed by someone else, it had morphed into 'your doctor has called - there is a problem with your pacemaker'.

By the time the man had arrived back at work, the entire company was looking for him convinced he was going to keel over any minute gripping his chest (yes, he DID have a pacemaker fitted!). Fortunately, when he saw my name on the note he realised what had happened and was quite alive and cheery when he called me.

Love the smiley faces... (1)

frisch (754695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15661386)

I was doing tech support for of our sales reps in NY. I sent EXPLICIT instructions to her about saving a file attachment, even taking an hour to write them out and make sure that there was no way of her messing this up. She called me about 2.5hrs after she received the email from me (thank you exchange read receipts). Me: Good after noon Michelle* (name changed to protect the stupid) Michelle: Hello, I have tried to do what you sent me but it doesn't see to be working Me: Ok, double click on MY COMPUTER Michelle: Ok Me: Do you see where it says LOCAL DISK (C:) ? Michelle: No Me: Ok, what do you see there? Michelle: 3 1/2 Floppy drive (A:) Me: Ok, what do you see next? Michelle: Local disk, smiley face Me: Ok, Michelle, have you been instant messaging with some friends? Michelle: yes, why? Me: Can you hold on a second? (put phone on hold, fall out of my chair laughing, initiating an intense session of hiccups) Me: Michelle, I'm back... can you tell me again what you see under 3 1/2 Floppy drive (A:)? Michelle: Local Disk smiley... Oh, nevermind. I get it. Still laugh out loud at that one!
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