Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Madness ~ you can't fix stupid

A friend emailed these, which are said to be actual call center conversations.

Customer:  "I've been calling 700-1000 for two days and can't get through; can you help?"
Operator:  "Where did you get that number, sir?"
Customer:  "It's on the door of your business."
Operator:  "Sir, those are the hours that we are open."

Samsung Electronics
Caller:  "Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?"
Operator:  "I'm sorry, sir, I don't understand who you are talking about."
Caller:  "On page 1, section 5, of the user guide, it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning.  Now, can you give me the number for Jack?"
Operator:  "I think it means the telephone plug on the wall."

RAC Motoring Services
Caller:  "Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am traveling in Australia?"
Operator:  "Does the policy name give you a clue?"

Caller (enquiring about legal requirements while traveling in Europe):
"If I register my car in France, and then take it to England, do I have to change the steering wheel to the other side of the car?"

Directory Enquiries
Caller:  "I'd like the number of the Argo Fish Bar, please."
Operator:  "I'm sorry, there's no listing.  Are you sure that the spelling is correct?"
Caller:  "Well, it used to be called the Bargo Fish Bar, but the 'B' fell off."

Then there was the caller who asked for a knitwear company in Woven.
Operator:  "Woven?  Are you sure?"
Caller:  "Yes, that's what it says on the label — Woven in Scotland."



A man making heavy breathing sounds from a phone box told a worried operator:

"I haven't got a pen, so I'm steaming up the window to write the number on."

Tech Support:  "I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop."
Customer:  "Okay."
Tech Support:  "Did you get a pop-up menu?"
Customer:  "No."
Tech Support:  "Okay, right-click again.  Do you see a pop-up menu?"
Customer:  "No."
Tech Support:  "Okay, sir.  Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?"
Customer:  "Sure.  You told me to write 'click,' and I wrote 'click'."

Tech Support:  "Okay, at the bottom left-hand side of your screen, can you see the 'OK' button displayed?"
Customer:  "Wow!  How can you see my screen from there?"

Caller:  "I deleted a file from my PC last week, and I just realized that I need it.  So, if I turn my system clock back two weeks, will I get my file back again?"

Actual dialogue of a former (in other words, "fired") WordPerfect Customer Support employee.  (Now I know why they record these conversations!)  I think this guy should have been promoted, not fired.  He or she is currently suing the WordPerfect organization for Termination without Cause.

Operator:  "Ridge Hall, computer assistance; may I help you?"
Caller:  "Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."
Operator:  "What sort of trouble?"
Caller:  "Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."
Operator:  "Went away?"
Caller:  "They disappeared."
Operator:  "Hmm.  So what does your screen look like now?"
Caller:  "Nothing."
Operator:  "Nothing?"
Caller:  "It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."
Operator:  "Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"
Caller:  "How do I tell?"
Operator:  "Can you see the 'C: prompt' on the screen?"
Caller:  "What's a sea-prompt?"
Operator:  "Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?"
Caller:  "There isn't any cursor.  I told you, it won't accept anything I type."
Operator:  "Does your monitor have a power indicator?"
Caller:  "What's a monitor?"
Operator:  "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?"
Caller:  "I don't know."
Operator:  "Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it.  Can you see that?"
Caller:  "Yes, I think so."
Operator:  "Great.  Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."
Caller:  "Yes, it is."
Operator:  "When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?"
Caller:  "No."
Operator:  "Well, there are.  I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."
Caller:  "Okay, here it is."
Operator:  "Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."
Caller:  "I can't reach."
Operator:  "Okay.  Well, can you see if it is?"
Caller:  "No."
Operator:  "Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"
Caller:  "Well, it's not because I don't have the right angle — it's because it's dark."
Operator:  "Dark?"
Caller:  "Yes — the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window."
Operator:  "Well, turn on the office light then."
Caller:  "I can't."
Operator:  "No?  Why not?"
Caller:  "Because there's a power failure."
Operator:  "A power ... A power failure?  Aha.  Okay, we've got it licked now.  Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff that your computer came in?"
Caller:  "Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."
Operator:  "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."
Caller:  "Really?  Is it that bad?"
Operator:  "Yes, I'm afraid it is."
Caller:  "Well, all right then, I suppose.  What do I tell them?"
Operator:  "Tell them you're too damned stupid to own a computer!"


Unknown said...

Oh my goodness....I worked in a call centre for 7 years. I can relate :)

Beth said...

Oh dear...I'll have to admit that even though I laughed at these examples, I felt a wee bit sheepish remembering how utterly ignorant I was when I first got my computer. I was terrified that I was going to mess something up and was even more cowed after I called customer service and got an extremely rude and caustic person. And my questions were not particularly stupid questions. I couldn't help but think that "Shawna" (yes, I still remember her name) needed to find a different line of work. Fortunately, after that, I got really nice folks who were helpful.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

In 1984, the first day I got my first computer (a boxy thing, all in one unit), I couldn't figure out how to turn it off. Finally I called my cousin's husband, my computer guru who had ordered the parts and assembled it for me. He said, "Click on START." That was confusing, since I wanted to STOP the computer, not START it. No, he said, I needed to click START to bring up a menu and SHUT DOWN the thing. How's a newbie supposed to know THAT?

Anonymous said...

Indeed, you can't fix their problems-stupidity.